Joanna and Johny met over 10 years ago at a “Church-Parking-Lot Rock Show” in their beautiful hometown, Schiller Park IL (Home of the Hostess Twinkie). The two quickly became an “item”, and started making “bedroom-techno” together. They gave themselves the most fitting band name ever: J+J+J. Jesus is the third “J” in the band. JplusJplusJ’s first recordings were made on Chris Otepka’s (Heligoats/Clem Snide) 4-track tape recorder using a “home-market” Casio keyboard and MTV Music Maker on a Sony Playstation 1 . Moving beyond using game consoles to create their music, The “J’s” began building a collection of synthesizers, drum machines, and other cool toys while playing local shows around Chicago.
Their “real” break came when curator, Doug Lussenhop, commissioned the J’s to record a track (“Portable Ultra Sound”) for the Lumptronic 6 compilation released at Version>3 Art Fest. (Download the whole 1st disc heres: http://www.lumpen.com/lumptronic/lumptronic06pt1.zip) . The track reached a wide audience, and Joanna and Johny had the opportunity to play shows all over Chicago. In late 2003, J+J+J gained the attention of Chicago Electronic Collaborative, Ghost Arcade LTD., who released the J’s first solo release, the Spills That Kill 7″ EP (2004). Spills That Kill EP was the worlds first exposure to “Bitches Suite”, one of the J’s most popular tracks about “partying with ladies”. Vice Magazine claimed: “[Spills that Kill] is worth checking out if you’re into electropop”
Somewhere in between playing a ton of live shows, J+J+J made time to jump in the studio to record the epic long-player, They Hump While We Go Nuts. THWWGN has been described as being “more energetic then an eight year old who’s diet consist of a strict regiment of cotton candy, pixie sticks, and Red Bull energy drinks.” (Mammoth Press). They Hump… is a perfect mix of bedroom DIY aesthetic and “high caliber” synthetic music production. Song theme’s include: “jobs that require the use of headphones”, “picking up chicks using poetry on the El train”, and “grossly mismatched animals fighting each other”… you know? Pretty standard stuff. Imagine if 10-year-old’s had a vast knowledge of analogue synthesis and computer programming, you might get something that sounds like They Hump While We Go Nuts!
Another thing that made THWWGN so special was that Joanna and Johnny enlisted the help of some of their biggest musical inspirations to lend a productive hand in the making of the album. James Marlon MAGAS, of Couch/Lake of Dracula/MAGAS/Violent ARP Band fame, lends his off kilter vocal delivery on “High School? You Mean Inverted Caste System” to hilarious effect. Robot Disco legends, N.O.I.A., who have been active in the Italian electronic scene since the 70’s, stepped up to Remix “Portable Ultra Sound”. “Jobs That Require Headphones” got a makeover by London’s Boy/Girl Synth Extremist’s, Schmoof, who represent for G.D. Luxxe’s Angelika Koehlermann imprint. And let’s not forget the only guitars ever welcomed on a J+J+J recording came from Kevin Goggin of Krunchie’s/ Busy Signals/ English Softhearts Fame!!!
Soon after the album release the Js started touring the states and Canada. The J’s explosive energy was evident in their live sets, winning over audiences everywhere they went. Some shows were so hot, they required a “cool off” the next day at a local water park. While performing in New York as part of the East Coast tour, JplusJplusJ caught the attention of Engadget.com, becoming the official theme song of the Engadget Podcast during 2005/2006.
In 2007, Johnny and Joanna planned easily the best JplusJplusJ show ever seen, their wedding.
After returning from their Honeymoon in Europe in 2008, JplusJplusJ built an impressive home studio to house all the synths and toys they had amassed over the years. This gave them the ability to start extensive work on their sophomoric album, High Voltage Feast is Almost Here (2010). At the same time, Johnny built a midi-controlled beat driven LED light show, now an integral part of their live performance! High Voltage Feast…, was released on a Limited-Edition USB Drive. The Artwork on the USB Stick was partially inspired by the J’s Rustic, Forrest-themed Home studio and was illustrated by famed desigener, Jana Kinsman (www.janakinsman.com). Joanna and Johny’s “Jam-Zone” was immortalized by Chicago’s “Practice-Space Video Maker Dudes”, Giant System Chicago during the summer 2010. Check it out Here.
So what’s next for these newly-wedded-techno freaks? Well, Playing a lot of shows all over the place, that’s for sure! You might see them opening up for the likes of Animal Collective, Glass Candy, MC Chris, Totally Michael, AIds Wolf, Samwell, or Broken Spindles. However, you might also show up at a houseparty on Valentines day in the Suburbs and find the place all “Fogged and Lazer’d” at the hands of these two “PartyStarters”…