Beat of DNCE

MTV sat down with DNCE, the new group around Joe Jonas.

Ever since DNCE came out of nowhere last fall, I haven’t been able to get their hit single ‘Cake By The Ocean’ out of my head. There is actually a funny story behind that song and I was lucky enough to hear it directly from the band, when they visited Oslo to play a concert at Parkteatret.

Just to get this out of the way! As Joe Jonas is the lead singer of the band, I had to work pretty hard to not fangirl throughout the entire interview.

I have to admit that your bandname DNCE is a little tricky to pronounce. I first thought it was pronounced ‘dance’, but then I read that the name actually comes from a song, titled ‘DNCE’. Am I right? *
– Yeah we wrote a song about being to tipsy to spell the word dance. You know, when you’re lying in bed, still drunk or just hungover and you’re trying to text somebody. The words always get messed up!  That’s basically how we came up with it, and then decided to stick with it as our band name. 

You’ve all worked with lots of different projects prior to this one. What do you feel is the biggest difference this time around? 
Cole – Everyone was at a point in their lives where they felt like something great was coming, without really knowing what it would be. The four of us came together at the right moment, kinda like when superheroes team up to save the world. I really feel like DNCE was just supposed to exist!

‘Cake By The Ocean’ is so damn catchy. What was it like recording this song?
Joe – Actually we were all struggling with writers block at the time, and we couldn’t figure out what to do next. We were working with these Swedish producers who confused the drink ‘Sex on the beach’ with ‘Cake By The Ocean’. I had to interrupt them and ask them what they were saying, and when they managed to explain it, I thought it was hilarious. We decided to try and write a song based on that incident just to see what would happen. We went crazy with the lyrics and the music simply fell together. The song was actually written in 30 minutes!

Can you guys believe that this smash song happened completely by accident? If those swedes had gotten the drink name right we probably never would have gotten this song. In other words we owe those guys a big thank you!

Your EP has really left me longing for more music from you guys! So I hope you’re currently working on a full-length album?  *
– Yes we are! It is coming out sometime later this year. We’ve been trying to record and write in every little break, although we have a pretty crazy schedule!

And how would you describe the overall sound of it? What can we expect?
Joe – It’s going to be a little bit like the EP. Most of the songs are upbeat party-songs, but we also have one or two ballads on it. The songs are stories based on what we go through in our lives. Relationships, a moment in time, fun parties, or a fun city were in, like Oslo for example!

Just to make the wait a little bit easier on us, can you spill some of the deets on who you’ve been working with so far?  Any exciting songwriters or producers? 
Joe – We’ve been doing a lot of stuff with Max Martin’s team. Mattman & Robin, ILYA to name a few. So a lot of Swedish guys! It’s nice to kind of keep it within the family. We want to make sure that the album sounds the same throughout the entire record, instead of completely different sounding songs and producers all over the place.  

*Speaking of collaborations! You’ve just released ‘Rock Bottom’ together with Hailee Steinfeld. How did you end up working with her? *
Joe – Well we are on the same label as her, plus I’ve known Hailee for a long time. I first met her at the Oscars when she was nominated. Coincidentally we performed together on ‘Good Morning America’ a couple of weeks ago, which was exactly five years after we first met!

Cole, you played in Semi Precious Weapons together with Justin Tranter. He has co-written both songs, ‘Rock Bottom’ and ‘Cake By The Ocean’. Was this how you guys got to know each other? 
Cole – Yeah Justin and I started Semi Precious Weapons. He was the one that introduced me to Joe, and we instantly became best friends. One day Joe sent me a text and asked me if I wanted to be in a band for the rest of my life, and I said ‘YEAH absolutely’!

JinJoo – I played with Jordin Sparks when she opened up for the Jonas Brothers back in 2009. Joe and I have been friends ever since. One day he called me up out of nowhere and told me that he needed a lead guitarist and asked me to join the band. I said yes! 

Jack – I played with Joe while he was still in Jonas Brothers, and we always talked about starting our own thing. The timing was right when he asked me to join, and I jumped right into it!

It turns out that Justin Tranter has had quite an important part in the creation of DNCE. If it wasn’t for him, Joe and Cole might never have met and who knows what would have happened then? Anyways, I’m really glad that they did, and credits to Joe for putting together this supergroup!

Okay let’s go over to some more activity-like questions. Can you describe each other in only a few words? *
– Cole is definitely a ninja, pirate, dinosaur, dragon. Jinjoo is a little hamster Pokemon, and Jack is a big cat! 

Cole – And Joe, I see you as a jet pilot, and international super spy. 

I’m really curious to know what your favourite Jonas Brothers-songs are. And Joe, since you are a little biased, you can go last! 
Cole – I only know one, and that’s ’Burnin’ Up’.

*JinJo*o – ‘SOS’ is mine!

Jack – I am familiar with loads of them so it’s hard to choose.

Joe – I really love ’World War 3’. That song was always so much fun to play live.

*I have to say I agree with Jack’s answer, there are so many good ones, that it’ll be really hard to choose just one! In any case, it’s good to know that Joe’s still proud of his Jonas Brothers’-catalogue. *

Joe, your brother Nick is touring with Demi Lovato, and you guys are going on tour with Selena Gomez! It almost feels like we’re back in the good old Disney days. How did this happen? 
Joe – Yeah it’s kinda like the senior class of the Disney era. We’re all still doing it. Miley is killing it too! It’s good to be able to tour with people you’re friends with. Sometimes you get matched up with people that you don’t really get along with, and you never know what a tour like that’s going to be like. 

Are you ever afraid of getting on each others nerves when you go on tour together for such a long time?
Joe – It’s a risk you take, but we got lucky,’cause we really get on well with each other. We basically spend all our time together, and that’s not just something we say on camera. We live together and play together, and we’re still hanging out. 

Cole – We actually truly love each other as friends and we ‘ve become a true family. We totally won the lottery!

JinJoo – My whole family lives in Korea, and I miss them constantly. This group fills that emptiness for me. 

Do you listen to any Norwegian artists? 
Cole – I am good friends with Norwegian producer ‘Accident’. Semi Precious Weapons did a few songs with him, and that’s when he showed me how good you Norwegians are at partying! He gave me so much Fernett that I thought I was Mickey Mouse, which obviously is a good thing.  

So there you have it guys! It definitely sounds like DNCE are here to stay. After talking to them, I know for sure that their fun and happy sound simply reflects the great chemistry in their group. Now please bring on that full length album already!

By Erik Rydning

Wednesday, 30. March 2016