Wednesday, 17 July 2013

"When she said "Let's just go and look for twigs as pegs" I knew it was the beginning of the end." An interview with JUST JOANS

The pride of Motherwell Just Joans are playing an acoustic set in the Indietracks merch tent on Saturday. Brilldream caught up with Katie and David to talk Indietracks, Weepop!, The Smiths and T'pau.

Your Indietracks appearance seems to be something of a secret. Are you scared of breaking the sacred 'not two years in a row' rule?

David- yeah, we've managed to slip unnoticed through the tight indietracks security net. if you see me n katie with our hands bound and sacks over our heads being huckled off towards a waiting helicopter you know why!
Katie- It's not so much that it's a secret, I think the fact that nobody knows it's happening, is more to with the fact that we are an incredibly disorganised bunch of Scots. We never really bought into that sacred 'not two years in a row" rule anyway, as our handsome bassist Fraser Ford or 'Fra-jazzle' as he's affectionately known around the Glasgow chippies, has appeared in various guises with various bands for the past five years running. We fully expect him to have his own burrito stand this year.
 Are you surprised by how people have taken your music and lyrics so warmly to their hearts?
David- Yeah, it's been really lovely to get such warm feedback from people. i guess we can't take too much of the credit tho...since all our best tunes and lyrics have been shamelessly purloined from other bands. it hasn't all been positive feedback either. My favourite response was a comment on youtube under a video of our song "Bellshill station". the guy wrote "Bellshill station reeks of piss...just like this song". ha ha!
Katie- Indietracks is such a special festival for us in that regard. We always receive an amazing response here. Watching hundreds of bedraggled, smiling festival-goers in raincoats singing along with us to "What Do We Do Now?" last year was genuinely special. I think it's something to do with our stage in life, a lot of of us are relics of the Britpop era, and that particular song about life moving on, seems particularly resonant for people. Thanks Sleeper.
What's the best thing about festivals as a punter and an artist?
Katie- We have met so many friends through Indietracks, other bands like Allo Darlin', The Smittens, Standard Fare, The Bobby McGees and loads more, not to mention all those other darn sexy indie kids who attend every year without fail. I also like the burritos, the very strong ale, the array of pretty dresses on display, the late-night bar on the campsite, the year Darren Hayman brought his wee dog along, was a vintage Indietracks.
David- Hmmm, good question. i think i'd have to say...the sweet sweet poonani. that is obviously a joke but i did meet my girlfriend ,Faye, at Indietracks 4 years ago as well as a whole bunch of other lovely folks over the years. the best thing about indietracks is undoubtedly the "people", with the exception of MJ Hibbett. that man is the devil incarnate!
 At the 1995 Phoenix festival, I saw a portaloo topple over with a girl trapped inside it. What's your worst festival memory?
Katie- My Mum, for some bizarre reason, let me go to T in the Park when I was sixteen with only my friend Lisa for protection. I remember we got the bus from Buchanan Street, the aisles were swimming in man-pee by 10am on the Friday morning. Lisa was in charge of the tent, she forgot the waterproof outer-layer, the ground sheet and the pegs. When she said "Let's just go and look for twigs as pegs" I knew it was the beginning of the end.
David- Worst festival memory eh? Maybe t in the park in 1997. The britpop bubble had burst and the dark cloud of HEROIN hung heavy over Kinross. I've never seen carnage like that Echobelly encore before and i hope i never do again.
Be honest, how long do you spend worrying about what you're going to wear?
David- i usually spend upwards of 3 hours...and that's only selecting which Pastels badge i'll wear.
Katie- I'm partial to a new dress for a festival. It's tricky matching the wellington boot footwear though. Last year I sneakily got Elizabeth from Allo darlin' to wear one of my homemade Just Joans t-shirts, during her set on the main stage, by giving her a freebie in the merch tent, then guilting her into it. Smooooth.
 Are you aware there is going to be a sing along (featuring lots of Just Joans songs) in the train at 2pm Saturday? Are you tempted to pop along?
David- yes, i've read about the sing-a-long on anorak forum. of course i'll be there! who do you think posted all those requests for our songs? i shall be the one at the front heckling and booing loudly whenever they try and sing a song that wasn't written by me." BOOO...more ME"!
Katie- Absolutely! I love a sing-along on a train, as I'm sure anyone who has ever caught the 23:41 train out of Glasgow Central, on a Saturday night can testify! Can we do China in Your Hand" by T'Pau?
I think the first time I 'got' Just Joans was when I saw the quote from the book All Men Have Secrets (which I got for my 18th birthday of an ex girlfriend). Do you think you would have looked at music the same way if you had not read it?
David- love that book! we try and add a wee story from it in the artwork to all our releases. i think that the wee testimonies definitely capture something of how much a band like "the smiths" meant to some people at a certain point in their lives. i was probably one of those people and discovering "hatful of hollow" probably changed the themes i felt music could address.
Katie- I don't think the band would exist without The Smiths full stop. I first got into them when I was 15, just before David left for University (David is my big brother. Yes actually my big brother, we're not The White Stripes) and I was so upset because he was taking all his records with him. He said I could choose one and I took Louder that Bombs. He looked and me with an expression that said "I have taught you well, child." The Smiths have been a massive influence on both David and I, and on my paintings too. Making art about what and who's around you is key to us."The rain falls hard on a humdrum town, this town has dragged you down".
Is it fun working with Camila at WeePop! ?
David- working with Camila has been a wonderful experience and Weepop has been the perfect label for us. the amount of care and time that Camila puts into every release is amazing and it's clearly a real labour of love. we love you Camila!
Katie- Camila is an absolute angel. I wish Prince William had chosen her to marry and impregnate. She is the people's princess.
                                                       On the Edge by Katie Pope

A know a lot of people (myself included) who are huge admirers of you art. Do you plan to exhibit it in the future?
David- over to you katie...unless he's referring to the cover art for "hey boy..." ep.
Katie- Aw, thanks. I have always painted and I have a studio that I work from full-time in Glasgow City Centre. There has always been a link between our music and the paintings. In my Art School degree show, my show was about my hometown, being a teenager, growing up and leaving home. I played "Back to High school" on a loop along with my paintings for the whole month they were on display. I think the other art students were going a bit mental by the end! Yeah I'm currently working on a large solo show, so my new work will be displayed soon. I also have an updated website coming very soon Go look.
When can we expect the next Just Joans LP? Will it be about the post uni years?
David- We're actually releasing a new ep/mini-album on weepop next month. it's called "6.9 love songs" and deals with every single aspect of love, from "unrequited love" to "lost love" and all the way back to "unrequited love" again. even if you hate the songs, Camila's packaging is bound to be exquisite.


  1. Any idea what time we should be at the merch tent on Saturday in order to catch this?

    1. It's my understanding they will be on around 5.20 on Saturday.