Ever since forming in 2009, No Joy have been pigeonholed as a Canadian shoegaze band. While there’s nothing wrong with the tag, it began to feel restricting—so much so that frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz wanted to break free from it.
Back in 2016, the group decided to ditch the album cycle formalities and release a trilogy of stylistically differing EPs. The first came in the form of Drool Sucker; their 2016 EP stayed within the noise pop descriptor but was recorded live, mirroring the band’s jagged performances. Their 2017 EP, Creep, was tracked “in the box” of White-Gluz’s apartment, where the band could try different recording methods as they pleased. Then came No Joy / Sonic Boom, this year’s electronic EP that saw White-Gluz team up with Spacemen 3 member Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, to distance herself from guitars. All three releases saw No Joy twisting their sound, and the band was pleased with it by practice alone.
“The idea to diverge with three EPs had to do with the album cycle and the industry process: There’s hoops, weird stress, and sometimes the record sits there for months while you’re waiting throughout all of that,” explains White-Gluz. “I had a lot of ideas I wanted to do but didn’t know if we could commit to touring for two years around them. So I figured EPs were a way to make small musical notes without making a major statement. I like them all differently, too, because they signify different bits of change and various years of my life.”
To catch up on the last three years, we interviewed Jasamine White-Gluz for a round of Wheel of Tunes, a series where we ask musicians questions inspired by their song titles. With the band’s recent string of EPs—Drool Sucker, Creep, and No Joy / Sonic Boom—as the prompt, White-Gluz’s answers reflect various periods of her life, which will come to life when the band plays the Sinclair this Wednesday.
1) “A Thorn in Garland’s Side”
DIGBOSTON: Are you a fan of Judy Garland?
WHITE-GLUZ: Yes! When we were driving through Kansas once, we stopped at a truck stop that had a huge cutout of Dorothy. I kept taking selfies of it and sending them to my mom. It’s one of our favorite movies! I’m looking forward to the Renee Zellweger biopic on Judy Garland, too.
2) “XO (Adam’s Getting Married)”
DIGBOSTON: When was the last time you went to a nontraditional wedding?
WHITE-GLUZ: Some friends of mine got married on Halloween last year. It was like a goth wedding. There was a fire in the forest, and the music they were playing was the Crow soundtrack. It was really fun. Once in a while, random people in Halloween costumes would wander by and join. At one point, a guy in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit randomly hung out [laughs]. The day before the wedding, it was costume-themed at the events. My boyfriend and I went as Moby and Gwen Stefani from the “South Side” video, but really bad. Nobody really got it [laughs]. The actual ceremony had everybody just wearing whatever they wanted, though.
3) “Theme Song”
DIGBOSTON: If you had a theme song that would play whenever you accomplished something, what would it be?
WHITE-GLUZ: Oh my goodness. This is a fun one. The song that comes to mind is “Fix You” by Coldplay, because that’s the theme song for the Montreal Canadiens. When they win, that plays. It’s not really a party song, but it feels like one now because of that. So let’s go with any Coldplay song!
DIGBOSTON: What are two pieces of audio equipment—for making music or listening to music—that are on your ultimate wish list?
WHITE-GLUZ: Oooooh! I would still love a Fender Bass VI, which is a baritone guitar, but it’s super expensive. I bought a shitty knockoff of it, and it’s definitely not as nice. Someday! I guess Robert Smith uses one, and they sound so good. So someday, I hope to be able to afford that. I don’t know how many colors they have, but I would get a traditional sunburst wood one. They’re just so nice. Whenever we go to Chicago Music Exchange, they always have a bunch there and I play with them. And for the other item, I should probably get nice speakers. I don’t really have any. When I try to listen to my records, it’s always in my car or on really shitty headphones.
DIGBOSTON: Where was the worst AirBnB you ever slept in?
WHITE-GLUZ: You know, we’ve had pretty good luck with AirBnBs. But hotels have been not so good. I’m trying to think of the worst one, because there’s definitely been hotels where it was paid for but we decided to leave anyway and go elsewhere. I’ve stayed at friends’ houses where they let us crash but then invite like 200 friends to have a party. We just want to sleep! The worst experience I can remember is when we drove across the country and were in a place like Lansing. By the time we got there, it was 4 o’clock in the morning but everybody was outside of their rooms, the windows were open, and you could see people making things. They were all doing some sort of construction in their rooms. It felt like a weird zombieland, so we decided to bail. When you have gear in your car, you don’t want to be around that.
6) “Tearing Apart the Dark”
DIGBOSTON: Which environment do you thrive in: daytime or nighttime?
WHITE-GLUZ: Daytime between 11 am and 2 pm in the afternoon. That’s when I get all of my stuff done, go to the gym, and am most effective. I’m usually good at night, but now I go to bed when it’s 10 o’clock. So late morning to early afternoon is my peak. Everything else is a possible but not ideal option.
7) “Fluorescent Dread”
DIGBOSTON: When was the last time you bought an item that was neon?
WHITE-GLUZ: I don’t know. Although there’s been a lot of neon on this Baths tour. Multiple nights, people have showed up with neon, glowing hula hoops? At least three shows! Their hula hoops light up neon. So my last interaction with neon was I guess a hula hoop? When they check your bag but then you have a huge hula hoop on the side, I guess that’s allowed.
DIGBOSTON: What’s something you used to be obsessed with that you’d like to get back into?
WHITE-GLUZ: That’s a good one! Honestly, probably swimming, which makes me sound like a grandma. I love swimming but now I don’t have time to do laps in the pool. Maybe also other music? I’m a little overwhelmed with how much music there is. When I was a kid, that was an exciting thing, to find new bands, whereas now it’s like, “Where do I start?” So I’d want to rediscover that obsession with music and start swimming again.
DIGBOSTON: Which would you choose: putty or playdough?
WHITE-GLUZ: Playdough smells better if I’m not mistaken, so probably that. Putty is a little greasier, right? It has a weird grease to it. It’s kind of a weird thing in general, too, especially the kind you can get at a gas station vending machine.
10) “Triangle Probably”
DIGBOSTON: What’s your favorite geometric shape and why?
WHITE-GLUZ: I would say triangle. I wish I knew a funky shape. I have a million demos that are all called “triangle.” I don’t know why. Actually, I do. It was because when I started this band I had a very senior cat and her head started looking like a triangle [laughing uncontrollably]. She was getting so skinny! Her head was a tiny triangle! I started calling her that, and then I started calling all of my demos that, too. So I guess that’s my favorite shape, in honor of this cat’s triangle-shaped head. Her original name was Yang. She passed away in December, sadly. But she was a funny cat who lived a long life.
11) “Teenage Panic”
DIGBOSTON: What were you deeply worried about as a teenager that now seems silly in hindsight?
WHITE-GLUZ: I think I wasn’t too stressed? As a teen, I was obsessed with going to shows, so I would go to every single show. I tried to meet the bands. That seems stupid now. Why go to every single show even if you don’t know the bands … just so you could say you went? I saw all the show listings for the week, we would go to every single one, and we would try to meet everyone. I think I did it so I could learn about a lot of music and have experience at shows. Because it was Montreal, there were less shows than there would be in Toronto, New York, or even Boston. There weren’t that many all-ages venues either, so if someone played one it felt like I had to go even if I didn’t like that genre or hadn’t heard of them. Now, that’s certainly not a big concern of mine. I don’t need to see every show now, and maybe that’s because not every show is as significant as it was back then.
BATHS, NO JOY, SASAMI. WED 4.18. THE SINCLAIR, 52 CHURCH ST., CAMBRIDGE. 8PM/18+/$18. SINCLAIRCAMBRIDGE.COM