PREMIERE: JOUK MISTROW
VOID ON RETURN
Interview by Eric Boittier
Today we are premiering the latest single from Brisbane's Jouk Mistrow. Void On Return is the new song off what will be their 3rd EP 'End This Mess', the new single is an elaboration on their last release, 'I'm The Villain So Don't'. It shares moody vocals with driving bass and intricate guitar throughout. We had a chat with Ethan from Jouk Mistrow ahead of the release which is being launched at Bloodhound Bar on the 8th of April.
Ethan, why are you so afraid of robots?
I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of robots as much as I HATE robots, after all a good robot is a DEAD robot! Haha to be a clear this is totally a tongue in cheek joke in itself which I guess came from reacting to the fact that if someone feels they MUST be hateful and bigoted towards something e.g. women, race - why not just hate robots? After all they probably are going to take your jobs and wives AND they don’t even pay taxes ;)
So, let’s clear something up. Is Adam Head in the band?
Adam Head is totally in the band ! I love that guy to bits. Because Rian, Stu and I have all known each other and played together for many years now, it wouldn’t really make sense for us to have another person come into that dynamic half-way and half-assed just as a live or touring member, if you’re in you’re completely in. Which is pretty much what we said to Adam ‘if you’re in the band, you’re writing your own parts - and we’ll tell you if they’re shit’ and from there it’s about trusting what another person can bring to the table and so far it’s been really great in so many ways
I’ve been really enjoying your last 5-track EP (I’m the Villian So Don’t, 2016). It’s definitely a return to form, still sounding dark but more expansive, frantic but consistently frantic. What has been the biggest change to the songwriting between now and your last EP?
I think this latest EP will see us go further each side of I’m The Villain - one of the songs The Idealist is definitely even more in that dark frantic mindset which I probably think of as ‘true jouk’, while songs like Void On Return are just straight up indie rock songs we have fun playing though the lyrics are always pretty revealing. Another big change is definitely having another guitar part to work with, once you have that in there it’s like ‘aww gawd our old stuff was so limited’ though I think we did pretty well as a 3-piece too
On the track OH WELL you sing: “If I was such an animal I’m sure you’d know which one”. For those of us who don’t know, which animal would you be?
! ! I literally never thought I would get asked this question. I really don’t want to answer it honestly so I’m just going to say - some things are better left as a mystery
Outside of music, what else influences the grievous tones of Jouk Mistrow?
I’m quite proud that most of the lyrics have been inspired by Rian and Stuart or us as a group and when it's not that usually a commentary on the absurd and often disappointing progression that is life. Other little bits and pieces of inspiration came from a Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451, Chuck Palahniuk, what smoking a cigarette feels like, what friendships and relationships are like, what reflecting on your life feels like
One thing I really respect about the music is the way it maintains a gloomy and enigmatic atmosphere without seeming forced or “edgy”. What is your biggest worry concerning the future of mankind?
Thanks! Interestingly I think it relates back to robots. Humanity are losing themselves in technology and I see it get worse and worse all the time especially in teenagers now. I’m going to put it out there plainly - fuck your phone, fuck netflix, fuck instagram, fuck movies made after the year 2007, fuck TV and billboard advertising and fuck doughnut time and all that. Humanity has gone off the continental shelf and is free-falling into a steaming pile of shit where you can only be accepted in society if you’re balanced between being a manic narcissist and a good friend to propel others narcissism (I dunno maybe I’m just aspergic). There are still great people everywhere and I’m so proud to call some of them our friends, but I think that it’s possible 99% of people in society are depressed and it’s only 30% or something who are aware of it. I guess I apologise to get really heavy but a deep question deserves an honest answer !
I hear you’ve been playing around with making a little comic strip for the artwork on the next release. Are comics something you’re into? Can we to expect a full length comic book anytime soon? What would a Jouk Mistrow comic strip be like?
Comics are something that Rian and I are really into especially due to Alice from the band Tempura Nights. Alice is just one of those highly creative and inspiring artist/friends that has been a really encouraging person to all of us in different ways (and she helped inspire the artwork for this single a lot), but also for me especially in doing our own art and pushing myself and the band musically and artistically. You definitely can’t and shouldn’t expect a full length comic from us soon - the art for this single was meant to be 12 panels and was cut down to 4 !! hahaha. A JM comic strip would be a lot of playful and non-playful aggressive communication, a lot of beers and lot of strange and unusual adventures. I don’t think the world is ready for it - I try not to think about it on a daily basis.
// JOUK MISTROW //