Los Angeles duo, Joker’s Hand, has been building a following and recently released their debut album All-American Rage. BareBones Ent was able to check out the album and sit down with the pair to discuss their debut, songs, videos, and much more. Wander on below and check out our thoughts on the album and then our interview with the band.
Joker’s Hand came out swinging with this debut. The album has you moving from start to finish. Let’s dig in to it a little deeper though.
Throughout the album you can’t really pinpoint a genre for the band, and I think that is part of why I enjoy the album so much. Each song feels different and unique but all of them flow together flawlessly. You have your rock songs, to some more pop influenced, to political, to summery bops.
When I was sent this band to check out I was presented with the single “Goth Girlfriend”. It piqued my curiosity, and I am glad it did. The song is such a fun song while maintaining a message. You can’t talk about the song without mentioning the video either. The band looked like they had so much fun filming it and the video keeps your attention. I loved seeing the song take life and the transformation through the video.
I love the song “War Profiteer” it comes after a solid rock song “Devil’s Nest”, and just flips the tone completely. This song is just a full-on windows down summer bop with a message. The fact that they were able to transmit their message in such a fun package just hooks me every time. I have another song I want to talk about too though.
Title track “All-American Rage” is such a great song. They have a line in the song, but it really does feel like it fits right in with Beastie Boys. This is a more political song with a great message while having such a killer groove.
This album is chockfull of good songs that are spreading a message without it being in your face. This album is like if you set your music to random, and kept getting songs you liked. If you are looking for a fun trip and to hear what Joker’s Hand has to say I highly recommend the album. You can check it out at your streaming platform of choice at their Distrokid. Check out my favorite tracks below.
- Goth Girlfriend
- All-American Rage
- War Profiteer
- Devil’s Nest
BBE: How would you best describe Joker’s Hand to new listeners?
JH: Joker’s Hand is best described as a rock duo that blends heavy-punk, hip-hop and pop into its sound. We aim to create songs that are timeless, songs that have choruses you’ll remember but lyrics that will make you think. You’ll hear tons of vocal harmonies and guitar riffs throughout our discography. Our latest album, All-American Rage, features a range of different genres, yet if you listen to the album in order, the different sounds never really throw you off as a listener. When it comes down to it, we like to put out music that we LOVE, stuff that we would listen to ourselves.
BBE: We were first introduced to your band through your song, “Goth Girlfriend”, which is so catchy and the video is pretty fun too while still having a meaning. How did the song come together?
JH: Firstly, thanks so much for checking out our video! We love knowing that our art is connecting with others! The song originated purely out of a hypothetical “what if” scenario. Both of us grew up in pretty socially conservative households. But we also grew up RIGHT when the internet blew up and became an essential part of everyone’s lives, connecting us with other people and ideas…some of them VERY foreign to what we were used to behind closed doors. So of course, it was inevitable that we would eventually come across memes about having a “big tiddy goth girlfriend” and bam, the idea was hatched. We both thought about the look our parents would have on their faces if we brought home a goth girlfriend. Of course, their opinions wouldn’t matter: we’re gonna live our lives the way we want. But the idea alone was enough to write a song about.
BBE: Do you have a typical writing process, or do your songs come in different ways?
JH: They come in different ways. Sometimes a melody can pop into our heads at the weirdest of times, like in the shower or on the toilet. Whenever this happens, I record it on my phone immediately. If the idea intrigues me enough then and there, I demo the song and flesh it out as much as I can. Other times the idea will just sit there in my phone– sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, and sometimes for years. Another approach to writing that we often take is trying to write the instrumental of a song first before the melody.
BBE: We have to talk about that video. While still maintaining the meaning of the song it looks like you guys had fun filming the video. How was the filming of the video for you?
JH: It was a blast filming this video. We had an amazing crew that really fleshed out this idea and turned it into something special. Our director, Javier Juanillo, did a fantastic job at making everyone on set feel comfortable. The crew’s efficiency and professionalism really made it so all we had to do was act and perform. We were having the time of our lives!
BBE: What challenges or was there anything uncomfortable for you while filming?
JH: Honestly, it was a really smooth shoot. There weren’t any real challenges. And I don’t think there were scenes in which anyone felt uncomfortable, but it’s worth noting this was the first time one of us filmed a risqué scene.
BBE: How have fans reacted to the song and video?
JH: The reactions we’ve gotten have been amazing! People are loving this song and video and we’re so glad because we truly love them too. There was so much that went into their creation, so to hear that it is connecting with people brings us nothing but joy.
BBE: While talking about songs with a message you recently released a new album full of messages. How was the creation of the album?
JH: The creation of this album was a little all-over the place and we don’t just mean because the album bends genres. Some of the songs on this album were recorded in 2019. “Hibakusha”, “Devil’s Nest” and “Descent” to be exact. At that time, we had gone into a studio for the first time in our lives to cut around 14 songs. We chose songs that we loved, disregarding the fact that their genres did not align. Our producer Steve Ornest worked with us to breathe life into our songs at Total Access Recording (in Redondo Beach). Then when it came time to release them, we decided it would be better to package the songs in a way that made the project more cohesive. We released our first EP in March of 2020 (three days before the country shut-down due to the pandemic), containing 6 of the songs we had recorded. Then in November 2020 we set out to record a new EP with brand new songs, but found that some of those old songs (“Hibakusha”, “Descent” and “Devil’s Nest”) fit in with the themes of our new songs perfectly, so we decided to turn the project into an album instead.
BBE: Did every song you want to put on the album make it, or were there some left on the cutting room floor?
JH: Every song on All-American Rage is meant to be there. We still have some other recorded songs up our sleeves that didn’t quite fit in with this album, but we’re also sitting upon a plethora of demos and ideas that will make up our next body of work coming later this year.
BBE: How do you typically decide what songs to move forward with or fit your message best?
JH: The first step is asking ourselves “Do we love this?” If the answer is no, then the song needs more work. But anything we put out, we LOVE. We always put out music that we would listen to ourselves, music that moves us and helps us carry on through life.
BBE: How do you feel about the response that you have received for the album?
JH: Fired up! The response we’ve been getting on All-American Rage has been nothing but positive! We took some risks with this album, venturing into new territories that we hadn’t yet explored before. To hear that people are engaging with it is music to our ears!
BBE: Now that you have released the album, what is next for you?
JH: Right now the plan is to stay safe. As we speak, it is mid-January and the pandemic is worse than it’s ever been. Everything is getting cancelled again, but for us that just means a temporary hiatus on live shows. That being said, we have a BUSY year ahead of us. We plan on releasing 2 new EPs, going on a couple tours, and making more friends once live music starts back up again.
BBE: What is the best way for fans to stay up to date with the band?
BBE: Anything else you would like to add?
JH: Stay safe out there! Music has kept us sane throughout these hard times. We appreciate you reading this. Here’s to a brighter future!