Introducing NOT A BOYS NAME and his twisted indie-rock
NOT A BOYS NAME is the new solo project by Dave Jenkins Jr. Having already worked with the likes of Daniel Johns, Andy Bull, Bertie Blackman, Gordi and Eves Karydas, it was a chance moment one afternoon that saw Jenkins Jr open himself up to an inner yearning for him to find his own voice, and so his debut single -and the entire NOT A BOYS NAME project- was born. Titled ‘Hazard Perception Test’, it’s a twisted indie-rock tune with pop sensibilities, and was recently matched with a fittingly bonkers new video that NOT A BOYS NAME worked on with the iconic MATT SAV.
“The song is about resilience,” he said. “Fighting back when you are being stunted by your own fears and insecurities. It’s less about a romantic kind of heart than it is about having heart and having the strength to do what you want to do, the way YOU want to do it.”
Having already played at BIGSOUND this year, NOT A BOYS NAME is now ready to support both OLYMPIA and I KNOW LEOPARD before the year is through. Tipped to have a whole lot more music up his sleeve, we’ll hopefully be hearing a lot more of him in the future, but for now we got to know him a little better. Check it all out below!
Who are you?
My name is Dave Jenkins Jr, but that’s not important.
This is NOT A BOYS NAME.
How did NOT A BOYS NAME come to be?
I’ve been playing music and experimenting with recording since I was a kid, but this whole thing really kicked into gear last year when I wrote Hazard Perception Test.
What are we talking, vibes-wise?
We’re talking indie bop/twisted pop vibes.
Happy music for sad folks.
Tell us a bit about your new single, ‘Hazard Perception Test’?
It arrived in a single afternoon. I was cooked..I was in a musical rut and I felt defeated. All of a sudden this nagging little creative slug started tugging on my shirt. Hours later I had this song, and NOT A BOYS NAME was a thing.
The project has an element of being free to express yourself and backing yourself and your ideas despite what people may or may not say. You’ve already worked with many notable musicians, but what gave you the inspiration to fully explore this project as Not A Boys Name?
It was the longing for my own musical identity that really motivated me. I had spent so long being defined by other peoples music, purely by association. It felt like I was like opening my mouth and hearing someone else’s voice. This project is my voice and it’s the start of my life’s work.
You’ve since revisited old demos and reworked them to fit this fully fledged new project. How was it revisiting old work of yours and seeing how far you’ve come as an artist, a creative and even just as a human?
To be honest, the old stuff has not changed that much. When I wrote Hazard Perception Test I realised that I was already sitting on a body of work, I just needed to give those old songs the love and attention they deserved. The rawness, sonically and emotionally, is the most endearing quality about those older recordings. So I have held on to a lot of that.
You’ve teamed up with Matt Sav for the new video which came to you from a late night viewing of ‘You Can Call Me Al’ by Paul Simon. All of the visuals of the NABN project have a very realised vision, from your press shots to this video. Why is this visual aspect so integral to the project?
The visuals and the music go hand in hand. In my mind, you can’t have one without the other. Quite often, when I’m writing a song I will ruminate about the look of that song. WHERE is it? Is it night time? Is it inside? are there clouds on the walls? Matt Sav was so important in this whole process. He facilitated just about every crazy idea that popped into my head..then garnished it with his own eccentric genius.
What can we expect from you moving forward?
More music. Holy gosh, I have so many songs for the world to hear.
There’s another psychotic music video in the works too.
Where can we hear more of your work?
At a concert!
I’m supporting Olympia at Lansdowne on October 20, and I Know Leopard at Leadbelly on Oct 25.
Also, instagram. I’m always posting snippets of unreleased songs. Whoops!
Interview by Emma Jones