Before our rather amazing (if I do say so myself) line-up on November 23rd, here’s a lovely little interview with our headliners. So get yourselves acquainted and come have a great time. There’s more information on the gig on our Facebook page here
YA: How did J&HJF form?
J&HJF: Danny and Sof were in a Riot Grrl band called Amazon Molly and Danger and Liz were in an Ani Difranco covers band that Danny had been roadie and engineer for when we all met. We were all also involved in running a monthly open mic and gig night/vegan cafe called Riot Grill which only featured Women and Queer performers. We bonded over a love of pop-punk music, veganism and Queer and Feminist politics. Most Women and Queer people our age have noticed that most of the lyrics from the bands in the pop-punk genre that us and our friends grew up listening to (Blink 182, Green Day etc.) are full of misogyny and homophobia and so we thought it be great to mimic the style of those bands but be about the opposite of what they were about.
YA: What would you say your influences (musical and otherwise) are?
J&HJF: Our songs are about our experiences…some are love songs but not your usual hetero narrative. Some are about oppressions we face for being who we are, some about our interesting friends. So we are influenced by everything I guess. We are all mega music enthusiasts so individually we are probably influenced by thousands of different artists and bands but a little list might look like: Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Dolly Parton, Rilo Kiley, Dixie Chicks, Nirvana, Ani Difranco Beyonce, The Beatles, ABBA, Kate Bush.
YA: What do you all do outside of the band?
J&HJF: We all have Jobs, and everyone except Danny is studying as well.
YA: What does DIY mean to you as a band and what message/s for young people trying to get involved with their local DIY scene would you have?
J&HJF: DIY means everything to us. It’s how we do what we do. The music industry as it is, is set up so that success is measured as part of a capitalist agenda and you’re winning if your making money and everybody knows your name. If you work outside of that and make your own ambitions like, meeting exciting people, playing music with your friends and travelling to places you haven’t been then you feel a lot more satisfied with yourself than if you have a grand at the end of a show that you played to people you don’t really like. It means that things don’t fall into place without your hard work and it’s about having/gaining the confidence to keep pursuing your particular interest despite obstacles and boundaries. My message would be to make whatever music or art you feel like making just for the sake of making it. Make it for yourself and/or share it with your friends. You don’t really need more from it than that.
YA: What other bands would you recommend?
J&HJF: Esper Scout and Commiserations from Leeds. Not Right from Coventry, Ill from Manchester, No Ditching, Martha and ONSIND from Durham, Trash Kit and Shopping from London
YA: What’s the bands connection with Wharf Chambers?
J&HJF: Danny works there doing sound engineering and stuff. It’s the best venue in Leeds.
YA: What can people expect from the J&HJF set at Youth Anthems’ November gig?
J&HJF: Energetic and excellent as usual, but a little quieter. No swearing, more covers.