Q&A // JPNSGRLS

by Kyle McCormick
Kyle McCormick
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on 05 August 2016 in Features

After thoroughly enjoying JPNSGRLS' first record Circulation after hearing it last year, I was equally impressed by the follow-up Divorce and decided to ask for an opportunity to interview the Canadian quartet. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can now present you with this short Q&A answered by frontman Charlie Kerr. Hopefully after reading you'll be a little more knowledgable about the band's past, present and future, and then we can hit you with some more useful details:

Firstly, could you provide a brief history of JPNSGRLS to bring us up to speed?

Oliver [Mann, guitar] and Chris [McClelland, bass] and Graham [Serl, drums] and I have been playing music together since we were teenagers. We made three records together and then Oliver quit the band in December and Colton [Lauro, guitar] replaced him. Colton has been an incredible fit in the band and we are stronger than ever.

Whilst the themes may be obvious from the title, tell us a little more about the message you're trying to convey on Divorce?

Lyrically, I was trying to write something only I could write. Something with my sense of humor and worldview and life experiences. My parents got divorced and it's something that has shaped me and I hadn't really written about it before. Also, I had gone through an awful heartbreak that I felt the need to write about and because I am a drama queen I described it as a "Divorce".

Why did you think this story was worth telling, and how did you incorporate it into your energetic sound?

Because it's the truth. I think people can tell.

How would you say you have evolved as a band from the release of Circulation until now, both musically and otherwise?

Well, years of touring and practicing like crazy has made us all better technically. And lyrically I have tried to stay away from typical indie-rock cliches and imitating my musical heroes.

Your sound can be relentless, does this high energy approach translation well to live performance, and what can fans expect from a JPNSGRLS show?

Something intimate yet chaotic. A give and take between the band and audience. Sing-a-longs. Dancing. We are there to entertain. We pride ourselves as being a great live band.

Which bands are you absolute favourites (past and present), and who would make up your dream quartet supergroup (alive or dead)?

I love The Beatles and The Strokes and Frank Ocean, I love all Motown / soul music.

Off the top of my head, Michael Jackson or James Brown or Karen O or Janelle Monae or Andre 3000 on vocals / frontman duties. John Bonham or ?uestlove on drums. Jimi Hendrix or Jack White or Annie Clark on guitar. Roger Waters or Sting or Bootsy Collins on bass. Stevie Wonder or Frank Ocean on keys.

What is your favourite TV show, and why?

Graham would say The Wire. I think I might go with Arrested Development.

Finally, what does the future hold in store for the band beyond this album?

Touring and playing bigger and bigger shows and making videos and we've already begun writing the next album.

As alluded to, the band's second record Divorce is out now via Light Organ Records, and you can get it on iTunes right now. If you need a little taster before committing that hard-earned money then you can check out the official video for single 'Bully For You' below. Aside from all that, you can keep up to date with all things JPNSGRLS on Facebook and Twitter because this is 2016 and yay.

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