Why does Joe Fitzpatrick publish The Dominion Collective? Why in this day and age would anyone publish a music magazine, be it online or print? Joe most assuredly is (at best) only turning a meager profit if he is turning one at all. The music industry monetarily is in the dumps. A myriad of print mags,here today, gone tomorrow, clutter the racks of the increasingly sparse and growing corporate book stores. The Internet is flooded with mediocre music blogs and online mags by a plethora of journalist ‘wanna be’s’, eager to pander and shape their stories to get access to musicians; in doing so they do a disservice to the field they so desperately wish to be a part of. So why the fuck is Joe Fitzpatrick busting his ass producing the Dominion Collective, all while working a 40 hour a week job to pay his bills? Well it’s simple. Music is an intrinsic part of his very being and he would not be whole if he were not having a conversation with, and giving a platform to musicians in Virginia.
-Article by Joshua Fitzwater
I first met Joe years ago in a Boarders books on Laskin Road. I knew several photographers that cut their chops shooting local music shows but his work stood out. Joe had a knack for catching “peak moments of action” as a put it. He also had a solid grasp of composition when composing his shots. Joe had developed a love for music photography and journalism in middle school when he came across the publication “Alternative Press”. He also read “Revolver” and “Bass World” being a young Bass player himself growing up. Joe told me that he didn’t have many friends as a young teen and would cut up music magazines and hang them on the walls and listen to music sometimes all day. Joe was the oldest of Five siblings and while much of his family connected with sports growing up, Joe found little interest in that. In his junior year of high school he would take his first photography class and almost instantly knew this was something he wanted to develop and explore. As Joe grew from being a teen to a young adult, he told me that both music, playing it and listening to it, along with photography allowed him to create an identity for himself in his family and it gave him positive outlets for the emotions he was having.
Musically he was first drawn to pop punk and metalcore bands. He recalls seeing “New Found Glory” at the Boat House as a “game changer” for his life. The way that show “made him feel inside” stayed with him.
In his Sophomore year of College he began writing and photographing for his school, Christopher Newports’ newspaper. Almost from the beginning of that time he was networking with bands, photographing shows and bands for the paper which would lead to an independent photography and media company, Joe Fitz Media. Ultimately however he wanted to bring his writing into the equation so in 2012 he began a Virginia music blog about music in Virginia. He soon partnered with his friend Chris Smith, now the art director of the Dominion Collective, who came up with the name seen by both as fitting for an online project dedicated to advancing music and helping to give a voice to those making music in the commonwealth.
For Joe, it is the sheer amount of amazing bands he has come across and discovered in Virginia that keeps him motivated in such a hard industry to succeed in. He told me that “his passion to help give bands in the commonwealth a voice and exposure has not diminished” in part due to the “amazing support and respect they give [him] back.”
Joe expressed to me that he “love[s] the Virginia music scene and music journalism.” He has had to have other jobs while still trying to monetize the Dominion Collective website, but that he does see himself finding a way for The Dominion Collective to be his full time job through continued hard work and passion.
As Joe has developed his journalism career, he has shied away from any stock questions when interviewing bands. He more wants toask questions that the musicians really have to ponder and engage with. He also stresses to his contributors to “dig really deep into the research” when preparing for an interview.
Both from the humble feeling you get when in Joe’s company and also from his insistence on, above all else, allowing the musicians to get their voices out there, he strikes me as a benevolent music journalist leader of sorts in Virginia. He is often beating other outlets to new and captivating bands. He also without question is growing a formidable reach with the Dominion Collective. He has recently increased his online production quantity, expanded into covering DC music and bands and revamped his website. It’s clear that Joe has big plans he means to see through.
For more on Joe and the Dominion Collective visit: http://www.thedominioncollective.com/
757E Zine is a bi-monthly music, arts, and culture magazine dedicated to local musicians and artists who are not afraid to push boundaries. 757E Zine doesn't strive to be "safe" but rather in touch with what is new and unique in Hampton Roads music and art.
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