Joan & The Giants and King Ibis Interview Each Other

Joan & The Giants and King Ibis Interview Each Other

The two Boorloo bands on the rise chat recently supporting Pink and Coldplay respectively, band names, pre-show preparation, rituals and more!

Image - Top: Joan & The Giants; Bottom: King Ibis

Two bands who have been flying the flag for West Aussie indie-pop-rock vibes for a number of years now are Joan & The Giants and King Ibis, with both bands going from strength to strength in terms of both studio recordings and live performances.

With both bands having a huge 2023 that saw the release of a few singles each as well as constant gigging, 2024 has seen each band run with their momentum, including King Ibis supporting Coldplay and Joan & The Giants supporting Pink, as well as touring the country with Eskimo Joe.

Somehow, each band has also find time to write and jump into the studio, with Joan & The Giants having released two singles this year, Good Time and Born in the Wrong Time, while King Ibis have just released their first new music for the year in the form of soaring new single, Cooling Embers.

Speaking on their new single, King Ibis explain "'Cooling Embers' began as a comment on the challenges of a long-term relationship losing its passion and spark, but the meaning changed for me after a conversation with our guitarist, Matt. He asked me if the song was about feeling disillusioned with pursuing a career as an artist. Since then, I have looked at it with fresh eyes and really resonate with the new meaning.

'Cooling Embers' represents for me the moments of uncertainty but also the drive to continue finding the things that make me feel inspired and connected to the people I get the opportunity to share the experience with."

To celebrate the release of Cooling Embers and each bands’ ongoing success, King Ibis and Joan & The Giants interviewed each other for Pilerats to chat band names, support slots, hitting the road, pre-show prep and more!

King Ibis Interview Joan & The Giants:

I think the question that everyone needs the answer to is WHO is Joan? And why is she hanging out with Giants?

Joan is Grace and Grace is Joan! We decided on the name ‘Joan & The Giants’ because we love strong female leaders! It was very inspired by the story of Joan of Arc, and I think Gracie has adopted a stage performance that is ultra-powerful and she’s definitely a giant amongst giants when she performs. - Aaron Birch

What was it like touring with WA legends Eskimo Joe?

The Eskimo Joe tour was a dream come true! It was our first proper tour travelling with and supporting a band that has inspired us for years of our lives. Aaron, in particular, loved them when he was growing up and was a bit star-struck when we first met them! They were so welcoming and so lovely and forthcoming with advice. They’ve had such a long and successful career, and being a band from Fremantle, it’s incredibly inspiring to see the journey they have had. I think the things we will take the most out of that tour are how nice they were to a little band like us and how professional and deliberate their live show is. That run of shows is going to be a great memory for a long time to come!

Y’all spend a lot of time up in Broome/rural north west, what’s the story there?

Our guitarist Aaron grew up in a remote indigenous community called Beagle Bay just an hour North of Broome. He has so much family up there and Broome feels like a second home to us. I think no matter where we are in life, we will always head up to Broome and sip ginger beer on Cable Beach. The crowds are amazing, the scenery is amazing, and we’ve had nothing but fun times in Broome; we love it!

A huge congratulations on the shows with Pink! How did the prep go?

Thank you! I feel like you guys with the recent Coldplay show (which is AMAZING, so prouddddd!) are a band that can relate to the number of thoughts and energy that are gone through in preparing for the shows! We are still so excited from supporting Pink! We’re all massive fans and have grown up listening to her songs, from So Fresh CDs to first iPods to parties, weddings, and funerals.

We’re also huge fans of who she is as a person, how she advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights, and has always done her own thing and embraced her own look and energy. I think people who watched our set saw a complete Joan show. We've got some upbeat rockers and some sensitive, sad tunes that we shared during the set!

Joan & The Giants Interview King Ibis:

King Ibis is a fantastic name for a band! We’re such huge fans of you, but I don’t think we’ve ever asked where it came from. Tell us?

Firstly, we love you and thank you, we are also fangirling hard over Joan here in Ibis land. The name was kind of a happy accident/joke. We were doing some demos when we first formed, and we didn’t have a name, so we didn’t know what to save the files as. Then I think it was John who said Nadene and the Bin Chickens as a laugh and the idea kind of stuck around; we thought that Ibis got a bad rap, so we stuck King in front to make it a little less bin-chicken-y and voila!

What are you most excited about on your East Coast run of shows?

Oh, so many things, it’s our first time out of WA, so we are very pumped up for all of it, but I think maybe our biggest thing is going to be meeting some new bands and hopefully making some new friends on our way.

If you were on a deserted island (classic) what 3 albums would you bring?

Awwww that is a tough one… I think we would all have different answers but if we were stuck together I guess we would have to go with our biggest influences as a band, so definitely something from Arctic Monkeys, maybe AM. We are also constantly using Holy Holy as a reference in the studio and Paint is a masterpiece from start to finish. Good Puss by COBRAH is always getting us pumped for activities so that single on its own is probably worth an album in value.

You guys recently smashed it opening for Coldplay! What was that like? What moments stand out the most?

Honestly, it's still sinking in; even months later, it's surreal. All that can really be said is it was the best thing we could ever have dreamed of, we are so grateful we got to do it and had such an amazing team around us that just made it the most amazing time of our lives. There were so many moments that were amazing; sound checking in an empty stadium was wild, the sound was unreal, the huddle under the stage before we went on just feeling so close and nervous and excited.

Maybe the most memorable was about three-quarters through our set. Sam waved to the crowd, and just seeing thousands of people wave back was so humbling and mind-blowing; I think we all dream of it still and would love to do it again someday.

Tough question, what is your favourite King Ibis song to play live? They’re all so amazing!

Thank you so much! ‘Patience’ is definitely up there, it’s really enjoyable starting in its slow intimate way and moving through to the wild ending, but probably our most favourite would be ‘Never Been So Fine’. We pretty frequently play it last so we are at our most comfortable on stage and the outro gives us an opportunity to all dance together and get the crowd involved too, it’s just a lot of fun.

Does the band have any fun pre-show rituals?

We don’t normally have any rituals, so to speak. We all normally chat to friends and family (and whoever will talk to us, really; we all love a yarn after a couple of drinks) and then gather before our set kicks off to check in and make sure everyone is all good before we get it going.

We love your vintage rockstar aesthetic, but who do you think is the most stylish member of the band?

Haha, I would say that might depend on who gets asked and what night it is. It’s very close, but the most compliments seem to go to John’s cool party shirts. He seems to have a never-ending supply of very cool shirts and often lends clothes to other less fashionable band members, which is extremely valuable to the overall aesthetic.

King Ibis Cooling Embers Artwork

King Ibis' new single Cooling Embers is out now

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