sabato 21 luglio 2012

Intervista con Junior High

Michael Deakers and Josh Ottum sembra proprio vivano fuori dal tempo. Musicalmente parlando ovviamente. Il duo compone musica sotto il nome di "Junior High" e il disco di debutto è uscito l'11 giugno 2012 per Tapete Records, preceduto dal travolgente singolo "D.O.P.E.".
Il loro album omonimo è un tributo agli anni' 80, ma più che tributo viene quasi da dire "un tuffo" vero e proprio in quel periodo musicale, di cui recuperano in modo superbo e coinvolgente spirito, principi e sensazioni.
Un disco scintillante e divertente che potrebbe tranquillamente aspirare ad essere la vostra colonna sonore dell'estate!
Ecco l'intervista con il gruppo (Ps...grazie Federica!!!!!!):

- Hello guys! How are you? Where are you answering me from?

We are in Leucadia, California...home of surfing, mexican food, Yamaha DX7's, and sunshine!

-You made an excellent record! I would almost dare to say you are out of our times, that you are still deep into the 80’s music and culture. However, I don’t feel the record was any attempt to imitation, but that it’s rather a loving and respectful tribute to a musical era that influenced you a lot. What do you think about it? This “Being out of our times”… was it done intentionally?

We are happy you like our record...we do too!  You are correct in assuming we made this record out of pure love for an era of technology and pop sensibilities.  We love all kinds of music...but something clicked with our chemistry as musicians to write music that embraces melodic hooks and grooves.  This is nothing new...and not necessarily connected to the 80's alone.
We just connect with the technology of those times and realized there is so much good music made by producers and musicians of that time.  We're not really into irony...we're just into what feels good to us...connects with us emotionally...and makes us dance around our bedrooms, listening to tracks 50 times in a day.  If we're making music that makes us smile and freakout...surely it'll have a similar effect on others.

- How did you live through the 80’s musically speaking? Did you buy a lot of records?
I had many friends who introduced me to many musical genres (from metal to pop, to electronic music) . Did you, too have “teachers” that made you become passionate about some artists in particular?

We were young in the 80's...becoming teenagers in the 90's.  But our older sisters turned us on to a lot of music.  And the radio had a big effect of us...putting songs of the 80's into our ears and souls in unconscious and conscious ways.  Listening to music in the background on the radio and TV was a big part of this as well...if a pop song is good, it'll stick with you even when you're not engaging it directly.

- Enthralling moments, synthesizers, hasty rhythm changes, dancing grooves that are put together with almost “romantic” and melodic moments: the record really shifts from the likes of Prince to Whitney Houston and everything in between. That was the “music bible”of that time. What were your main influences while you were writing the songs and composing the arrangements?
We got a hold of the Break Out record by Pointer Sisters early into our formation as a band.  We listened to that record, stuff that involves producer David Foster, lots of funny library music made with particular synths/drum machines.  Really its just the connection to any sweetly catchy song that makes you smile and spread that joy to other people...that's what we're into.  It makes us feel young and like we can conquer the world...which we will do in good time.

- Records like yours really raise a lot of nostalgia! What does the making of this type of records make you think of music made and produced in these latest years?

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  Some folks frown on the idea of reconnecting what makes you feel emotion when you're younger. But for us its that immediate response that holds a lot of truth.  Remembering who you really are as a soul on planet earth...and that there are certain things that will always remain from when you're 9 years old to 99 years old.  We're interested in nostalgia, but not in a 'living in the past' kind of way...more in a living in the now kind of way.

- The great thing about the record is that you recall not only sound and colours but also the same soul and the same lightness of the records of those years, as if the lyrics were written in those years!

Thanks!  The lyrics just poured out.  Its pure overthinking, no smart stuff...just right from the heart.  

- Who do you think would appreciate your music more: nostalgic people that musically experienced the 80’s or young people who didn’t even live in those years?

We think both people will like it.  There's also this funny thing that happens with young people who weren't even born in the 80's, where there can be a development of retro-nostalgia.  For some people of our generation, we can have this kind of retro-nostalgia for the 60's and 70's and we weren't even alive then!  So, we think people from all over the place can appreciate it.  Our mom's like it and they were moms in the 80's!

- Did the idea of making a whole album come from the big success of the single “D.O.P.E.”? How did your collaboration start?

We met up one time and made D.O.P.E. really quick.  From there we just went on and made 11 more songs.  All the writing and bulk of recording was done in around 3 months.  Its been the most fulfilling musical collaboration either of us has ever been a part of...and we both talk about it all the time while eating burritos.

- In order to make the video for “PSA” you chose an old videocamera of that time that took you directly back to the 80’s! Very funny!

we had fun making the video for "PSA".  Josh lives in an area where there are a ton of breakdancers so it was easy to get some of them on board for the project.  We did it in a day and just had a blast.  We still use that shiny fabric on stage as a memory of the video.

- Will you play this record during your tour? For me, it sounds ideal for the summer!

Yes...we'll be touring Europe in December/January...then hope to be over there in the summer too.  We'd love to make it to Italy.

- I would like to ask you which song from your record would you choose to end our interview, and I’ll also ask you which artist from the 80’s should we listen to once again and catch up on after listening to your songs.

We'd like to choose "Goin' Out".  We listened to this song after we made over 100 times a day.  It captures the spirit of growing up in California.  Here's the video we did for it:

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