EP Review+Interview: Jan Doyle Band - The body balanced

Updated: Nov 19


Although released in March, this EP is still as powerful now as on its release. It has grown on me in many different and interesting ways. We speak to Derek Williams about the EP and the brand new released music videos for each track.

If you haven't heard of Jan Doyle Band before, I described them as the following and Derek absolutely loves to share this quote around, much to my appreciation!

"A band half way to old school goth Sister's of Mercy but got snagged on David Bowie, and slipped in a puddle of glam; in a sense... The Clash on acid."

Interview


Q. What exactly is the concept of Insurrectionary Neo Futurism?


It all came about through the idea of many bands such as Naked Lunch, Depeche Mode, Blancmange and so on often being called Futurist and indeed there was a Futurist chart in certain music publications. I felt that in the same way as those bands were looking to the future, we were occupying a similar thought space so we’re NEO futurist.. Insurrectionary because so much out there is incredibly boring. So few acts seem to really put on a show (Legpuppy and Holy Braille being two notable exceptions mind you) and seem so stuck in a rut of one track turned into an album (Good friend The Alpha Video being decidedly opposite though). I felt that we were insurrectionary in terms of shaking things up a bit - cause a bit of mayhem and be unpredictable. This isn’t entertainment, it’s war!

Q. You briefly described each track on the body balanced in our early listen article HERE. Would you say since it's release in March that any meaning to those songs has changed in any way and which track are you most proud of?


In ways tracks can take on different meanings over time and it’s sometimes exciting to try and imbue meaning into random words but with 'Body Balanced' it’s stayed the same. However we like to leave it open to listeners to possibly apply it to themselves in whatever way they see fit and indeed in our obfuscatory obliqueness we may not always give the same definition.


Q. Can you tell us about the filming process behind the new music videos?


The filming process itself was pretty obvious of course - point a video recording device at JDB record. However to go into more detail about how it came about is perhaps more interesting. What with one thing and another, Goth City festival, which was supposed to be featuring JDB this year, moved to being an online affair and so required people to pre-record their performances. Now I’d done a couple of okay-ish live stream performances from a specially decorated spare room at home but the thought struck me that this wasn’t a live stream so why not do something different..

There was opportunity for something a bit more and to try and truly represent the EP well. It didn’t have to be a live performance I figured so why not make a mini movie or series of music videos to the EP?

Now, Doncaster (where I live) is a place full of concrete, glass and metal architecture which provides the perfect setting for things with a cyberpunk flavour so why not do some performances among that and overdub them with the studio audio?

So we gathered on a sunday, recorded and performed (with the aid of a bluetooth speaker - thanks to Jamie Mann in Sheffield) and by the Thursday I’d somehow made 5 music videos. The most challenging of which was for the currently unreleased instrumental track Distance. Considering I was editing on almost every kick drum with that, it took most of the day to do a 2 minute track.

The videos were all recorded by good friend Alan Morgan who makes incredible abstract paintings and fascinating musical experiments HERE and his Facebook page can be found HERE.


I had so much anxiety about doing them before hand just thinking 'oh it’s stupid and pointless and will look rubbish anyway' and VERY nearly called off the band meeting up to do them. However I feel the results surpassed what I expected and give a good flavour of what JDB can provide as a performance.

Q. You also have a regular radio show, can you tell us about that and what's included?


I typically broadcast on monday nights at 8pm on.. mixcloud.com/live/jdbradio It’s a rather ambivalent show but may veer mostly toward the electronic side of things just as my tastes due. I try to play the most interesting new music as well as unusual selections from the past. It’s probably the only place you’ll hear such as Girls Aloud alongside say Skinny Puppy. But all music exists in the same place for me, I don’t feel the need to distinguish between genres. If it’s good, I’ll like it.

Q. You put a lot of effort and fake blood in to your live peformances how have you found the change from playing in venues to occasional live shows online and have you any new ideas for when venues open again for live shows? (See the below music video of 'Yes sir, I can boogie to see what I mean!)


I have done a lot of shows with blood but IS IT FAKE? There’s no vials of fake blood found at my performances and there’s a big knife involved.. I think though the days of that style may be over as I try to rely less on simple shock factor and just have more confidence in ending a show on my own material.

For too long I’ve been ending shows with the medley (if you like) of Assimilate (Skinny Puppy) and Yes Sir I Can Boogie (Baccara) which were done together for the absurd juxtaposition of harsh industrial and camp disco. It’s awfully fun going up to someone whilst covered in blood after Assimilate and saying.. “Mister, I see your eyes are full of hesitation..” a bit of audience intimidation is a good thing, wake them up a bit and destroy the barrier between band and audience!

Q. What artists are you listening to most atm and who are your all time favourites?


I don’t listen to music very often these days unless doing a radio show but some of the absolute top current bands I’d say are Arch Femmesis, Holy Braille, Legpuppy (watch out for their next album it’s their best), Madmoizel, Meganoke, Punkdisco, Tokyo Witch Hunt, Dead blood cells, POLIS and hypersunday/NIET (those two are the work of syl NIET).

All time favourites are Kylie, Cyndi Lauper and Saint Etienne. Among other things.


Q. What direction will JDB take in future musically as you are quite a diverse artist?


JDB will take whatever direction happens at the time. As I say I tend to be stylistically agnostic and will just pursue whatever happens to interest me at the time. If I fancy making a synthpop track I will, if I fancy trying my hand at glam metal I will.. Who knows maybe it’ll be freeform jazz?

It would be interesting to try and write with the rest of the band so maybe we’ll try that in time.

Q. Any plans to bring out that incredible Skinny Puppy cover of 'Assimilate' of yours?


Probably not as it’s really not much more than a note for note replication of the original. Except it has a guitar on it. Seems a bit too obvious.


E.V: (That's a shame because it's personally one of the best covers I've heard! Derek was even kind enough to surprise me with putting this cover of 'Assimilate' on my copy of The body balanced!)


Q. Tell us about the other members who join you for live shows and who we see in the videos?


The other members of JDB (who do feature on the new cd) are Kelly on guitar duties who I stole from The Way of All Flesh - a renowned Goth band from Sheffield (he’s my wife now, Dave). I give him quite a bit of free reign (i.e. offer no help) to come up with guitar parts on tracks that have never previously had one. He’s risen to the challenge wonderfully.

Lady LD50 is on backing vocals and extra performance (and possibly bass at some point) who adds almost as much glamour as myself and has fabulous performance ability that is great to feed off on stage. It all helps add that extra bit of drama to performances, especially as she has rather a background in improv theatre too.


Occasional guests include such as Zmora on backing vocals who is normally found in Dicepeople. She often joins in London gigs. Igor often plays bass in London and is normally found in Tantrumzentrum these days (or Autorotation). Jason Gorgonzola normally found in The Electric Cheese has often added bass in Manchester. The videos can be found HERE Which also happens to be the facebook page which you can give a like to… We’re also on instagram and twitter at /jandoyleband

Q. What life lessons have you learnt from JDB?


BE AMAZING. BE TERRIBLE. NEVER BE BORING.


Q. Anything youd like to say to your fans?


Out there, there’s mundanity. Out there, there’s blandness. Somewhere else the tea’s getting cold; Come on futurists!

We’ve got work to do!


Thank you Derek!

Review



I cannot begin to describe how much I LOVE the guitar throughout the song 'The body balanced.' There is so much pain and devastation felt in those riffs and in the lyrics; It is a cacophony of emotion and brings incredibly strong nostalgia for the 80's golden era of Goth to the forefront of your chest.


This is what Goth music is all about, the emotion, the passion, the story and that flirtation of skirting so close to 'The Void' in our minds. The second that guitar starts, it strikes a chord somewhere deep within and allows you to feel a real connection with the message of the song. It's quite beautiful even with its raw edges.


The body balanced music video:


'Confusion' brings those same nostalgic overtones only in the much more fun and absolutely zaney punk way of getting up and throwing your body around. It's a real trip of 'what the hell was that?' and it works so, so well!


Confusion music video:


'Reflections' is a much more slow ensemble of slipping slowly in to a bath with a glass of far too much wine. A superb juxtaposition from the previous song and perhaps the metaphor of a huge drop after a supremely manic moment making its title perfect for the feel the track has.

Reflections music video:


'Play pretend' is pure, pure fun. It's like the theme song to a sci-fi theme park which is all so much more sinister than it seems.

The light hearted notes strike well against the lyrics and pulls the album in yet another wonderful direction.


Play Pretend music video:


I think we all know 'Yes sir, I can boogie' by Baccara and Derek does it a whole galaxy of justice. Derek and JDB was a complete unknown to me until I saw them play just before AlterRed and Syd.31 at the Fiddlers Elbow in 2019 and it was the bizarre mix of a blood soaked Derek jumping from singing 'Annihilate' to throwing himself in to the crowd to this track that made me absolutely pull the trigger on calling this the best performance I'd seen in 2019 beating Rammstein from the top spot. Yes, honestly!

Review of that day HERE.

All of this blood and frivolous nonsense can be seen in the video below!


Yes sir, I can boogie music video:


Tracklist


Conclusion


Jan Doyle Band is a concept, an expression of art, a non stop crucible of creativity and the chaos of disorder shooting off in different musical journeys. This EP wraps all of that in to one small bundle barely able to contain the mind expanding trip in which it holds. If you're gonna listen to this EP, I suggest you do so responsibly; At an exceptionally loud volume so that you can share the love with your entire street. <3


Scores


Technicality: 5/10

Dance factor: 9/10

Energy: 10/10

Vocals: 5/10

Re-playability: 9/10

Overall score: 7.6 / 10

Jan Doyle Band Facebook HERE

Quick note: Elektro Vox is an ad free site that costs a lot to run and get content for. If you like our work please consider commissioning an article, making a small donation to keep us running, or sub to our YouTube for band interviews and music streams. Thank you!

Check out the alternative directory for E-stores, online Goth goods, and new bands to discover.


Thank you for viewing and please feel free to share on social media and like us on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook @ElektroVox


#JanDoyleBand #JDB #TheBodyBalanced #Derek #Interview #Review #EP