Out of Halifax, Nova Scotia comes Excited To Die with their self titled debut single, the release also includes a…
When vocalists Tyler DeMarco (At The Interview) and Tyler Vinci-Smith (Forever Vengeance) came together to start a new band, the first question was, “who would be on lead vocals?” The answer: neither of them. Tyler Vinci-Smith had someone in his back pocket all along; a cousin named Jordan (SXMURKROW) who was an up-and-coming rapper in the local New Jersey Hip-Hop scene who was looking for a change of scenery. Now, with Jordan Vinci on board for this new sonic experiment as a frontman of a Hardcore band, the wheels began turning. With the quick recruitment of Forever Vengeance drummer Mike Walker, Jr. to get behind the kit and solo artist / SoyBoyz Entertainment keyboardist Kevin Broecker to join in on rhythm guitar, their line-up was now complete.
Vinci-Smith immediately picked up the guitar and began writing, meanwhile DeMarco hopped on bass and by the end of their first practice with everyone, they already had multiple songs written. After refining their first four songs, studio time was booked and four demos were tracked and recorded. Hailing out of South Jersey, JOUST just recently released their self-titled demo at the end of August 2023. So, be sure to keep a look out for their name to pop up on quite a few local Hardcore flyers this year and new music to hit streaming services later this month. I got a chance to conduct and interview with Tyler DeMarco, Jordan Vinci, and Tyler Vinci-Smith in recent weeks to learn all about JOUST‘s origin story and what’s coming next. Check out our comprehensive interview below, which has been lightly edited for general clarity. JOUST HC’s Demo EP is now available on digital streaming services & Bandcamp.
Who are the members of JOUST and what is each member’s role within the band?
Tyler DeMarco: Jordan Vinci – vocals, Tyler Vinci-Smith – lead guitar, Kevin Broecker – [touring] rhythm guitar, Tyler DeMarco – bass, Mike Walker, Jr. – drums
What previously or currently still active projects or bands might fans know each of you from?
DeMarco: Collectively, we’re all actively part of Soy Boyz Entertainment, which is a live cover band and DJ service. Jordan, also, performs under the Hip-Hop moniker SXMURKROW. Tyler V. is [the] vocalist of Forever Vengeance and bassist of At The Interview. Kevin performs under his name as a solo artist. Tyler D. is the vocalist of At The Interview. Mike is the drummer for Forever Vengeance and performs [live] with At The Interview.
Would you mind briefly walking us through the JOUST “origin story” and how the band initially got started?
DeMarco: Both Tylers have always talked about starting a new band together and wanting to write primarily Hardcore music. His cousin, Jordan, had just started getting more into heavier music and Tyler D. took him to his first Hardcore show last year and since [then,] he was hooked and has gone to dozens of more shows since then. So, naturally, we all got into a room together and started writing and riffing until full songs were formed. Those are the four songs that you’ll hear on our EP.
How did you guys go about writing, creating, recording, producing, etc. the songs heard across your 4-track Demo EP?
DeMarco: We wrote all the songs within two practices and for a few more weeks, carefully shaped them into exactly what you hear on the record. Tyler V. wrote all the guitars and we would just go back and see what we could change to make certain parts sound better and try new things until we all agreed on it. Once we made it into the studio, I believe we made an executive decision to change the ending of the song “Joust” to shorten it and make it hit harder at the end, which, in hindsight, was definitely the right call. We recorded everything with [John Eric Mendel] of JEM & The Vibe and got the tracks mastered by Jesse Cannon of Cannon Sound Foundation.
Who or what would you readily cite as some of your greatest sources of personal inspiration and influence?
Tyler Vinci-Smith: Linkin Park & Slipknot pushed me into heavier music growing up. Learning how to scream and writing heavier riffs as a kid [was] definitely reminiscent of these two bands.
DeMarco: Growing up, Minor Threat, [The] Misfits, and AFI. To get me inspired to play or write in JOUST, I’ve been listening to a lot of Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Paint It Black, and Gorilla Biscuits.
What compiled you to choose the band name JOUST and what is the intended meaning or significance behind it?
Vinci-Smith: What’s more Hardcore than impaling each other in full suits of armor on a horse? Easy choice.
DeMarco: What he said!
How has each of your time spent writing, recording, touring, etc. with bands or as solo musicians helped better inform your work now as part of JOUST?
DeMarco: Having five guys, who have been involved in the music scene at such a young age and from different backgrounds really adds a lot of experience to the band. Tyler D.’s first band was a Straight Edge Hardcore band called Out of Step when he was 16. Tyler V. & [Black] Mike started Nu-Metal band Forever Vengeance when they were only 15; so just between those three, you’re talking over 45 years’ experience combined. Then, getting fresh faces to the scene, like Jordan & Kevin really helps balance everything out and keeps things sounding new, but still rooted down in that old school Hardcore sound.
Where did you guys find the cover image seen across the Demo EP as seem behind the JOUST logo text?
Jordan Vinci: It’s inspired by “memento mori,” which is Latin for “remember that you have to die.” We felt it encapsulated a lot of the subject manner and matched the aesthetic you’ll come across [within] our debut EP.
If you could record and release a 7-inch (or 12-inch) with any bands, presently active or inactive, would you pick and why for each selection?
DeMarco: SUNAMI or ZULU. They are both so good at what they do and never miss. It would be an honor to be etched in with either of them on a record.
Vinci-Smith: For me, I’d have to say the dudes from SUNAMI, Gulch, Deftones, and System of A Down, as well. All the bands listed above are influences in how I write and [were/are] super-talented in their respective styles.
Have any of you worked together musically prior to forming JOUST together and if so, in what capacity?
DeMarco: Jordan has appeared in a guest vocals spot with Forever Vengeance. Tyler V., Tyler D., and Mike all perform together in At The Interview. Tyler V., Tyler D., Mike, and Kevin all perform together in Soy Boyz Entertainment.
In addition to or aside from JOUST, do any of your have any other musical projects and/or endeavors you might might like to promote within this feature?
DeMarco: Kevin is currently working on some new music for his solo project, which should be out by the end of the year. Soy Boyz Entertainment [is] still booking DJ gigs for this year and next year, as well.
What’s planned next for JOUST?
DeMarco: JOUST just dropped their debut EP this week and is currently booking shows in the Northeast and writing more music. Keep a look out for show announcements in the near future!
Photos courtesy Jess Vinci-Smith