‘I am Jax Panik.’

“It’s an album of extremes.”- Jax Panik

Jax Panik. Always one with a flair for the creative, eccentric and outrageous. With his second album, ‘I am Jax Panik’ out in mid September, he has been creating hype, causing a stir and constantly keeping fans wondering about what is to come.

Never one to slow down he has been creating the songs for the latest album from beginning of 2009 to the present day. As to where got his inspiration, it was from “all over.” He laughingly adds “but mostly from within my crazy brain…”

The name of the new album is called ‘I am Jax Panik’. He explains “We’re featuring various other voices on this album and a bunch of unexpected genres. Johnny de Ridder is also 50% of the band now, where before I was really the only one working the tracks. I’m also not in any of the new music videos. And on Facebook and Twitter my face nowadays is always covered by a mask. So the question around this album is: who the hell is Jax Panik? With this in mind the title just seems perfect.”

He admits he didn’t really think about the direction he wanted to take with Jax Panik and his music with the new album “until recently”.  He says the album “is not for everyone. I think people who really loved tracks like Cigarettes & Cinnamon might be slightly confused. This album’s definitely a move away from that familiar pop-rock sound and more towards a sort of black electro hip hop dance vibe…the serious stuff is way darker and the poppy stuff is way over the top! It’s an album of extremes.”

He’s worked with Johnny on Cigarettes and Cinnamon and now on ‘I am Jax Panik. He explains “He’s great. He’s really capable of anything; it’s just a matter of giving him a clear brief. The great thing about this album was the process – I’d work on a track, then he’d work on the track, then it would go back to my studio for a bit, and so on. Before it was more a matter of, right Johnny here’s the song, now make it better. Where now it was way more a 50/50 kinda thing. So it’s the best of him and the best of me on each track!” He laughingly adds “Sometimes he’ll spend a lot of time on something I don’t think is appropriate, but then I’ll bring him back down to earth with my amazing creative direction.”

Recording the new album was “Tough. Long hours. Trial and error. Blood, sweat, and tears.” As for the off the wall antics whilst in studio, he explains “We really went all out on this one. That’s one of the reason’s it’s taken so damn long to complete the album. We made snare drums by smashing cups and plates, got a host of session musicians in, experimented with countless crazy keyboards, effects pedals, samples, etc. We’re probably the best stocked studio in South Africa by now!”

His interaction with his fans on Facebook is admirable and they inspired him. He says “We ask their opinion on things all the time – reference tracks, lyrics, what they think about certain videos or bands. It’s crucial to bounce your wacky ideas off the people who already have an understanding of your brand and also to get a sense of exactly how far you can push their hearts and minds before losing them completely.”

He feels collaborations with SA R&B legend Ameen Harron, rapper HC, Locnville and Will Mono will showcase a different side of his music. He elaborates  “some people will go, what the hell is he doing now? But that’s cool.” He laughs and says “When I made the Cigarettes and Cinnamon album I was into Metrostation and The Killers. Goodness, now I’m into like death metal and breaking stuff!”

“Every song on this album’s a bit of a surprise.” He says “First time around I think people will just go, what the heck is this?! That’s definitely the sort of initial reaction we’re hoping for. After that some people will regret buying the CD, and others won’t stop dancing and singing in the shower for at least the next year!”

As for his favourite track, he explains “it’s difficult to say at this stage. We’re currently in the final stages of production and mixing. Once everything’s done and dusted and mastered I’ll make a decision. Every track on this album’s close to my heart. I’ve really put in 110% of myself in to every single one of them – lyrically and production-wise.”

As to what would he like to achieve with this album is simple. It’s “World domination.”

Live shows are something that all of his fans have been clamouring for since the release of the first album, when asked if he’d be doing live shows after the release of ‘I am Jax Panik’ he responded with something that would probably incur the wrath of many a live band, if it wasn’t done with such Jax Panik flair. He says “Probably. But it definitely won’t feature me on stage with some sort of backing band. I hope to never be another live band – ‘oh look they’re actually playing their instruments!’ That’s totally lame in my opinion. And personally I hate going to live shows. I don’t get it. I’ve never liked it one bit. Entertainment for me has never been standing around in a sweaty crowd having your ears blown away by some ‘band’. No thanks. Expect more video performances, arty happenings, online stuff… “

To fans he expresses his gratitude and thanks “for all the support, keep it up and spread the word. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see what all the fuss is about – The new album is coming…”

The final – and undoubtedly – most important question remains, will the music still be so catchy that you’ll rip out a hairbrush, break out some moves and sing along? Jax “sure hopes so.” He adds “These new tracks are pretty arty at times. I don’t think everyone’s going to get it. But hopefully the ones who do get it will love it!”

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