Too Soon Jokes
Justin reached out to me a few weeks ago. He started his email with, "I don't know what I am doing." I immediately liked this band before even hearing their music because same. It wasn't until after listening to their new record and reading Justin's words that I felt we had more than just general uncertainty in common. Justin wrote the songs on this record in his 20s. For anyone who has been in their 20s or are experiencing them now (me) it is no secret that they are tough. From my experience, my twenties have been full of realizations, acceptance, panicking, pure joy, pure fear, extreme highs, extreme lows, failures, success and a mess of other good and bad things. Too Soon Jokes captures those feelings/experiences so accurately. The music is positive, uplifting and bright while the words hold that feeling of nostalgic truth that feels both heavy and enlightening. I found comfort from lyrics like, nothing is wrong but everything is raw, you and me we had everything but we don't have anything to show, the deeper we get the more we see that we're mostly nothing and we need something, and I'll let it be with uncertainty until it returns again, it's the complicated nature of letting go. Again, same. I wish I would have known that other people have these feelings while I was feeling them. The only thing worse than growing pains is thinking that you are the only one experiencing them. This record proves you aren't.
From a basement turned studio in Parkville, Maryland to my little house in Alabama, I hope this record makes you dance, smile and feel understood. It did for me.
Thanks again Drew Waldon for sending great bands with great people in them my way.
Thanks Justin for reaching out, this record and not knowing what you are doing.
Justin Gyurik on Too Soon Jokes..
Justin Gyurik - Guitar and Vocals
Dingo - Guitar
Zane Hunter - Bass
David Klein - Drums
Too Soon Jokes started as an acoustic side project of mine around 2009. At the time, I was living in western Pennsylvania and playing bass in a psychedelic band called Sunflower Spectacle. I started playing my songs with Dingo in another version of the band in 2010, we only played two shows before I moved to Baltimore.
A few months after I moved, I convinced Dingo to move down here with me. We spent the next few years unsuccessfully trying to get the band started. We went through quite a few Craigslist bandmates, but nothing ever stuck. We pretty much gave up at that point.
One day I randomly checked the musician's section on Craigslist and David had a posting for a drummer looking for a band. He sent me some songs he wrote and some tracks of him playing drums, and I was into all of it. We seemed to click right away once we started playing together.
My good friend Zane is another friend that I convinced to move to Baltimore. I met Zane twenty years ago in 6th grade study hall. The first time we hung out, we talked about starting a band; I didn't even play any instruments at the time. He eventually taught me a Blink 182 song and I've been playing ever since. We played together in bands throughout high school. It only made sense to have him complete the band on bass.
From Johnston to Baltimore
So like I mentioned, most of us are from around Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It might just be nostalgia, but I really think we were super lucky to grow up with the music scene that we did. It was a very rural area around a depressed former steel town, but we managed to have a vibrant scene that also hosted a lot of my favorite national acts. I think the small size and limited placea to play actually helped to form a pretty cohesive and successful DIY scene.
We are still trying to figure out the Baltimore music scene, but there is some really cool stuff happening. The scene is so big and spread out compared to what I'm used to; it's like a lot of little separate scenes where there are different faces at each show we go to. Being relatively new to the area, we've been taking a proactive approach and booking a lot of our own shows. Promotion is tough, but it gives us the opportunity to reach out to bands we like and I get to bring bands to town that I'm friends with from Pennsylvania.
Hey, Jim Shorts
We recently played a show with a new band to the area called Jim Shorts. It's been a long time since I was that captivated by a live band, and I'm hoping we'll play some more shows with them soon. I'm really excited for their album coming out.
It's the best way to connect with your city. I know that I personally feel better about life in general when I make an effort to get out and see some bands, a play, or comedy show.
The new record:
It's self titled, so I guess just "Too Soon Jokes"
It was released January 26th. This wasn't even a planned release. I had the masters since October of last year. There were some edits in the mixing that I wanted to make, but just couldn't bring myself to go back in my basement and open the session files up again. I didn't listen to the album for a several months. In January, I drove around listening to it, and I could no longer hear where the edits needed to made. So I texted the band and told them I was releasing it and did.
What was the writing, recording and overall creative process like?
So I technically was writing this album for about ten years before we started recording. I wrote the song Dead Man's Daughter when I was 20. So for the majority of the writing process, this was just a side project while I was in a handful of other bands. As something would come to me, I'd write a song and just keep it on the back burner. I think I had seven of the nine songs at least partially written before we all got together as a band.
All of the songs were written throughout my twenties, and we didn't begin recording until I was freshly thirty. The whole thing was recorded in my unfinished basement where we also practice. I made a separate control room and tracking room by hanging moving blankets. I turned the small bathroom, which is just a toilet in an unfinished room, into a vocal booth.
Since we all have full time jobs, we only really got to meet once a week for like three hours at a time to record. I think everything other than my parts were tracked by April. Since I had access to the studio every single day, I re-recorded my parts way too much. The album could have been out last summer.
Now that this album is out, we are really learning what the writing process is really like for us because we are starting from complete scratch for the new album. I'll get back to you when we release the next one.
I just like the feel of the song, and how I got to tell the whole story in such a concise but kind of abstract way. It is about a guy who randomly attacked a friend of mine; they didn't even know each other and basically had zero interaction other than walking on the same street. I just wanted to get inside his head and try to see what could have prompted him to do it.
No, This is My Territory
It is a song about the time I witnessed someone try to shoot someone else in front of my house. Already suffering from anxiety and hypochondria, I now had this new thing to worry about. I like the way it is tied all together at the end of the song.
And if my assumptions are ultimately true
A swelling, a twitch, or a bullet going through
What's it matter in the end?
Malignant cells or murdering
We're all just trying to make it through
Another day without succumbing to
An untimely death with all our regrets
But that's just what we're designed to do
The record art
My friend Brady Lanzendorfer from Pittsburgh did it. I've known Brady for a long time from playing music back in Pennsylvania. He always makes cool art, so I asked him to make something for this record and I didn't really give him any direction. He sent me the dog, and I loved it, but asked him to add the piece of meat. The earliest form of this band went by the name Dingo and the Fresh Meat and I wanted to pay homage to that. Brady is also an excellent musician and everybody should check out his band, yrs.
Vintage, upbeat and bouncy
It's definitely a poppy album that seems upbeat but the lyrics are all kind of depressing. I really like that juxtaposition of feelings. It's a guitar forward rock album; Dingo has a ton of great lead parts that get stuck in your head. The drums and bass keep the album both bouncy and driving; we don't like to sit still for too long. We have tinges of vintage melodies, but I think it has a pretty fresh feel.
- Justin Gyurik