Hello Janine! How did your set go today?
Janine: It was great. There were a couple of technical difficulties at the start, so we went on a wee bit later; but I kind of think that it kind of created suspense. I don’t like looking at the crowd before a set and I don’t like looking at the tent; I don’t like to see anything. I didn’t know what I was walking out to, apart from our guitar tech kept coming to the side of the stage and kept going ‘200’, ‘400’, then ‘full tent’! I was like ‘Shit!’; but as soon as I went on stage and the crowd begin to enjoy it, then I felt a lot more relaxed.
Are there any other bands playing at this year’s festival that you are hoping to watch perform over the course of the weekend?
Janine: We actually have to go really sharpish, as we’re playing TRNSMT in Scotland this weekend. It’s pretty annoying because I’ve heard so many good things about 2000 Trees and so far it’s been great; very well organised and everything’s nice and close together. There’s nothing worse than when you’re in one bit of a festival site and then you realise that you need to go to another stage that is miles away. I’m lazy. I think I’m not going to be able to catch anyone here today, but I’d have liked to have seen Nothing But Thieves again; we supported them in Glasgow last year and they’re such a good band.
You released your self-titled debut album in March. How do you feel that the general reception has been to that release so far?
Janine: We’ve been blown away. Seeing good reviews and good press online about it just doesn’t seem real. It’s not until you step out onto a stage and see the crowd’s reaction and the audience’s interaction with songs, that you know you’ve done something right. I think that, for me, is when I’ve thought, ‘Do you know what? That album has actually done something.’ It’s seeing people singing every word; that’s mental.
In your latest single Weirdo, you deal with the issue of the impact of bullying in modern day society. It’s great to see a band highlighting the issue, as it can be a very lonely time for someone who is going through that. What inspired the move to bring this to attention?
Janine: The song was written before the video idea came up. The song was about my personal experiences. I went to school with the big sister of Brogan; the girl who plays me in the video. I met their mum at a gig one day and was chatting with her, and she was telling me all about her daughter. Brogan’s got Aspergers and she has been severely bullied at school and online; to a point where she tried to kill herself. Rock music was her escape; cool makeup, cool merch, and cool music, but she was getting ripped apart at school and online for it. That really hit a nerve with me and made me so angry; how can someone make someone else that’s got so much going for them feel like shit or feel like they don’t actually want to be alive anymore? That poor girl is fourteen years old, and you’re not supposed to feel like that at that age. That’s what sparked it, and the other three girls in the video have all also dealt with severe bullying at school and they were all brave enough to be in the video. I think having all of them in it made it so much more real than getting some actors in. All of these girls sat in a coffee shop with me and their mums and bawled their eyes out telling me their stories. When the video came out, I felt like we’d done something for them as well, so even if it wasn’t received well, it made a difference to their lives. When you’re at school it feels like the end of the world when bullying happens, and for me, it wasn’t until I left school that I actually felt like someone and part of something. To leave school and do something that you want to do and realise that you’re not that weird is great.
You’ve been doing your own headline tour for the last few months. How did that go?
Janine: The last headline tour that we did was just a small town one, and then the one before was a bigger town one. Again, it was just so surprising. We played small little places like Tunbridge Wells where we’d never been before; then to turn up and just have people queueing outside the door was strange. I think I’m just so naive, like ‘How do you know our stuff?’ I just don’t get it; but yeah, it’s good. Everything just seems to be going nicely at the moment, so hopefully, it’ll keep going.
I read in Kerrang magazine recently that you are really into your comic books. If you could be a superhero for the day what would you choose as your secret powers?
Janine: Do you know what? This is going to sound sort of pathetic… I would actually just like to make people happy. To give them a happy vibe when they’re around me; all their problems and all their shit just goes away, and they feel like the weight of the world has lifted off their shoulders. I think that would be great. Just imagine being around everyone, and they’re so happy.
You do that with your show though!
Janine: Yes, I suppose so. It’s nice to see how people feed off our on-stage energy. We enjoy it, so it’s nice to see others enjoying it.
There are some amazing bands playing at 2000 Trees this year that seem to have come through the underground rock scene over the last few years. How do you feel about the current British rock scene? Is it in a good place?
Janine: I think rock never dies. Rock can never die. It’s just trying to push through the sludge. In terms of the music industry and fame and all that, I feel like rock stars and rock music are the top of the pile. I’m not dissing any other type of music, but I love the rock scene and I think it’s what keeps me going. Festivals that are centred around that sort of genre like Download, Slam Dunk Festival and 2000 Trees are my sort of places. I love that vibe; there’s hardly any dicks and it’s just a nice community. People are there to watch and appreciate the music and that’s what I love about it. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing any other type of music.
There are five stages at 2000 Trees. If you could choose any five artists (living or dead) to headline stages at your own festival, who would you choose and why?
Janine: Nothing But Thieves. Shit man…. Die Antwoord; they’re not actually rock, but they’re fucking amazing. Arctic Monkeys; I really like them. Bring Me The Horizon, and PJ Harvey; one for the girls!
What’s in the pipeline for the band for the rest of this year?
Janine: I think that we’re just going to get through the festival season and then our plans are to release another video and single around August or September time. We’ve got something in the pipeline at the end of the year, but it’s not announced yet; it’s something huge! We also have another really big thing that might happen a lot sooner, and if that happens it’s going to be amazing; but again it’s all under wraps for the moment.
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