He was born on 25th of May 1985 in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia and has one brother called Ryan, born in 1986.
During concerts, he opens beer cans by repeatedly hitting them with his head and is known for climbing the structure of the stage to play the guitar at the highest possible height. He started playing guitar when he has 11 years old, the same age when Ryan started playing the drums. Airbourne In 2003, after meeting David Roads (Joel was working in the Criterion Hotel, where David was also working at the time) and Adam Jacobson, the O'Keeffe brothers founded Airbourne.
In 2004, the band released their first EP, called Ready to Rock. Shortly afterwards, Adam left the band and Justin Street replaced him as a bass guitarist. In 2007, the band released their first studio album, Runnin' Wild, in collaboration with Lemmy Kilmister, who starred in the music video for the album-titled track.
In 2010, the band released their second studio album, called In 2013, they released their third studio album, called Black Dog Barking. Since 2014, the band has been working on their fourth studio album. He generally plays a white Gibson Explorer guitar.
He uses different Gibson SG guitars as secondary guitars, among which a black 61' issue limited edition with golden fittings. He also uses the JCM800 Kerry King with the beast section disabled, JCM2000 and JMPs models of Marshall amplificators.