I recently had the great pleasure of reviewing Jenova’s first EP The Less You Know, The More You Sleep which will be released to the masses on the 25th August. I cannot stress enough that for those of you who like your metal extreme, catchy with plenty of opportunities to bang your head, then you cannot go far wrong with Dubliners Jenova. To coincide with their new EP, Jenova have released a lyric video for opening track “The Walking Dead”. I also caught up with Game of Thrones/Vikings actor and singer for Jenova, Brian Harrington, discussing their influences, their intentions for the rest of 2017 and pits involving wet floor signs.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Four of us are from Dublin, one of us from the Bogs of Mullingar.
How did you meet?
Myself and Dave are mates since we were 14. We played in bands together on and off for years. I retired from playing music to do MMA full time but was coaxed back with something sneaky Dave had been working on. We started writing a few bits between us. C.J. found us on the Metal Ireland forum in the recruitment section. I roped Marco in on drums when he was playing a gig I was helping run with his other band, while discussing Behemoth. I’d already known him since he was a nipper. Then Dylan came into the mix through college with C.J.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Just over two and a half years really, gigging about a year and a half.
What are your influences?
The few that come to mind are: At The Gates, Whitechapel, Meshuggah, Death, Cattle Decapitation, Oceano, Despised Icon, Behemoth, The Contortionist. We could literally do a whole blog on our collective influences. Good local bands, seeing your friends do amazing things musically also influences us to write and perform better.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I guess we don’t limit ourselves to styles and we like to go outside the box. Most metal bands don’t do that. We use the term melodic death metal because it kinda covers us as but we have technical death metal, djenty tech metal, deathcore, brutal death metal, black metal, hardcore and more in our music.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
No real particular themes I just see some things, people or situations that are fucked up and try to convey them in my own way. I think on the EP, although the songs are all very different, the title The Less You Know, The More You Sleep sums it all up. It’s basically thinking about a fucked up situation in depth and seeing it more and more for what it truly is, like those nights you can’t sleep because your mind is racing about so many things, some of them are terrible let’s face it. For example we have lunatics trying to start wars, drug problems spiralling more and more out of control here in Ireland, decent people having to go out and work and seeing everyone around them is unhappy and basically oppressed, knowing that some jobs no matter how hard you work can be futile and how religion is one of humanity’s worst inventions.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Last count we had played about 40 shows, we really try bring the heft! Everyone just tries to have a good time and it reflects when all you can see is CJ’s hair travelling around the stage or Brian screaming in your face or climbing on different things.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Over the years I’ve seen some absolutely mental shit. I think Cork is always a hotspot for absolute craziness, Fred Zepplins when that place kicks off it’s scary because it’s so small it feels like the floor is going to cave in. I’m always looking for stuff to climb or hang off or jump off, I’ve seen CJ split his head open mid-song off a low ceiling. I’ve figured out ways to defy gravity and walk on ceilings. I’ve seen a guy run into one of our moshpits with a wet floor sign using it like a steel chair and clean house old-skool WWE style.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think every metal band wants to open for Slayer, that goes without question. But I’d say maybe Behemoth, they are very much a reoccurring name that comes up all the time and their live show is unbelievable so being a part of that I think would be sick. Bringing someone else with us that is hard but always nice to repay any favours, bands who always had our backs Bailer, Hero In Error, Warpath, This Place Hell, Bloodthread, Zhora. I think you could answer this question with a combination of any of those killer bands.
Now that the EP is out there, what are the rest of your plans for 2017? Is it difficult for everyone to get away from their day job and maybe do a week long tour in Europe?
We’ve always had the mind-set to take opportunities when they arise and then work everything around it. The plan this year is to play shows with this EP until our arms and legs fall off and work out logistics to potentially tour the UK in 2018 if not sooner.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse and what are the facilities in Dublin like for studios and recording?
At the moment we’re between studios. We had the perfect setup but then it got shut down. When everything’s normal we usually have two rehearsals a week. Dublin has great pay-as-you-go rehearsal spaces but we just find having a residency pays off more in the end. Recording-wise there’s quite a few good options around. We recorded with a friend of ours, Collie in Temple Lane, and then sent it to Aidan Cunningham for mixing and both did an amazing job.
The sound of the EP I felt was perfect and very clear, allowing each instrument to be heard but still remaining brutal at all times. Was it difficult to find the sound that you wanted and how did you find the place to record your EP?
We had recorded and demoed everything ourselves beforehand and gotten a lot of reference material together ahead of time. We recorded our first single “Nail The Eye” in a day and the results were good so we figured we could do better with more time and we did. It was always a no brainer going to Aidan for the rest.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
More Music For The Jilted Generation – The Prodigy, Reign In Blood – Slayer, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water – Limp Bizkit, Slipknot – Slipknot , Girls Girls Girls – Mötley Crüe.
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Don’t forget to buy and listen to the EP, 25th of August mark it down.
Thank you guys at Moshville Times for having us!!!
The Less You Know, The More You Sleep is out on August 25th
Live photo courtesy of Shane Horan