Kent-based alternative-rock four-piece, Dohny Jep began as a duo in early 2019 and decided they wanted to create something unlike anything either of them had done before in previous bands. Made up of Stuart Day on guitars and vocals, Pete Herbert on bass and vocals, Rowan Tremain on drums, and Wayne Ambrose on guitar, the band used the lockdown period to work on their EP, Smile, It Might Never Happen.
Headliner must start with the name. Where did Dohny Jep come from?
“About 10 years ago I was writing music with an old uni mate and we were trying to think of names,” says Day, who is joined on the call by band members Herbert and Tremain (Ambrose is at work).
“I can't remember where I came up with the idea, but a spoonerism is where you take the first letter of each word and you swap them around. I basically spent a few days writing down a bunch of celebrities' names and swapping around the first letters of each word to see which one would be the funniest.
"And that's how Dohny Jep came about! I then sat on that name for ages because there wasn't really a project that I thought would be good enough for it until Pete and I started writing together.
“It's quite light and it's funny, so I feel like it represents us as people as well,” he considers.
“While the music isn't necessarily that light, we have elements of lightness to it, so it’s like comic relief in a way – because we're talking about loads of mental health issues, but we’re called Donny Jep. It also serves the purpose of being an icebreaker and a talking point. So hopefully people remember us based on the name alone, whether they like the music or not,” he laughs.
He discloses that another name on the cards was Cicolas Nage:
“That would have been a funny one... some of them work, some of them don't,” he grins.
They began as a duo in 2019 (made up of Day and Herbert), with Tremain and Ambrose joining later on. The band knew that they wanted an entirely new sound for what was to become Dohny Jep.
“Before this, Pete and I were playing in a rock band, which was fun, but we wanted to do some really catchy and poppy-style rock music,” explains Day.
“Admittedly, the first album isn't as catchy and poppy as it could have been. But we were learning what we were doing at that point. One of the main things we wanted was hooks, vocals and instrumental all over the songs; basically, a little bit like how the name is memorable.
"We wanted these songs to get stuck in people's heads to annoy them so much that they would remember them!”