A third-round draft pick by Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL College Draft, Joe Barksdale played college football at Louisana State University. After leaving the Raiders in 2012, Barksdale played a few seasons with the St. Louis Rams before joining the San Diego Chargers in 2015. Still, a part of the Chargers -- now based in Los Angeles -- organization, Barksdale started 11 games last season at the right tackle position.
The NFL is not Barksdale's only outlet for his creativity, however. When the 2013 NFL season wrapped, the offensive tackle began playing the guitar, as encouraged by former Rams coach Jeff Fisher. Early 2018 has brought the release of Barksdale's first solo effort, Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams, which features Barksdale on both guitar and vocal duties. Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams also received prominent featuring at this year's NAMM convention, where Barksdale had partnered with Fender Guitars' Fender Foundation.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Barksdale, who can be followed on Twitter via @JBDale72.
Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams is your first full-length album. How long had you been working on it?
Joe Barksdale: I've been working on it for about a year.
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Joe Barksdale: No, I love 'em all.
Is it true that you picked up guitar at the recommendation of your former coach Jeff Fisher? Was he himself a guitarist?
Joe Barksdale: Yes and no, but his son plays guitar.
Did you play any instruments growing up?
Joe Barksdale: Saxophone and violin.
What about singing? Had you been a singer before playing guitar?
Joe Barksdale: No.
Did taking up an instrument as an adult change the way you listen to music?
Joe Barksdale: No, I listen to it just as intently as I did before. I can just identify more instruments now.
I understand you are now endorsed by Fender. What was the guitar you first started leaning on?
Joe Barksdale: A Fender acoustic, ironically. (laughs)
Do you have any teammates on the Chargers who are also musicians?
Joe Barksdale: Yes, I think Keenan Allen plays piano, and Cole Toner plays the drums.
When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
Joe Barksdale: Playing guitar, reading and writing, and hanging with my wife and daughter.
What was the first album you ever bought? It's tough for me to figure that out, given that your album stylistically goes all over the place.
What was the last concert you went to by choice?
Joe Barksdale: The Experience Hendrix Tour stopped in Detroit in 2017. It was a lot of fun.
Finally, Joe, any last words for the kids?
Joe Barksdale: Don't ever let anyone put a limitation on you. No one knows what's inside of you except you, so don't let anyone ever tell you what you can't do. Also, be kind to each other, and not because you never know what someone is going through. Just be nice to be nice. It's ok to love each other and be friendly.