JOHN AND JOE (from l-r): Joe Kashas, John Doyle
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Nashville has for many years been renowned as a place in which talented bands and artists can flourish, giving them a platform on which to build towards achieving worldwide success.
An outfit hopeful that one day they can emulate the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and the Kings of Leon are duo John and Joe.
Having been best friends since childhood, they moved out to Tennessee from their native state of Washington to make a real impact with a sound heavily influenced by the sounds of the 1980’s, and what can best be described as “retro-alternative“.
The two-piece have just unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Honeyman’, ahead of the release of their debut EP, ‘Pink’, at the start of next month, and I found out more about the guys when I chatted with John recently.
How did the two of you get together?
We go way back. We’ve known each other since elementary school, but it wasn’t until middle school that we got into playing music. I had been playing guitar for a couple of years, just jamming with friends, and Joe’s dad was always in bands, so he had a lot of musical instruments around the house.
Joe asked me one day if we needed a bassist. Initially, I needed a drummer more, but once we found someone to play drums and needed a bassist, Joe grabbed one of his dad’s bass guitars, and we started playing.
Jump forward about ten years of playing in many projects together, now we’re in Nashville as a duo.
How would you describe your sound?
The sound we go for now is to try to be unique, yet accessible to all. We want people who love guitar and bass-driven music to like us, people who love catchy vocals and lyrics to like us, people who don’t know a lot about music to like us. You get it, we just want to be a band for everyone to enjoy.
What are your main musical influences?
We grew up on pop-punk, but right now, we’re very influenced by the music of the 80’s, such as The Cure, Duran Duran, The Pretenders. Lots of bands that have guitar and bass hooks, as well as vocal ones.
We work really hard to make music that includes the same traits, guitar and bass that draw people in, and vocal melodies and lyrics that keep them hooked.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
We both have different styles to our approach, but we find it works best when we work together, we knock it out, and have the basic idea done before we even attempt to record it.
A lot of our ideas start the same, with a bassline or a guitar part, and we jam it out until we’re satisfied. We love collaborating together and very rarely will we write songs separately.
Including each other in our ideas is our way of bringing our strengths out for every song we have.
What inspires you both lyrically?
Everyday life. We sing about personal experiences because it’s relatable. We’re both really comfortable about that, which helps because music is more interesting to us when you get to see life from somebody else’s eyes.
We want to be relatable because everyone has these experiences and being able to connect with that is a special thing.
You’ve just brought out a new single, ‘Honeyman’. For those who have yet to listen to it, what can be expected?
We’re really excited for everyone to hear it! We feel, for us, that it’s something totally new. We were listening to a lot of The Pretenders at the time we wrote it. We used their original guitarist’s name, “Honeyman“, as a temporary title, and when it the time came to work towards releasing the song, the name just stuck.
Expect a danceable song with a hint of Nashville influencing the sound.
And will the new track lead to an EP or album release at some point in the future?
We have our first EP coming out on July 1, which will be available to find on Spotify, iTunes, and all the other streaming sites. We’re also constantly working on new music, and plan on releasing a stream of singles after the EP to keep the excitement going.
How is the experience, for both of you, of playing live?
We both love being on stage, as it’s the ultimate payoff for us. Just being able to showcase how hard we work and how much we rehearse feels so good, especially when a show goes well.
One thing I think that we both agree on is that being on stage has a sort of indescribable feeling, as you’re so nervous beforehand, but then you get up there and it’s all a blur, it goes by so fast. You wish it could last longer because it’s never long enough.
We played a show the other night at The Basement in Nashville. We had a great time and the whole thing seems like a blur now.
Aside from the forthcoming EP, what are your plans over the next couple of months?
Keep writing songs, keep playing shows, and network with anyone we can. We’ll be promoting the heck out of the single and the EP on all our social media as well.
And finally, what is your long-term aim?
Our dream has always been to play music for a living. Right now, we’re still both working day jobs and playing music every free moment that we have. We try to always stay positive and focused on both our short-term and long-term goals.
‘HONEYMAN’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM JOHN AND JOE, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, AND THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.johnandjoe.com
JOHN AND JOE’S DEBUT EP, ‘PINK’, WILL BE RELEASED ON JULY 1, AND MORE INFO ON THE DUO CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: