Zoë, Dave and Sam are the trio that make up the awesome, Dreaming of Jupiter. They answered some questions ahead of their performance at MNÁSOME LIVE. Have a read and come see them play on the 13th of September at The Workman’s Club, Dublin.
What drives you to write and perform?
We all find peace and solace through writing and performing. We express everything we feel, and live through in our music. No matter what happens in life, how things change or evolve, all the way through the ups and downs, highs and lows, music, performance and composition is the centre of everything for us. We completely identify ourselves through our music and our lives as musicians – music is not just what we do, it’s actually who we are. This is the life we have chosen and we could never have it any other way. The support we have received up to date from family, friends and fans also motivates us to keep going on this journey, to keep putting our energy into creativity to hopefully keep giving them music that they love and connect with emotionally, and great live experiences of course – something which is in some ways more important now than ever before. People want to feel part of the show – part of the experience when we perform, and being able to bring that sense of engagement and togetherness to an audience of people who love what we do is quite possibly the most uplifting feeling you can imagine.
What other musicians, or other forms of art, do you take inspiration from when you are writing?
Musically speaking we have such a broad range of influences. We define our sound as Ambi-Groove. We take influence from groove-based genres like P-Funk, House, Hip Hop, Soul and even Reggae/Dub music sometimes, but we also love to build deep textural palettes and create memorable sonic atmospheres at the same time – borrowing from genres like Trip Hop and even Synth Pop at times. We want to create a new musical flavour, all of our own. Our influences range from old-school acts like Chic and lots of their contemporaries, to Portishead and Massive Attack, and Kate Bush, to more modern artists like Bonobo, Tycho, and Little Dragon for example. We love the soulful flavours of music by the likes of Nao, and The Internet, and those deeper, darker textures of bands like Submotion Orchestra and FKA Twigs as well. We are always learning and adapting of course – like most artists. Regarding other forms of art we find inspiration from – we are very interested in visual arts.
What women inspire you in your career?
For me (Zoë) personally I would say Kate Bush has always been a huge inspiration, since I was a child. Aside from the fact that Kate is such a unique artist in so many ways, what really strikes me about her is how independent she has strived to become throughout her career, despite having risen to fame at such a young age. She now would appear to have complete control over her own creativity, despite being one of music’s most iconic writers and performers – and this was largely down to the brave decisions she made throughout her career regarding her relationships with labels etc. I admire how she held her own in an era when women weren’t exactly encouraged to do that, and I love that she releases material only as and when she feels ready. But every time she drops something, it’s real you know…it’s deep, it’s meaningful and it’s so raw and you can feel that energy. She really is just writing to tell us her story, and I love that.
Do you think it’s important to put a focus on women in the music industry? Why?
Yes. I believe it’s important that we all recognise the level of talent and creativity amongst the female arts community, and quite honestly the day we can stand beside males on a stage and not even have the words male or female mentioned anymore is when we know that imbalance has been truly dealt with. Honestly, this is a reality I’ve lived with my whole life – coincidentally I actually dedicated my thesis to this topic in college with particular attention to the case of female guitar culture. I was inspired by the regular ‘encouragement’ I so often received from both male and female audience members who would comment ‘Wow! You’re a great guitarist…for a girl!’ – so, naturally – I have some fairly strong opinions on this! The first thing I will say is that the guys who are around me in Dreaming of Jupiter, Sam and Dave have done nothing but treat me as an equal from day one. We are all equal in our band and that’s how it has always been. We treat each-other with the utmost respect and I have never felt unhappy in that sense within my own band. However, I have on several occasions throughout my career been made feel very uncomfortable by both males and females regarding my role as either a guitarist (particularly) or just in general as a performer.
In the music industry, women are not always granted equal opportunities to men, often not paid the same rates as men, and are often subjected to social stigma and mistreatment when they do engage in an activity which has been traditionally, at least up until this point, considered to be a more male-orientated activity. The bottom line is – we need to highlight this in order to change it, hence why I feel the importance of putting a focus on women in the industry at the moment. I believe we have made progress in recent years. For female guitarists particularly magazines like She Shreds have been established, and in Dublin alone, organisations like She Said So, awesome blogs like MNÁSOME and festivals and gigs like We’ve Only Just Begun and Women on Wednesdays are paving the way for a bright future for female musicians and industry professionals. I hope this work continues, is supported by both men and women, and the awareness of the imbalance is acknowledged and eventually eradicated.
What can we expect from your live show?
Lots of energy. (insert fire emoji here) No for real though – we absolutely love performing and we aim to communicate the energy of our music to our audience in the most real way we can. We want everyone to leave the show feeling like they’ve had a deep experience and a lot of fun too (because that’s part of a good gig right? No shame in that!)…We also welcome dancers.
After a busy summer, Dreaming of Jupiter will be doing a live session in Studio 8 for RTE, and when you start to miss them after their high energy live show after MNÁSOME LIVE you can catch them play at WOW in Whelan’s on the 26th of September. Keep an eye out for big news coming very soon on their debut EP too!
Get a taste of what’s to come with their new EP below…
Featured image by Dominika Kucner.