Dropping out of university to start a band has proven a success for Brisbane five-piece The Jensens following the release of their second EP, Sexless. On the morning of the release Bodi Lowrie takes time to give GROK magazine insight into the experimental progression of the group’s sound and aspirations to “take control” of their music.
Congratulations on your EP Release! What’s your morning been like?
Thank you very much for that. Well I’ve just woken up, we’re excited. We’re actually just listening to it now. We kind of finished the songs a little while ago so it’s refreshing to hear some of the tracks for the first time again.
What are you expecting the reception to be like?
We’re not too sure really, we’re just trying to give our fans some more music to listen to, to be honest. So I guess we’re just excited to get some more music out and play some more shows. This whole year for us is about releasing as much music as possible and getting our name out there a little more.
What live shows do you have coming up on the horizon?
We’re going to be putting on our own shows – which I’m not sure how much I can talk about – we’re going to be having our own show in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast and we’re going to be hitting up a few of our friends in Sydney for a show down there as well.
What was it like performing at Grampians Music Festival? Can we expect something like that with these live shows?
*Laughs* Grampians was really fun, we were a bit tight for time so we only rocked up about 10 minutes before we got on stage, but we were really excited.
Grampians is just such a beautiful place, we were playing on the stage and looking out at these beautiful mountain ranges and that was probably the best part about it. It was a nice, chill festival – we definitely made the most of it and had a really good weekend.
Are there any other festivals you would like to play?
Oh of course, Glastonbury’s coming up right!
There’s been so many great festivals releasing new lineups recently that have just been amazing. The Splendour In The Grass line-up is really, really awesome –we’d love to play that next year. I guess we’re just keeping our eyes out for position openings at festivals and seeing if we can jump onboard.
Who caught your eye on the Splendour line-up?
Obviously, LCD Soundsystem, would love to see Real Estate, Pond. There’s just heaps.
Where did the name of the EP – ‘Sexless’ come from?
Nathan came up with the name, we had a bit of an idea on what to call it and I guess it just kind of fitted with the songs and what they’re about. Nathan and Joe wrote the lyrics so I guess you should be asking them.
So, what are the songs about?
The songs are kind of our own take on what was going on in our lives at the time we wrote them. There’s a lot of love stories there, there’s a lot of heart break there. If you listen to the lyrics in most of our music a lot of it is love-felt songs. If you talk to the boys about it they’re song writing has always been about that.
Were definitely trying to venture off into other aspects of lyrics and writing songs about other things, but we’re all young boys, you know getting out of our first relationships so that’s what the lyrics are mostly about – everybody loves a good love song.
What direction do you think the band is going to take over the next year?
We’re definitely going in a totally different direction. Were expanding as much as we possibly can, experimenting with heaps of different genres. Expect a completely different sound from us over the next few years.
We’ve been buying heaps of equipment and trying to experiment with as much of it as possible. New songs we’re writing at the moment are just kind of as far from what we have been writing as possible –we want to explore new territory and see what can come out of our brains and be put into music.
Your sound on the EP already transitions from surfy and Lo-fi into a more grungy, punky, alt-rock. Where does your inspiration for that come from and how do you navigate the difference between the genres?
Well actually both of the EPs we released were written roughly at the same time. So at that time we were listening to a lot of the Beatles and a lot of Led Zeppelin. So the inspiration for those EPs was very vintage rock, we were kind of obsessed with that stuff and were pitching our career to follow the likes of the Beatles and the way they released music.
We kind of designed both EPs to be released one after the other and just fit the songs to what they sounded like together and match them to whatever EP they should be on.
The first EP we definitely wanted to have a bit more of a Lo-Fi sound, more of a garage rock kind of sound and we wanted a natural progression to the next EP, so we designed both to be played one after each other and make it seem like we’ve gone from this surf-rock sound into this more melodic rock sound in the next EP.
So I guess when we release music after this it will seem like they’re a bit more cohesive but they’re also taking a bit of direction into more mature music.
Do you think more bands are going to be releasing music in the same way as you guys after this?
It’s hard to say. Everyone has their own careers and own way of doing things. We’ve just definitely done our own thing and it’s more of a sense of doing things as we go and seeing what works.
We just wrote these songs and decided when and how we were going to release them. That just works and were going to keep making our music seem like its going on a path, I like how that works for us.
What’s the creative process the band goes through to get to the final product?
Usually it’s me, Joe White and Nathan Kendall writing the material and we’ll bring it to the band and we’ll jam out the songs for a long time until we’re absolutely happy with each individual part. We usually demo the song live in the studio and then we’ll go back to our house in Brisbane and make sure it’s all polished before it gets to the mastering stage.
We’re definitely looking at recording and producing all of our music ourselves from now on because it’s a creative element to the music. If we can record, write and produce ourselves then its all us and that’s how we want to do things from now on.
How does that compare to what you were doing before?
We were writing songs live and recording them live with a producer and that’s been really, really good but we’ve kind of listened to so much music right now that uses production in a way that’s so creative, we want to start doing that ourselves and taking control of our music as much as we possibly can.
The writing process for us from now on will literally all be in-house and make sure that we can go from the start of the song – the idea from someone’s head – to the final product that gets released and use the five of us to make sure that it’s as good as possible.
Do you think being from Brisbane has affected your sound at all?
Yes and no. We’re always looking for inspiration from other musicians, there’s definitely a culture here in Brisbane where everything’s really intimate between bands and I think everybody vibes off each other, which is a really good thing.
How did The Jensens get together?
Me, Joe and Nathan were previously in a band from the Sunshine Coast, and we moved to Brisbane about four or five years ago now, and we actually met Phillip Fabros and Jordan Aston at uni and we started jamming at uni together and after we did a year we all dropped out and started The Jensens.
What made you want to drop out?
Well, we went to university to find a band and we got our band so half of that was kind of pointless.
Would you consider going back?
No way, we’re learning too much on our own.
The Jensens’ Sexless EP is out now.