In Depth With Japandroids' Brian King: "Nothing Is Off the Record"

Categories: Japandroids


I'm biased though, I'm in a band too.
What kind of music?

It's not...far off from you guys but a lot worse.
Aw, don't sell yourself short. You've got to look professional. [laughs]

So when you put out a record and some other music journalist rips your record to shreds, do you get upset because of what they said about your record, or do you get upset about like, how poor their writing was when they trashed your record? "Ugh, this is so poorly written!" Or "Ugh, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about, our record rules!" See, 'cause I can see you getting upset about either one of those things.

It's not really like a life or death thing; because I wanted to be a critic I'm used to people talking about whatever. Among critics, we talk about bands like they're teams or something, like "They're having a good year," or, "Oh, they're having a bad year, but I'm still a fan."
So what band is having a bad year right now?

I'm not really an Animal Collective fan, but it seems like a lot of people didn't like that album.
I haven't listened to it yet. I've read about it but I haven't gotten to listen to it yet. For me I was gonna say the Strokes. Those first two records, and then about a third of the third record, amazing. But that new record Angles, have you heard that record? "New," quote unquote.

Well, between you and me, that record sucks. They recorded it without ever getting in the same room together and it shows. It was a bad year, that year.

Do you want that off the record?
I'm just joking, I don't care. Nothing is off the record.

I don't think they're gonna sue you or anything. They can't get into the same room, much less the same courtroom.

But yeah...
Anyway. The point is, that first record, second record, and a third of the third record are brilliant. I'm still backing them. But they had a bad year.

I thought like, "Heart in a Cage" on the third record was the best thing they ever did. But I'm not married to the first or the second one so it's easy for me to say.
Well...nobody's perfect. [laughs]

What song has your favorite whoa-ohs ever?
I don't think it was necessarily like, 'We love this song or this record so maybe we should do it.' It was more like we toured for Post-Nothing, and did so many shows, and on that record there were some songs where the response from the audience was just unbelievable. There were clear peaks in the show.

For example, there's a song "Young Hearts Spark Fire," where what happens during those five minutes just totally lays waste to the rest of the set. The reaction, the interaction, the energy of the room, it's like holy fucking shit, look what just happened when we did this. And it doesn't happen on every song. So part of the idea of making this record was, let's make a record where the whole record is like that. And now the whole show is like that. So it's not just like a five-minute peak, it's like, now the whole show is a peak. It just goes the whole time we're playing, and the energy just goes the entire set. Does that make sense?

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