At The Dunes, an art gallery and show space in Washington, D.C, the Bologna, Italy band JoyCut played the last show of its North American tour. The guys in the band looked like they were having a good time, bringing their trip to a close.
PiecesOfUsWereLeftOnTheGround is the name of their latest record, out on Irma Records, and it’s awesome. They also did a good job of revving the Dunes crowd up with their electronic sound.
Pasco, the sometime singer/guitarist, who runs JoyCut’s electronics, explained, “It’s a kind of darkwave, or dark ‘n’ roll. [laughs] It’s just a mixture of several genres of music. We’ve been growing up listening to the new wave, especially the ’80s stuff from Manchester.”
Joining Pasco in the band is Nicola, the drummer, and Gael, the percussionist. “There’s also the rock ‘n’ roll side, especially live. We like to get people involved,” Pasco said, adding, “There is this kind of conjunction between rock and new wave.”
The band projects visuals while they perform. “Apart from playing music, apart from performing on stage, we like to spread some messages to the crowd,” using their visuals, Pasco said, “in order to tell, you know, this kind of discomfort of civilization. We are very, very tied to this kind of thing ’cause we are involved in the ecograde stuff, environment, stuff like that.”
Pasco referred to JoyCut’s environmental efforts, like using recycled materials in the manufacture of their CDs, recording in studios that use solar power, and even getting their website certified as having “zero impact.”
“We want to spread this kind of message,” Pasco reiterated. “So we have to take care about the Earth, we have to take care about the environment, but we’ve also to understand that progress is important, so we have to find out, uh, a kind of balance.”
On stage, in order to communicate the band’s concepts, “there is in the middle this kind of electronic world [the laptop, keyboard, samplers, and other gear that Pasco uses], in order to describe the progress, the technology. On the opposite sides there are two drum kits, so they are describing the tribality of nature. The acoustic sound versus the electronic sound, so progress versus nature.”
Here’s JoyCut performing a song at The Dunes:
Both live and in the studio, Gael employs what the band refers to as “found objects from the urban landscape,” along with his floor tom and kick drum, for percussion. Things like pieces of iron or metal pipes, Gael said. Pasco explained, “You can recover stuff from the urban and you can get that stuff involved in a positive message. So when he found stuff from the urban scenario, he just think about, ‘OK, that’s rubbish, that’s garbage. No. That’s something we can use. We can bring them to life again.’”
We suggested that this sounds like Einstürzene Neubauten. Pasco agreed: “Sure, sure. Oh, we love them. There is an industrial, you know, touch in our stuff, absolutely. We also recorded [Gael performing] in a hanger in order to capture the nature of reverb of the instruments … . So we also thought about this little details. But no one is gonna recognize listening to the record [that we recorded like this], but we knew we were acting in that way. So it’s important for us first.
“Before being musicians, we are citizens, we are individuals. We have to put this act forward in our music. That’s the first stage for us. Music is secondary … . We want to invest, we want to take a risk as person in what we are doing.”
We told Pasco that all of this is heavy. “Yeah, it’s heavy. It means also to be coherent—you say in English ‘coherent’?—it’s not easy to be coherent in this world over these times, but we are trying to.”
Check out JoyCut at their website. Their backpack went missing at the Dunes show (here’s a post about it on their Facebook page), so anyone with information as to its whereabouts, please get in touch with them. They’re offering a reward.