Hurtling playing live at The Finsbury

Joyzine@20: 10 Questions with Hurtling

As we approach Joyzine’s 20th Birthday Weekender in New Cross we’re catching up with some of the bands performing at this special event. Today it’s the turn of Saturday night’s Garden Stage headliners, long term Joyzine alt-rock favourites Hurtling.

The Joyzine Weekender takes place on 19th+20th August at The Old Library in New Cross, South London. Saturday’s line up includes Piney Gir, Hurtling, Deux Furieuses, MJ Hibbett, Dead Patrons + Gabis Garbutt, while Masca, Garden Centre, Breakup Haircut, Stephen Evens, I Doris and Mikey Georgeson play on Sunday. Tickets here.

1) Who’s in the band and what do they play?
Jen Macro – guitar & lead vocals, Jon Clayton – drums, Simon Kobayashi – bass & backing vocals. But on Saturday it’s just Jen and Simon on guitars and singing

2) How would you describe your sound to someone who’s not heard you before?
Jen: Layered and emotional, with 90s alt-rock vibes. “If Karen Carpenter fronted Smashing Pumpkins” – Jo Bevan, Desperate Journalist
Simon: Attempting to capture the feeling of playing for the first time.

3) Who are some of your biggest influences and how have they affected your approach to making music?
Jen: 1 – Pixies, 2 – Cocteau Twins, 3 – Grandaddy, 4 – The Delgados. 1 – Dynamics, 2 – Atmospheric sounds & melodies, 3 – Harmony, 4 – Everything.
Simon: The older I get the harder it is to pinpoint, so all time classics (for bass playing) are people like Peter Hook, Kim Deal and Mike Johnson (of mid period Dinosaur Jr) – Melody, hooks and unafraid to distort.

4) Who are your favourite current artists and what do you like about them?
Jen: The Early Mornings – intelligent spikey diy punk pop, think The Lovely Eggs vs The Undertones and Berries slick alt edged rock – think Lush vs Dave Grohl. They both rehearse where I work (the recently saved from closure Brixton Hill Studios). Working there is quite a good way of hearing new bands, I helped get Berries the support slot for Jim Bob (who Jon and I play for) last year. I also adore Marika Hackman and Anna Meredith – and recently got into Emma Ruth Rundle and her back catalogue with Marriages too. 

5) What do you like most about playing live?
Jen: When it’s finished!! Before the gig I get very nervous, and then during the gig I have to stay focused and not get obsessed with a mistake I’ve made or worry that people are leaving. So I like when it’s over and I can have a glass of wine. Recently though there’s been a few times where I’ve looked up and seen smiling faces, which is nice. I am trying to live more in the moment but it’s hard when you worry as much as I do!
Simon: The best gigs are where you feel completely in the moment, and you can hear the rest of the band and react to everything on an instinctive level. 

6) What makes the perfect gig?
Jen: People enjoying the music…and not leaving.
Simon: In terms of playing, similar to above, and feeling the audience are fully with you.

7) Tell us an interesting fact/anecdote about your band
Jen:We were all born in the merry month of May.

8) When did you first come across Joyzine & what connection do you have to the site?
Jen: I think it might have been with mine and Jon’s previous band – Something Beginning with L, or maybe before that with Stuffy & The Fuses, it has definitely been on my radar for a long time. Paul has been very supportive of our music for many years and we are grateful that the website is still championing new independent artists, (whilst not forgetting those that have been around the block).
Simon: Have been reading it for years, and it’s always been incredibly supportive of bands such as ours.  It can’t always be easy so it’s appreciated so much.

9) The shows are raising money for HOPE not hate, why is this an important cause for you to support?
Jen: Because far-right is far-wrong.
Simon: Having been brought up by very left wing politically active parents, it’s always heartening to see current organisations and movements still believing in a better world, something that sometimes seems was much more widespread in previous generations.

10) What were you doing 20 years ago?
Jen: I think I was working at the Press Association, editing gig listings for Teletext and daydreaming about playing all the venues across the UK. I’d recently recorded London Is Sinking with Chris T-T so might even have been playing some of those venues with him… My memory around gigs is not great – I blame the post-performance wine 😉
Simon: I had just moved to London with a plan to form a band and conquer the world.  1 out of 2 isn’t bad.

Tickets for Joyzine’s 20th Birthday Weekender are on sale now via WeGotTickets here

Find out more about Hurtling on their official website

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