The Japandroids debut album has been on near repeat since I first got my grubby mitts on it. We took the opportunity to fire off some questions to Dave whilst the band were preparing for their first full-time time of the U.S., before coming over to the UK in the next couple of months.
Hello! How you guys doing? How’s Brian after the recent surgery?
Brian is doing quite well, thank you. He is on the path to a full recovery. In fact, he is currently having a cocktail. And quite enjoying it.
How have you reacted to the exceedingly favourable reviews of Post-Nothing?
We have reacted by trying to take full advantage of the opportunities favorable reviews allow young bands (i.e. constant touring).
What music did you listen to as kids? What was the “eureka” moment, when you first went “I want to be in a band!”?
As a kid, I mostly listened to 5 albums: Appetite for Destruction, Lies, Use You Illusion I, Use Your Illusion II, The Spaghetti Incident. All 5 of those albums are (of course) by Guns N’ Roses. Via Guns N’ Roses, and those 5 cassettes alone, I discovered a wealth of other music that I would later fall in love with, including, but not limited to: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Iggy & The Stooges, Ramones, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, T. Rex, Fear, Public Enemy, Hanoi Rocks, Metallica, Pink Floyd, New York Dolls, Crass, NWA, The Damned, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Soundgarden, Johnny Thunders, AC/DC, Misfits, etc.
Two name related questions – where did the band get its name from, and is the album title a nice 21st Century spin on all things post something?
The name Japandroids is a combination of 2 potential band names. Originally, Dave wanted to name the band JAPANESE SCREAM. I (Brian) wanted to name the band PLEASURE DROIDS. Neither one of us liked the other one’s name, and we couldn’t settle on one or the other, so I combined the names: JAPANESE SCREAM + PLEASURE DRIODS = JAPANDROIDS. Neither one of us especially liked JAPANDROIDS, but at least there was some satisfaction in knowing that neither one of us had to settle for a name that we consciously disliked. As for the album title, Post-Nothing is a less pretentious version of our original album title, Post-Everything.
Who took the photo for the album cover? Was it an idea you had, or just one of those great random events that turned out inspired?!
The photo from the cover was taken by a friend of mine using my polaroid camera at the end of a long night. We had set up at show at the Anza Club in Vancouver, with 3 of our favourite local bands: Ghost House, The Clips, and Run Chico Run. We had secured the venue, secured the alcohol, and spent the week before postering all around Vancouver. We even managed to trick all our friends working the door, the bar, etc. I was wondering around the show periodically taking polaroids of our friends and the bands, letting them keep the polaroids. At the very end of night, long after the show was over and we had cleaned the place up, I had one polaroid left, so I asked my friend to take a picture of Dave and I. When it came time to create the album cover, I knew what I wanted, but there were hardly any decent pictures of Dave and I together, so I scanned the polaroid and used it. At the time, it simply was the best photo of Dave and I that I could find that capture the spirit of Post-Nothing.
Carrying on from that, the entire album artwork is monochrome (and you can order the vinyl on black or white over at Polyvinyl). Is there any reason behind?
Simply speaking – black/white looks cool.
Where do you think you’ll go with your next album? Have you started writing any material for it yet, or test any new stuff on the upcoming live shows?
I have long started working on new material, though Dave and I have yet to formally discuss with one another what exactly we want to do on album #2. The tour may include some new songs, though most likely nothing that would be on our next album.
What can we expect from you as a live act? And plans to come to the UK in the future?
Disappointment. Yes, we are planning to come to the UK this fall. Thus far, we have 3 shows booked in London near the end of October, followed by a UK tour in November.
Now that Polyvinyl are releasing your album in the US, any developments on a European / UK distribution deal?
The deal we signed with Polyvinyl was in fact a worldwide deal, so Polyvinyl will not only be releasing Post-Nothing in the US, but also in the UK and mainland Europe. As far as I know, the UK/European release date is September 7th. Buy a copy for your girlfriend and/or sister.
Do you feel that you’ve had more ease establishing yourself without a label? Do you feel that you need their support to realise your potential or it’s just a means over distributing the record to the masses?!
No, absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we managed to accomplish more in 2 months of working with a label than we had in the previous 2 years doing it ourselves. Unfortunately, so much of the current infrastructure in place to support the music industry is label-centric, so it is very difficult to progress beyond one’s local music scene without some kind of label to release your music. And yes, while Polyvinyl essentially provide a means of distributing our record to the masses, they do a very good job of it, and allow us to focus on what be do best (well, not best obviously, but we do it okay) – writing, recording, and performing ‘music’.
Are there any other Canadian acts you’d like to tip us off about?
RUN CHICO RUN
To finish off – make us a quick ‘mixtape’ of the top 5 tracks you’ve heard in the last month!
1) Chet – The Night The Night
2) Makeout Videotape – Heat Wave
3) No Gold – Yucca Crown
4) Babe Rainbow – Shaved
5) World Club – Stay Home