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Similar to: The Used, Story of the Year, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New
|Living EP||2007||Warner Bros. Records|
|Martin Swank||Backing vocals, Guitar|
|Colby Logback||Bass guitar|
Josephine Collective, the brainchild of seven young men from the outskirts of Kansas City, Kansas, play music because they have to. You can hear it in the irrepressible pop-rock they make - a passionate, unpretentious joyful noise that comes surging out of them both onstage and off. There are seven members, with an average age of 19, so it's quite a racket: a blur of music, activity, jokes, and laughter - in short, a brotherhood.
"We are like brothers," says co-founding member Dillon DeVoe, one of the band's four vocalists who also writes the lyrics. "It truly is a collective." Hence the name. And on their debut self-titled EP, due from Warner Bros. Records on July 10th, it's that spirit of community that shines through.
Josephine Collective got its start in the suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas, when DeVoe and the band's other lead vocalist, Alex Sandate, met at a party. DeVoe was 15; Sandate was 16. They quickly discovered a mutual love of music, everything from classic rock like Jeff Beck to contemporary artists like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. "Dillon was the only person I'd ever met who felt the same way about it, like there was no other option but to play," Sandate says. "We hung out every single day for at least three or four years. He would keep me grounded and I would keep him up, it was really balanced that way."
The two began to play music together, attracting friends who came and went, but the line-up eventually solidified two years ago around Martin Swank, Albert Redwine, Damon Baltuska, Colby Logback, and later on, Jared Bond. They put up a few songs they recorded on their MySpace page and played out in Kansas City, earning a rabid local following for their intense, no-holds barred live shows that featured mic-swinging, speaker-climbing, mooning, and sometimes vomiting. Then a friend of the band's sent a link to their MySpace page to record producer John Feldmann, who has produced tracks for Good Charlotte, The Used, Story of the Year, Atreyu, Lostprophets, and the Veronicas, among others. "So John checked it out, because that's what he does," Sandate says, "even if it's just for eight seconds. And he happened to like the song that was up on our MySpace page."
Feldmann invited the band to come out to California and open a show for his band Goldfinger at the Anaheim House of Blues in January 2006. "I think once John saw us live, that's what sold him," Sandate says.
"For me it's got to be the whole package deal," says Feldmann, who brought Orem, Utah, hard rockers The Used to Warner Bros. Records. "It has to be the attitude, the songs, the vocals, the way they look. Everything has to be right for me to want to work with a band. And these guys just had everything."
"We've always had this kind of blind faith in ourselves," DeVoe says, "where we're like, 'We're going to do whatever the hell we want to do, exactly the way we want to do it, and it's going to work, because they're going to come to us.' We were young and arrogant, and we've had to work our asses off, but the attitude has kind of stayed the same."
Josephine Collective signed to Warner Bros. Records in October 2006 and have been in and out of the studio with Feldman ever since working on the songs that make up the EP and their upcoming debut album, which is due out in early 2008. Songs like "Lye" and "Living" are exuberant, high-octane rock that brim with the band's wide variety of influences - everyone from Ween to Daft Punk to Beck. "With a band like this, you can't really put a label on the sound because there are seven people, so it's ever-changing," Sandate says. Adds DeVoe: "Everyone just does their thing. When all seven of us come together, it's unreal. It's not anything we could re-create on our own."
Though he'd rather not specify what particular songs are about, DeVoe will say, "I like folk singers and singer-songwriters who tell stories and give a lot of personal history. I talk a lot about my life, my family, my friends. I'm painting a picture of what I see every day. All I've got is what I know."