Joviac talk to Loud-Stuff about the juggernaut, being a channel for music and the real difficulties of making it in the industry.

How would you describe your music?

Joviac is a progressive metal band from Tampere, Finland. 

I’d like to think that our music embodies the freedom of expression and interesting sides of the genre, but without falling into the common pitfalls that are also associated with the label. 

To me progressive metal is all about freedom. You have the freedom to make a 40 minute long epic but also the freedom to make a straight forward rock song. 

Our longest song is only about 9 minutes long though, but maybe someday we’ll have that 40 minute long juggernaut, who knows! But in my music emotion always comes first.

Tell us about how the history of the project?

I started Joviac in late 2016/early 2017 after my previous band fell apart. I’ve been making music since I was a teenager so I just needed a new flag to sail under. I took the lessons learned from previous bands and projects to heart and founded something of my very own. 

I learned the hard way that I have to write my own music to be invested in what I’m playing, it has to be personal.  After Antti Varjanne (bass) and I recorded and released Joviac’s debut album, the live band came together quickly and I never take for granted that I’m able to do this with such talented and awesome people. 

Our first piece of music as a full fledged band was the stand alone single State Of Mind but our first full length album as a bonafide band was released just this past spring. I’m very proud of it and all that we’ve accomplished during our short time together.

What are your influences/ musical heroes?

I wear my musical influences on my sleeve. If you come from the same musical background as I do (progressive metal), you can quite easily pick up who I’ve been listening to. My biggest musical influences are for example Dream Theater, Circus Maximus, Devin Townsend, Pain of Salvation, A.C.T and Toto. 

What inspires you?

Emotion. I have to be in the right state of mind to write music and I never know what exactly is going to spark that creative flow, but it’s definitely always fuelled by a deep feeling, vision or story in my mind in relation to the song. The emotions feed the lyrical and musical ideas and vice versa, it’s a great feeling when it’s just flowing through you and you feel like more of a vessel channeling music.

Do you write on the road? Or do you prefer to write in the studio?

We haven’t really been on tour yet. We’ve played many shows but all in our home country of Finland and sporadically, so I’ve never really had to think about it!

What is your favourite song to perform live?

I love playing them all, but I’m usually a bundle of nerves and stage adrenaline so they just kind of fly past. One that does come to mind though is the title track off our new album Here And Now. It’s a real roller coaster ride and it’s got emotional peaks and valleys so you get to take a step back every once in a while and see how the crowd’s reacting. 

What would be your dream tour to be a part of?

It would be a dream come true to open for any of our heroes, but I feel like we would really fit on the same bill as Haken and Leprous for example. Those guys are so amazing and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both bands at VIP meet’n greets. Their shows are killer and they’re really nice guys so I’m sure we would have a blast on the same tour. Maybe some day…

What are you current thoughts on the music industry?

Oh boy, do you have two hours? 

I’ll try to keep this cohesive. 

The music industry went through a huge number of changes after physical sales crashed in the late 2000’s. I feel like now it’s kind of starting to find it’s footing again but also progress is stagnating because of it. 

Services like Spotify are great for discovering music and they pretty much solved the problem of music piracy by making the experience so easy, but sometimes it feels like listeners might as well be pirating their music when you look at the royalty rates. 

One thing that I find inconceivable is that the money I pay for Spotify doesn’t go directly to the artists and bands that I listen to, but to some big pot where the biggest beneficiaries are the artists most listened to over all. It’s a classic case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and then Daniel Ek has the gall to criticise the artists for not bending to the will of the almighty algorithm. 

I see more talk about this subject nowadays though, so maybe things will start progressing in the right direction again at some point. Services like Tidal offer a better compensation for the artist, but I feel like it’s still just a step toward a greater goal, at least I hope the direction is toward something better.

The music industry also makes it really hard for new emerging bands. I’m not complaining, but just stating a fact. You have to already be the full package and successful for anyone to get interested. 

You have to be your own PR guy and finance everything by yourself for a long time before you start getting any help. I’d like to see studies into the subject of how many smaller (and some bigger) bands die away because they’re just not able to make ends meet and grow tired. 

Also a big middle finger to the people saying that artists, bands and people working in the event business should just shut up and get a real job during the corona crisis. People who say things like that should be banned from attending any concerts for a year after the pandemic ends.

Rant over.

What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?

We keep getting asked this at interviews and it’s kind of a bummer to say time and time again that we haven’t had real Spinal Tap moments yet. I get pretty nervous so my hands are shaking and it affects my performance. Also we’ve had to cut our backing track a couple times mid-song due to some glitch or weirdness but other than that we haven’t had any funny mishaps!

What are your future plans?

The one single concrete goal we have as a band is to build Joviac to the point where we can go on tour abroad. That’s what we’re constantly working toward in one way or another, and once this pandemic is beaten, I think it’s perfectly doable in the near future. 

We are also looking at recording new music this winter. I have no idea yet whether it will be a few singles, an EP or an album, but we’re definitely recording something, so stay tuned!

Thank you for this interview, it was a pleasure!

Viljami, Jupiter, Wenttola.

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