Much like we endeavour every year before Bloodstock, this year, for Scotland’s Wildfire Festival which kicks off on 22nd June, we’re interviewing every band set to play the stages of Wiston. You get to hear (or read) right from the horse’s mouth who you should be watching over the course of the weekend.
Previous years have seen some excellent acts grace the stages as our reviews can attest to and trust us when we say this year is no different! So get reading and listening so you can plan your coffee/beer/food breaks accordingly…
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Hertfordshire and the North London area.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Sisters Sam and Shelley have been performing together all their life, JOANovARC formed as the four-piece in 2008. Me and my sister started off as a punk/rock duo in our teenage years performing at the local youth centre and in the local pubs/clubs. We then met our drummer, Debbie, and became a power trio gigging all over London and the rest of the UK and a bit later became the four-piece we are today with Laura performing on rhythm guitar and vocals. The sound is a lot more powerful now with the extra guitar effects and vocals. We have developed from being a garage band into a monstrous driving force.
Where does the name of the band come from?
JOANovARC was inspired by the French Heroine Joan of Arc. We changed the “of” to “ov” to give the name a twist.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music has been described as melodic and classic rock… we would say our sound is powerful, vibrant, soulful and has a unique JOANovARC trademark sound to it. We have two lead singers who have different tones to their vocals which brings out a melodic contrast to the soulful lead guitar sound we are also known for from lead guitarist Shelley. Our new album shows our songwriting and music evolving to something more modern but still keeping that raw rock sound we are also known for. We have a couple of surprise tracks which will shed a different light on the band in terms of influences and writing.
What’s your live show like? Why should people watch you?
Our live show is explosive, powerful and entertaining. We love to get the audience involved so they feel part of the JOANovARC experience. Our lead guitarist is a show woman and there’s nothing she can’t do on that guitar. She plays with her teeth, behind her back, on her back and whilst spinning around on the floor. You can see the Hendrix and Angus Young influences from her playing! We also have the happiest drummer in the world… so make sure you check us out!
Have you played Wildfire before? If so, when?
No, this is our first time and we can’t wait!
What sort of setlist can we expect?
There will be a few singles from our first album and some tracks from the new album. We may perform a surprise track at the end of the show that new listeners will not expect to hear from us.
Which band are you most looking forward to seeing?
What have you got planned for the second half of 2018?
We have a number of Summer tour dates booked; a rock cruise at the end of July and performances in Israel throughout August. Festival highlights over the summer include Wildfire Festival, Ireland Bike Festival, Rock and Bike fest, Seven Sins fest, Breaking Bands, SOS Festival and Opale Harley Days in France. We release our first single off the new album at the end of the summer followed by a second single and album release on the 19th October at the Big Red in London.
What’s been the highlight for the band’s career so far?
We have so many… working with Gil Norton – Grammy award winning music producer at Rockfield studios. Making the daytime playlists with our single “Seeds of Summer” on Planet Rock alongside the Rolling Stones. Performing at the legendary Viper Room in LA on our Californian tour in 2017. Nomination for the Hard Rock Hell “Angels of Rock” award alongside Girlschool and also a gold award for “Best Independent Soundtrack” at the International Film Awards 2018.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Probably when we did a show in our underwear! We were doing a gig in an extremely hot country with no aircon in the venue. We couldn’t bear the heat anymore and stripped off. L7 famously did something similar live on TV but went one step further. No comment…
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!
Foo Fighters would be our ultimate band to support but if not, I would say Girlschool as they are the Mothers of Rock. We would choose Fyre Sky to support us as they are a band that deserve recognition. They are amazing musicians with big personalities and the lead singer is a phenomenal showman.
What day/time are you playing at Wildfire?
Our slot is around 4pm on the Saturday.
Pistonhead Lager, Cloven Hoof rum or Thistly Cross cider? And yes, we’ll be counting the votes!
Cloven Hoof Rum, of course!