Borne of a long-distance collaboration spanning Montreal to L.A., No Joy’s Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz happily came together to create lovely, fuzzy, shoegazing songs replete with airy vocals softly layered under big riffs. With the freshly launched album Ghost Blonde under their belts and a tour of North America about to begin, guitarist Laura Lloyd talks a little bit about subliminal messaging, social networking…and naked babes.
How did you meet Jasamine and decide to start creating music?
We met on JDate.com a few years back and hit it off. Jasamine is originally from Montreal, but skipped town when the winter came, leaving me alone and miserable. I was living vicariously through her sunshine-filled days, and she began writing the songs that were in my head. We e-mailed these ideas back and forth and eventually came up with our first two songs, No Summer and No Joy.
Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes mixed Ghost Blonde. How did you enlist him?
We got lucky! We cold-called Sune and he was into the idea. He was on the exact same page as us when it came to the sounds we wanted to bring forth, so it became kind of a no-brainer to choose him over anyone else we had thought of.
Your lyrics are often buried and there are no hooky choruses, so what do you think that listeners are drawn to?
I don’t think the hooks have to be in the vocals for it to be catchy. Vocals are always the last thing we add to a song; up until that point we’re really trying to create an entire piece with just our instruments. I think because there is so much layering of different sounds in the songs, you hear something different every time you listen. We’ve also collaborated with McDonald’s and purchased their subliminal message software…So if you’re wondering why you crave a Big Mac when you listen to our album – that might be why.
You recently tweeted, “My music is not influenced by other bands, it’s influenced by Memory Man…” How so?
I just bought a Memory Man [guitar delay pedal] and by playing it I’m getting a lot of ideas for songs. I think it’s kind of backwards thinking if you pick a band you like and aspire to sound like them. For us, it’s more about creating a sound we like first and then turning it into a song – regardless of what band it might be similar to.
The covers for Ghost Blonde and your No Joy 7-inch are beautiful. Who designed them?
The Ghost Blonde photo was taken by Canadian photographer, Gordon Ball, and Shawn Kuruneru, (another Canadian) designed the small dots you see on the cover. Both Gordon and Shawn are friends of ours whose work we really admire. Shawn also drew and painted the No Joy 7-inch.
Tell me about the concept for your Hawaii video.
First, we didn’t want to be in it. Second, we love Larry Clark. And finally, we wanted to see naked babes. We got in touch with a great film crew called Salazar and focused on ideas around youth, nature and elements of ‘crazy.’ The video was shot outside Vancouver in late October…I imagine the actors were really cold.
Were you concerned that the nudity would impact the airtime it would receive?
We’re not really into compromising our ideas just to get airtime. We’ve never really had any illusions of our videos playing on television anyway, so it wasn’t a concern whatsoever, especially with the Internet. It’s accessible to anyone at anytime if they desire to watch it.
Bethany of BestCoast said No Joy was “the best band ever” on her Twitter feed and a fan tweeted to you: “…I wouldn’t have bought the Weekend LP without all yr tweet.” Tell me your thoughts on social networking.
Social networking is great…but it has to be used correctly. You can sign up and not have a single follower, so it’s important to upkeep your pages, post new information and be personable. It’s only recently that my Twitter has been picking up speed and I’ve been getting a lot of feedback. Whenever I have a small question that needs to be answered, I tweet it and always get a response. It’s great that the things I push – like that Weekend record for instance – actually get heard.
North American tour dates including Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria are listed at www.nojoy.bandcamp.com. The socially savvy can join in some No Joy conversation by following @lauralloyd on Twitter.