In Conversation with Joan & The Giants

 Just fresh out of the studio, it’s time to get your speakers ready for Joan & The Giants fierce new tune, ‘Bloodstream’.

Likened to the captivating sounds of Daughter and Florence & The Machine, Joan & The Giants are an alternative pop band out of Perth you should be listening to.

Still relatively new to the scene, forming in late February 2019, they already have three singles to their name, ‘Hold Me’, ‘Cruel’ and ‘Wolves’.

The band have also supported talented artists, Odette and Arno Faraji.

It’s ultimately their emotionally raw, untamed sound which has positioned them as one of the most exciting arising young bands in the Australian music scene.

The fourth release, ‘Bloodstream’ is quite a powerful tune taking a darker look at a broken relationship with lyrics that are deeply vulnerable, combining moments of power and hope.

‘Bloodstream’ was recorded at Perth’s, Pavement Studios alongside Lance Robinson, who recently engineered Coldplay’s, ‘Everyday Life’.

In essence, the tune combines personal lyrics, emotive acoustics, ambient synths and booming drums to create an impactful soundscape.

Your gal sat down with front woman, Grace Newton-Wordsworth and guitarist, Aaron Birch for an in-depth chat on all things music and ‘Bloodstream’. 

How did Joan & The Giants come about?

Aaron:

Joan & The Giants formed in February 2019. We played in bands previously together and decided we wanted our music to evolve into something that truly represents who we are and the sound we love. We have come together from all over WA, Grace (front-woman) is from an organic farm down South, Aaron (guitar) is from a remote Indigenous community out of Broome, and Riley (drummer) and Liam (bass) are from Perth.

Joan & The Giants is such a passion project for us, we love sharing who we are through our song’s & lyrics and at the live shows. 

How did the name evolve?

Grace:

We started tossing the idea around with a lot of different names. Grace & The Giants, Jane & The Giants… But ultimately, we settled with Joan & The Giants. A lot of this had to do with Joan of Ark, she’s such a powerful female figure in history and I think being a female fronted band, we got a lot of power from that. 

How would you describe your sound?

Aaron:

I would say the Joan & The Giants sound is based on emotion. We blend ambience with high energy and I would say we have a lot of dynamic parts in our songs. The driving force behind our songs are the lyrics, we absolutely need to connect the music with what we’re trying to say, everything supports the emotion behind that.  

What was the inspiration behind ‘Bloodstream’?

Aaron:

‘Bloodstream’ was written in a fleeting moment of sadness. The lyrics centre around feeling helpless and defeated in a relationship. I think the main message of this song is that no matter how dark things seem and how broken you may feel, there’s still hope and there is still beauty and strength in being at your lowest.

What was it like collaborating with Lance Robinson?

Grace:

Lance is one of our favourite people! He’s such a beautiful soul and the vibe at Pavement Studios is always so creative and free. We honestly couldn’t recommend working with him more, he’s extremely talented and has done some pretty amazing things, like engineering on the new Coldplay album. We love Lance!  

Were there any challenges when creating the song?

Aaron:

This was the first song we actually did some pre-production for, and it helped in the studio so much, because we had such a clear vision of where we wanted it to go. I think the only real challenge with any project is knowing when to step away and let the art just be the art. It’s very easy to over edit and over analyse everything, but sometimes you lose some of what makes the song special. Everything else is just creative and fun, and any problems with recording are just an excuse to get creative and find a way around it, if we could we would spend every day in the studio.  

What is your song writing process?

Aaron:

A lot of times the songs start with a guitar riff or a vocal melody. Aaron will either sit and do a rough demo of the songs, or we just bring it in to rehearsal and jam it on the spot. A lot of our upcoming releases are songs we literally wrote on the spot in rehearsal and they haven’t changed much since the first time we played it.

In the case of ‘Bloodstream’, Aaron had the full idea in his head and we collaborated with our talented friend Nerdology on a demo.  

Why did you want to go into a career in music?

Grace:

Throughout our lives, music has always been an outlet for us – we use song writing as a way of healing and speaking out about what we’ve gone through and it has helped us so much. Music is the driving force behind who we are, and it honestly just makes us happy.

Our dream is to be able to record and play our music globally, and connect to others around the world. We are so passionate about creating a space where people can feel comfortable and safe, a space where they are allowed to be vulnerable and show emotion. If our music can bring a sense of hope and connection to others, that is all we can ask for. 

What’s been your biggest challenge as a musician?

Grace:

When you have a real passion for something, especially in the arts, it can be absolutely heart-breaking when things don’t work. Playing a show where something goes wrong or trying to do something that doesn’t work is hard. I think the toughest thing is learning to take the good with the bad and realising that it’s all a part of the journey and then just having the strength to stand up straight again and move on.  

What’s been a standout moment so far?

Aaron:

We headlined Shinju Matsuri Festival in Broome in front of 7,000 people. It was such a beautiful location, right on Cable Beach and during the last song fireworks went off. That’s a moment that will stay with us forever, it was an amazing night for us! 

What was it like supporting Odette?        

Grace:

Odette is an artist whose music we have loved for a long time, so it was incredibly special getting the opportunity to support her. When we actually met her in person, we were touched by her warmth as she was so kind to all of us, as were her band and team.

We learned a lot from the experience as it was our first time playing to a large audience, and we were all very nervous – so when we got out on stage, we were so grateful when her fans welcomed us with open arms and listened to every song. This experience showed us a tiny glimpse into the life of a full-time artist, and it definitely makes you appreciate all the hard work they put into what they do. 

What would be your dream collaboration?

Aaron:

We love bands like Daughter, Florence & The Machine, Blink-182, Now Now and John Mayer, working with any of them would be ridiculous! Having Rick Rubin produce us would also be absolutely insane. 

Any exciting future plans?          

Aaron:

We’ve got a lot of music to release in 2020, we just want to get as much out as we can and tour as much as possible. We’ve got some plans in the works for sure. 

What’s your biggest final piece of advice for young aspiring musicians?

Grace & Aaron:

Sometimes it can take a while to find out who you truly are as a person and that is completely okay, surround yourself with people that support you, don’t be afraid to say what you want, don’t be afraid to learn new things and don’t be afraid to ask for help, even from people who you think are ‘too big for you’.

Go after your passion and give it 100% – use your voice and know how powerful you are.

Go get your own copy of ‘Bloodstream’ to play on those car rides HERE.

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