‘We need more diverse performance venues’ | Jane Doe

Fresh from the release of their brand new EP, Homeostatic Cover, indie rock quartet Jane Doe speak to us about their evolution from pre-teen dabbling to their more mature songwriting process.

Jane Doe perform at their EP launch at Django Jazz Bar, Valletta
Jane Doe perform at their EP launch at Django Jazz Bar, Valletta

What were your aims when you started the band back in 2005?

Back in 2005 we were still kids – 10, 11 and 13-year-olds – and we did it just for the fun and rush of doing music together. We didn’t start with any particular aims, it was all about fun and meeting good friends every week for a good jam.

How have both your sound and your working methods evolved since then?

We started writing and scrapping songs about five years ago in 2009. This went on till 2012 when we decided it was time to try recording our first single. So we recorded our first song – ‘Shivery’ – with the help of our then producer Kennie D’ Ugo. We recorded another song called SMO with Kennie. It was in 2013 when Edward gave it a go at recording and produced an EP which we released and later removed from the web. We then had a line up change with our then drummer and rhythm guitarist leaving the band, and Lesnich Vassallo joining the band on drums. That prompted a number of changes in both live and studio methods, including the use of samples and electronic sounds. We then released ‘Goldrush’ as the first single off this EP, and kept recording all the songs in Edward’s garage.

How does your new EP represent the way forward for the band?

Within this EP the new genre is represented pretty clearly, which I can only describe as a mix of funky elements with somewhat deeper elements. We’ve already begun writing our upcoming album, and though we’ll be taking a cue from this EP, we will definitely be developing further ideas we’ve only just skimmed over until now.

What is your songwriting process usually like? 

One of us generally comes up with the main idea and we then write our individual parts around that. Edward then tends to write the lyrics and together with Margherita finalises the vocal line.

How have you consolidated your various influences over the years? What keeps you going to develop your own sound? 

We tend to undergo phases when it comes to our influences, which then keeps us evolving and changing. We tend to have our characteristic sounds, which however change adapt to new musical scenarios.

How would you describe your dynamic as a band? How do you apportion your time and delegate creative tasks? 

During rehearsals, we spend our time mostly writing new material. However, when we have a gig approaching, we obviously dedicate most of our time on practicing our setlist. With regards to creative tasks, generally Edward comes up with a riff, a chord progression, and we work the rest out. Each one of us is in charge of our respective section, with some suggestions being given to each other. Usually, it’s the vocal line and lyrics that take up the most time. The vocal line used on the recording is rarely, almost never, the first one written, with a number of versions being written along the way.

What do you think of the local musical scene? What are some of the most significant challenges that you face?

The music scene at the moment faces the challenge of a lack of diversity in venues. Apart from that, the sense of competition that sometimes seems to build between bands tends to be destructive. However the scene is moving forward and the standard seems to be improving.