NEWS: Joseph Dierker (1968-2024)
Joseph Dierker (1968-2024)
Published 3 May 2024 by TM


It was with great sadness that I learned that Joseph Dierker of 310 recently passed away at his home in Seattle, Washington, at the age of just 56. Along with Tim Donovan, Joe was one half of Leaf’s first non-UK-based signing, and released three albums on the label, as well as a series of EPs and a compilation of two earlier albums, all between 1999 and 2003 - which seems to me now like an impossibly short period of time. Their visual aesthetic - using dozens of found photos, many of which included the number 310 - was Instagram ready two decades ahead of its time.

When I started the label I quickly became conscious of the possibilities that the internet opened up to work with artists internationally - suddenly the world had become a lot smaller - and it was something we seized upon over the following years. I don’t remember how we originally made contact, but Joe was an early adopter of the world wide web, and would go on to make a career out of it. He also loved to travel, having spent a peripatetic youth living all around the US as the son of a military family, and shared my enthusiasm for new places and new experiences.

310’s first proper release on the label, the NOD EP, was released exactly 25 years ago today - astonishingly, a quarter of a century ago. The first time I met them in person was in New York in 1999, having only communicated by email until that point. The details are a little sketchy at this remove, but I have a vivid memory of being invited to preview what would be their first album for Leaf, THE DIRTY RoPE, at a high-end studio in Manhattan where Tim worked, which seemed impossibly glamorous to me at the time - I wasn’t used to artists who worked in actual studios. The album blew my mind, although I will admit the experience was somewhat 'enhanced’.

Joe and Tim made several trips to Europe to perform live during the time we worked with them, including memorable trips around the Lowlands in an overloaded hatchback, a slot at 333 in Old Street immediately before DJ Harvey played, and a trip to Barcelona for Sonar, which was probably the last time I saw Joe in person. He moved to Seattle around this time, and our paths sadly never crossed again. 310 continued to make music, making a total of 10 albums, with the most recent, Lighten The Load, released just days before he died. You can find their more recent work on Bandcamp. We will be adding 310's Leaf releases to this page very soon, to bring their entire catalogue together in one place.

Joe was very well read, always intellectually stimulating and appreciative of the finer things in life. He could also be devastatingly funny. 310 were a delight to be around, and I will miss him very much.

Tony Morley

You can read Joe’s full obituary here.

Joseph Dierker - 9 February 1968 - 12 March 2024

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