MajorLOVE's Johnna Tell's A Story

Indie pop band MajorLOVE is a husband and wife project that's creating music all their own and have released their EP "Sorry" as of late. Frontwomen vocalist Johnna talks of this EP and upcoming plans.

1. Why did you guys want this to be a husband/wife type of project and how has that effected your personal space as far as relationship, marriage, outside of the music aspect.

We were really excited at the possibility of doing a project together. When you are in a band with multiple members from all different backgrounds, there is so much room for conflict. And now, with just the two of us, we pretty much have to work out the details. We don't have to wait to make decisions that are subject to the opinions of five different people — and each one's five closest relatives. Instead, we are able to do what's best for our family. It has grown us closer together being bandmates,  it’s crazy to see, and be able to appreciate the strengths we each bring to the table both in marriage and music.

2. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Our marriage — and band, for that matter — really sprouted from a love of having fun.  We are Major and Johnna Harris, a husband-wife indie pop duo out of Phoenix. We met at a concert, fell in love going to them, and now we get to play them together. When we were still just friends, we spent quite a while working on an almost identical version of the Black Eyed Peas' "Imma Be," except our song was about being bumble bees. "Sippin on Jack baby with the nectar, Imma killer bee like Hannibal Lector..." After that, we would mess around with a lot of backing tracks but really didn't get the chance to write our own music until after Major was untied from any other bands. With that, MajorLOVE became our focus.

3. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Major's legal name is Aaron. The last band he was in there was another member named Aaron so he started going by A.J. His band was playing a festival in Mississippi and the crowd thought he introduced himself as Major — clearly a cooler name — and approached him afterward, addressing him by that. And from that point on, that's what he has been — a clearly cooler mistake. We were out in LA after we were newly engaged and two of our closest friends were joking we should call ourselves MajorLOVE when we do our own project. And, somehow, here we are almost two years later, rocking it.

4. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Currently we are based out of Phoenix, where the music scene is sparse but there are a few gems if you look hard enough. I would say that folk rock dominates the majority of local bands, so if you are looking for indie pop in PHX we are your F-I-X.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

On our debut EP "Story," we wrote songs based on personal experiences. "All the Other People" is about the first time we met. We were at a concert and Johnna was backlit so Major was basically talking to a shadow. We wanted the song to have that feeling of your eyes focusing on one thing in a dark room to the point that everything else seems to disappear. The bridge and chorus are mainly from Major's point of view where the verses give a glimpse into where Johnna was at when we first met. Generally, we want our songs to be fun. We like to write music about our personal memories that have the potential to create entirely new personal memories for our listeners.

6. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Early Madonna, the 80s in general, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, etc. And we just sprinkle some pop sparkle on top of all that, because it obviously needed more.

7. Is there any story or concept behind the Story title?

Well, our entire album is full of stories. The title track "Story" is really the love song on the album. Johnna wrote that song about Major and who he was to her. We were friends for quite a while before we started dating and Major saw the heart behind the flirty crazy persona that Johnna was portraying and dug deep to bring out the best in her. The whole album is really about that, letting go of whatever is holding you back and embracing love.

8. Select two songs from Story and what inspired the lyrics.

"Fire Eyes" is something almost everyone can relate to. You know, that night when you are out and see your ex that you clearly had chemistry with and there's that split-second decision between "Are we doing this again?" and "We are REALLY bad for each other" and "the smoke is making us blind," handicapping our already clouded judgement. Watching the "fire rise in each other's eyes" is seeing the old flame of love once shared igniting all over again.

Our single "Sunrise" is about one of the first times that we hung out. We spontaneously drove to California because Johnna wanted to watch the sunrise on the coast. We made it all the way to Laguna beach and were sitting in the sand before Johnna realized that the sun was rising behind us. Major knew the whole time but wasn't going to pass up a six-hour drive with a cute girl. It was really the first time that we had any deep conversation.

9. Who produced Story and what was it like working with them?

It was a collaboration between us and Matt Grabe (The Maine, This Century). Matt is AMAZING.
We had some solid demos when we met with him but he took it to a whole new level with his pop genius.
Working with him was a privilege.

10. Who did the cover art for Story and how much input did you have on it?

Our amazing and talented friends worked on our album cover. Stephanie Brunner is our photographer and she took the super eye-catching photo of Johnna as well as the photo of Major with the balloons that is on the back of the album. Stephanie Haworth designed our logo and branding. Our Stephanies are THE BEST. We majorly love them.


11. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

We are both dead-set on making MajorLOVE an experience, not just a stale, go-through-the-motions production. Fans should expect a dance party if they are at one of our shows, and as soon as you turn on one of our tracks we hope you are singing along. Expect confetti. And pop music that dances on the lines of indie. And bright colors. And unashamed over-the-top goodness. And more confetti. We are really all about crazy, unique shows and fun music that makes you want to dance.

12. Any final words of wisdom?

Don't do a music project with your spouse unless you want to have a lot of fun.

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