Our latest Q&A is with Nick (N) and Shane (S), the two brothers behind Joyer who recently released their newest album, “Peeled”, which is a must-listen for any fans of hazy, slowcore-type music.
Check out the album and interview below!
To get us started, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do a Q&A with us. We always appreciate the opportunity to learn more about bands, their creative process, and who is behind the music. Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?
N: Hey Andrew! Thanks so much for having us! Joyer is my brother Shane and I. We write and record everything in our home in NJ. We’ve both played in bands before (sometimes together sometimes not) and Joyer kind of started when Djed, the last band we were in, stopped doing stuff. We realized we both liked making music together so we started Joyer.
I read a review of “Peeled” on Counterzine and saw that you two are brothers. How has that affected your songwriting relationship?
S: This really adds on to why we started Joyer because we’re definitely on the same page as far as the direction we want our sound to be. I feel like we’re able to help each other flush out ideas and put new things into each other’s songs. It also helps a lot that we live together the majority of the time so I feel like we’re constantly writing new songs.
What music did you grow up listening to?
N: Our parents were into a lot of 60’s/70’s rock so we were introduced to all types of bands like the Kinks, Modern Lovers and King Crimson at a young age. From there we went on to have a lot of other different music phases.
How did you begin to develop the sound that you both are at now?
S: I feel like our sound is a really good reflection of our personalities. We didn’t really intentionally try to go for any specific sound so it kind of happened naturally. We definitely had influences early on but I remember not even thinking we sounded like some bands which we’re often compared to.
The guitar tone on “Pedal” reminded me of Blue Smiley. Were there any bands that you were listening to when writing and recording this record?
S: Oh wow, we really like Blue Smiley, but I never really connected them with “Pedal.” That’s flattering haha. It’s funny because we actually recorded this album around 2017 so it’s been so long. I remember for “Pedal” in particular I was kind of trying to rip off the guitar tones of bands like Palm or Pallas, even though I feel like it didn’t turn out anything like that.
I’ve noticed a resurgence of slowcore music in the indie scene – I may have just missed it because I feel pretty new to the genre, but it seems like there is a “comeback” of sorts. Would you agree with this, and if so, what would you attribute this to?
N: Yeah I definitely noticed that a lot lately too and it’s really great because there’s a lot of people doing really cool stuff out there. I’m not really sure why the genre is becoming more popular though, it seems like a lot of 90’s culture is having a resurgence.
I really love when the synth comes in on “Here” and the repetition of “are you guilty?” on “Peeled.” There are just certain parts of your songs that are easy to get stuck in your head. How do you both approach songwriting?
S: Thanks! There’s not really a distinct way we approach songwriting. A lot of it happens during the recording process but all the songs come together in different ways, sometimes one of us will have a riff and the other will help flush it out and/or add onto it or we’ll come up with something together while jamming. Its even happened where one of us will write and record almost an entire song and the other will only add just the bass or drums, but we’re always giving each other notes or voicing our opinions.
How do you think your sound has changed since your self-titled release in 2017?
N: When we were making our first album we didn’t really know what we were doing. “Teeth” was actually the first song I had ever written either guitar or vocals for. Since then I think we grew a lot, Shane started doing vocals on songs now, we got a little better at recording and we’ve overall become more confident with everything. I think that’s what might be different with our sound on ‘Peeled’ because we’re learning more and getting more experience. There’s still more to grow though so we’re really excited for people to hear the new stuff we’re working on!
How did you get connected with Baklava? Can you tell us more about the label?
N: Well actually Baklava is a really tiny label I help run with my friend Dylan Hertzberg. Originally I wasn’t into the idea of putting out my own music on Baklava and we actually approached some other labels first. It’s a really long story but we were working with one label and were planning a release when things fell through. By that point we felt like it was too late to go with some of the other labels that were interested because we had already told them we went with someone else. In the end we just decided to go through Baklava.
What is the music scene like in New Jersey?
N: I feel like we aren’t as connected to the scene in NJ as much as I have been with other bands I’ve been part of in the past. Most of our friends who used to be in NJ music have gone to college (including us) so we’re kind of all over the place. We definitely still play in NJ a lot but we also play in NYC and Philly a lot too. Also now that Shane goes to school in Boston we’re trying to play up there more often. There’s definitely a lot of cool stuff happening in NJ but we just feel a little out of touch these days.
What’s next for Joyer?
S: We have a bunch of things going on that are a bit too early to announce but we have a couple of releases lined up and we’re going on our first tour in August!
Are there any bands you want to give a shout out to? What bands should we be listening to?