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Interview: Taine Joso
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Daniel (Drummer) - My father was obsessed with Pink Floyd and Led zeppelin and had some high-end stereo system which he would just blast constantly, so I had no choice. Without music, I would imagine I might have gotten into script writing or novels
Chris (Bass) - I always liked music and was raised on everything from crowded house and Marcy Playground to Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath to My Chemical Romance, but my real love for music came later on when I started listening to progressive music, most notably I got into playing music so I could play along to the likes of Dream Theater, Tool, Rush, Opeth, Haken, and Korn. I was actually very close to not pursuing music as I did both music and writing at Uni, so if I hadn’t gone into music I would probably still be working as a copywriter and working on my novel.
Alex (Lead Guitar)- seeing the white stripes on rage! Also, games featuring a lot of alt rock and metal such as guitar hero 3 and Tony Hawks Pro Skater. If I wasn’t doing music I’d be illustrating!
Taine (Vocals & Guitar) – I was always around music as a child. I was lucky to have a lot of family members who were musicians or played themselves as a hobby. I think my Uncle, my cousin and most of all my father got me into playing guitar religiously. My dad taught me a lot of the basics and showed me the songs he liked to play and songs that he had written himself. I think that inspired to me to have a go at songwriting myself. I haven’t stopped since.
If I wasn’t into music I think I would be a writer or a poet, be somewhere solitary where I could go sit in the woods and listen to a river running like Walt Whitman. Or a detective! I also loved Columbo.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Daniel - I like to watch documentaries on film making, or reading and watching anything about the film industry, I also love reading especially in the horror genre. As for what influences my creativity, I think most of our band are into music production and the study of audio, which personally keeps me invested in the business as a whole and provides more ideas that I attempt to apply in the studio or live setting
Chris - I’m a pretty avid gamer and so a lot of my time outside of music is playing games, watching movies is a near second. Soundtracks are a huge part of my personal influence in music.
Alex - when not playing music I'm painting, it’s something that brings me a lot of joy, I love landscapes or anything with an epic fantastical feel. Visual arts give me a creative outlet completely separate to music which I think is really important.
Taine – When I do get time I enjoy reading and trying to write any kind of prose or poetry. I seem to get a lot of ideas from the novels or poets I read. Usually, some imagery for lyrics comes from memories
about certain events that occurred within the text. I like to think that I’m grafting the images from these other texts that I consume onto the song I may be writing at a certain point in time. Or I just write a long, blank verse, epic poem that never gets to see the light.
How long has your band been around?
The four of us met during our time at Uni, with the band forming in late 2018. Dan and Taine met in an ensemble group and really hit it off, so they decided to jam outside of it in their free time. The initial jams would end up forming the basis for many of the band’s early song structures. Then we eventually met Alex, who needed a group for his end of year performance, so he joined and turned our duo into a trio. As he was more comfortable with lead guitar Alex switched from bass and we managed to find a new bass player who joined us briefly for a couple months but ended up leaving unfortunately. Then Alex recommended our current bassist Chris who also attended our university, and the line-up has remained unchanged ever since. We’ve played venues all around Brisbane for the past four years especially in Fortitude Valley. We’ve also played some venues in the Sunshine Coast and on the Gold Coast. Unfortunately, we haven’t really had the opportunity to fully commit ourselves to an east coast tour of the country with COVID but we are all excited to play some shows interstate and international shows sometime soon.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Brisbane Australia, which has a strong live music scene. There’s quite a diversity of genres on the scene but its pre-dominantly rock based whether that’s indie or hard/alt rock. We are lucky that Brisbane has lots of venues and an entertainment precinct that has lots of live music every weekend.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
The name derives from Taine’s name really. Just his first name and a shortened version of his last name. We couldn’t think of a decent name, so we just went with it. We believe it sounds unique though, so that helps. It’s kind of a Bon Jovi situation.
Q3 Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Daniel - Worst show would have to be the daytime gig we did at the Pineapple hotel as soon as I hit the snare a Karen came out to shush me. Best gig would have been one of the Tomcat show pre-COVID where it was just packed and the energy was great and everyone was having a good time. Or our first Wooly Mammoth gig, the sound guy was a complete monster, and everyone just sounded huge.
Chris - my best show was definitely our single launch for “Dire” (https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/tainejoso/dire) at The Zoo, everything went simply as well as it could
have. For the worst I feel like there are a few options, but it might have been one of my first shows I played, playing to an empty room and playing poorly; no worse feeling.
Alex - worst show potentially ever was playing after a cover band, Dan had to play a really shoddy electric kit and the audience was definitely not in the mood for our set, all round awful vibes, best gig for me was our first show at Lefty’s, I remember being entirely caught in the moment, not thinking about anything other than the performance
Q4 Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Daniel - So far the Wooly Mammoth or Black Bear Lodge, just due to the stage and sound and vibe of the place. Would love to play the Triffid.
Chris - The Zoo and Woolly Mammoth are definitely my top two, although I’d love to play another big venue like Riverstage or Fortitude Music hall.
Alex - A Tomcat gig is always fun and high energy, though will always enjoy playing the Bearded Lady. Would love to play the Triffid or the Tivoli.
Taine – One of our Tomcat shows was probably one of the best, I can’t remember which one, but they’re all usually energetic and the crowds are great. If we’re ever lucky enough I would love to play Lollapalooza or any big festival similar to that, maybe even Glastonbury. That would be a dream come true.
Q5 If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Daniel - Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, Tool, if it was Australian, Powderfinger, Baby Animals, INXS
Chris - any lineup is almost impossible to answer, there are so many amazing bands that I’d love to play with, but if I had to pick I’d probably go with Opeth, Caligula’s Horse and Puscifer.
Alex - if the opportunity arose to play with Caligula’s horse I definitely wouldn’t mind
Taine – Soundgarden, Tool, Jeff Buckley and Mastodon
Q6 What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Daniel - Not to focus on the technicalities of musicianship, focus on song writing and feel, and play as much as humanly possible live with as many different genres as possible
Chris - Don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to writing or playing, the right part will come eventually, sometimes taking a step back helps your ability to play.
Alex - find people whose tastes align with yours, every time my bandmates write a part; 99% of the time I'm going to think it’s fantastic. Like any type of groupwork its going to come down to communication so make sure your speaking the same language.
Taine – just enjoy the music and the friendship of your bandmates.
Q7 If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Daniel - Just to keep practicing, go outside my comfort zone more with all things.
Chris - I definitely would go back and tell myself not to sleep through music theory, it seemed so boring at the time
Alex - write the music you're excited about/want to listen to don’t be hindered by audience/genre expectations
Taine – Practice!!!!!! And never be afraid to speak up or contribute to any composition the band maybe in the process of writing. It’s also not the end of the world if an idea or part you’ve become attached doesn’t make it into the final cut of the song. Being in a band is all about compromise so sometimes you must swallow your pride. I think there has been plenty of times where all of us have had to give up on certain parts as they weren’t right for that part of the song. We never take it personally though and we try to keep the process as democratic as possible. I also think you have to write for yourself as well and not be too worried about your audience. At the end of the day you’re the one who has to be happy with playing a song over and over again; You might as well make it one you enjoy!
Q8 Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Daniel - Riots or Acheron - both songs I think have some really fantastic song writing from Taine. I feel I play these songs with more passion and groove as the lyrics are so emotive. Both songs are a great mix of power and melody.
Chris - probably cruel or Acheron, both were my favourite songs to really branch out in and flex my own personal creativity and influence.
Alex - Cruel, because it’s a big emotional ballad and I get to play an obnoxiously long guitar solo
Taine – This is a real hard one. I’m very attached to all of the tracks as they all chronicle very different points in my life; times where I almost seemed like a different person. If I had to pick one song it would have to be Heart Full of Sympathy or Riots. Heart Full of Sympathy was one of the first songs I demoed in Year 12 and upon recording it I realized that I was capable of creating decent songs that gave me an emotive response; songs that felt powerful and had three-minute guitar solos. It was also the first song I recorded properly at Uni with Dan as well. He really helped make it shine further when he gave me production tips.
Riots is also another special song for me because it was one of the first songs to be professionally recorded at a studio. When I heard the final mix it was a step up from everything I’d done before. I finally thought I could be taken seriously as an artist because of the quality of the recording and emotiveness of the performance that was captured. I was listening to something special.
Q9 Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Daniel - Acheron currently, it is fun to play a hard-hitting 16th note feel on the hats and ride. It is short and impactful; it also seems to resonate with crowds as its quite epic and the band always seems to be vibing it immediately.
Chris - Acheron is the most fun to play, complicated and dynamic parts and some heavy slap bass make it so energetic it’s hard not to love. The most requested has changed a lot over time, but usually it’s either riots, heart full of sympathy, or Acheron.
Alex - Acheron is the most satisfying song to perform at the moment and the audience reaction to it has been so far overwhelmingly positive, our simpler tracks though (Riots, Heartful) seem to be the real crowd pleasers
Taine – My favorite song to play is usually Cruel. Its always emotive and dark. I think it’s the track I consistently perform well in terms of feel and emotional delivery. I become a channel at certain points its quite weird but satisfying.
Q10 What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Daniel - It can come from a variety of places, Taine can bring a melodic grouping of chords, Alex can write some lead riff ideas, Chris can show us a bass line, or I can provide some syncopation on drums. It originally came from Taine’s earlier works before the band was involved but now it is a process of unity with everyone contributing.
Chris - currently the writing process feels very collaborative, whether it’s a drum fill or a chord progression we can usually build off each other to start off a song, then keep building and revising until
we like the result.
Alex - this band has a wonderful writing process where everyone gets involved in the session and its a lot of fun, I feel really energised coming out of those rehearsals
Taine – Our process seems to vary song to song. Usually someone can bring an idea or even an almost fully structured song and we all try to put our own special something into our parts. We usually just put some sections together till something sticks. There’s always revising and re-hashing going on with newer tracks as well. One week we could be playing a certain section and then the next we’ll be adding in a new fill or slightly change the rhythm of a few bars. I like to think that our tracks evolve over time, we’re always playing with the arrangement.
Q11 What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Daniel - I would people to feel the same emotions I get from playing, I want people to feel the musicality and power of well written melodies, the same way that we feel from listening to our favorite bands
Chris - I feel like the messages of our songs are very much in the lyrics Taine writes, but as a band I think we try to convey the emotions, whether it be melancholy or aggression or rebellion.
Alex - Taine is a really gifted storyteller, and I often find certain lyrics he writes personally resonant with things going on in my life. I think with any art what matters most is what personal significance you take away from it, not necessarily the artists true intent.
Taine – I’d like to think I encourage a lot of critical thought and personal reflection through our lyricism. I think I try to emphasize the importance of being meditative but also capable of taking your life into your own hands; using the travails of your life and turning it into fuel for your own aspirations.
Q12 Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Daniel - All the time, its just apart of 4 people butting heads with input that you are bound to have, if you didn't disagree or fight over things I can't imagine you would produce anything worth while, to sort some of our issues out we talk, a lot, we try to be democratic and if democracy fails we just backstab and turn on each other in whatever ways we can find
Chris - of course we have some disagreements whether they be about music or direction or anything, but we always find a way to compromise and work together. That is until our weekly purge where we wrestle each other on a rotating platform with spikes of course.
Alex - all the time, its always going to be some breakdown in communication that leads to trouble, also
as artists we feel super close to the project and the music we're making so that tends to lead to irrational thinking. I trust these boys 100% though, we've worked through some tricky patches before and I think our communication has only improved over time.
Taine – The other boys have disagreements but no-one disagrees with me. If they do they spend a night in my dungeon (non-sexual). All jokes a side we have been together now for a few years and you don’t stay together that long without compromise and respecting each other’s opinions.
Q13 What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Our latest single “Cattle” https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/tainejoso/cattle will be the last single of our current live set with the remaining tracks not yet released from the bands 2018-2021 originals being finalised for an EP that will wrap up those compositions and give us a clean platform for the type of music we are writing now which has more progressive and complex elements. The EP is due for release in early May followed by an East Coast Australian tour.
We have also been working on new songs and plan to record them this year and release an album in early 2023. We hope to be able tour on the back of that album in Australia and internationally in 2023. Our newer stuff is sounding a lot heavier and more progressive than our current repertoire. More in the vein of Soundgarden and Tool.
People can check out our music and what we are up to via our website and socials.