Utrecht outfit Jo Marches have already made a name for themselves in the industry, and will return a little later this year with their new EP Day In Day Out. Ahead of the record's release, we caught up with front woman Johanneke Kranendonk to find out a little bit more about the collective's ambitions, inspirations and more.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
The first thing I mention when I describe the sound of Jo Marches are the synthesisers. I'm a big fan of heavy synth sounds. And then there's the hypnotic effect of repetitive drums and spacey guitars combined with pop melodies. Psychedelic synth pop would be a good way to describe the vibe of the songs.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
I'm very aware of what it means to operate in a male-dominated industry and how I deal with that keeps developing over time. There are so many situations I could tell you, really wouldn't know where to begin. The less serious situations are remarks like: 'nice song, did your boyfriend write it?' , 'I really like your band, but the show would be even better if you would dance sexy.' 'Nice hobby, but aren't you getting old to be on stage? What about having children?' This is just the tip of the iceberg and as I said there's been situations that are more seriously harming. Fortunately I also have a lot of great people I work with.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
As mentioned above it's been quite an interesting ride so far. It's not easy, but I think that goes for everyone. I'm just very happy to realise everyday how much I love making music and creating beautiful things with other artists. It's what keeps me going. I feel Spotify and social media help in reaching the right audience all over the world. It's really cool to get a message from someone in Japan saying how much they like your music.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
It's very important and it's getting more and more important to me every day. Then again I do believe that collaborating with other musicians and artists is the best thing there is and in order to create something good everyone needs freedom.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
There's too much to mention! Of course there's a lot of inspiration coming from daily life and love, friends, family but I'm also a total book, art and movie nerd. I experience heavy insomnia from time to time and that leads to new songs as well. And lately I've been writing new songs about the discussion I have about feminism with my male friends. It’s sometimes difficult to make them see what it means to be a woman and what hidden and visible patterns of inequality are part of daily life as a woman. The next single 'Clearing' is about that.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
I can only choose one person? I would love to spend an afternoon with Patti Smith and just listen to her wise words. Musically I'd love to work on a track with Kelly Lee Owens or Karin Dreijer.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
I started singing because I was a very big fan of Whitney Houston. When I drink too much vodka I tend to cry excessively.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
None of my plans are definitive, but I make many plans. My goal is to make as much beautiful things as I possibly can and share it with as many people as possible. And while doing that supporting and collaborating other female artists.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
Hopefully working on my second album in Montreal or touring somewhere in Europe.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
The next single Clearing will be released [at the] end of September and the full EP will be available [at the] end of October. I worked with three amazing female video artists so you can expect some cool videos too. Really excited to share the new work.