Joel Maitoza


1987-1990 Gangland - drums  
1991-1994 24-7 Spyz - drums  
1994-1996 Shockhead - drums  
1996 24-7 Spyz - drums  
2003-2004 Crown 10 - drums  
2010-2011 Sahara Starr - drums, guitar, bass  

Live musician

2011- 24-7 Spyz - drums  

Personal information

Joel was born in West Palm Beach, FL. His parents moved to Southern California when he was a year old and is where he resides to this day.

He realized his passion for music at three years old and his parents decided to enroll him into the Yamaha School of Music at the age of four. Joel had graduated with a music degree by the age of six specializing in piano, music theory and notation.

After receiving a drum kit as a birthday present from his grandparents at age six, Joel immediately started private drum lessons with a local college professor and continued studying keyboards and guitar on the side. The private lessons lasted for eight years and included tours around California with the Palomar College Percussion Group. From seventh to tenth grade, Joel played drums in the school marching, concert and jazz bands. After school, he would practice between 4 to 6 hours a night and do summer stock musicals during summer vacation at a local performance playhouse in Escondido, CA.

Joel had been playing local parties in a Rush cover band. By the time he turned 15 he was starting to get his feet wet performing around the local San Diego and Los Angeles club scenes (The Whisky, Roxy, Troubadour, Gazzarri's) with a band called Metal Arsenal. They were playing heavy metal covers as well as some original songs. He recorded a three-song demo with them. By the time Joel graduated high school, he recorded his first independent record with the band Elysian on LCM/EMI Records and toured around California. He then started auditioning for National recording acts and other well known musicians in the Los Angeles area. Joel ended up joining the neo-classical/thrash band Gangland featuring Spacey T (Sound Barrier, HR and Fishbone). Gangland toured on the West Coast and Mexico with bands like Exodus, Forbidden, Candlemass, Fates Warning, Cocaphony (Jason Becker and Marty Freedman's band) and on and on. While in Gangland, 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 store. In 1987, Joel signed an exclusive endorsement deal with the Paiste cymbal company and continues to endorse their products today along with Vater drumsticks.

Joel ran into 24-7 Spyz guitarist Jimi Hazel at a music convention in January of 1991 and gave him a demo of his playing. Jimi called Joel back a few nights after the NAMM show asking him if he wanted to join the band. Joel auditioned over the phone playing the drum parts to such Spyz classics as Grandma Dynamite, Spill My Guts and Jungle Boogie. Joel got the gig and flew to New York the following week. After two rehearsals with the band, they were back on the road and finished the last leg of their Gumbo Millennium tour. At this time the band had already achieved international status recording two albums (Harder Then You and Gumbo Millennium) for Relativity/Sony Records. They were also signed with the William Morris Agency and 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 recording contract with Atlantic/East West Records, Polygram Publishing and acquired new management with Metropolitan Entertainment.

They recruited engineer Bruce Calder (Foreigner) and went into Electric Lady Studios in New York to start recording the E.P. "This is... 24-7 Spyz". After an extensive touring schedule playing clubs, theaters, arenas and festivals in the US, Canada and Europe, he took a few weeks off before heading up to Vancouver, British Columbia to start recording the next Spyz full length album titled "Strength in Numbers" at Little Mountain Studios with engineer Terry Date. (Pantera, Limp Bizkit, Soundgarden, Deftones). 24-7 Spyz then did a west coast tour opening for Public Enemy before mixing the record. A lot of great things came about with that record including more touring worldwide, interviews and reviews in major publications such as Pollstar, Spin, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Billboard. The band was featured in a Budweiser television commercial, two videos (Break the Chains and Stuntman) that got a decent amount of play on MTV/Much Music/Video Jukebox and was even featured on an episode of Beavis and Butthead titled "Car Wash".

In the summer of 1993, Joel started a solo project called Shockhead with then virtually unknown bass player phenomenon Ricky Wolking (Jennifer Batton, The Nixons, Tony MacAlpine, Edgewater, Honky Mofo), Craig Soderberg (from the band -itis) and Joey McCaw (who ended up in the band Brick Bath on the Pavement/Crash Music label). They signed a deal with a small independent label called Indivision and recorded the album "Television". The band recorded the album in about a week at 4th Street Studios in Santa Monica, Calif. with engineer Jim Wirt (No Doubt, Incubus, Sprung Monkey) and mixed at Goodnight L.A. with Shea Baby (Warrant, Night Ranger, Ozzy). Shortly after touring and promoting the Shockhead disk, 24-7 Spyz flew out to the West Coast to record the bands next record which would be 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 United States under the title "Heavy Metal Soul by the Pound" on the Colorado based label What Are Records. This got Spyz back on tour again co-headlining 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.

In 2001, Joel started his own artist management and production company in order to help upcoming artists achieve their goals in an ever-changing music industry. He has managed the national metal act Brick Bath on the Pavement/Crash Music label from 2001 to 2006 and the Colorado Springs based alt. rock band Itis who has released 12 CDs and toured all over the world.

Between 2006 and 2010, Joel played drums on many albums by such artists as Headtrip Superstar, Seventrain, Crown 10 and Sahara.

In 2011, he reunited with 24-7 Spyz in New York for the bands 20th Anniversary show since the release of Strength in Numbers in 1991. 24-7 Spyz is currently planning a European reunion tour in early 2012 with the SIN line up.


• Sahara "Sahara" (Starrblade Records) 2010 Produced by Joel Maitoza and Steve Wetherbee. Recorded at Golden Track Studios, San Diego, CA
• James Lloyd "James Lloyd" (Independent Release) 2008 Produced by Steve Wetherbee and Joel Maitoza. Recorded at Golden Track Studios, San Diego, CA
• 24-7 Spyz "This is…Strength In Numbers" (Wounded Bird Records) 2006 Re-issue of both CDs on one disk. See original releases for credits.
• Headtrip Superstar "Beautiful" (RadioStar Records) 2004 Produced by Rich Varvil, Recorded at The Playground, DML and Phase Four Studios, Tempe, AZ. Mastered at Capitol Records.
• Seventrain "Moments of Clarity" (Self Released) 2003 Produced by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: Joel Maitoza, Eric Horton, Recorded at DML Studios - Escondido, CA
• Crown 10 "Crown 10" (SoCal Records/IDN/Crash Music) 2003 Produced by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: James Brady/Don Lithgow, Recorded at: DML Studios - Escondido, CA
• Joel Maitoza Project "Hit" (Independent Release) 2001 Written/Arranged & Produced by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: Don Lithgow, Recorded at: DML Studios-Escondido, CA
• Kerry Conley "Spill" (Independent Release) 1999 Produced/Arranged by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: Don Lithgow/Joel Maitoza, Recorded at: DML Studios-Escondido, CA
• Machine "Machine" (Independent release in Australia) 1999 Produced/Recorded by Roger Summers, Recorded at: Royal Tone Studios-Burbank, CA
• Don Lithgow "Big Daddy" (Independent Release) 1998 Produced by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: Roger Summers, Recorded at: Royal Tone Studios/DML Studios
• 24-7 Spyz "If I Could" (W.A.R. Records) 1997 Recorded Live in St. Louis, Engineer: Mike Weimer, Produced by: Jimi Hazel
• 24-7 Spyz "Heavy Metal Soul By The Pound" (W.A.R. Records) 1996 (Featuring Doug Pinnick from Kings X) Produced by Jimi Hazel, Engineer: Jim Wirt, Recorded at: 4th Street Studios-CA
• 24-7 Spyz "Six" (Enemy Records) 1996 Produced by Jimi Hazel & 24-7 Spyz, Recorded at: 4th Street Studios-Santa Monica, CA / The Magic Shop-New York City.
• Shockhead "Television" (Indivision Records) 1995 Produced by Shockhead/Jimi Hazel, Engineer: Jim Wirt/Shay Baby, Recorded at: Goodnight LA-Van Nuys, Ca. / 4th Street Studios-Santa Monica, Ca. and DML Studios-Escondido, CA
• 24-7 Spyz "Strength in Numbers"(East West/Atlantic Records) 1992 Produced/Engineer: Terry Date and 24-7 Spyz Recorded at: Little Mountain Studios-Vancouver BC
• MPG "Shark Crossing" (Independent release) 1992 Produced by Joel Maitoza, Engineer: Tim Poremba, Recorded at: Full Circle Studios, San Marcos, CA
• 24-7 Spyz "This is...24-7 Spyz" (East West/Atlantic Records) 1991 Produced by: 24-7 Spyz Engineer: Bruce Calder Recorded at: Electric Ladyland-New York City
• Gangland "Gangland" (Independent release) 1989 (Featuring members of Fishbone and Sound Barrier) Produced by: Gangland Engineer: Bill Metoyer for Metal Blade Records, Recorded at: Track Records-L.A., CA
• Elysian "Blinded by Sound" (L.C.M. Records) 1985 Produced by: Elysian, Engineer: Peter Kordell, Recorded at: Circle Sound Studios-San Diego, CA./ EMI America Records-Hollywood, CA