Joel Maitoza is a professional drummer/percussionist with over 40 years of recording / touring experience. He has appeared on over 20 CDs, toured all over the world, been featured on television and radio commercials and has played in such national acts as 24-7 Spyz, Shockhead, Crown 10, Seventrain, Gangland, Sahara and Elysian. He is also a songwriter, arranger, record producer, session player and drum teacher.
As a graduate of the Yamaha School of Music, Joel received a degree in music by the age of six specializing in piano, music theory and notation.
After receiving a drum kit from his grandparents at age six, Joel started private lessons with a local college music professor for 8 years which included tours around CA with the Palomar College Percussion Group. From seventh to tenth grade, Joel played drums in the school marching, concert and jazz bands. After school, Joel would practice between 4 to 6 hours a night and do summer stock musical theater during summer vacation.
By age 14, Joel was playing the local San Diego & Los Angeles club scenes with the band Metal Arsenal performing heavy metal covers and original songs which recorded a three-song demo. By the time he graduated high school, he recorded his first album with the band Elysian on LCM/Capitol Records and toured around California. As he started auditioning for national recording acts around Los Angeles, Joel ended up joining the neo-classical/thrash band Gangland featuring guitarist Spacey T (Sound Barrier, HR, Fishbone). Gangland toured on the West Coast and Mexico with bands like Exodus, Forbidden, Candlemass, Fates Warning, and Cacophony (featuring Jason Becker and Marty Freedman). Around this time, Joel got to jam with many influential musicians such as Geezer Butler, Paul Gilbert, LSD, DRI and The Bullet Boys. He also started getting hired for session work and gave drum lessons at a local music shop. In 1987, he signed an exclusive endorsement deal with Paiste cymbals and continues to endorse their products today along with Vater drumsticks.
In January of 1991, Joel met 24-7 Spyz guitarist Jimi Hazel and gave him a demo of his playing. Auditioning live over the phone, Joel got the gig with 24-7 Spyz and flew to New York. After two rehearsals, he was on tour with 24-7 Spyz and finished the last leg of their Gumbo Millennium tour. At this time, the band had already achieved international status recording two albums (Harder Than You and Gumbo Millennium) for Relativity/Sony Records and signed with the William Morris Agency touring with bands like Alice Cooper, Prong, Primus, Urban Dance Squad and Jane’s Addiction. Shortly after Joel joined the band, 24-7 Spyz signed a new deal with Atlantic/East West Records, Polygram Publishing and acquired new management with Metropolitan Entertainment.
With engineer Bruce Calder (Foreigner), the Spyz went into Electric Lady Studios in NY to start recording their E.P. "This is...24-7 Spyz". After nearly a year of touring in the US, Canada and Europe, they headed up to Vancouver to start recording "Strength in Numbers" at Little Mountain Studios with engineer Terry Date. The band did a short west coast tour opening for Public Enemy before mixing the record. This album prompted another world tour, interviews and reviews in major publications including Pollstar, Spin, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Billboard. The band was featured in a Budweiser television commercial, two videos (Break the Chains and Stuntman) were featured on MTV/Much Music/Video Jukebox and even on a Beavis and Butthead episode titled "Car Wash".
In 1993, Joel started a solo project called Shockhead with bass player phenomenon Ricky Wolking (Jennifer Batton, The Nixons, Tony MacAlpine, Edgewater, The Better Death). They signed a deal with a small label (Indivision) and recorded the album "Television". The band recorded and mixed the album in 10 days at 4th Street Studios in Santa Monica, CA. with engineer Jim Wirt. Shortly after touring and promoting the Shockhead disk, the rest of 24-7 Spyz flew out to the West Coast to record the bands next record titled "6" at 4th Street Studios with Jim Wirt at the controls again. This record was only released in Europe on Enemy Records, but was later released in the US as "Heavy Metal Soul By The Pound" on the WAR? label. Another tour followed with 24-7 Spyz, playing festivals throughout Europe and rigorous touring in the U.S. Joel was with 24-7 Spyz until 1997 when he had to leave the band due to family related medical issues.
From 1998 to 2011, Joel focused his attention on session work. He appears on albums by Crown 10, Seventrain, James Lloyd, Headtrip Superstar, Don Lithgow, Kerry Conely and Sahara.
He reunited with 24-7 Spyz in 2011 for their 20th anniversary of the release of Strength In Numbers which featured select US dates & a European tour in 2012. He currently plays with the band Seventrain from San Diego, CA.
Seventrain "Seventrain" 2014
Sahara “Sahara” (Starblade Records) 2011
James Lloyd “James Lloyd” (Independent) 2008
24-7 Spyz “This is…Strength In Numbers” (Wounded Bird Records) 2006
Headtrip Superstar “Beautiful” (RadioStar Records) 2004
Seventrain “Moments of Clarity” (Self Released) 2003
Crown 10 “Crown 10” (So Cal Records/IDN/Crash Music) 2003
Kerry Conley “Spill” (Independent Release) 1999
Machine “Machine” (Independent release in Australia) 1999
Don Lithgow “Big Daddy” (Independent Release) 1998
24-7 Spyz “If I Could” (W.A.R. Records) 1997
24-7 Spyz “Heavy Metal Soul By The Pound” (W.A.R?) 1996
24-7 Spyz “Six” (Enemy Records) 1996
Shockhead “Television” (Indivision Records) 1995
24-7 Spyz “Strength in Numbers”(East West/Atlantic Records) 1992
MPG “Shark Crossing” (Independent release) 1992
24-7 Spyz “This is...24-7 Spyz” (East West/Atlantic Records) 1991
Gangland “Gangland” (Independent release) 1989
Elysian “Blinded by Sound” (LCM Records) 1985