INTERVIEW: Get to Know Rising Indie Pop duo, joan
When you think about the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't 80's inspired synth-pop, but eclectic indie duo joan are trying to change that. With a retro sound rooted in the 80's and 90's and similar to that of LANY or The 1975, joan are carving out their own scene in their hometown, determined to make pop music flourish despite the local shortage of it. In doing so, the duo (Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford) have already landed some massive shows overseas and an opening stint with COIN this fall. With "Take Me On" and their most recent single, "Love Somebody Like You" out now, joan are creating a name for themselves in the pop scene, and we can wait to hear what comes next.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
The Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about joan for any readers who might not be familiar?
Steven Rutherford: Sure! Hi, we're joan. We're from Little Rock, Arkansas and we get to write songs every day
How did you two first come together to begin writing music for this project?
We were in two different bands that ended up playing together a lot. We became friends through that and decided to write together to see what happens. The first song we wrote was "Take Me On" and now we're here!
Do you feel that the music scene in Little Rock has influenced you or had an affect on your sound at all?
We love Little Rock very much and are happy residents. The music that usually comes out of this town is nothing like ours, though. There’s a lot of country influence, harder rock, rap and diy stuff here, but not much pop or commercial music. We like to think we’re writing big city music in a small town.
What would you like to be able to bring to your local scene that isn’t already there?
That’s crazy, we actually talked about this the other day. We both grew up playing at clubs and all that around town and from an early had a dream of creating music out of Little Rock that the town would be super proud of. Since Little Rock doesn’t have much in the pop scene, it’d be awesome to bring that in with us.
Last month, you guys released your new song, “Love Somebody Like You.” What inspired the track?
Love Somebody Like You was one of the first songs we wrote together. It was probably the quickest we wrote up to that point. I remember Alan sending me a voice memo of the chorus and from there everything just came so naturally - it felt more like the song found us which is a nice feeling to have.
Because “Love Somebody Like You” is one of the first songs you’ve released as joan, did you have any major goals when working on it? What would you like listeners to take away from the song?
There’s a definite difference between the verse and chorus lyrically and we wanted that to come across that way sonically as well. The verse is from a shy but honest perspective full of “what if’s”. When the chorus comes around it’s a more confident mindset, though. We wanted to give the whole story and put the listeners in the room while it was happening.
With “Love Somebody Like You” and “Take Me On” out now, can fans expect to hear any more new music soon?
Yes! More music asap!!!
You have a few festival appearances and shows coming up in Canada in Europe as well! What are you most excited about during the next few months?
Ugh, so excited. I (steven) have never been to Europe, so i’m stoked to see the sights. This will be our first shows outside of the US, so we’re super pumped just to experience all the firsts that come with it. Cannot wait.
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017?
We just announced our fall tour supporting COIN! We’re doing around 15 dates with them on the east coast mid US. It’s going to be insane.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Of course, thank you for interviewing us!