Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus have come to be poster boys for a very precise kind of pop music. Indie-informed and highly literate in dancefloor forms, they’ve mastered the art of courting critical praise and building up loyal fans on the ground.
Now, they’re in a state of flux. Interesting flux. Exciting flux. But definitely flux. Despite living on different continents and working across different time zones, they’ve managed to release four full lengths since 2004 (including one of the best albums of 2006 So This Is Goodbye). Now, with their album contract ending with the Domino label, their re-evaluating what comes next. EB’s Moritz Gayard went backstage at Electronic Beats Festival Budapest, to find out where the duo go from here, why they’re foreshadowing a move away from albums for smaller vinyl releases and which one of them has a hankering to make r’n’b.
Moritz Gayard: Welcome to Budapest. There was something new which you just rehearsed, is there going to be a new album?
Jeremy Greenspan: No. I think it’s going to be for an EP or a 12″ or something like that.
MG: A digital release?
JG: We’d probably do it on vinyl I would hope.
MG: Will you release it through Domino?
JG: I’d love to put that release out on a small label.
MG:One of you is living in Berlin, what does that mean for the band when one of you is in Canada and one of you in in Berlin?
Matt Didemus: It’s been five years so …
MG: Do you feel like a Berliner?
MD: Does anybody feel like a Berliner?
MG: If you want to work on something do you do it via filesharing?
MD: Not much, we fly more often than we … file.
JG: I have a couple of days off in Berlin so we’ll go and do a video or something like that. That’s why our albums take so long to make.
MD: We don’t have any pressure to do an album at the moment because we’ve just finished a contract so we have some time to decide what to do.
MG: Do you want to remain linked with a label like Domino which has a reputation or, like Mostly Robot playing here, their label is Native Instruments which is known for making software rather than being a label.
JG: I think that if we were going to be doing an album we would want to be with a label like Domino but at the moment we don’t have any plans to work on an album. I’m much more excited to work on 12″s right now. It’s so much less pressure, it’s more inspiring.
MD: It’s more fun.
MG: Isn’t it a different audience?
MD: I don’t know how important album culture is anymore apart from maybe in the world of press. We all listen to single tracks. I know so few people who listen to albums.
MG: We do album listenings at EB and now whenever I hear a single track from the listening session I’m reminded of when I first heard it and took my time to listen, because that’s the artist’s intention.
JG: We do like making albums.
MG: You do have fans who are perhaps expecting an album release?
JG: I think they would like some EPs too. I think albums are too longs these days. Classic albums, to fit on a piece of vinyl, should be 35 minutes or something like that. That’s how long I think an album should be. If we could get away with making albums that were 35 minutes I think I’d be into that but people nowadays want a 60 minutes album and that’s too long.
MG: You’re not working on an album, but what are you working on?
JG: At home I do a lot of mixing of other bands. I mixed part of the last Caribou record. Actually, Dan Snaith has a record label has a record label called Jialong and I released a 12″ on that and I’ve got another two of them planned for this year. I’ve a studio at home that I work at all the time.
MG: There’s a lot of good bands coming out of Canada at the moment, Grimes, Purity Ring, D’eon …
JG: I don’t know all the bands but I’m friends with some bands from Canada, Caribou being the one that comes to mind the most.
MG: Your music has always been a mix of electronic and indie influences, what direction will the new EP or 12″ go in?
MD: We’ll see what happens, we always start things with the intention that we’ll go one way and then go another.
JG: I’ve just completed an album for a new artist named Jessy Lanza and that was me trying to work on stuff that sounded as much like r’n’b as I could. For us I don’t know. I had this vision of us working on more industrial sounding stuff but we think more in terms of equipment than styles, we think about what kind of equipment we want to use more than anything else. That’s what determines what it sounds like.