American band Joan ecstatic over warm welcome from Filipino fans

by Nikko Tuazon
Nov 20, 2019
Arkansas-based duo JOAN—composed of Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford—performed in Manila for a series of mall shows at Ayala Malls from November 7 to 13, 2019.
PHOTO/S: Nikko Tuazon

American band JOAN—composed of Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford—were overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received from their Filipino fans.

The Arkansas-based duo told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press that they "never would've imagined" having thousands of fans on this side of the world.

JOAN returned to Manila for a series of mall shows at Ayala Malls from November 7 to 13, 2019.

This is the band's second time to visit the Philippines this 2019 following their performance at the Wanderland Music & Arts Festival last March in Alabang.

Alan said, "I feel like when we got the call for Wanderland, we're like, 'Does anyone know who we are there?'

"We can see like Spotify data and see kinda like where the countries are and I'm pretty sure, Quezon City... is I think our top streaming city in the entire world.

"We found that and we're like, 'Oh, we have fans there!' I didn't imagine that we'd fly and be known here but I was like [expecting] you know, 50 people.

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"I just don't expect to see thousands of people listening to our songs. That was very strange and very awesome."

PEP.ph interviewed JOAN last November 7 at the Awaken The Season at Ayala Malls event in Glorietta, Makati City.

JOAN'S MUSIC

Joan was formed in 2016. Alan and Steven were members of different bands before they decided to become a duo.

Some of their popular songs are "i loved you first," "love somebody like you," "ease your mind," "tokyo," "drive all night," and their first single, "take me on."

Members of the press asked the two musicians to describe their process of creating music.

Alan pointed out, "Most songs, we start from like a voice memo or something on the iPhone. He'll come over to my house and we'll start writing, just collaborating with each other.

"Like maybe I work on the sound and he works on the lyrics, and vice versa or something.

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"We just kinda take idea by idea and a lot of times, we'll start with a song. It's like a verse and a chorus and we'll sit on it for like weeks and 'til we kinda get to finish it or whatever.

"It's a lot of texting, we'll go on texting back and forth ideas and then I'll go back at it. It's very collaborative."

For his part, Steven said that they basically stick to a routine, "We treat it like a workday, from like nine or ten [a.m.] to like five [p.m.] every day, we go to the studio and work on the songs."

Alan added, "It's like a full-time job, which is nice because it makes us feel more productive."

When asked to identify their sources of inspiration, Alan said he is inspired by music producers such as Mike Crossey and Louis Bell.

He explained, "We kinda nerd out on production credits so like most people like, the new Halsey song or Justin Bieber or whoever it is, that what they think of.

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"But who wrote the song behind the scenes, who produced it, mastered it, and mixed it. Personally, I've been inspired by two or three producers recently."

Steven said that exploring the world also inspires them and influences their music.

He said, "Traveling... experiencing more cultures we've never seen before. Even in America or in Europe, places we've never seen before. That's always really cool and really inspiring too."

Alan also named Coldplay as his favorite band of all time. He dreams of becoming the opening act of a Coldplay concert.

He said, "If we could open up to anybody in the world, it would be Coldplay. That's like my all-time favorite band for like forever. I'm sending out a lot of prayers for that one.

Steven said he loves collaborating with Honne.

He told the press, "Honestly though, playing with Honne is like awesome. We were so ecstatic when we got that call. I've listened to Honne for like three years now.

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"We were fans before Joan even existed."

NEW MUSIC

Meanwhile, Joan disclosed they are already working on new music.

Alan revealed, "We don't have any formal announcements but we definitely got back in the studio and recorded a lot of new songs.

"So we're trying to figure out how we can release those and in today's time, we can drop an album or you can drop a single or you can drop an EP.

"It's kinda up to you so traditionally, we've liked dropping singles and EPs so we'll probably stick with that for a little while. And yeah, definitely new music coming."

Aside from new songs, they are also excited for their first-ever headlining tour in 2020.

Alan continued, "And we just announced our headline tour next year, next February so we're really excited about that."

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Arkansas-based duo JOAN—composed of Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford—performed in Manila for a series of mall shows at Ayala Malls from November 7 to 13, 2019.
PHOTO/S: Nikko Tuazon
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