We have a lot of former Jonas Brothers fans here at InStyle, so when we heard that another one of its dapper kin was branching out on his own to start a disco-rock band, our minds were bubbling with curiosity. DNCE (pronounced like an acronym, D-N-C-E) is made up of Joe Jonas and three other members: guitarist JinJoo Lee, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle, and drummer Jack Lawless, who hardcore JoBros fans may remember as the band’s drummer, too.
In town to play a sold-out show at N.Y.C.’s Webster Hall, we asked them to swing by our offices to give us the DL on the new project during a live Periscope Q&A on @InStyle’s Twitter page. The Periscope chat will be live until Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11:00 a.m., but ICYMI, check out the highlights below. But make sure to watch it too, because they showed off their dance moves—and we’ve got to admit, they’re pretty epic.
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How did this project come about?
Joe: “I’ve known Jack and JinJoo for over 10 years. We toured together, and I’ve seen them play with other amazing musicians. Jack and I were roommates at one point and we had this idea to create a band, and the time came around when it was appropriate to make it really happen. I was doing some songwriting with producers from Sweden and things started moving really quickly about a year ago. Then I called up Jack and told him to get off tour and called JinJoo, who was luckily touring with a friend of mine, Ciara, so I asked if I could steal her guitar player. Fortunately, Ciara was very supportive and sent her off to us. We were trying to figure out who would be this amazing fourth member, and we wanted someone with a crazy haircut and tattoos who wears jumpsuits from the ’80s. Luckily, we found him.”
Cole: “What’s his name?”
What’s the significance of the band name?
JinJoo: “DNCE is dance without an A, which is not a perfect word, but you don’t have to be a perfect dancer to dance in life. Sometimes it is never perfect, but you can still enjoy life.”
Speaking of dancing, are you going on tour soon?
Joe: “We are definitely going on tour! We’re planning a little run in November, and then, in December, we’re going on the Jingle Ball tour. We are going to be going around, playing shows, getting Christmassy holiday-y and creating new words like that. Ho ho ho.”
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Who are your musical influences?
Cole: “We’re inspired by a lot of old funk and disco bands, like Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly and the Family Stone, awesome garage rock bands, and classic rock bands, like Led Zeppelin. Also, nerdy rock bands like Weezer. I am just going to say ‘rock bands’ over and over again. But for the most part, we’re always attracted to groups of people that make what their music is a lifestyle and all day they have their own world. So it is always a party all the time, kind of like us.”
How important is style to you?
Joe: “Style has a lot to do with it. I would say, for me personally, I have always been obsessed with those ’70s and ’80s frontmen, from Bono to Mick Jagger to Freddie Mercury, and just their passion for going out of the box. Those would be my style icons as far as musicians.”
Cole: “I’m inspired by mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, super heroes, and Sanford and Son. My aesthetic is looking like a pile of clothes on the street. But in a good way.”
Joe, your brother, Nick, has started a new career, too. Do you feel pressured by comparisons to him?
Joe: “It is definitely super friendly. We’re both thrilled to be able to have this second opportunity to go out, do what we did years ago, play music that we love, and have people listen to it. We are super supportive. I go to his shows, he goes to mine.”
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Where does the title “Cake By The Ocean” come from?
Joe: “We were working with these producers in Sweden and they were telling this story and they kept confusing “Sex on the Beach” with “Cake By The Ocean,” so we ran with that idea for a song. They were playing this guitar that they had for over 10 years, so we grabbed it, starting telling stories in the studio, and it just came together.”
What are your favorite cake flavors?
Cole: “Whiskey. Put whiskey in any kind of cake and I’ll eat it.”
Joe: “I really like red velvet.”
Jack: “I’m a big Fudgie the Whale fan.”
JinJoo: “I’m really craving coffee flavor right now.”
Watch the video for “Cake By The Ocean” below, and buy the single for $1 on the iTunes Store.