In Every Direction: An Interview with Junip - PopMatters
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But always, always soulful. It got them noticed, that much is certain. First day we were a little bit nervous, we went to the studio, and it was pretty laidback. They played us what they'd been working on, and we picked the tracks we liked. Me and Kimi shared a tour bus with Bobby Womack. He's such a humble, gentle man. Some of the stories.
He talks about it like it's nothing. He'd be playing songs on the couch with his guitar. It was their biggest album yet, critically applauded and set to break them in the US.
So while they might have got together young, it is perhaps the fact that they have something of an open relationship, when it comes to collaborators, that's kept them together. Most recently, they hooked up with Outkast don Big Boi, after Andre had introduced him to their oeuvre. I think we had a show there. He invited us to the Stankonia Studio, which used to be Bobby Brown's old studio. He comes by once in a while, sadly not when we were there though. He's a fun character. We had a lot of fun hanging out with him.
We had to get used to how many people were in the studio. Engineers, producers, players who come in and lay down stuff. Like a social club, kind of hang-out party. Sometimes it can be tricky if you don't know anybody, just to come up with something on the spot. But once you know him, you're more comfortable to try out stuff.
I'd moved to Berlin and had started setting up a studio there, so had been going back and forth. We'd send each other files, but it was better to be focused.
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So we found this house in Gothenburg and designed and built a studio from scratch. But not always for the better. He doesn't really like the backbeat and hi-hat. So, that can create a little bit of friction! Where Ritual Union scored itself more than a few five-star reviews, 'Nabuma Rubberband' has much to live up to.
Impressively, it nails it from the off. Opener 'Cat Rider' is fragile and melancholy, grand like Massive Attack. It is, to use Page Three parlance, a stunner. So that song "Howl" started with a feeling -- [sings] "Ooo-oo-ooo-Ooo". I started to thinking about animals howling, and then about human nature What motivates us all?
I understand when you were rehearsing songs for your LP Fields you were sharing a rehearsal space with [Swedish band] Little Dragon while they were rehearsing their new album. What was that like? Me and Yukimi [Nagano, Little Dragon's singer], we are together so it was nice to be close to her.
Did a situation ever arise where you'd hear some really weird, funky sounds coming from them in the next room, or vice versa? It was more for them. They'd say 'Why have you been playing that same stupid song two weeks in a row?! Just get it done already! We take a roundabout way of getting there. So I want to go back a bit. You guys have been playing together for a decade, and have been friends for even longer.
Looking back to even five years ago, could you have predicted you'd have released two records and be on your second tour of the States all in less than a year? Five years ago, we released the Black Refuge EP. We had a lot more songs than are on the EP, but they weren't that good. We didn't get much attention for the Black Refuge EP, so back then I had no real expectations at all. Tobias, I know you have a wife and kids in Gothenburg.
Was touring the world a harder decision for you, or is this a dream come true? Oh, it's absolutely a dream come true. But of course I talked about it a lot with my wife and children before committing. How many children do you have?
I just had my third two weeks ago! So yeah that's one of the things we in the band have been talking about -- compromise and collaboration. Between having children, going on tour and other things, everything needs to be timed out. Have you seen your third child?
I've only seen him on Skype! You must be so excited to get home.
LITTLE DRAGON: TAKING FLIGHT
Wow, congrats again Tobias. Ever since I started touring seven years ago. After my first album [Veneer], our first attempt with Junip was in I've been really bad at saying "no: So in it needed us to just put our foot down and decide properly that "next year we're going to record it, right? It wasn't a deadline. It was more about a start line. More about saying 'no' to other stuff -- not having a deadline, but starting to write and letting it take the time it needs.
Deadlines are bad actually. You guys met on the hardcore scene in Gothenburg in the 90's, which coincided with the city's death metal scene.
I played bass in a death metal band.
Yukimi Nagano - Wikipedia
Some death metal stuff is quite good. I liked it more than I liked the hardcore scene for example. And Elias used to play drums in a death metal band. What is it about Scandinavian death metal bands that's so different from metal bands here in the States? I mean, we've all read the stories about Yes, the crazy Norwegians.
Does that carry over into Sweden? It's not as hardcore as it is in Norway actually, where they were setting fire to churches and tearing up graveyards.Jose Gonzalez - Killing For Love
But really it's just like three or four people in Norway doing all that crazy stuff. One of our childhood friends -- Elias and I went to the same school with him -- he was really into death metal.
And he had -- what do you call it? Cats in a jar? You mean actual cats in jars? Yeah, cat parts in jars. He and his brother -- they were both very into death metal. And his brother put poop in the school ventilation system. That's a good trick -- an oldie but goodie. A little tamer than Norwegian! On Junip's first tour of the States last summer, I read the craziest rock star behavior you pulled was swimming in a hotel pool after-hours.
Have you guys stepped it up on this tour with some Guns and Roses or Led Zeppelin shenanigans -- trashing hotel rooms, etc.? Every once in a while one of us might get too drunk and pass out on the bus or something. But no real interference with the law.