A Powerful Messenger
Even though Joe Craciun spent 12 years of his life in a nomadic existence with his family, he feels fortunate. Wherever his family was, that was home; geography was a lesser factor. Equally important was the presence of his twin brother, John, who he often describes as his “sun” around which Joe felt he was “the earth orbiting 365 days a year.” Joe shows a profound gratitude for the balance that he and his twin provide for each other, and that balance is demonstrated in their music and performances.
His mother was Joe’s first rock star. She overcame extraordinary adversity to become a classical dancer and eventually, a purveyor of music to her musically-hungry sons. His father, although not present in his life for long, was and is involved in the music world. “Music was in our veins.” Indeed.
Joe’s environment offered a crazy menagerie of music from Chinese Classical and Latin to Rock. Another strong and independent role model arrived in his life and seemed to make his family whole. This man showed love for the children, introduced them to knowledge and more music, and soon took the “cubs” under his wings. He is now known as “dad.” Life was beautiful in Alaska for six whole years. Yet, the gypsy life beckoned, and the family moved throughout the U.S. Eventually, they arrived in Florida.
Music had provided so many avenues for enjoyment, but witnessing the natural and engrained love for guitar in the Colombian culture was THE moment that the Craciun twins first truly understood what music is…a deep, natural expression of the spirit. And to do that, you needed a deep, natural understanding of the instrument that is the conduit for that expression. Both Joe and John drank it up. Joe was even inspired by the passion and conviction of his brother who was already beginning to write music!
On to Florida… Both Joe and John auditioned for and were accepted into a special program for Visual Performing Arts. This was a chance to concentrate much of their energy into their music and hone their intense interest in mastering this instrument. Their remarkably talented mentor, Mr. Koch, helped them do just that. He was both inspiring and challenging. He never allowed them to take their skills for granted, and he pushed them to dig deep to learn how to translate and express their emotions through this special stringed medium. Those 2-1/2 years shaped how Joe perceived and utilized the guitar. To this day, Joe remains grateful for his guidance, and both brothers keep in contact with their beloved mentor.
Eventually, they were ready to rock! Joe and his brother didn’t skip a beat. They started writing music. John would crank out hard-hitting melodies, and Joe would cap them off with unique arrangements and lyrics that anyone could appreciate. His concern for issues in our world would manifest in his thoughtful, yet powerful lyrics. They weren’t just musicians, they became messengers.
They formed bands, jammed with friends and met lots of people, some on the seedy side of the music business. Advice, promises and deception followed. Joe’s saving grace was that he and his brother have faith in their vision.
Then, fate helped to make stars align, once again. Joe and his brother appreciated the talent of two other musicians in their circle; Craig Schlotterback and Kirk Shivell, and they began to collaborate. They all quickly realized that it was much more than respecting each others’ talents. They respected each other and recognized the extraordinary bond they had with the intensity of their music and the balance of character each one brought to the table.
They wrote a piece together which epidomizes their remarkable bond, “Trash Pact.” Even while contending with negative outside influences, all four members of D15 were bolstered by the trust and brotherhood they shared with one another. They have never looked back. And why should they? They experienced a great fan base that energized their vision and talent.
They quickly experienced great success, and this continued to open doors. Joe, who originally was going to co-write music and play rhythm guitar, was suddenly thrust into the unexpected role of singer and front man. This is akin to setting out for Tahiti and finding yourself in the cold of Siberia (no offense to our Russian fans)! He stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. He has grown through this challenge, living his own lyrics, which he does with passion and intensity.
More About Joe...
D15 is his life, and his large family is the most important thing to Joe.
Loves taking on challenges, he’s a go getter!
He met his soul mate at the age of 18.
He loves to cook, and he hates “slob-ism.”
He keeps his mind, body and spirit fit with regular exercise.
He loves the color purple.
If you ever prepare his breakfast, make sure it is something exotic and serve him tea!
He and his brother have a fascination with dialects. Don’t get them started!
If he weren’t a musician, he would be happy as a personality on the Travel/Food network.
Joe is the band’s “tech wizard.” Equipment, amps, guitars, assembling sound, recording, EQ, arrangements; you name it…he’s the guy.
D15 never hesitates to express their affection for one another, their friends and their fans. This positive energy; combined with their remarkable song writing ability, lyrics with important and relevant messages and hard hitting performances is setting them apart from other talent arriving on the world stage.
There is one other thing…they are focused. Joe and his brother returned to their beloved Alaska for a full year to work hard and prepare. Kirk and Craig spent a year planning and saving, as well. Spending a year apart from your closest friends, spiritual and business partners is a real test. They passed. It is time.
Joe and the rest of his band have arrived in California, and they are ready for their close up.