Having already worked with some of Australia's most renowned musicians to date, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dave Jenkins Jr has launched his first solo project. Introducing NOT A BOYS NAME, the new indie-rock staple destined to be one of the most exciting and unique projects of the year.
'Hazard Perception Test' is an anthemic, catchy track about strength and freedom, expressed through distorted vocals, punchy, sharp guitar hooks and a strong bass line. The song was conceptualized and written in a single day, with NOT A BOYS NAME playing and recording every single instrument.
"The song is about resilience," says NOT A BOYS NAME. "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".
The NOT A BOYS NAME project took flight from there, imbued with the same ethos as expressed in his new single 'Hazard Perception Test': creative autonomy, freedom to experiment and having conviction in your own ideas. It set in motion a prolific period with the Sydney artist revisiting old demos and songs, reshaping them to fit his new creative vision.
Dave has worked with some of the country's most prestigious artists. A chance meeting with alternative-pop musician Andy Bull led to his first musical collaboration and from there his career took off, working with the likes of Daniel Johns, Vera Blue, Lisa Mitchell, Bertie Blackman and Alex Cameron, to name only but a few.
Question: What inspired the creation of Not A Boys Name?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: Hazard Perception Test (my single) was the light bulb moment for me.
I realised that I can write songs the way I want to write them, and release them and people might even like them.
Question: How would you describe Not A Boys Name's music?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: Put some action figures in a blender, throw in a grapefruit and some glitter then film it on your phone with the VHS filter.
Question: What motivated Hazard Perception Test?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: Let me take you way back to 2017. I had been on the road for a while with other artists and I really felt the need to create my own THING. I didn't know what it was, or if anyone would listen to it, but that didn't matter. The spark that started the fire came when I met an amazing American duo called Ohmme. They invited me to their studio, played me their album… made me breakfast… and took me to Home Depot. When I heard their music, it instilled in me the need to be honest with myself and create the music I wanted to make. Something I could be proud of. So I did. I sat down one afternoon and Hazard Perception Test poured out of me.
Question: Can you tell us about the idea behind the video for Hazard Perception Test?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: It's a real doozy. Matt Sav (director) and I were trying to create a real life Hazard Perception Test.
The treadmill represents the journey through life. The tracksuit lady and the cloud man are the personification of your sub conscious.
Kind of like a devil and an angel on your shoulder. All you can do is keep moving forward and hope that they don't lead you astray.
We also just wanted to break things and set stuff on fire… a music video seemed like a good excuse for that.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: I have a song called Cut it Off that really kicks. It has this bass line that just doesn't stop… and the lyrics are a mantra for sorting your shit out. It's like the Macarena if it was written by Marc Bolan.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: I would like everyone in the world to attend a show at some stage. I like meeting new people. If I have to pick someone of note… maybe Shania Twain? Did you know that she has the perfect face? It's been scientifically proven.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: That's a tough one, recording for me is such an introverted experience. A lot of the time I'm holed up at home… it's 4 am, I have headphones on and I'm sliding down a slippery existential slope.
Performing is the opposite. I feel like a superhero on stage. Which one sounds better to you?
Question: What is the story behind the name, Not A Boys Name?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: It's about escaping other people's definitions and expectations. Not a Boys Name is not my name. It's not Dave Jenkins Jr. It could be anything. When people hear the name for the first time there are immediate questions, and I like that.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: With lyrics, it's usually something or someone that has ticked me off. I'll very rarely write a song about how great I feel.
Songs come to me in my sleep sometimes. That always blows my mind. It takes me a while to figure out if it exists already or if it's just popped into my brain from nowhere
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: Right this very second? Ryuichi Sakamoto. But my music tastes bounce around a lot… I'll listen to anything.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: My Dad. Thanks Dad.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Dave Jenkins Jrn: Olympia or Shania Twain. Don't make me choose.