bands on the NY-based label Totally Real Records' eclectic roster. What that means is that whatever random releases the band's mastermind Joep Van
Son comes up with, they'll support. Ever since the release of *Clients + Carriers*, a limited edition tape repackaging of the band's two EPs, Van Son has been promising a studio recorded full length. Instead, we've gotten several digital EPs, collaborations, and singles. He even launched his own
record label (Wilbur + Moore <https://wilburandmoore.com/>), but we're still waiting for the shiny debut full length album.
Luckily, all of this procrastination output has been incredible, and we think that the new *NORA EP* is a highlight in this growing catalog. This 5-track EP is dedicated to Arno, Joep's loquacious companion of 15 years. Originating from their punk-bond during time working in a homeless shelter, this musical odyssey combines his vivid tales with the band's interpretations. Arno, the perpetual storyteller, not only sparked the narrative but also contributed to the songwriting, despite facing the challenges of life. With standout tracks like 'Turtles,' ‘Nosfurratu,’ 'Glory Ugh!,' and the poignant 'Got Jelly?,' this EP stands as a sincere 'thank you' for the enduring camaraderie amidst his struggles."
How did the band form and what does the band name mean?
I decided to record some stuff with my longtime bud Niels, we used to play in a punk outfit in our teens. We mainly played in youth centers and left-wing anti-Nazi gatherings. Later I formed The Very Sexuals with Niels. With this we made a bit more 60s pop with shoegaze influences. We always had the idea of recapturing the vibe of our first punk band, partly because I pretty much killed punk at the time 😉 We started 3 years ago with a recording session with 6 acoustic tracks. We never actually released this one. We were then called “Starters Alternators” after an Albini album by legendary Dutch punks “The Ex”. We chose We are Joiners because it sounds a bit sectarian and also like a woodworking company haha.
Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music?
Before this I made noisy punk with Nikoo, which was the heaviest band in the Netherlands. We also “emptied out” the room and did great support acts for Cloud Nothings, A Place to Bury Strangers and Ty Segall, among others. My very first band experience was when Luna Zegers, now a famous flamenco singer, asked me to join punk band THUSS. I felt very honored as THUSS had a cool cult status in the local youth centers.
First concert you ever went to?
First ever concert was Urban Dance Squad. Saw them many times more after that. Each show was a huge party and it got me to love hiphop. Check out their album Mental Floss For The Globe, still a legendary good album.
What's your writing process like?
My writing happens simultaneously with recording. I start by recording a simple drum with a stripped down kit. Bass drum on the side because my foot sucks at playing music. After that i make up a quick tune and record the acoustic guitar together with vocals. I activate the effect “rock guitar” on my cheap 8 track and it sounds like We are Joiners. Besides that most of the songs come to mind when I'm on my bike, waiting for a traffic light or something like that. Also our labelboss Bryan from Totally Real Recs plays some electric guitars in NY. I really love his noisy additions.
What other artists or songs inspire your music?
Most of these artists are on my top played albums of 2023. Besides Beyonce – Renaissance (that truly rocks) i mostly played lofi and punk. Also some additions from the scene around my label Totally Real Recs like Josaleight Pollet who came with a magical album this year i cant get enough of. And on my own little label: Parent teacher, an incredibly talented home recording artist.
Home is where – Assisted harakiri
Night Court – Out of control
Neighbours burning Neighbours – Neil Young
What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be it's own thing?
Thus far we didn't play live, just some dads who met at the schoolyard doing a beer in the shed and record some punk. We recorded about 45 songs in 2.5 years and that when our real studio album is finished later this year we are certainly going to do stuff live. I have played live a lot with former bands. I always suffered from stage fright, but I'm over it now.
What's up next for the band?
As we speak we are working on our first studio album. At least, we're going to record with a DAW and the 8-track goes on the shelf. We want to make a viciously fast punk record, but keep the distorted acoustic vibe intact. We already have a lot of sketches that refer to old Misfits and Nomeansno, but always with a pure pop feeling.