In a brand new chat with Legendary Rock Interviews, FARMIKOS guitarist Joe Holmes spoke about his decision to step away from the music scene in 2001 after spending six years playing with Ozzy Osbourne.
"By the time 2001 came, I had all these years of doing these tours, my own band, all the rehearsal rooms, recording," he explained. "You're just always gone doing it. In 2001, I ended up buying a house and getting married. Both our clocks were ticking, so we figured we better have a baby now because we aren't getting any younger. It was time and I was ready at that point too because I'd been gone and been all around the world a bunch of times. That was the next thing that I wanted in my life.
"When I got out of Ozzy, other bands had called me to come check out their band to see if I wanted to play with them. At that point, I just want to take a break and decide what I wanted to do. I decided that if I was going to anything, it had to be my record and be what I wanted to do.
"Around 2002, at Eric's Guitar Shop, where I get all my guitars worked on, I met Brent Hoffort and became great friends with him. We were hanging out a lot. We'd get together and I said to him, 'Why don't you try singing?' So, I talked him into that. I had a bunch of riffs; we were working on all these riffs and finishing these songs. He's very well read and very poetic. If you listen to something like [the FARMIKOS song] 'Exit Stencils', look at the lyrics in the booklet of the album and the lyrics are just really really good.
"So, I started doing that around 2003-ish, and in 2004, we had my daughter Hailey. It was off and on that we'd get together and write. We had Hailey, so I was doing my thing, and he was doing his thing, but we'd get together and work on these ideas, but it is not like it was every day. I had a bunch of these riffs and when we finished them, we finished them pretty quick. We did some demos for them.
"Then in 2006, my dad got ill. He had two broken hips, and when they did the hip-replacement surgeries, they didn't even work. Then he was diagnosed with dementia and got COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. from smoking his whole life. It was my sister and I who were with him every day. He had that for four or five years. It is going on four years since he passed away."
FARMIKOS, which also features vocalist Robbie Locke, released its self-titled debut album on January 15. The effort was made available as a digital download and on compact disc formats through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and CD Baby.
"Farmikos" features ten original songs penned by Holmes and Locke, with writing contributions on eight songs by Brent Hoffort. The album features Robert Trujillo (METALLICA) on bass and Brooks Wackerman on drums, alongside guest appearances by SKINDRED's Benji Webbe and CANDIRIA's Ken Schalk.
"Farmikos" was co-produced by Joe Holmes and Rich Mouser, who has lent his talents to albums by WEEZER, DREAM THEATER, TRANSATLANTIC, and many others. Mouser handled the engineering, mixing and mastering of the album at The Mouse House Studios.
FARMIKOS is Joe Holmes' first venture under his own flag since first attaining local notoriety with TERRIFF, an L.A. band he formed after taking guitar lessons as a teenager from none other than original Ozzy axeman, Randy Rhoads. Holmes eventually went on to replace ALS-stricken Jason Becker on the 1991 David Lee Roth "A Lil' Ain't Enough" world tour. In 1995, Holmes was brought to the attention of Ozzy Osbourne who was looking for a new guitarist to take over Zakk Wylde's spot for the "Ozzmosis" album touring cycle. Holmes would go on to co-write three songs, "Facing Hell", "Junkie" and "That I Never Had", which appeared on Ozzy's 2001 album, "Down To Earth".