Interview: Just Jinjer

Photo Credit - Daniel Craig

Photo Credit – Daniel Craig

I caught up with Bent Harris from renowned band Just Jinjer after the release of their latest album, ‘Everything Since Then’. We chatted about their break, their influences and what fans can expect from the band in the upcoming months.

How would you say the band’s sound has progressed with the various releases over the years?

Just Jinjer has always had a  ‘Jinjer’ sound, when Ard and Denholm and myself play together, magic has always just happened naturally. The production definitely progressed when we did the self titled album in Los Angeles.  We grew a lot once being exposed to the Los Angeles market, you can hear it in the sound of the self titled album.

Did the band’s break influence the new album and who were the main influences for the new album?

It wasn’t really a break, we all just had our own stuff going on individually.

I reckon Denholm’s production contribution really influenced the sound of the new album. We experimented with a lot of electronic sounds and weren’t scared of anything that wasn’t in our comfort zone. We all had a say in the writing and the direction of each track, it all came together really quickly.

Why did you choose the name ‘Everything Since Then’ for the new album?

It was a title that just made sense to us. (A little play on words to the Jinjer fans that will remember our album ‘Something For Now’ )

How many songs did you write before you came up with the ones that are on the album?

Ard had 6 songs he brought to the table and the other 6 we wrote produced from scratch in the studio. Pretty much wrote, recoded and tracked a new song every day.

Did you do anything off the wall while in studio?

We just approached each day in the studio whiling to try anything and not be scared no matter how weird or out there the sounds seemed.

Do you have a favourite track off the’ Everything Since Then’? If so, why is it your favourite?

‘Love Anyone’ first new song we wrote and produced together on EST, beautiful Piano track.

I reckon it’s a hit in the making.

What are you most excited about regarding touring the new album?

Using the new electronic Roland Sampler has been pretty exciting for me. The new songs are kicking ass! People are loving the new Jinjer tracks.

Last but not least, what can fans expect next from Just Jinjer?

More exclusive shows, making the live experience even more special. Can’t wait!

 

Interview: The Plastics

Photo Credit - Jason Paul Hermann

Photo Credit – Jason Paul Hermann

I caught up with Karl Rohloff from The Plastics to talk all things new and exciting as well as find out more about their latest release, ‘In Threes’.

How would you say the band’s sound has progressed with the various releases over the years?

It’s definitely grown up and become a lot more refined, which I guess reflects our development as people. It’s gone Black Label to Merlot.

Who were the main influences for the new album?

Indie, electronica and psych bands mostly, with a smattering of 60’s good times and a dash of funk.

Why did you choose the name ‘In Threes’ for the album?

The number 3 just kept coming up whenever we thought about the album, and where the band finds ourselves at (third full length, third incarnation of the band, recorded in three cities, etc)

How many songs did you have to write before you came up with the ones that are on the album?

A ton. For In Threes and Pyramid before it, we wanted to write as many songs as possible, to be able to give ourselves a decent sized pool to work with, and a cohesive sounding album. You can’t do this if you record the first 10 that you write. We also love jamming together and writing songs, so it’s a joy rather than a slog for us.

Did you do anything off the wall whilst in studio?

We used flowers and marbles as percussion for one of the tracks.

Do you have a favourite track off the album?

Alona is the one we’d probably all agree on. It really was a catalyst for how the album unfolded, as we knew we had a direction to head in once we’d written it. It’s a different kind of song for us as well as it’s pretty mellow and slow, but still has a groove that moves through it.

Why did you choose to release the album for free?

We want to get it out to as many people as possible, simple. We also took quite a while on this one, so it’s a nice thing to be able to give the fans. They deserve it for waiting so long!

What would you like to achieve in the music industry?

Traveling and recording and gigging at various places around the world. It’s one of the joys of being in a band, and you get to see so many places you probably wouldn’t if you weren’t a musician. There’s a bunch of producers we’d LOVE to work with as well.

Last but not least, what is next for The Plastics?

We’re writing some new songs, looking to the next release. There are also a couple of music videos in the works that are looking AMAZING from the footage I’ve seen so far. We’re looking to expand our horizons a bit more overseas as well, particularly in America.

Catching Up With: Bittereinder

Photo Credit - Louis Minnaar

Photo Credit – Louis Minnaar

Renowned, local rap and electro trio, Bittereinder released their latest album ‘Dans Tot Die Dood‘, in early October, I caught up with them to talk influences, what went down in studio and what you can next expect from them.

How would you say the band’s sound has progressed with the various releases over the years?

Similar to the lyrical themes, our approach to making the music has also developed and widened over the last 6 and a half years. On this newest album we played a lot more analog gear, real synthesizers and drums. We’ve always been interested in the “human quality” that can be achieved in making electronic music.

Who were the main influences for the new album?

That is always such a tricky question. In a postmodern sense the level of intertextuality in our music and lyrics has almost become impossible to pin down or define. We’ve grown up listening actively to so much music and reading so many authors, all of which become reference points in the creation of our own texts, and naming a few specific influences is really almost pointless…

How many songs did you have to write before you came up with the ones that are on the album?

This album (thankfully) didn’t work like that, we chipped away quite early in the process on songs or ideas that we wanted to develop, and only carried on working on those we believed in collectively from the start. One song was added as a late inclusion as a hybrid of two earlier lyrical and beat ideas that weren’t working on their own but merged magically to make a new song…

Do you have a favourite track off the album? If so, why is it your favourite?

It changes all the time for the three of us, but we’re very excited about all the tracks in terms of what they’re going to add to the Bittereinder live set, there’s a lot of energy in these songs. “Berge Brand”, “Die Mes” and “The Flood” are getting a lot of love from people we’re playing the album to at this stage…

You are known for working with a wide range of artists on each album, has it been the same for this one?

This is the first Bittereinder album which features zero collabs. It’s mostly because Jaco has been letting his almost obsessive love of collaboration out in other projects like Walkie Talkie and Wêreld Records, so the three Bittereinder boys can finally work in peace on their own projects.

Did you do anything off the wall whilst in studio?

What happens in the mountains of Mpumalanga stays in the mountains of Mpumalanga. Suffice it to say that it was a really magical week in which we all managed to break away from the daily grind, society, and even the internet, and just focus on making music together in almost every waking hour…

What would you like to achieve in the music industry?

Again, quite a complex question. The way in which we measure “success” is probably variable, depending on what stage of your career you’re in. But we’re very excited about all the doors that are opening in Europe for our music and our live show, there’s an awesome horde of open-minded listeners there that we’d love to connect with more and more.

Last but not least, what is next for the band? We’ll make new videos for more singles off the album, play more album launch shows all over SA, and then hit Europe again in 2016. Exciting times!