If you're reading this right now, there's a very good chance you're asking yourself, "Who or what the hell are The Janoskians?"
Well, the simple answer is, "The Janoskians are a group of five best friends who brew ‘social disturbance’ and capture it on camera and churn out infectious and incisive punked-out pop anthems”. However, even that barely scratches the surface of what this troupe has done or what they're really capable of. The Melbourne-born, Los Angeles-based boys—brothers Beau, Jai, and Luke Brooks and buddies James Yammouni and Daniel "Skip" Sahyounie—defy any and all categorization and thrive on the unexpected. They can rack up tens of millions of views on a video of hilarious, once again, "social disturbance" anywhere they please, or they can churn out a fun pop punk anthem slyly and covetously winking at a girlfriend's sister. The “Anti-Boy Band” can even draw thousands of girls to a public location by simply tweeting an address—as they did to the unsuspecting suits at CAA during their first meeting for representation. Even though there's an acronym for the name [Just. Another. Name. Of. Silly. Kids. In. Another.
Nation],there's a simpler answer to the above question.
The Janoskians are the future.
In November 2011, these five mates uploaded their very first video to YouTube. The aptly titled "Awkward Train Situations" involved a slew of random and raucous pranks on a train. The morning after it went live, the clip garnered over 10,000 views, but it continued to snowball from there at a rapid pace.
"We did it to make ourselves happy," smiles Jai. "We always went out in public, acted like dickheads, and made jokes. We decided to capture it on camera, and the video made other people smile and laugh too."
"We never expected the attention we ended up getting," Beau admits. "The fan base grew from there, and we got heaps of girls messaging us and asking, 'When can we meet you?' It was unbelievable."
"Unbelievable" is the only way to describe their first official "meet-n-greet" in early 2012. Nearly six-thousand girls stormed Luna Park in Melbourne causing police to lock down and cancel the event (this marked the first time in history Luna Park got shut down like this!). MTV Australia took notice, and the story started to spread. The network even filmed an eight-part series on the group and Awesomeness TV followed suit stateside.
The boys continued uploading their own videos eventually amassing over 1.35 million subscribers and counting and racking up more than 100 million views combined. 2013 saw them embark on a sold out world tour. The gigs themselves evinced just how dynamic The Janoskians could be.
"We had no idea what we were going to do," says James. "We just knew that it had to be different every night so we came up with something that nobody else was doing. The fans had to be engaged, always, even if we were on stage. They needed to be able to touch us, literally and figuratively."
A "variety show" in the truest sense of the phrase, the evenings would start by encouraging audiences to tweet "who should get kicked in the nuts" (the hashtag counter tallied who the victim would be) and the guys would perform original and parody music in between largely improvised sketches.
"I got kicked in the nuts the most on that first tour," sighs Luke. "It was still a pretty awesome experience though. I'd never been out of Australia before that."
"We started doing music for the tour because it was another form entertainment," Jai continues. "We're entertainers first and foremost and we want to give everyone that release however we can."
During the Los Angeles stop of the jaunt, The Janoskians shut down the world renowned Beverly Center when droves upon droves of girls flocked to the mall. Similar circumstances transpired when 20,000 fans descended upon Times Square in February 2014 to meet them. Republic Records also witnessed that joyous and widespread pandemonium, offering a deal to the quintet in the aftermath.
Armed with new music, The Janoskians stand primed to make their biggest splash yet. Their debut single "Real Girls Eat Cake" surfs from a sun-soaked guitar lick into a reggae-influenced pop punk chorus, musically nodding to Sublime, Blink-182, Sum 41, and the counter culture disruption of Beastie Boys. It's an anthem aimed at the hearts of all young ladies out there, excluding no one.
"The cake is a metaphor," Beau explains. "When you're with a girl, you want her to be all herself."
James agrees, "Who gives a fuck if you don't have the best and most expensive dress? Who cares if you're a size six or a size eight? Who cares if you're not what society assumes is perfect? Be you."
Some mysteries are better left unsolved. However, now you've got an idea of who The Janoskians are and what they're about to do to not just pop music but pop culture.
Skip leaves off, "We encourage everyone to have a good time. We're truly happy as a group. Hopefully, everybody listening to our music can build friendships within our fan base like we've built with each other. We want them to have fun because life's too short not to."