Joan of Arc began in 1996 with the clear goal of "creating music for no audience." And by this we meant that we were constant and voracious consumers and keen observers of many scenes contemporary at the time: hardcore, punk, post-punk, post-rock, riot girl, emo, math rock, no wave, noise, experimental, drone, free jazz, kraut rock, dub, glitch, drum and bass, psych, folk, and twee. All of these scenes had their own codes of membership and conformity. We set out knowing that our failure to be embraced by any prefab audience would be the proof of the singularity of our expression.
Elements of all these genres were mangled together on our first record. And though we have changed forms and approaches many times since then, collage, juxtaposition, and fusion have remained our consistent guiding principles in structure, production, and style. And recalling that initial mission statement we know we are a success: we have travelled the world many times over and still manage to frustrate expectations. And still no one anywhere would dare claim to like us to appear cool.
Most bands break up when they realize that being a band isn't likely to make them rich and the industry expectations are most often demeaning and exhausting. Of course the standard practices of the music business are meant to squelch ongoing collaborative creativity in favor of quick profit. That's simple business: maximize returns on minimal efforts. But we are not a business first and foremost. Impracticality and counter-intuitiveness remain as vital to our ongoing survival as practicality and intuition.
As we have grown as people and as a band we have necessarily shifted from squeezing our real lives in around band activity to integrating the band into our lives. This has meant adopting a more open collective style membership in favor of the common clear cut mentality of standard gang membership. And doing so has deepened the trust between us, the subtlety and nuance of our expression and the expansiveness of our collective imagination. We remain dedicated to the struggle for utopia by design and in practice.