Japandroids: Not for the faint of heart

The rough-around-the-edges duo will hit Mojo's April 12.

By David Conway | April 9, 2010

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Japandroids are not an easy band to categorize. The group, which poked fun at the never-ending and ever-expanding list of genres with the title of its first album, Post-Nothing, have been called garage rock, lo-fi, punk and noise pop. No matter what label you slap on them, there's one undeniable underlying fact: They're loud.

"Your ears are probably going to hurt afterward, but they'll hurt in a good way," drummer David Prowse said of the band's live show.

Alongside guitarist Brian King, Prowse makes up one-half of the hard-hitting rock duo from Vancouver. In addition to manning their own instruments, the two trade off singing (and often shouting) duties on their tracks. Although it makes for a spectacle when the band performs, this wasn't the line-up they had initially intended.

"Originally, we were thinking we were going to have this lead singer type person come in and deal with the vocals and we'd just deal with our instruments," Prowse said. "As time went on, we didn't look that hard, but we didn't really find somebody that really clicked with us the way that Brian and I clicked, musically. At a certain point, we just decided to kind of say, 'Whatever, let's just try and do it ourselves.' "

Although the band received near-universal acclaim for its debut record, it toiled in obscurity for four years, releasing two EPs on its own and making plans to release Post-Nothing independently as well. It was only when Canadian label Unfamiliar Records picked up the album and buzz surrounding the band started to build that the band's fortune began to pick up.

"We had entire mailing lists of every college radio station in Canada, every magazine we could think of," Prowse said. "We were shipping promo copies of our EPs out to everywhere. We were doing everything ourselves and doing whatever we could, but we were both working full-time to pay our rent and stuff. Now, this is our full time job."

Following the release of the record, the band has been touring extensively across Canada, the United States and Europe for the past nine months, making a stop at Mojo's on April 12. Prowse admitted life on the road occasionally takes its toll — the absence of a bed to call his own, in particular — but the band feeds off of the energy of the crowd and the rush of the performance.

"I find I get sick of sound checking, I get sick of loading gear in and loading gear out — those things I could do without, but I never get sick of playing," Prowse said. "But as soon as we get on stage for another show, it doesn't matter what happened in the past week or the past month, it doesn't matter how tired I am — as soon as I get on stage and there's a ton of people there really excited to hear us play, it's just so much fun."

He hopes the audience feels just as much energy coming back its way.

"We're just going to play loud and hard and basically just give as much of ourselves to the set as we can," Prowse said. "If you come to the show, your ears are gonna be ringing, and you're probably going to be sweaty, but you're going to have had a pretty awesome time, I think."

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