On May 25th, Vancouver-based quartet Jo Passed will release Their Prime, their first full-length effort, on CD/LP/CS/DL worldwide through Sub Pop Records, with the exception of Canada through Royal Mountain Records.
The band have delivered an official video for Their Prime standout “MDM,” which was directed by Eleanor Petry. Bandleader Jo Hirabayashi says of the video, “something something, on my phone too much, something something, marshall mcluhan, something something, stanley kubrick, something something, the medium is the message, something something, ouch my insides.”
Jo has been part of the DIY music scene since his late teens. Initially it was just him and his high school best friend Elliot Langford against the world. They were the “freaky music weirdos” and they began their own band projects. Jo was pretty sure that it would be two of them riding into the sunset – or maybe the gloom – together. Personal circumstances and the phenomenon of the late 20s return of Saturn (for those who believe in astrology) got in the way. Their band Sprïng called it a day. That’s where the life of Jo Passed began. The idea of a band dynamic is far more appealing to Jo than solo projects, and the current incarnation of Jo Passed feels like its most robust yet.
Jo, along with his friend and drummer Mac Lawrie, moved across the country from Vancouver to Montreal. The two would play shows in Montreal and eventually tour the far right corner of North America. Upon Jo’s return to the west coast, multi-instrumentalist Bella Bébé officially joined the band in January of 2016, expanding Jo Passed from trio to a full quartet. Multimedia artist Megan-Magdalena Bourne began working with Jo Passed on a video project for the song “Rage” (from the Out EP). This creative partnership would eventually lead to her taking on the role of bassist for the band.
When not geeking out over The Zombies, or Nirvana, or Johann Sebastian Bach… Bella, Mac, and Megan have worked with Jo to realize the live experience of Their Prime, following two Jo Passed EPs titled Up and Out.
Jo Passed has scheduled a few spring club shows and festival dates before hitting the road later this year. Current highlights include shows with Hardly Art’s Dick Stusso (March 16th-24th) and an appearance at Treefort Music Festival in Boise (March 21st).
Mar. 16 – Bozeman, MT – Labor Temple*
Mar. 18 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge*
Mar. 19 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court*
Mar. 21 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Festival
Mar. 22 – Seattle, WA – Barboza*
Mar. 24 – Portland, OR – Crush House *
Apr. 14 – Victoria, BC – Lucky Bar
*w/ Dick Stusso
Preorders for Their Prime are now available through Sub Pop and Royal Mountain Records. LP purchases in North America through megamart.subpop.com
Their Prime is a record about identity and the loss of time that happens as a direct consequence of being in the city with nowhere to rent, no time outside of employment and no realistic expectations to live up to. It encompasses that fear of being beyond the glory years, the most creatively fruitful period of one’s life. Those years were lost to contemporary struggles for working relationships, home, identity and space. “It’s me owning my worst nightmare,” he admits. “A lot of the Jo Passed project has been about confronting fears. I was afraid to move away from Vancouver to Montreal on my own. Afraid to leave musical relationships I had. Afraid to bare the full responsibility of a project. I’ve been putting out records and not ones anyone’s necessarily heard. Being open about those fears is a good way of dealing with them. You end up at this point where you hit 30 and you’re like, ‘Oh what happened? Am I done? Did I not activate my main creative energy?’ It’s a ridiculous idea but 30 feels a little like 1000 in rock n roll terms.” You can hear the frustrations and the jitters in the crashing loud-and-quiet motifs throughout the album’s twelve tracks, which offer up a patchwork quilt of sound, similar to Faust’s IV or Fugazi’s Red Medicine [read more at Sub Pop].
Their Prime tracklisting:
8. Millennial Trash Blues
9. You, Prime
11. Another Nowhere
12. Places Please