Having met through friends in the London gig scene, Athina Andrelos and Martin Dukelow formed Joia in early 2012. Now some eighteen months off, the quintet joined by Bill Dukelow, Tommy Williams, and Callum Read, have released a warming début EP entitled ‘Match Light’.
Whilst it’s easy enough to compare Joia to an array of female-fronted US pop-rock bands, ‘Match Light’ shows a confident band who are willing to expand their sound beyond the conventional routes. Their EP shows a lot of promise with a blend of sincere poppy hooks and guitar-driven melodies.
Already Heard recently spoke to vocalist Athina Andrelos to find out more about the band, ‘Match Light,’ being compared to their American comparisons and more.
AH: Could you introduce yourself and your role in Joia?
Joia: Hello! I’m Athina and I sing in Joia.
AH: For new listeners how would you describe your sound?
Joia: I always find it really hard to define a sound, unless you compare it to other bands. I don’t think we sound exactly like anyone else, but at the same time I’m not saying we’re ridiculously innovative. Perhaps just well written and interesting rock guitar riffs with pop(ish) vocals?
AH: I understand the band formed by mutual friends and the London gig scene. Could you tell us a bit more about how the band got together?
Joia: I met Martin (Dukelow) through some mutual music friends and he mentioned the guys and him were looking for a singer and if I’d like to come and meet everyone/have a jam. I went to Essex for a practice and we pretty much instantly formed.
AH: You’ve just released your debut EP ‘Match Light.’ How did the EP come together and what is it about?
Joia: We never really planned to write an EP, we just wrote two songs and went to record them. Then a few months later we had another two written and we went into the studio again to record these. It just sort of made sense to put them all together into an EP. The progression between the earlier two and the later two is really apparent I think – we start to find our sound.
AH: You’ve also released a music video for the title track. Is there any story or concept about the video?
Joia: The video takes place in an empty bar – the setting is very elaborate, but the party is over. It kind of represents the meaning of the song in that sometimes we think certain things are amazing at the time, but when you grow up and look back, you realise they weren’t all that.
AH: You’ve played in previous bands and played in large venues. How have those experiences shaped Joia’s sound?
Joia: This applies more to the boys than me really. But when we initially got together we wrote songs that were essentially a progression of our old bands – female fronted pop/rock that was very American sounding, almost pop-punk in fact. But once we started getting comfortable with each other and the writing process, we started to make our own sound.
AH: Musically who is Joia inspired by? I heard they’re quite diverse?
Joia: Martin’s favourite band is Radiohead so there are definite hints of them in the guitars. I hope Bill Dukelow’s Drum n Bass love doesn’t reflect in the drum sound! I listen to a range of music, so unless you can hear hints of hip-hop, rap, or screamo, I don’t think I’m consciously influenced by any artist. Saying that, I listen to a lot of pop music, so that’s probably where my persistent rhyming and (hopefully) catchy choruses come from.
AH: By being a female-fronted band, is it difficult to avoid being compared to bands like Paramore and We Are The In Crowd? How can Joia stand out from the crowd?
Joia: Paramore are an amazing band that have had such an honorable career, so if we are compared to them we definitely wouldn’t be offended. But because there aren’t as many female-fronted rock bands as there are male, people tend to pigeonhole, which can be slightly frustrating. First and foremost, we are British and that is reflected in our sound.
AH: How would you describe Joia’s live show?
Joia: We’ve only played a few shows so far, so we’re still getting there! But everyone is really skilled in their craft and playing shows is the best part of being in a band so, we’re excited to keep playing and keep improving.
AH: Finally why should people give Joia and ‘Match Light’ a listen?
Joia: Apparently the song gets stuck in your head, so it’s a good deterrent to nightmares/ thinking about important stuff!
‘Match Light’ EP by Joia is available as a free download through Facebook.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)