Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with progressive metal band, Joviac.
1. How did you get started as a band?
I founded Joviac in late 2016 after my my previous band disbanded due to personal chemistries. Music has been my main form of self expression and self actualisation since I was a teenager, so I just needed a new vessel for those core motivations. I recorded and released our debut album as a way to get things started, as a means to an end. Antti Varjanne, our bass player was already with me back then, but in many ways the album now feels more like a glorified demo compared to our newest album. The band truly came together in the fall of 2017 when Rudy Fabritius (drums) and Janne Korpela (live-guitar) joined. Nowadays Joona Niemi (check out his other band, Everwave!) handles the live-guitar duties on stage.
2. How would you describe your sound?
Joviac is at its core a progressive metal band, however I like to combine those elements with poppy hooks and catchy songwriting elements. There’s usually a lot going on underneath the surface. Emotion comes first though, and we have a wide dynamic range in our songs. Some songs are soft, some harder and many are both at the same time!
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
I’d like to think that I wear my musical influences on my sleeve. If you come from the same musical background as I do (progressive metal) you can pretty easily make out and hear my influences. A few bands/artists that have had a huge impact on me personally: Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Circus Maximus, Devin Townsend, A.C.T, Toto…
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
That’s a good question. Personally if I could choose, I would go back in time to how the music industry was in the 80’s or 90’s. There was a lot more money to go around which meant that new artists (once they broke through) could actually make a living off their music. Record labels would actually have talent scouts and if they saw potential, you would build your thing together. Nowadays you have to be the full package on your own and labels don’t get interested until you reach the point where you practically don’t need them anymore. There aren’t real “breakthroughs” anymore in the same way, nowadays you start a band, you pour all your time and money into it and build it on your own little by little over the years and hope you eventually reach the point where you can start making some money back. All this while working a day job to take care of your bills.
I’m actually not bitter though, really. I used to stress out and I was obsessed with chasing that ever elusive “next step” of success with the band. You can drive yourself insane with that kind of thinking, but it’s a very easy rabbit hole to fall down into, since in this line of work there aren’t any clear promotions and often people feel they’ve stagnated even though things have been progressing in the right direction all along.
I don’t pay attention to streaming numbers as much anymore, I’ve gotten to the point where my definition of success is fulfilled. I can make my own music with insanely talented people who I also call my closest friends and we’re constantly getting better and moving forward, that sounds like success to me.
To answer your question (sorry I went on a little tangent there), I think it’s a double edged sword. On one hand it’s easier than ever to release something and put music out for people to listen to, but at the same time it’s also easier than ever to get lost in the sea of obscurity. Everyone wants to be heard simultaneously and people have the world’s musical library at their fingertips at every moment. So personally I think streaming has made it possible for us to get to this point, but it’s also the thing keeping us from doing this full-time because from the artist’s point of view, the revenue models and royalty policies are ridiculous.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
I’m a big nerd at heart. I love retro video games, especially Super Nintendo games, so I’m usually playing something or watching movies or shows. I try and take care of myself a little more nowadays too, so walks are really important to me. They serve both my body and mind in a meditational way.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
I almost drove myself to the brink of burnout this summer trying to write our next album. It didn’t quite work out, but I was able to write some cool new music, so I’ll be refining those ideas further this fall and we’re looking at hitting the studio this winter. I have no idea if we’ll end up recording a few singles, an EP or a full album, but look forward to hearing new music from us next year! We’ll also be playing live as much as the corona situation in Finland allows, but the circumstances make tour planning very difficult. You can’t plan ahead, you can just book something and hope for the best.