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interview: no joy

Female-fronted bands are a little hard to find at the best of times, and they’re even more of a rarity in rock music.

But in No Joy, a Canadian psychedelic noisegaze band, the guitars are played by Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, who also share vocals, and the talented girls are backed by drummer, Garland Hastings, and bassist, Yannick Sarrazin. The girls started exchanging songs while White-Gluz was in Los Angeles and upon her return to Montreal, they started a band.

Within months they had released a 7-inch, and now, a mere year after their formation, they are signed to Brooklyn-based label, Mexican Summer, and released their full-length album, Ghost Blonde, on November 16th.

I was lucky enough to catch up with White-Gluz and Sarrazin after No Joy’s show supporting Dungen in San Diego this past September.

When did you actually start playing guitar? You’re one of the first bands I’ve seen where girls are playing guitars, it’s like bass and keyboard are the instruments that girls are allowed to play.
JWG: That’s the worst. Not that it’s bad to play keyboard but people ask questions all the time like, are you just the singer? I don’t know, it’s hard. But I started playing guitar when I was 14, because of bands like Bikini Kill and Hole and other girls that played guitar so I never thought it was weird.

Have you ever felt any sort of hindrance or come up against any people who will tell you to prove that you’re actually good at what you do because you’re a female?
JWG: Occasionally there’ll be dudes who are like, is this your boyfriend’s amp? But it’s less common than you’d think. We haven’t encountered that much sexism. So far, so good.

Have you found that you’ve been better received in the States than in Canada?
YS: It’s hard to say. So far we haven’t really played enough shows.
JWG: We’ve actually always been lucky enough to play with bands that were sort of in the same genre.

And what’s next for you guys?
JWG: The 7-inch we put out in June has basically sold out now so we’re putting out a full length that was mixed by Sune Rose-Wagner of the Raveonettes. We’re going to do another US tour right after this one, we’re only going home for about two weeks.
YS: What was fun about making this record is we had time to try different things. For the 7-inch we released, we had a few hours to record everything so we were rushed to do it. This time we were in our practice room, we recorded it by ourselves and we had more time to add layers and think about what we were going to do. I think it turned out well.

Ghost Blonde is now available through Mexican Summer.

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