The Jensens are Phil (Drums), Bodi (Bass), Jordan (Gat), Nathan (Gat and Vocals) and Joe (Guitar, Keyboard and Vocals) and they are a band from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, that have been making music together since 2013. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to play a couple of their new songs on Eat This Music – most notably their latest single – I was intrigued as to what makes them “tick,” so to speak.
In the month of December, I had the chance to do a Q&A with Joe from The Jensens via e-mail and what I learnt that while these five guys are still young in their music career, working hard on achieving their version of music and have a good following that is going to take them places in the world of music, not just in Australia, but eventually internationally if they keep dropping hits like Elvis is Dead, Fears and A New Hope.
I had the opportunity to receive a lot of answers to the questions I asked, specifically about their forthcoming EP, Sexless (due out March 31), working on their new music, changing their sound, the inner-workings of The Jensens, playing gigs, and much more, while hearing about how Joe rapped to Kanye West while being wrapped in a gay pride flag.
Steve – Eat This Music: With the release of your new EP due out March 31, how far in the process of the EP are you?
Joe – The Jensens: “Done. Finished it a little while ago, just sorting out the release dates really. Got too busy towards the end of the year to be able to drop when we wanted to do it is a slightly delayed release.”
Why was Everybody Talks the first track to be released of your forthcoming EP ‘Sexless’?
“All the tracks were recorded together actually, this was just the first one we got excited about and wanted people to hear. It definitely shows a more mature attitude toward songwriting that the whole Ep has over the first one.”
I had the chance to play “Everybody Talks” on the 11 November episode of Eat This Music, which I highly recommended to the listers, and to you, which you can listen to below. The single is the first taste of the lads’ follow-up Sexless EP, which is set for release March 31.
One of the many things I like about The Jensens’ sound is that they are trying to make themselves sound as big and loud as they can within their songs, with their songs coming in under five minutes, they have given themselves the chance to show that they can do, while coming off more mature, rather than just a band that wants to be as fast and loud as they can just go get noticed, Joe explains how the band’s sound is defined as “mature”.
“I think we used to want to sound as big and loud as we could and that was the main drive. We’ve moved toward a more intricate sound, wanting to communicate an emotion rather than vent frustration.”
With the added notion of how the creation of their music has a process of one person bringing in the lyrics and melody for the four others to work on, however, according to Joe, the process of their music is starting to change, and “Everybody Talks was the first song”, in the band’s new direction.
“Well up until now it’s been one person will bring a mostly written song with lyrics and a melody and we’ll just try and make it sound as good as we can, but that’s beginning to change. Everybody talks was the first song that was recorded as a demo first without a melody.”
I questioned how that with the style of the creation of The Jensens’ music changing, has the five guys experience conflict within the band, and how had that changed over the course of their music partnership as they play more gigs and get comfortable with expressing their opinions with respect on matters.
“It used to be that way. But as we’ve played together more and become more comfortable with each other there’s a certain element of respect and a want for everyone’s input. Yeah it’s getting to a good place where the competition is healthy and everyone just wants a good outcome, not to be heard the loudest or have their idea used over another.”
With the five-piece from Brisbane playing more gigs throughout the end of December, The Jensens recently played the Jungle Love Festival, which was an important gig to them, well, Joe specifically, as he mentioned how much they enjoyed it and how it held a “special place” in their hearts.
“Probably my favourite gig we’ve played. Jungle Love has an extremely special place in our hearts and we were so excited to be able to perform. And perform we did. Nothing gets us going like a huge crowd, and their energy just made us go berserk. We’d practiced our set to the tee, with the help of our good friends Morgan Brown (of shady bliss) on keys and Jack Hunter on percussion we’d perfected our festival sound and couldn’t wait to show everyone what we’d been working on for months. We finished our set with a back to back cover of Touch The Sky by Kanye West (which I personally rapped whilst being wrapped in a gay pride flag, a moment I had been waiting for my entire life it seemed) and it’s original sample Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield which went down incredibly well. We were smiling ear to ear for the remainder of the festival.”
While the guys had their own time to put on a killer performance, they also took the time to check out other bands at the festival, most notable fellow Brisbane natives, Twin Haus, whom Joe explains as one of their “favourite Brisbane bands;”
“Twin Haus are one of our favourite Brisbane Bands and their set was the best I’ve seen them. A lot of great acts but the other one who stuck out for me was accomplice collective. Absolutely stellar live jazz band, such a tight set I’m waiting to see what they do next.”
With that said, 2017 is looking to be a big year for the five-piece from Brisbane with new ideas that aren’t set in stone as of yet, as The Jensens are a band you can expect to do the opposite of what you expect.
“It looks good. We’ve got a lot of new ideas and we’re gonna try and change it up. Don’t expect anything from us cause we’re gonna try and do the opposite.”
To end the interview, I asked The Jensens to compile a playlist of tracks they are enjoying at the moment with songs ranging from A Tribe Called Quest, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Solange, BadBadNotGood, Blood Orange, Jamie XX and Radiohead. Enjoy!