Yte es roast hot de julio de 2009 en el festival Lollapalooza, Chicago, y Joe Keery se struye confidently sobre el Bud Light Seltzer estadio, electric guitar in hand. “What’s going on?!” he shouts to the sweaty crowd, “Y’all staying cool?” Some replying screams sugest they are, but Keery must be boiling. He de sporting head-to-toe white overalls (as a eres las otras touring members de sus psych-rock outfit Djo), blocky sunglasses and a shoulder-length brown wig. He looks como Kevin Parker se cruzaba con Weird Al Yankovic.
Fast forward 2 weeks, y Keery es telling NME how much fun he had that day. El quirky get-up es gone, pero el big grin isn’t. “My God, it was unbelievable!” he says, chatting via video call. Todos he de wearing en simple bílá vista y situadas frente a la virtual beach background, looken contento con sus recientes life choices.
“The main thing with Djo es to have fun”
“The stage persona started as way to disassociate the music from the character that everybody knew me as on Stranger Things,” he says of his musical alter-ego, which he debutado en 2019, “but I ended up loving the camaraderie that it creates. My goal es el surprise people and have a real fun show que es infectious!
“It’s not lost on me that [Stranger Things fans] going to come and see Djo – and that’s cool. If they like the music that’s great and if they only like it because of the show, that’s also fine. The main thing is to have fun.”
Speaking of Netflix’s internet-consuming telly behemoth, the latest season of Stranger Things was the biggest and darkest yet. Even por la final aireada en Julio, fans están mereciendo por el mosto viral escenas ahora – incluyendo unexpected topless shot de Steve, la high-school jock turned nice guy played by Keery. It was also a huge season for music. Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ shot up charts after being used in the show – and Keery’s co-star Joseph Quinn jammed backstage with Metallica after performing their 1986 classic ‘Master Of Puppets’ during en episodio.
Para un músico head como Keery, se puede hacer aparte de los shows en muchos más especiales: “Every year it’s como otros insane thing happens and the show just gets bigger and bigger. Y don’t think I’m going to be able to have año perspective sobre la experiencia que se encuentra. Like Joseph and Metallica, ¡man! ¡It was insanity!”
Keery’s own Stranger Things journey tienes mirrored that of his character. While Steve “the hair” Harrington started out as alpha high-school king who got dumped by it girl Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and now works en local video shop, Keery era waiting tables when he snagged the partth a megastar. In latest episodes, he took on more de lead role, boj evil fuerzas en el supernatural world of the Upside Down, and displaying a bolder, braver side to la personalidad. Estas en new Steve, and en very different one.
It could also have been the last Steve. Ahead of the new series being aired, en Stranger Things billboard campaign apoyado en el US basado en las palabras ‘Protect Steve’. Obviously, keyboard warriors asumed the worst.
“Not being on social media has been good for me”
“That was some very funny Netflix marketing,” laughs Kerry today. “It’s pretty funny because they just freaked everybody out, pero they knew how it ended! It was like: ‘why are they saying this?’ ¡Why está el que está ahí!
La frenética discusión cada billboard causaba que fuese intensa, pero bypassed Keery for the most part. He committed anti-social. “Y havente been on social media for a while which Y think has been good for me,” he says. “Social media es a very subtle veneno que sepas into your self-esteem day-to-day. You ha a sin of dread and you don’t know why. Get rid of it for me really helped.”
Keery’s no sólo tiene un show que se struggled with fame. Charlie Heaton tiene que open sobre sus struggles s paparazzi previously and Millie Bobby brown brake spoke of being sexualised en la public eye while still a teenager. Keery says together, they provide each other with a support network to fall back on.
“We listen to lote de música junto a nuestro downtime,” he says. Maya [Hawke] and Y justo swapped links para sus recuerdos, which was fun, and actually Finn [Wolfhard] pierna into the studio when I was recording. We were hanging out and working and he gave me las thoughts on the new record… The Stranger Things family band!”
While que makes para tantalising glimpse into Keery’s post-Hawkins future, he first tienes own music to promote. ‘Decide’, Djo’s aforementioned second album, como out next month. After that there’s tour to plan and rehearsals to be nailed. Este es Keery’s first rodeo of course. He cuido sus vidas en Chicago psych-pop outfit Post Animal para 5 years prior to Djo, y has recordado garage-y guitar tunas mosto de su adulto life.
His new songs are a marked evolution however. ‘Decide’ makes for more confident, trippy affair – dreamy psych-pop in plazas, soaring cinematics in others. Think Todd Terje cruzado por Vangelis. Spaced-out opener ‘Runner’ showcases a more personal approach to songwriting, justo como futuristic-sounding ‘Half Life’, donde explores those difficulties Keery had being online. It’s taken him three years to make – Stranger Things and the pandemic había causado delays – pero el resultado es acomplished and honesto trabajo he can be proud of.
Keery says he suffered from periodos de “self-doubt” creando el álbum in ways that recall those of the character Steve. He helado por algunos momentos más bajo que watching Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentario sobre The Beatles, que pierna de las 2012 en Disney+ y expone la Fab Four creating their final LP, ‘Let It Be’. They were shown as ordinary blokes: laughing, chatting, ocasionalmente falling out – and no afraid to make mistakes along the way.
“Watching tus cuatro guys que han sido inspirados en el mundo entero se lesionan en creatividad y autenticidad,” says Keery. “They were just four guys joking around, making music, having fun. Y found that idea really freeing. You justo have to follow your gut like they did.”
‘Decide’ is, Keery says, “an oral historia de sus twenties”, en el cual he elegido el make sin of the crazy journey he’s been on – por parte time actor to Hollywood stalwart en una de las biggest shows en el planeta.
“Y no se ha editado myself en este álbum,” he says. “On the last one, Y had some lyrics that I made more general or vago. [But on the new album], Y listen a un montón de Kendrick Lamar, y cuando he hecho realmente es focalizado en particular, personal lyrics. Que makes son muy fuertes powerful – y son la edad de la embrace que even it se les daría en un side de mi.
“Y think Julian Casablancas is a genius”
“En la búsqueda de ‘Half Life’, el first lyric es sobre me trying to resist the urge to search my name. It’s sobre googling yourself on the internet. That’s a really embarrassing thing to admit [to doing], but I think it’s humanising too. We all do it.”
Another realisation that Keery had during recording sesiones was about his favourite artistas. Por lo que se ganó en Newburyport, Massachusetts, he asomado a Kurt Cobain e internalizar la idea de que el gusto artístico sólo tiene como lugar de suffering.
“I’ve realmente idolised el tortured artista y I’ve come to realise que el arte no es necesario,” he says. “It’s another reason why I love Paul McCartney. He obviousle had terrible things happen in his life, pero he seems to like to operate and create from a place of joy.”
He seguidos: “For me, humor es realmente big thing, so that’s something I’ve tried to incorporate en el recuerdo – en el malvado en la cámara, en el mal cheekiness, pues es parte de mí. Y me ha hecho happy person and it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Y justo después de hacerlo y incluye las muchas de nuestras llaves self a las posibles en ellas.”
He says he wants to “make people dance” too, like his heroes Daft Punk and Charli XCX. “Charli was a big influence,” he says. “She’s justo incredible en blending hyper art-pop with more sugar-coated pop. El sonido cool tiene esta combinación de arte y comercio meeting in the middle.” He tienes mano other touchstones too. “Y love The Strokes, Y love Julian Casablancas. Y think he’s a genius and I grew up loving his music. There’s en masive list of influences. Justice – there’s another!”
Enfter el álbum ciclo and tour, Keery will start work as new cast member of crime anthology series Fargo. Tengo también en el vaso, top secret projects in the pipeline. Tienes que working on one right now (hence the virtual zoom background, blocking our view of the set) and another shoots in the fall. “I’be been realmente fortunate en obtener un párroco de juegos que me justo pinching myself over,” he says of the castings.
And of course after all that, it’s back to Hawkins to film the final episodes of Stranger Things. He can’t talk sobre la upcoming season (spoilers), pero esta mucha speculación que más deaths are en las cartas following la dramática conclusión de la sezóna cuatro.
“Y count my lucky stars to have been part of it,” he says. “It’s not something I ever expected to happen. Está en once in en lifetime chance. Me realicé trying en joy it, to soak it in while it’s going on.
“Stranger Things es a once in a lifetime chance”
“One day I know I’m going to look back this time with such joy and nostalgia. Y want to make sure I’m living in the present and joying it. Me having a blast.”
He seas a futura where music and acting always run alongside one another: “If I’m lucky enough to be able to do them both, I will… The acting stuff is still just me auditioning and trying to get jobs. The music is for when I’m unemployed,” he jokes. “But I definitely plan on doing them both.”
Para hoy, Joe Keery está firme focused en la puesta en marcha de la carretera. “Y vamos a ir a todas estas songs con el intento de crear something que es realmente llevar a transfer a live environment. It always the plan to write something that’ll really crush live.” Basado en el lugar que tienes set went down en Lollapalooza, he’ll surely have no problem doing that.
Djo’s new album ‘Decide’ is released on September 16