NOT FOR JOE – INTERVIEW FOR MUZ.RU

Click to read the whole interview in Russian

Exclusive interview with Not for Joe.

First of all let’s get to know better. Please tell our readers a little history behind the band.
Jane: Our band was formed about one year ago. Me – Jane, guitar, and Polina, vocals and keyboard, were those who started a band. The idea of disco-rock, of “two boys, two girls” line-up wasn’t at the heart of the band. We just started to look for bassist and drummer. At first we found Sergey, bassist. By the way we’ve never had a female bassist in the band. And we’ll never have. (Laughs)

Sergey: Who knows? This is anyone’s guess…

Jane: Ok, we’ll see. So, we’ve been looking for a drummer for a long time. We had some other drummers, and even a female drummer. But she showed up only for 2 rehearsals.

Sergey: For 2 hours.

Jane: But she didn’t hit it off.

Sergey: Cause didn’t know how to play. And didn’t want to.

Jane: Like so, in November of 2009 everything calmed down. And now there are 4 of us. We haven’t got any line-up problems anymore.

Sergey: We’ve also had an idea of taking a boy vocalist aside from Polina, but they also didn’t fit into our band, cause they paled besides Polina’s vocal. And we blew this idea off.

How did you decide to choose the name Not For Joe?
Serguey: (points at Jane) That’s for her!
Jane: One day Polina and me were rummaging in the English-Russian Dictionary. At that time there wasn’t any band. There was only idea of making it. And we saw an expression you know that means “not for anything”, “no way”. It’s set expression. You can also translate it as “not for man on the street”, “not for Joseph”. We love it cause this name sounds zippy and it’s easy to scan it.

Sergey: By the way, there was a little funny throwaway with “Not for Joseph” version. In the PSCC (Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex) we’ve performed along with 30 Seconds To Mars led by Jared Leto. And his full name’s Jared Joseph Leto.

In speaking of 30 Seconds To Mars, were you afraid of playing with them on the same stage?
Jane: We didn’t manage to understand this. We were told that we won the contest for the right to play the opening act 3 days before the show! We spent all this time searching for backline (concert equipment), we were rushing like crazies! We’ve been rehearsing for 6 hours a day instead of the usual 3. Before the show we’ve been running through for 6 hours! We did not even have a soundcheck! That’s why we haven’t got any time to get scared. Although I haven’t eaten for 3 days before the show cause of the worrit.

Sergey: I wasn’t nervous until I neared to the PSCC. It’s SO huge! And even though I saw it many times, this time at first I looked at it in a new role, you know. But when I saw the audience, the girls from 14 to 18, I calmed down, cause these people would not throw bottles at the stage. And when we came in the PSCC, the whole its scale inspired us. And when we appeared on the stage and saw the audience clapping, we stopped worrying and thinking about bad things.

Were you eventually able to touch base with Jared Leto?
Sergey: Yes, we were.

Jane: The first thing he said was “I’ve got a question for you. Chto stoish kak dub?” Then he continued surprising us with his knowledge of Russian, he sang the song “Ah, Odessa, the pearl near the sea.”

Sergey: And he also asked us how to say “I love you” in Russian!

Jane: We taught him to say “I love you” and “Louder.” And when he told “Louder!” from the stage, we were really proud of us like teachers. Well, you know, we swopped lies a bit… The biggest blender of the band is their guitarist Tomo. It was really funny to talk to him; he’s such a people’s person! And all the rest were very concentrated, may be cause we talked before the show.

Who are some of your main influences musically?
Jane: My list is really huge. When I was about 11, I started listening to rock, and before I had a period of pop music. I listened to Dmitry Malikov, for example, he is a good composer. But Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, The Klaxons, The Killers had an influence on me.

Sergey: Since 6 years old I’ve been listening to Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, because my Dad listened to them, too. Abba, Boney M and so on, they have influenced on me. Maybe not directly, but they underlay. Then there was a period of heavy, extreme music. Now, if you take our single “WOW” you can note the influence of Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Al Di Miola – jazz, blues artists.

Our traditional question: how do you feel about music piracy?
Sergey: You watch the statistics of downloads and there are thousands of them, but on some undesirable websites. How come they never download it, where we and the label upload them officially? That’s already enough of such services. From the point of view of the consumer it’s pretty cool. But from the viewpoint of a musician, no comments…

Jane: As far as our band, we upload everything for free. But there are some bands and musicians who make money selling music. It’s doubly unfairly to download them, cause they are losing money and some of them, you know, disappear cause of lack of funds.

Sergey: You can download all our stuff for free, but do it on our site, along with the official CD cover, with the right track names and not somewhere else, in poor quality.

Tell us about the plans, please.
Sergey: We’ve released the new single “WOW”. And we are planning to shoot the video for the song “Sunday 11 a.m.” soon. This video will be done for the American MTV office. Now the shooting came to an end, but technical issues to go!

Marquize Diabol: We have actually two contests. The 1st one is connected with the track “WOW” we cooked up with the Yes Magazine! You just need to think out how to decode the word “WOW”, and the best version will be a part of the official track name.

Do you fear that your English lyrics can frighten Russian listeners away?
Jane: From the viewpoint of the festival performances, it is possible. Although the girls singing in English are taking better than men. Thro’ personal experience: boys singing in English are often shouted “Sing in Russian!” The girls have never been cried such a stuff… For one don’t sweat it, I think you should play what you get, instead of trying to please someone out there and so on…

Sergey: I agree. Our listener is our listener cause he likes our music. All in all, if a person is even though a little bit educated, he will take English language perfectly.

Marquize Diabol: English is a melodious language. And you know, people, the listener should always be out for education and not to be cattle. Then everything will be hotsie-totsie!

Alexander Ismailov

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  1. Читаю посты у вас уже небольшое время!! И могу сказать щас что буду продолжать смотреть ваши посты =)

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