It seems silly to me that the FARRIS brothers of INXS went to all the trouble to come to the States to do a silly reality contest show to find a chap to fill the shoes of the late MICHAEL HUTCHENCE when the ideal replacement was down under as well. JJ (JOZSEPH JAMES) the front man of the pop-rock duo MOJORISING - has got the HUTCHENCE thing down cold in terms of delivery and songwriting so INXSs loss is our gain as MOJORISING show those old sultans of stomping dance-rock how its done with the release of their debut EP FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. Adding to the excitement of this dynamic duos release is a recent move from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles where they hope to lay down the foundation for Americas embrace of all that is MOJORISING. [People] like to remind you that you are one in a sea of a million bands. Says lead singer JJ So we mentally prepared ourselves in coming to the States for a long time. Right now, I think that were feeling a sense of pride for all of the work that weve done in getting to LA because we worked our butts off. Were pretty excited because we just played the WHISKY and that was something that I always wanted to do ever since I was a kid. To sing at JIM MORRISONs old haunt was just unreal. Its a mixture of pride, excitement and knowing that weve got a lot of work to do.

ROCKWIRED spoke to JJ and drummer DAN of MOJORISING the day following their show at THE WHISKY A GO GO. Here is how it went.

How is LA treating you guys. I understand that youre new to it.
DAN: Its been great! Weve been here for about ten days and its just amazing. There is so much energy in the people that weve met. Weve had two gigs here already including the WHISKY which we did last night. Its been such a great thing that is happening with us right now. Its all happening so quickly. Its really, really cool.

Talk about the WHISKY gig.
DAN: We somehow managed to get the WHISKY gig booked four days after we arrived in LA which was awesome. The whole evening was incredible. There was a good energy there and obviously it is where THE DOORS got their start and to have shared the same stage as JIM MORRISON did is just really cool.

Whereabouts in Australia do you guys hail from?
DAN: Were from Melbourne. Its all the way down at the bottom of Australia. There is a lot of music there and a lot of different kinds of performing arts.

Now that the EP is out there for people to hear, how do you guys feel about the finished work?
DAN: We are very, very happy with it. We recorded it at a SING SING STUDIOS back in Melbourne. A lot of big people have been through there including KANYE WEST and ALICIA KEYS. We really tried to go all out with this CD and take our time in getting the production and the recording right. Were really happy with it and weve gotten great responses especially in America and Canada. That is one of the main reasons for why we are here I guess. We plan on pushing this a little while before we jump back into the studio to do a full album.

How did MOJORISING begin? DAN: JJ and I met three years ago and we had a similar vision in terms of what we wanted to achieve in music. We were always big thinkers. We were always pretty driven to do things that are outside of the box, so when we met, we had a really good connection. Weve had lots of people coming in and out of the band. In the beginning, the band had more of a blues rock sound like THE ROLLING STONES so there has been a big evolution in terms of our sound. We were trying to find people who had the same motivation to do what we were doing and we got to a point after a year of one guy leaving to go to school and another guy leaving to get engaged, where we decided that we would be clever about what we are doing and see if we could throw a bit of a concept behind all of this and that is how we became the duo that we are at the moment. Weve been playing out as a two piece and responses have been great. Weve got a lot of energy on stage. Its been a bit of a journey and an evolution for us.

You said that the band started out as a blues-based rock band. At what point did you guys decide to get a little dancier with your material?
DAN: I think that started maybe a year or a year-and-a-half ago that we decided to go for that sound but it was always hard to do because other members of the band were always trying to push that heavier rock sound. JJ and I had always embraced things like INXS and JAMIROQUAI. We love THE DOORS as well but their sound is different from the way that we sound at the moment. We were always into big pop artists like MICHAEL JACKSON and things with more of a groove. I guess it was a matter of going through the process of being true to what it was that we wanted to sound like. It takes time. When we had the other guys in the band, there were all of these compromises that had to be made, but now that its just the two us we can be true to our vision a little bit more.

How do songs get written between the two of you?
DAN: Ill pass this one over to JJ. Hes the songwriter of the majority of our work.

JJ: Songwriting for me is very cathartic. It is how I express myself. I like to take things out of my life and other peoples lives and I basically turn it into a song. Its funny because some people ask me how I write songs and I have no direct method really. Sometimes, Ill be in a bad mood and Ill come up with a bass line in my head or sometimes Ill be playing at the piano and Ill come up with something there. The song SHE WOKE UP TO ME was written when I was really angry with my girlfriend at the time. I was at work as she was cooking and all of a sudden I found myself tapping my foot to this beat in my head. It sort of just came to me all at once.

Talk about how music began for you?
JJ: Music started for me when I was five years old. Im a huge fan of MICHAEL HUTCHENCE of INXS. I saw him singing on TV one day in Australia and at five years old I said I wanna be that guy. That was probably my first brush with music. My father would always singe songs to me LED ZEPPELIN songs and my older brother loved ELVIS PRESLEY. As a young kid, I was surrounded by a lot of great music.

Just by all of the bands that Ive interviewed from AUSTRALIA like MINK, BABY ANIMALS and THE SCREAMING JETS, you guys seem to be a real hard rock continent. Was the idea to incorporate a dance backbeat into the music your idea, his or a consensus?
JJ: Id say it was a mix of both. Were very big fans of evolving in music. Were not the kind of band that stays with one thing. We like a lot of different music. Hes got his pop music that the likes and Ive got my pop music that I like. Ive got my INXS influence and hes got that SAM SPARRO kind of thing. When we can agree on something, it evolves into a sound and that is how we get that backbeat going.

Talk about DAN. What does he bring to the table that makes this work?
DAN is the reason we are a two-piece. When we started we were a full band and things didnt work out and we said to each other what are we going to do? Are we going to audition more people? Its really hard to do that kind of thing and DAN said No. Lets do it ourselves. Youve got the songwriting ability. DANs got the business brain and hes got all the concepts in his head. The two of us have really been able to make this thing work. Because of him, were a two-piece. As a person hes the more intellectual one out of the both of us. Hes the one who steers the ship in many ways which is really helpful for me because I can be more of an artiste at times trying to write songs.

You guys started this project in Melbourne and now youve only been in LA for I dont know how many days and youre spreading the gospel of this EP to this strange country. Whats all going through your head about that?
JJ: People like to say that its like a novelty thing to go to the States and they like to remind you that you are one in a sea of a million bands. So we mentally prepared ourselves in coming to the States for a long time. Right now, I think that were feeling a sense of pride for all of the work that weve done in getting to LA because we worked our butts off. Were pretty excited because we just played the WHISKY and that was something that I always wanted tot do ever since I was a kid. To play at JIM MORRISONs old haunt was just unreal! Its a mixture of pride, excitement and knowing that weve got a lot of work to do.

Perhaps its too premature for me t ask this but after playing THE WHISKY have you noticed any differences between an American audience and Australian one.
JJ:I would say that American audiences are a lot more receptive. They seem like they let loose a little more. Australian audiences are quiet and hard to win over. A lot of the time you get these people who think that bands are trying to show off or whatever but all that they are really trying to do is put on a show. Australians have a real underdog culture and dont really like people showing off or having a good time on stage. Who does this guy think he is? In the States, people tend to appreciate flamboyancy in a better way.

I half agree with that. I dont know if flamboyancy is the word but Americans do like a good show-off.
JJ:And you got one in me.

What songs off of the EP stand out for you the most and why?
JJ: SHE WOKE P TO ME is a definite stand out. That song came out of a fight with my girlfriend at the time. I love when I can write a song and it just comes out of me in five minutes. Its almost like someone is writing it for me. We get the best reaction from that song because I think everyone can tap their toes to it. There is a good message in that song. Its all about trying to make a relationship work again. The next song would probably be TOUCH. I probably wrote that about five years ago and we still get a strong reaction from that song. Its fun to play live.

And DAN, talk about JJ and what you think he brings to MOJORISING.
DAN: When I first met JJ three years ago, I had been working with a lot of different original artists in Melbourne. For me that is what music has always been about working with other artists and harnessing that creativity that comes from writing music. I had worked with a lot of songwriters up to that point. I was really looking to work with someone who really had an edge and that had substance as a songwriter and could continue to develop into a really, really great songwriter. I could tell that at the time and I was also taken by his ability as a front man. When you think of a front man like ANTHONY KIEDIS from the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS theyve got more than just the ability to sing a song. Its not like the whole IDOL process where you sing a song and you win a record deal. There was that extra level of energy and personality that intrigued me at the time and it has continually developed in the two years since weve been working together. Were really quite a complimentary duo. We both like going out but he might have a few more drinks than me so I end up driving a lot of the time. Hes got a beard and Im clean-shaven. Were on opposite ends o the spectrum and its a good combination.

What would you like someone t come away with after theyve heard your music?
DAN: We dont make music to be political or to change the world. Someone can pick up an INXS album KICK is one of our favorite albums of all time and you can put it on and you are always going to have a good time, and be in a positive mood and get a positive energy from it. Thats what we want our music to be. We want to keep it simple and have a good time. Thats the direction that we want to go in. We want to get people dancing and we want people coming away with a more positive outlook than they had before. If people can walk away feeling that then its like a job well done for us.

JJ: Were not going to be changing the world with our lyrics. Its more important to us that people just have a good time with the music. If people can connect with what we are doing and it makes them feel good about themselves. That is why we called the EP FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. We want people to take it however they want to take it.