No CoN­se­queNCes

Fol­low­ing a boozy de­but visit Down Un­der last year, Joyce Manor front­man Barry John­son ex­plains why cof­fee is more their style in the lead-up to their third LP, Nev­erHun­goverA­gain. By Dave Dray­ton.

Blunt - - Up Front -

Since their in­cep­tion in the Dis­ney­land park­ing lot in 2008, Joyce Manor have steadily risen through the punk rock ranks on the back of their short, catchy-as-hell mi­cro an­thems. Af­ter the suc­cess of their 2011 self-ti­tled de­but on 6131 Records, 2012’s Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired saw them join the fam­ily at Asian Man Records and the next collection of songs has brought them here: Never Hun­gover Again, the band’s third LP and Epi­taph Records de­but. While sign­ing with Epi­taph hasn’t quite al­lowed the guys in Joyce Manor to leave their day jobs – vo­cal­ist and gui­tarist Barry John­son proves his point,

“When you have a good thing go­ing you just Want to go out be­fore any­thing goes Wrong.” barry john­son

mul­ti­task­ing this in­ter­view with a com­mute to work at a record store – it has meant that their up­com­ing third al­bum has a Joyce Manor cof­fee mug amongst the as­sorted pre-or­der bun­dles, so bassist Matt Ebert can take his own cup to work as a barista.

“They orig­i­nally wanted to do beer koozies, I guess to kind of go with the ti­tle of the al­bum, but we thought that was miss­ing the point of what we were go­ing for with the al­bum ti­tle – we didn’t want it to be, like, this kind of party record, you know: ‘Oh yeah, we’re get­ting wasted!’” says John­son, at­tempt­ing to muster a suit­ably fratty im­i­ta­tion. The beer koozies/cof­fee mug dilemma serves as an ap­pro­pri­ate anal­ogy for the band it­self, and par­tic­u­larly the themes at play on Never Hun­gover Again, the cover of which de­picts an ine­bri­ated Ebert and sim­i­larly jovial Frances Quin­lan of Hop Along – a para­dox of pop and jan­gly punk, a melodic op­ti­mism at odds with the darker lyri­cal themes of­ten at hand.

“The people in the pho­to­graph are pretty ob­vi­ously in­tox­i­cated and hav­ing a good time and the ti­tle sug­gests an un­truth, you know there will be a hang­over af­ter this photo, but it’s like ‘no con­se­quences’, there was some­thing about it. It sounds like a tri­umph, but I didn’t want to be about ‘get­ting hun­gover’ and ‘par­ty­ing’,” John­son re­turns to his im­i­ta­tion, “It’s a nice im­age, too.”

The recurring im­i­ta­tion re­veals an­other para­dox about Joyce Manor – their ag­gres­sively sweet an­thems pos­sess the Bleed Amer­i­can gene that lands songs at the top of jock playlists – it’s what John­son’s party per­sona pokes fun at, and some­thing else the band dis­tanced them­selves from with the video for Never Hun­gover Again’s first sin­gle, “Catalina Fight Song”.

The band took a two-hour road trip to a ju­jitsu stu­dio to get their ar­ses kicked by a trained pro­fes­sional – the re­sult­ing 90 sec­onds, cap­tured and di­rected by Adam Pa­pa­gan, mixes the aes­thet­ics of home-movie nos­tal­gia with a butt-whoop­ing demon­strat­ing the de­mure­ness of the band be­hind the en­thu­si­as­tic noise.

“I wanted to cap­ture us do­ing some­thing re­ally out of our com­fort zone,” ex­plains John­son. “And to put us in a con­text to show how whimpy we are – and for some rea­son I thought that would be a good mu­sic video. It suits our sound, it’s a lit­tle scrappy, but there was def­i­nitely care put into it, it wasn’t HD.”

Be­ing out of their com­fort zone is per­haps the most cru­cial para­dox pro­pel­ling Joyce Manor – nav­i­gat­ing anx­i­ety has not only pro­vided lyri­cal fod­der for John­son, but helped de­fine their ap­proach to short, sharp song­writ­ing.

“When you have a good thing go­ing you just want to go out be­fore any­thing goes wrong – it comes from be­ing anx­ious, people tell me all the time, ‘You could just do that cho­rus again’ and, yeah, but no.”

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