Fresno Beehive

Joe Jonas’ pop-rock band DNCE is less super group than super team

The Joe Jonas fronted pop-rock band DNCE plays Sunday, May 8 at the Save Mart Center for Selena Gomez on her “Revival” tour.
The Joe Jonas fronted pop-rock band DNCE plays Sunday, May 8 at the Save Mart Center for Selena Gomez on her “Revival” tour. Special to The Bee

Cole Whittle wouldn’t call DNCE is super group; it’s more of a super team.

“Like the X-Men,” says Whittle, who plays keyboards in buzz-worthy Los Angeles quartet, which opens for Selena Gomez’ on her “Revival” tour.

Sure, the band is helmed by no-less than Joe Jonas, a guy who has been playing stadium shows since he was a teenager. And yes, the members come to the band having already established careers in the music biz. Whittle was in the alternative dance band Semi Precious Weapons; guitarist JinJoo Lee played for Jordin Sparks (and Charli XCX and CeeLo Green) and is pretty much a virtuoso and drummer Jack Lawless played for Jonas and his brothers full time from 2006 until the band’s demise (he also toured with the Night Terrors of 1927 and Soft Swells).

But the formation of DNCE was kind of an “happy accident,” says Whittle, who was introduced to Jonas before he even knew the singer was putting together a new band.

“We hit it off an a friendship level,” he says.

Whittle was the new guy in the band. Jonas had known the Lee and Lawless for a decade or more. But the moment the four played together, the chemistry of DNCE was obvious.

“We just collided in this crazy explosion of energy,” Whittle says.

“Everyone was moving in this symbiotic flow.”

In a way, the band Jonas’ personality, incarnate, Whittle says. It’s bouncy, fun loving and (just a bit) innocent, but also totally serious when it comes to its musicianship.

“It’s his entire personality on a plate.”

For awhile, the band intentionally kept to playing small clubs and theaters, Whittle says, because they wanted to approach the music as completely new thing.

That didn’t last long. In February, Gomez’ announced the band would join her on her summer tour; just a month after the band released its first radio single, “Cake by the Ocean.” That song exemplifies the DNCE’s brand of bright and poppy dance rock and landed in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart (it’s now at No. 24). The video views are close to 80 million.

The follow up single, “Toothbrush,” is out now, as is its debut EP. A full-length is in the works. It’s about 90% done and fans will get to hear much of it during the live show, Whittle says.

“There’s a lot more DNCE classics on the way.”

DNCE, opening Selena Gomez’ “Revival” tour