Indie403 is thrilled to present Jenny as our Featured Artist of the Month for January!
The greatest and longest-lasting bands are those that actually mean something. While many artists can be called hypocrites, posers or even phonies, the best bands have real beliefs and are willing to fight for them. Born out of a disdain for apathy and a desire to fight against it, Jenny is a Calgary folk punk band that believes in honesty and being real, and that is why they deserve to be Indie403’s Featured Artist of the Month!
The Band, Influences & Style
Jenny is a perfect example of growth and transformation. They’ve come a long way since the band’s inception in 2009 and with chemistry, history and a passion for music, truth and saying it like it is, they’re steadily moving forward to a huge and more serious place.
Jenny began as lead vocalist Sean Hamilton‘s solo project while he was drumming for another band, Radio Logic. “I would go up on stage with my acoustic guitar, sit in a chair and chuckle about how people must have thought some pretty girl named Jenny was supposed to play,” laughs Sean. “It was definitely punk rock on acoustic guitar.”
Jenny quickly developed and took on different incarnations as it evolved from a solo side project to a fully functional band. First joining Sean were drummer Spencer Kathren and bass player Eric Svilpis, building the foundation to a band that was at first fun and noncommittal. “There was an open door kind of mentality with the players because everyone had other, more serious bands they played in,” Sean explains. “It was just a fun project to mess around in.”
This began to change as Sean wrapped up his undergrad in Squamish, BC and now-lead guitarist Jarrett Brand joined the group. Sean and the band began to take Jenny a little more seriously and it wasn’t long before the lineup became permanent. “We have sweet chemistry,” says drummer Spencer. “We are all on the same page all the time. It’s easy, we just love playing shows and having fun on stage.”
Eric adds: “We’ve been such good friends for such a long time, it’s easy.”
This chemistry has led to solid songwriting and a reputation for great shows. Focusing on love, politics and everything in between, the boys strongly believe in action, rebellion and changing the world. Inspired by the frustration, disillusionment and hypocrisy they see in everyday life, Sean’s lyrics take Jenny a step further than some of their musical counterparts. They also have a range of artists to influence their style and create their unique “Canadian Folk Punk” sound. “There are folk and rock elements with a hint of country twinkling in here and there,” explains Spencer. “The biggest thing is that it’s honest. Good honest music.”
A lot of the band’s influences and sound come from the members’ friendship, says Sean, adding, “We’ve all exposed each other to different music throughout our years as friends.” The band members find their own inspiration in everything from Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones to Rancid and Green Day. Rock, folk and punk have all led to Jenny’s own sound, and lead songwriter Sean uses great writers like Bright Eyes, Woodie Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen to guide his own work. “I always loved great songs and lyrics but with the delivery of energetic punk rock.” In this sense Jenny is anything but conventional and with a big year ahead of them, they’re well on their way to fighting against everything they see as wrong with the world.
The Year Ahead
2013 is a huge year for Jenny. With a new album coming out, a major tour in the works and an appearance at Canadian Music Week in March, the band is looking forward to the next year and shows more than a little excitement. “We are insanely excited,” says Sean. “We’ve been working on [the new album] for six months. It’s been a slow train coming out but the songs are awesome and we’re practising hard to do justice by the material.”
The band will have a chance to do the material justice as they continue touring during the year, and all band members agree that touring will be the most exciting part of 2013. “We plan on doing a lot of touring,” Sean comments. “There is nothing we love more than playing music. Playing live is our holy grail. All the work we do is aimed at playing more, for more people.”
Spencer agrees, emphasizing the size of the show isn’t important. “We could be playing to the sound guy as long as he fucking loves it. It’s all about the energy in the room.”
Jenny should see a lot of energy in March when they perform at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, an opportunity many bands would kill for. With a ton of Canadian talent, music fans and industry execs making their way to the festival, Jenny is looking forward to expanding their fanbase, something they’re bound to do with their level of energy and incredible talent filling any room they’re in.
Accomplishments & Looking Forward
Jenny has done a lot in their time as a band and have a lot to be proud of. First and foremost, laughs Eric, “is the fact we’re still friends.” Spencer agrees, and also comments on the band’s commercial success. “We are proud of writing and recording a song that got on commercial radio,” referring to Jenny’s exposure on Calgary’s X92.9, and Sean agrees. “That was a big moment when I could tell my parents we were on the radio. It really legitimized music in their eyes as a viable life job.”
This accomplishment was only the first for the band and has cemented their place as a major Canadian talent. Despite this success, however, the band’s sights have stayed focused, demonstrating their passion, vision and the reason they deserve to be Indie403’s Featured Artist: “We just want to make the best songs we can and play them to as many people as possible. We want to tour everywhere we can and travel and experience the world with our best friends. We are trying to write music that doesn’t get stuck in a trend. We are writing great songs that will live longer than our band and us.”
Jenny is a force to be reckoned with. For a taste of Jenny, check out their website, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and everything else, and stay tuned for the info on their new album. Jenny’s going to change the world, and it’s a world you want to be part of.