Anyone who’s a reader of Essentially Pop would know that we love Jedward here. We love their music, we love what they represent, we love that they don’t let things get them down no matter what gets thrown at them. In short, we love them.
Likewise, regular readers would know that they have been in London promoting Syfy’s Sharknado 3, in which they not only have a cameo, but also wrote and sing the title song, ‘Oh Hell No’. So, we were deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to speak to Edward Grimes (with the occasional input from John) today. Here’s our interview.
EP: Hello! Which one am I talking to, I can’t tell you apart on the phone!
EG: You’re talking to Edward!
EP: What is the Sharknado 3 story?
EG: The Sharknado 3 story is about a natural disaster that happens with a tornado and sharks. And it can happen anywhere in the world, and I think we need to raise awareness of it, for anyone in the world, that this can actually happen, and that everyone would want Ian Ziering and Tara Reid and Jedward there to save the day. And who would not want John and Edward to rock up to their door, and put them in the Jedmobile, and run to safety?
EP: Absolutely! It is a real thing anyway, it happened off the coast of Western Australia not long ago…anyway…
Your song ‘Oh Hell No’, is getting a lot of publicity at the moment in the lead up to Sharknado 3, what style of music is it? Is it Rap, is it Trap, what is it?
EG: I think ‘Oh Hell No’ is a feel good song, it’s a really empowering song, it’s got loads of attitude, it’s really commercial, and it’s got the song title for the movie, but it’s still an edgy song, it’s got loads of meaningful lyrics, tattooable lyrics. I think a lot of fans really really like it.
Fans that have been with us for six years, our first single was ‘Ice Ice Baby’, it’s almost like deja vu – we had a rap song and now we’ve got a rap song, six years later, and we’ve written all the lyrics, it’s our own song. And it’s punchy, and we wanted it to rhyme at the end of each statement. It’s Trap, it’s EDM, it’s the sound of NOW. Oh and John says it’s “Crunk”. I don’t think anyone’s had a song called ‘Oh Hell No’ before, it was something said virally by some girl ages ago, but it’s putting a new meaning on it, instead of it being like [girl voice] “Oh helll no” it’s now [fierce voice] “OH HELL NO” – we’ve just made it cooler, we made it not as dramatic.
EP: Now Tara said in an interview the other day that, “some friends and I came up with it in a Vine, and it became the sub title of the movie” – was that you guys? Did you guys actually come up with the sub title?
EG: Yeah! There were loads of different names they had in mind for it…they had a massive brain storming for it, and me John and Tara were like, no it has to be called ‘Oh Hell No’ and then they officially called it ‘Oh Hell No’ then it worked with our Vine we did with Tara, where she’s [imitates Tara] “Oh HELLL no!”
EP: The one where there’s the dead body of John falling out Tara’s door…
EG: Originally they had it coming out as just Sharknado 3, and because the other ones had titles like “Enough Said”. Me and John have had a huge impact, we were on the front cover of Irish newspapers, and I know we’re only in it for a few seconds, but it’s the best few seconds OF YOUR LIFE! And with John and Edward, if a Sharknado was about to occur, I think what everyone’s wondering is will our hair withstand the Sharknado, but you don’t get to see that – it was awesome and we totally survive.
EP: Good! That’s what I want to hear! What’s the song writing process? When you’re writing, is there one who writes more than the other?
EG: We both write together – we have so much content – John writes, I write, then we make it all mathematical, make it all match, the syllables, the rhyming. You’ve got to remain constant, you’ve got to have what you’re aiming towards, to fill it up, to make it all meaningful, and get loads of themes out. It’s still got to relate to you, but then you’ve got to ensure that it’s a universal song, because it’s got to appeal to a lot of people. I know that our songs don’t always get to be heard by everybody, but who knows, maybe in fifty years time people will look back and be like John and Edward were “going”.
EP: Well why not – I don’t see why not! You’ve made a ton of music videos haven’t you?
EG: Yes! We’ve made a lot of music videos, the thing about me and John is that we always have our camera with us, it’s a 5D Mark II, then we shoot stuff. I remember it all started with our song ‘Lipstick’, the record label didn’t want to make a music video for it, and we were like, “This is going to be the biggest song ever!” and since then it’s sold millions and had millions of views. And we made the music video, we flew over to Paris, and went to the Eiffel Tower, edited it on iMovie, and we got better – we’ve learned about colour grade, and different vibes.
The thing people don’t understand, they usually think it’s the camera that makes it look professional, but it’s actually the editing – matching to the beat, and getting the colours right – like if you want a sort of scary vibe, such as for our music video for ‘Ferocious’ – or for ‘Oh Hell No’, it has to have dark in it, it has to have lots of greys, and then you can overlay a blue tint, to kind of give it that vibe. You know on Instagram, you’ve got lots of different filters – it’s like that when you’re making and colour grading music videos, you have to do cool filters, and you add contrast, and turn up the saturation, it’s really cool when it all works out.
Getting it all in synch is always really difficult, but it’s kinda good that me and John are unstoppable – usually you only have one music video for an album, or max 3, but if me and John like a song, or if fans like it, if we get a good reaction to it at a concert, we say, we’ll make a music video for this – for instance, we have a song called ‘How Did You Know’ – and we decided to make a video for it because it was getting lots of airplay in Singapore, and then our song ‘Young Love’ – our album was all made, all literally ready to take over the world, and our record label didn’t want to make a music video, so we were like “We need to make a music video!” so we shot the music video at the beginning of the week, had it all edited and uploaded, and now it’s had like four million views on YouTube.
We’re pretty good at making music videos – even the ones of ours that don’t look a hundred percent professional, sometimes people get a professional in to make it look like that.
EP: If you don’t tell anyone, no-one will know!
EG: I don’t think anyone ever actually knows – they’re literally gobsmacked, “You didn’t make that!” But we did make it! This thing about me and John is literally blown all out of proportion – we are who we are!
EP: That leads into my next question, which is, how important is it to have creative control over everything, and why?
EG: I think it’s always good to do it yourself, even if we had the biggest record deal ever we’d still want to be a hundred percent in control, and have input into the situation, but even if we were in a different situation, we’d still always be rocking it, because – you know, we’ve been in the business six years, we know what our fans want, we know what the sound is – some people think they know what they’re doing but they actually don’t know, and we know. We’re always on trend. We know what needs to be out there.
EP: I think you’re often ahead of the trend aren’t you…
EG: Yeah! For our ‘Ferocious’ video we had that whole Red Camera affect, and now everyone’s got that in their music videos. It’s all good.
EP: Trouble is, you get ahead of the trend, and everyone picks up on all this stuff, and you’ve got to move to something else, you know, everyone’s doing that now.
EG: Me and John we have loads of music videos, we’re too good our fans – sometimes people only have one video to fangirl over, but for our fans we have loads of music videos, loads of pictures. Our fans will literally have marathons where they watch all our Youtube videos, you could sit in your house for days watching Jedward.
EP: You need your own TV station!
EG: Yeah! We’re always really really fresh, we’re always coming up with new ideas, we don’t say the exact same thing. We did a press junket for Sharknado, and we made sure that every single interview was a new interview, we had a change of outfits. It was really cool, you think of people like Brad Pitt or whatever doing it, but it was me and John – it was a learning experience for us, like a boot camp. When we get a main movie role we’ll be doing all the press.
EP: That’s cool! We’ve seen Sharknado 1 and 2 go viral on Twitter – and last night when Sharknado 3 was screened in North America it went totally mad, and it’s going to go even more tonight isn’t it – because it’s the whole world –
EG: YES! I think it’s going to be the biggest UK rating show, and around Europe – it’s become like a sort of national holiday – all over twitter you see people making cupcakes or whatever saying “Sharknado” and we even make Sharknado jackets today, we went to the shop and bought these letters and stuff and put them on to spell Sharknado, on our blue jackets. I think it’s something everyone can get together for and just rave, because it is a phenomenon like Jedward and you don’t know what’s going to happen next – it’s crazy – you don’t know what to expect – it’s kind of like Where’s Wally with each different cameo, you’re there going, oh is it that person…But everyone knows Jedward – there’s all these Americans (on Twitter) going “I need to know these guys” so it’s cool. When we first had our hair it was really striking, but I think now it’s really acceptable…
EP: You’re on every social media platform going, aren’t you, everything –
EG: Thing about it is, you never know what social media platform is going to take off, we’re like “Oh this is a cool app, let’s sign up just in case it becomes the next Facebook or Twitter.”
EP: Exactly! You’ve got to pick them all up – but how important do you think it in the music industry to be so in touch with all that sort of stuff?
EG: I think it’s very important for you to be the number one source, you can do a newspaper or magazine interview, but I think it makes the most impact if you’re able to say your opinion on things, and you’re able to put out your own content, you approve it – and then you literally create this army of loyal fans who everyday are going by their daily lives and get a buzz on their phone, oh John and Edward have messaged them, or were sending them a tweet. Me and John we don’t do the generic stuff, we like to find new, exciting things, not just the old school, (puts on a voice) “hey how are you I love you” sort of thing, we try to keep away from the generic stuff that people say to their fans.
EP: It’s cool – it works well. We’ve seen you take to the catwalk for Jean-Paul Gaultier recently – if someone said to you, drop music for modelling or acting – would you? Or could you?
EG: I think for me and John, walking down the catwalk was like walking down the street. I’d love to fly all around the world just to walk. I’d literally just be rocking it. We might even revolutionise catwalks, we’d do front flips, we’d literally be Cara Delevingne to the next level, and up-lifting. We’d be able to do the full on professional walk and then we’d spice it up and add a couple of kicks.
We’ll always do music – it’s our main purpose!
EP: I know! It’s part of you!
EG: Thing about it is, it’s our foundation, and if we got rid of that, it would mean that literally everything we’ve done to this point will be for nothing, I think everything else will just be second.
EP: What’s your ideal role?
EG: My ideal role in a film is something that shocks people – they’d be like, “I wasn’t expecting that” and something that has a lot of different angles, a movie that takes us to a new level of doing something different. There’s a lot of movie formulas that people try to do but I feel the ones that go beyond the normal movie storyline are the ones that become the long time classics.
EP: And who would your leading lady be?
EG: John who would it be? John said Chloe Moretz, but for me, Tara Reid every time!
EP: How important is it for you to have a strong brand image? You’re known for your iconic hair – even though it’s changed a lot over time, it’s always still (puts on a voice) “Jedward with the sky-high hair” even when you’re in an interview with completely flat hair, it’s like “Oh crazy Jedward hair” and it’s really…um…no…do you think you would ever change your image? Do you think you could ever change your image? Or that’s it?
EG: Even though we’re not the most famous people ever, we’re the most recognisable, we make the biggest impact. We’re evolving all the time, we’re like Madonna.
EP: You’re better than Madonna!
EG: We’re way better! We’re two guys, a lot of men aren’t doing what we’re doing, we’re totally revolutionary.
EP: You inspire others to follow your dreams – is it difficult to stay so positive? Or do you sometimes say, “What the hell, why am I still doing this?”
EG: Me and John are always a hundred percent positive, we could be in the worst situation ever, but we have fans reaching out to me about their problems, and I’ve put them on top of my own problems before, and I think it’s always good to have other people, even if you’re not okay, to rock it anyway for them. You’ve got to be a strong leader for people to join the phenomenon!
EP: One last question! What is the ONE thing that you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but they never ever do?
EG: John what do you think?
JG: How does it feel to have your songs playlisted on our radio station?
EG: Yeah – How do you feel to have your songs playlisted on our radio station – because I don’t think any radio station has ever playlisted us – they say they’re going to add our song to their radio, but when we leave they never play it again.
EP: Okay! So I’m BBC Radio 1, I’ve just playlisted all the songs you’ve written in the past couple of years – so how do you feel?
EG: I feel very excited, it’s been so awesome to have this respect shown to us, on our fourth album, and we’ve been here for six years – and it means a lot to us!
EP: UNREAL! Thank you so so much! Bye Edward! Bye John!