he story of Joe Sims is actually in two chapters. Joe had been involved with many different projects before he conceived of Dream Or Nightmare. With extensive (over 18 years) experience on guitar he would use his Michael Schenker, Tony Iommi, Gary Moore, Kirk Hammet, Criss Olivia, George Lynch, Dave Chastain, Jake E. Lee, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Savatage, Black Sabbath, Queensryche and Judas Priest influences to mould his style.
Joe participated in several bands over the years and has managed to maintain ownership over all except three of his recorded tracks. Over his long career he has operated under the banner of several outfits, including Axemaster, Reign, The Awakening and Dream Or Nightmare.
Under his tenure with Axemaster, along with fellow members Christopher Michael (bass/vocals) and Brian Henderson (drums), he would release a string of albums, including Slave To The Blade (1985), Crusades (1986), Metalgon (1986), Blessing The Skies (1986) and The Vision (1987). Death Before Dishonor (1989) would see a line-up change with Terry Wilson now on vocals and Jim Newcomb on bass. 5 Demons (Imperative Is Their Demise) (1991) would see a slight style change as well as replacement members Eric Lynch (vocals) and Matt Smolk (drums). Death Before Dishonor was re-released in 2002.
On and On (1993) and Invictus (1995) would be his follow-ups under the moniker of The Awakening, with fellow members Greg Stocker (drums) and Rick Barker (vocals). On And On, unfortunately was never officially released, being used only for promotional purposes. Jim Newcomb and Joe himself were the only surviving members from the previous set-up; this was a short-lived affair ending in a break-up shortly later.
Joe wouldn't be at the labour exchange for long for he and fellow musicians Jeff Caudill (vocals), Denny Archer (drums), Jack Livingood (bass) and Mike Gillan (guitar) would link up to form Reign. Reign would feature a single release titled Now & Forever in 1997.
On and off over his career he would be signed to indie labels but went completely indie on 5 Demons..., with the noted exception of the previous Death Before Dishonor release, and Axemaster & The Awakening... compilation done for 'Unisound Records' as a promotion for Iron Magazine.
Axemaster & The Awakening 1985-1995 (1998) compilation would sum up the first part of his career nicely. His style remained little changed, featuring a standard 1980s style hard rock and basic thrash metal but by the time the 5 Demons... record was launched, the early 1990s had already begun to influence his style. Under the Dream or Nightmare banner he would further evolve his music beyond the turn of the millennium before reuniting Axemaster.