Three Germans, an Austrian and a South African walk into a room…no, it’s not the start of a joke, it’s just a 10 Cent Janes band rehearsal. The band came together when the core group of musicians, who had been playing together for over 20 years, crossed paths with South African lead singer Shaun Behrens in 2009. They realized a shared love for alternative bands like R.E.M., Radiohead and Placebo, and since then have been writing alternative rock songs together and performing them on stages in and around Frankfurt, Germany.
10 Cent Janes released its self-produced, self-recorded debut album, Between Troubled Cities, in December 2015. The songs, which were written over 5 years as much by Frankfurt as they were by the band, explore the stories of modern life in the city, sometimes told from inside the situations, and other times observed from across the way. Themes of loneliness (“I’ve never been so invisible in plain sight”), despair (“In this place, for all that’s found, something is always lost”), infidelity (“I want to find something that will never fade”), seediness (“Downtown daydream of a dirty mind”) and ultimately hope (“I’ll find my way home”) can be found in the lyrics.
All the members bring a wealth of musical experience to 10 Cent Janes. Mik Simrock (guitars), Michael König (guitars), Michael Ludwig (bass) and Christof Arnold (drums) have been playing together in various incarnations for multiple decades. Meanwhile Shaun Behrens (vocals) cut his teeth in the 2000’s Johannesburg alternative scene before moving to Germany. The fact that Mik Simrock has sound engineering knowledge and studio equipment also means that the band is able to record their own songs in their own time.
10 Cent Janes received some minor attention in 2012 when its song “Radio” was featured on a prominent US videogame podcast. In February 2018, the band released the single “Horizon Riders“, the theme song from the documentary “Searching for Skylab”.