photos / Angelo Kritikos
men’s grooming /Marissa Machado
makeup for JinJoo / Dusty Starks
hair for JinJoo / Ryan Randall
styling / David Royer
story / Jasmine Lake
Imperfectly perfect: DNCE knows a thing or two about living life with no regrets. Comprised of singer Joe Jonas, guitarist JinJoo, bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle, and drummer Jack Lawless, the band exploded onto the scene with their poppy debut single, “Cake by the Ocean,” a radio hit that caters to a musical sweet tooth for sticky, saccharine pop-rock.
While the band formed in 2015, Jonas had been working to bring his vision of DNCE to life ever since the Jonas Brothers officially disbanded in 2013. The band’s SWAAY EP, released at the end of last year, is just the pre-party—albeit a wildly fun one—for their debut album, slated for an August release. Reminiscent of a funkier Maroon 5 or The Killers, the EP refuses to take itself too seriously… and is catchy as hell. The music feels nostalgic of that epic night when you crashed a stranger’s house party, had one too many frozen margaritas, and cherry bombed into the pool… or wish you had.
In their own words, DNCE are “the best friends you wish you could’ve met years ago.” Yeah, that sounds about right. And just like old pals, we chatted with the band about their upcoming album, their go-to DNCE moves, and about the time they performed for Barack Obama.
What is the album going to be about?
A lot of the songs will be about love and life, but as seen through giant, funky disco glasses.
SWAAY EP had a fresh sound, but also included the element of nostalgia. Which musicians inspire your sound?
Earth, Wind & Fire, and post-2000’s Nicolas and John Cage.
What do you think it is about your band that connects with people?
We’re the best friends you wish you could’ve met years ago!
Joe, what is it about the experience of creating music that is different while in a band versus as a solo artist?
It’s always been comfortable for me to work within a band, whether it be with my brothers or my friends. Everyone brings different ideas to the table for a more collaborative experience.
Describe one another’s go-to DNCE moves.
JinJoo’s is “Korean Twerker,” Jack’s is “Backup singer for The Doors,” Cole’s is “The Last Air Bender,” and Joe’s is “Elvis meets MC Hammer.”
If everyone in the band where an animal, what would you be?
JinJoo would be a hamster, Jack would be a large wild cat, Cole would be a turkey burger, and Joe would be a bald eagle.
How do you balance creative differences and collaborate as a band?
We all trust each other and always vibe to the correct destination, creatively.
JinJoo, what’s it like playing in a band of all boys?
This is basically a girl-band with three boys in it!
DNCE has so much energy on stage. What are you guys up to an hour before showtime? Any pre-show rituals?
Before every show we practice aerobics, martial arts, Olympic drinking and interpretive joke-telling.
Your shows are stupid fun. Which show has been your favorite thus far?
Every show has been memorable for us because the fans make each show different. Some standout shows were playing MSG last December, playing a soccer stadium in Nicaragua, and performing on The Ellen Show on the same show as Barack Obama.
What is something about DNCE that fans would be surprised to hear?
Obama once opened up for us! (See previous answer.)
Since “Cake by the Ocean” dropped, how many cakes have you received? Who in the band is the ultimate cake monster?
We have received many cakes, big and small, tasty and disgusting. We’d have to say that Joe is our ultimate cake monster.
on Cole : Shirt, Sankuanz. Shorts, Nicopanda. Shoes, 3.1 Phillip Lim.on Joe : Shirt, Katie Eary. Tee, Katie Eary Pant, Andrea Pompilio. Shoe: 3.1 Phillip Lim.on JinJoo: Cardigan, Joyrich. Tank Top: Bernhard Willhelm. Bralet, Calvin Klein. Skirt, Drifter. Scarf, Andrea Pompilio. Shoes: Diesel Black Gold. on Jack:Coat & Trouser, Issey Miyake. Shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Sneakers, Marc Jacobs.