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The Jensens - Interview
The Rockpit interviews

NATHAN KENDALL & JOSEPH WHITE

THE JENSENS


The Jensens

Since their formation in 2013, Brisbane five piece The Jensens have provided us with rage-worthy tunes that have been played long into the early morning all over the country! With their unmistakable sleek vintage undertones, infused with modern surf rock swagger, The Jensens recently announced a brand new single (not to be confused with their previous EP) 'Everybody Talks' and two shows in Sydney and Melbourne. The single is the first taste of the lads' follow-up EP, which is set for release early next year. We get a few words from Nathan Kendall and Joseph White to find out a little bit more about the single and also about the band themselves.

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The Rockpit: How are things with the band? What kind of feedback has been received with the new single "Everybody Talks"?

Nathan: Things with the band are just great with the band. We're like one big happy family. A weird cult family, but happy nonetheless. Everybody Talks is going pretty well. Our friends said they like it so that's good. We put a lot of time into its recording, so it feels good to finally have it floating in the ether.

The Rockpit: The single talks about the breakup of a friendship, what inspired that idea for the song?

Joseph: It's about someone I was seeing at the time who I had a deep emotional connection with but just couldn't seem to make it work. The song is about how I wanted to have the time to smoothly bring the relationship level back to friendship, to take the time to make sure no one got hurt and everybody got what they wanted but we were two very busy people and it just didn't happen like that. It took us quite some time to be at the level we are again now. The phrase 'everybody talks' to me is about how someone, a close friend, will tell you the story about how they've broken up, but even though you're hearing them and empathising with them, you have literally no idea what either of them were feeling. You may have had a similar experience but that moment was truly theirs.

The Rockpit: Everyone deals with the breakup of a relationship in their own way, what's your method of dealing with that situation?

Joseph: Throwing myself back in to what makes me happy, what makes me feel innately individual, thinking on the things I have to offer the world and the things the world can offer me.

The Rockpit: The EP of the same name was released previous to the single, how are they connected and was the single ever going to be part of the EP?

Nathan: The foundations for most of the songs on the first EP and all of the songs on the forthcoming EP were initially recorded at the same time, in one large stint we did mostly live at plutonium studios, under the supreme guidance of Steven Kempnich. So musically they are all connected in that way. Everybody Talks the song was never going to be a part of the first EP because it, along with a couple of other songs yet to be released, was written at a slightly later period than the others. And we feel they represent a subtle evolution in our sound and songwriting, hence the later release. But the themes for both EP's are intertwined. Songs influenced by the life we've been living, the friends we've made, the conversations we’ve had. As well as relationships that have flourished and then fallen apart. And even though those relationships didn't last, there's still love there that doesn't go away. You still want to talk to those people and be a part of their lives, because they're your friends.




The Rockpit: The band are hitting the road for Sydney and Melbourne in December, what can people expect at these shows?

Nathan: Our live set has recently evolved into something a bit more cohesive. We've been meticulous in regards to the flow, treating it as more of a piece than a set of individual songs. Something you can get a bit more lost in, experience it rather than an observe it. Of course there's the usual shit that'll always be part of our set, childish giggling, on stage bromancing, sexual hip gyrating and way too much sweat. Some new tunes too. Really, we just want people to get as carried away as we do when we're on stage.

The Rockpit: Do you consider yourself to be more of a live band or a creative studio band?

Nathan: We consider ourselves to be both. But actually achieving the studio aspect is a more gradual process, just look at The Beatles. You could say most rock bands at the start of their careers are more live than studio. Playing live is definitely something that's deeply rooted in all of us, but we've realized over the last few years as a band that capturing the dynamism of a live show and recording it is no easy task. So it's really important to treat them as two completely separate and equally important aspects of being a band. The interesting part is seeing how far we can push things in the studio and then try and pull it off live.

The Rockpit: Are there many differences between the crowds in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne?

Joseph: Well I can't really say for Brisbane because mostly we know 80 percent of the audience. Half of them were at our house getting drunk before the gig so they react in a predictable and justifiably energetic way. The crowds in other cities may differ but it's what you give them, we always just want everyone to have as good a time as we're having and most of the time I think they do.

The Rockpit: After the tour what plans are being made with the band?

Joseph: We're going to get a little deeper, we've had a lot of fun over the past few years but we feel like there's something there to say that we're not saying yet. We want to write a lot of contemplative and purposeful music and develop a stage show to go with that.




The Rockpit: What inspires the band creatively speaking?

Joseph: Frustration mostly. Feeling like you live in a world where you're constantly misunderstood and outspoken. Music is definitely an outlet for our dissatisfaction with the world around us but also a celebration of the good things in life. Being creative is one of the few things in life I find simple and uncomplicated. It's the world you create for yourself and all it does is grow and become more vibrant and colourful. It says more about you than you can say about yourself.

The Rockpit: Who are some of your biggest influences?

Joseph: Wow. I love and hate that question. Instantly about 20 artists flood my mind but that could change in a day or an hour depending on my mood. I think our biggest influences are just people who break the mould, who create their own thing. Everybody starts somewhere, playing out of adoration for someone else, but it's those people who find their unique sound and just go with it that inspire us to do the same.

The Rockpit: If you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any classic album in history what would it be?

Joseph: Haha, so you want a name. Hmmm. Probably The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. 15 years on and that album still baffles me. Wayne Coyne is an absolute legend in his own right but I would just love to know how Dave Fridmann sprinkles his magic all over it. That being said there are plenty of others.

The Rockpit: What is the meaning of life?

Joseph: Well, I must say, I've thought about this on a minute to minute basis for as long as I can remember. No one will ever know, there's comfort in that fact. Nothing could ever be revealed to say this is why we're here because that just doesn't exist. We're a physical representation of the complexities of the universe, we can think on the meaning of life or the size of the universe only until our brains tire and bow out. I think it's obviously going to differ vastly from person to person but what we seem to be doing now is fulfilling every desire we can conjure up in our heads. One day we won't be here but right now we are, I think that's all the meaning we get?


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THE JENSENS EAST COAST AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2016:

Fri Dec 9 - Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne VIC
Sat Dec 10 - The Lair (All Ages), Sydney NSW

Tickets and tour details can be found HERE.


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on December 2016