The Joysticks
The Joysticks
The Joysticks performing at the Chartiers Valley High School talent show on February 19, 2000
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Genre(s) Electronic, glitch, noise
Years active 1996–unknown
Members Gregg Gillis

The Joysticks Battle the Scanned Feed Relay to Your Skull,[1] simply known as The Joysticks, were an American electronic and noise music band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a high school student Gregg Gillis was the band's keyboardist,[2] and served that role from roughly 1996 to 2000.[3] Inspired by artists such as Negativland, John Oswald and Marclay, the Joysticks' music was largely characterized by its noise music sound, incorporating cacophonic elements such as skipping CDs, heavily distorted samples, and glitch sound effects.[4] Their live shows were chaotic, incorporating unorthodox practices which ranged from smashing television sets onstage to playing straight noise loops.[5] Gillis described them as "a bratty take on noise music, completely avant-garde, firing pyrotechnics into the audience, playing 30-second sets, smashing TVs".[3] The Joysticks were eventually banned from several Pittsburgh concert venues, owing to these practices.[6]

Years after leaving the band and achieving fame with his releases as Girl Talk, Gillis stated of his time with the Joysticks: "That whole experience – I'm proud of that band... It was a fun era, a not-give-a-shit era that laid the groundwork for what Girl Talk could be. I liked going to the DIY venues and getting intellectual about difficult music."[3]


  1. Girl Talk Biography. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  2. The Mash-Up Maestro Whose Sold Out Live Shows are a Guaranteed Energetic Good Time. Pittsburgh Music History. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Oksenhorn, Stewart (2011-09-01). Girl Talk at Jazz Aspen: A whole different art form. The Aspen Times. Swift Communications. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  4. Mosley, Christopher (2011-06-24). Interview: Girl Talk on His Roots and the Influence of Manny Theiner. D. D Magazine Partners. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  5. Dombal, Ryan (2006-08-30). Girl Talk. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.
  6. Trachta, Ali (2011-03-16). Mash-Up Party in the USA: The LA Weekly Interview with Girl Talk. LA Weekly. Voice Media Group. Retrieved on 2014-02-09.