By DEBORAH HADY.

 

In the interview, it’s obvious they are born entertainers, they love performing. One day, they’re going to play at Glastonbury Festival in the UK, and as they said: “No one can say no!”
Between their endless banter, dry jokes and witty comebacks, the band shared their thoughts about the upcoming Smokefreerockquest finals, their memorable moments, their challenges, and how they manage their time between music, relationships, sports and studies.

 

Joe: Finals is Friday! We’re pretty excited! It’s crazy ‘ay?
Ollie: We’ve been trying to practice three times a week, but lately, we haven’t been practicing too much.
Denzel: It’s because of Ollie’s hockey!
Ollie: Yeah, I always have to leave early and stuff.

 

So obviously you guys are quite busy, because you still go to high school. How do you manage your time?

D: We don’t!
Jin: School’s very important for me!
D: Only for Jin.
O: Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, we pretty much just come here for band practice.
Jin: We aren’t idiots, we are not going to fail or anything.

 

What’s your musical style as a band?

Joe: It’s hard to classify your own music, because we draw inspiration from tons of different styles. But I guess we’re kind of like, alt-rock or garage punk.
D: Loud and Fast!!
Joe: Yeah, we call ourselves ‘loud and fast’ because we play loud and fast!

 

Who are your musical influences?
Fidlar, Arctic Monkeys, Cage The Elephant, The Weeknd, Mac Demarco, Kendrick Lamar, Slipknot, Ty Segall.

 

Favourite song to listen to at the moment?

(The boys started breaking into Tame Impala’s Cause I’m A Man. We wished you could be there to hear that.)

Jin: At the moment, I’m loving Tame Impala’s new album, Currents.
D: My favourite song right now is I Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd!
(This was met by opposition from the rest of the boys, who also mentioned: FKA Twigs’ new EP, Fidlar’s self-titled album FIDLAR and Tame Impala’s Lonerism as their favourites.)
O: We all listen to indie rock kind of stuff, and then Jin listens to metal and rap!

 

JSN holds a private session for Tearaway's Deborah Hady.

 

So do you guys all bring different musical styles into the band?

O: To a degree, yeah.
Joe: We all listen to rocky kind of stuff, but just different styles of rock.
O: And uh, if I’m having a nice and energetic day, sometimes I just kind of hit the drums. I won’t play, I’d just hit!
D: I dress like Kurt Cobain, and I sing like Alex Turner.

 

So how did you guys form your band?

O: Me and Ethan and Denzel have known each other for about ten years now. In intermmediate, me and Ethan just started jamming. Just drums and guitar. We were really… bad. Denzel came along and we had our lead singer. It was pretty good!
D: It was terrible!
O: We practiced a lot, and that’s how we got decent! Jin started at the start of this year.
Joe: I was never in the band.
D: He was never officially in the band… He just tagged along.
O: Yeah, he was just there.
D: It’s not as if the band is called Joe Says No!

 

Your band’s name is pretty interesting.

Ethan: It’s kinda lame, to be honest.
Joe: Pretty much, at the start of last year, these guys were coming up with band names. They were horrible! So I just kept saying no to all the band names.
D: And then we were like, hold on. This could be the start of something.
(The boys broke into High School Musical’s Start of Something New. It was kind of epic.)
D: We do this all the time! We turn everything into a musical!

 

Do you guys have any band fights?

D: Oh, every band practice, mate.
O: We’re sort of like brothers, you know how brothers fight?
Joe: Denzel does stupid stuff, but the rest of us are fine.
D: Why do I always get bullied?
O: It’s because you’re the lead singer!
Joe: You’re the one with the ego!

 

Have you checked out any of the other bands?

Joe: Oh dude, we love the other bands!
D: Yeah, we follow them on Soundcloud.
Joe: We play gigs all the time with Courtney Hate and The Big Gus all the time. We met the lead singer of Alien Weaponry, and Joe’s Van are sick!
(The boys start breaking out into one of the other bands’ songs.)

 

So what are your biggest challenges as a band?

D: Saying something without Joe saying no.
Joe: The problem is Ollie plays ice hockey, and he’s the captain of his team.
O: So Rockquest finals weekend, I’m actually going to be in Dunedin for ice hockey. So I’m going to fly down to Dunedin, fly back up to play the Finals, and then go back down.

 

So is music your biggest thing right now?

D: I’m whipped. I have a girlfriend. (His girlfriend even threw him a surprise birthday gig, called “Denzel Said Maybe”).
Joe: Denzel’s got a girlfriend, so he’s always late to band practice.
D: Yeah well, sometimes I want to walk her home. Why can’t we have good things?
Jin: You’re already in a relationship with the band, you don’t need another one. Anyway, this band is kind of a side thing for me.
Joe: Yeah, Denzel wants to study a conjoint in medical and engineering.
O: I’m quite into my ice hockey
D: I’m into lego.

 

Do your parents support you?

Jin: Well, my mom doesn’t really care ‘ay.
D: Well, I’m just always grounded!
J: Denzel’s constantly grounded. He can only go out to band practice. And when we have gigs, he can only come for our set and he has to leave for home early. Well, Ollie does that too, but that’s because he has hockey the next day.

 

Alright one last question. Any advice for people entering Rockquest?

(The whole band starts doing Shia Lebouf’s intense motivational speech. We’ll leave it at that.)

 

The band’s strength lies in their fun, easy-going personalities, and their ability to make jokes, laugh at themselves and make everyone else around them laugh. They’re ready to have a good time, no matter what. Whether it’s learning about co-evolution in bio, doing hard-core entertaining at gigs, or arguing about why they took their shirt off that one gig with all the adults, they’re always up for a good laugh. One to watch out for.

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