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Ep. #236: Junior Boys

Junior Boys is the long-standing electronic pop moniker for the work of Jeremy Greenspan, a talented musician based in Hamilton, Ontario. Over the past 17 years, he has written some very sophisticated music, most notably and consistently with a collaborator named Matt Didemus. The latest effort by Junior Boys is a slyly romantic one called Big Black Coat, it’s out February 5 in Canada via GEEJ Records and in the rest of the world, via City Slang , and has prompted them to tour the world over the next few months. Greenspan and I recently caught up at a bar in Hamilton called the Brain, which he co-owns and here we discuss working in spurts, Sam Malone, owning a building on James St. N, the Artcrawl in Hamilton, how the Artcrawl works and where it came from, Heather from the Only, Ken Inouye, the rise of Hamilton and its arts community, the city’s electronic and indie-rock scenes and Sonic Unyon, Al Lanza, getting into classic and progressive rock as a kid, industrial music and sci-fi and cosplay, the earnestness of rock ‘n’ roll, living in England for a year and a half in the mid-1990s, Steve Goodwin of Hyperdub Records, Mark Fisher, a fascination with music made in the 1980s, aggressive tendencies and rave culture, John Foxx of Ultravox, Japan, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Kraftwerk, rockism and racism towards electronic and dance music, the perception of fun and dance music, choosing words, making outsider pop music, the muse and process behind Big Black Coat, how records become ‘concept records,’ a change in songwriting, doing less work and keeping things raw, immediate lyrics and demos, “baby,” transcribing the lyrics about men you might meet in bars, mild misogyny, the age of outrage and David Bowie, writing as characters, critiquing emotional instability, loneliness, bars are weird places, working with Jessy Lanza and how they influenced one another, song components, working with Matt Didemus as a collaborator in Junior Boys, his relationship with Dan Snaith who performs as Caribou, the popular appeal of Caribou, bringing electronic music to life on-stage, how Junior Boys presents its music, the new record’s only love song, “No One’s Business,” and then no more Brain.

Related links: juniorboys.ca vishkhanna.com

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