The state of being a sibling is an interesting one. They are people we grow up with, who we see across the table eating cereal for years. During that time fights will occur here and there, like when Joni Hogan’s older brother Josh decided to put all of his saved sandwiches that he’d failed to eat for lunch inside her pillowcase – not to be mean (well…) but to get a laugh. While she can see the humor in it today, one can only imagine how horrifying that was back in the day. Good thing she didn’t hold it against him since they decided to come together around 2010 and make music under Joni in the Moon.
Few things happen all of a sudden, and their band came together after years of work and with the help of supportive parents that believed in their musical endeavors. Many years of percussion lessons for Josh and vocal ones for Joni helped shape them into the artists they are today. As for making music with one another, that did have to wait until just a few years ago since Josh was busy at school in Italy while Joni was at home becoming a mother for the first time. When her brother finally came back to Perth, that’s when they decided to team up again, this time without the rotten sandwiches.
Constructing music is always a unique endeavor and takes on a very personal form. For Joni, “Our writing process starts with me writing a song lyrically and vocally by myself , usually with my harmonium or guitar or piano. I’ll record a zoom demo and then I hand it over to Josh to produce. He has a pretty awesome intuition when it comes to bringing the best out of my skeleton songs, and orchestrating his magic into them but we do go back and forth with ideas and changes together from there.”
Together they’ve created what they call “intoxicating” music which she thinks would fit perfectly with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” not only because she and her kids are fans, but because she said, “The whole saving the universe thing … is kind of similar to what gives … our new material purpose and meaning.” So their music not only entertains and saves, but connects — which is what Joni is all about. The singer noted, “It can be a very powerful thing and it’s such an honour to kind of facilitate that as an artist… I don’t know how it happens but it does and I’m very grateful for it.”
Connecting is possibly the most important aspect and it’s nice that Joni sees it that way. We’ve all had that moment or moments in our lives when life seems worthless and that’s why it’s important to note and she penned that in “War and Porn.” Looking back she remembers being a mess when the lyrics started to pour out of her, “I was feeling very disillusioned and exhausted by all of the horrific things happening in the world at the time that I was seeing on the news and on the net and it was just too much for my heart to handle.”
Other than the connection her lyrics make, Joni’s sense of style — especially when on stage — definitely makes a stylistic mark. Heading to art school after graduation played a significant role in the intricacies of her wardrobe, “Art has always been something that I do and see and enjoy and appreciate, and it kind of weaves its way into my life in all kinds of ways. It’s one of the awesome things about being an artist in general, whether it’s music or fine art or writing – making different art forms collide to amplify one another is a fabulous thing to behold, and is a running theme in all the artists that I’m fanatical about – Bjork, Kate Bush, Radiohead, etc.”
Right now the two who make up Joni in the Moon are sitting down under in Perth, awaiting the release of their second single “Tarantella” off of their sophomore album. Also, if you’re in the neighborhood, they’ll be playing a few shows as well as some festivals. After that they’ll head back into the studio to finish up their new record that they’re aiming to get out by April 2016. Stay tuned for all that and keep an eye out for their latest crowd funding campaign that’s about to launch.