Joe Berardi has had a long history in the Los Angeles music scene, both as a multi-instrumental performer and composer. Primarily known as a drummer/percussionist, he also plays keyboards, vibes and marimba and has done extensive work with electronics and sampling, utilizing his unique homemade circuit bent instruments, toys and effects along with more traditional noise making devices. He incorporates this individual approach in the many diverse settings he finds himself in, from solo performances to group improvisation to straightforward song form, always bringing his own characteristic approach to color, rhythm and texture to every musical situation.
Berardi first came to prominence as a member of the critically acclaimed avant-pop group The Fibonaccis, whose pioneering “elevator music from hell” sound help usher in the neo-lounge scene of the early 90s. Since then he has been involved with a wide assortment of musical projects, from experimental to pop to points between and beyond. Non Credo, his ongoing collaboration with Kira Vollman, highlights his compositional and multi-instrumental skills, playing marimba, keyboards, electronics and the occasional accordion, cello and viola. He is also a member of surf-spy experimentalists Double Naught Spy Car, the metal/found objects percussion group The Obliteration Quartet, Megan Mullally’s Supreme Music Program, LA punks The Deadbeats and the bent blues band The Mentones.
With his extensive touring and recording experience, Berardi has been the drummer/percussionist of choice for a diverse group of notorious performers, including recordings, tours and collaborations with such notables as: Stan Ridgway, Rufus Wainwright, folk legend Donovan, punk poetess Lydia Lunch, James White and the Blacks, ex-Pixies Frank Black & Joey Santiago, The Eastside Sinfonietta, Algerian vocalist Rimitti (with Robert Fripp & Flea), ex-Bongwater performance diva Ann Magnuson, Congo Norvell (featuring ex-Cramps Kid Congo Powers), chamber ensemble Motor Totemist Guild, Mothers Of Invention Don Preston, Alain Johannes, Kristian Hoffman, Stew, The Velvet Hammer Burlesque and Los Angeles improvisers Nels Cline, Steuart Liebig and microtonalist Kraig Grady.
Other activities include work in live theatre in the Los Angeles area, performing in several productions as solo percussionist, drummer and keyboardist. In celebration of the Kurt Weill centennial in 2000, he was musical director for the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA) production of the rarely performed Weill/ Brecht musical “Happy End”. Berardi is on the board of NewTown, an artist-run alternative arts programming organization, and has his own electronics side venture, F Hole, which is an outlet for his work with circuit bending and noise/effects pedals. Check out the F Hole site here.