Backstage, the members of DNCE are prepping for their concert in collaboration with Pop-Tarts and Ne-Yo. Though busy hydrating their vocal chords and relaxing for the big show, Splash sat down with the band to discuss friendship, music and humor. Joe Jonas, Jack Lawless, JinJoo Lee and Cole Whittle are more than just bandmates, though — they’re also best friends.
Individually, the musicians who make up DNCE have been involved in their own endeavors: You may know Jonas from the wildly famous Jonas Brothers; the others have rocked stages around the world in various bands and with performers. Even so, it’s obvious they feel immensely comfortable with each other.
“From the first moment, this felt like a band that’s been around forever,” Whittle says. “We’re really family and we’re all best friends and creatively we work together so well. When we have a day off, we’re hanging out together. It really is like [we’re] ‘The Bad News Bears.’ We’re all for one, one for all.”
As close as they are, the group is bound to have some inside jokes, such as their band name, DNCE. While texting each other one night from bed, excited about how the music was sounding that they’ve created thus far, Whittle explains, they decided to talk about band names:
“Someone misspelled the word dance, and it was ‘DNCE.’ It looked right, there were four letters and we could just see it in our minds in big bright lights.”
And they were right. Since releasing their hit song, “Cake By The Ocean,” in 2015, they’ve seen massive success, winning the coveted Best New Artist award at the MTV Video Music Awards this year.
“We’re still on a high from it,” Jonas says. “It’s something I think a lot of artists hope to be up for. For us, we’ve all been doing this for over 10 years, so it’s really unique that we’re taking home such a prestigious award for new. That makes us feel like we can continue to create and evolve. I think it just makes us want to continue to release music.”
While new songs have been released along with their EP, “SWAAY,” it’s clear that “Cake By The Ocean” is a crowd favorite, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. With catchy lyrics and dance-worthy beats, the title itself holds a comical meaning.
“We were in the studio with some Swedish producers,” Whittle says. “They were telling a story, and they were confusing cake by the ocean. They kept saying that, instead of Sex on the Beach, the cocktail. Joe has this comedy radar that’s amazing. He can hear if something funny is happening a mile away, he’s like Batman, he knows it’s happening. He said that [comment] was really hilarious, so we ran with it and ‘Cake By The Ocean’ was created.”
Each band member has a different cake favorite that they would personally like to indulge in by the beach. For Jonas, it’s red velvet. Bassist Whittle, prefers grandma-inspired cakes, which he says include a lot of alcohol, yet “still are innocent because they’re grandmas.” Drummer, Lawless prefers a cold ice cream cake and cool-girl guitarist Lee wouldn’t mind a slice of chocolate cake.
Photos by Orel Chollete