Interview: Midnight Juggernauts
Published on October 23rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
A few months down the line from the release of their tremendous third album Uncanny Valleys, we caught up with Midnight Juggernauts to ask them about what they’ve got lined up next, the swathes of primo psychedelic pop music that’s been coming out of Australia of late, and the first annual Midnight Juggernauts Airport Awards…
How did you wind up recording Uncanny Valley in the Loire Valley? Was it a planned thing or a sudden flash of convenience? Do you think you might do it again?
Well we’d been wanting to write and record somewhere away from home, just so we could get out of our comfort zones and see where the new inspiration would take us. I suppose there was a sudden flash of convenience when told about this church in the French countryside, which some friends had converted into a studio.
It was through our friend Jono Ma who we’ve known for years so we all just hung out in this old village and enjoyed some country air while musicing. I think he recorded some of his Jagwar Ma project there as well.
Have you given any thought yet to your next album? If so, what can you tell us at this stage about the direction it might go in?
Yeah we have a few ideas. There’s lots of musical thoughts and possible directions. We’ve been wanting to tie it into a wider conceptual idea outside of music, so we’ll see if we can connect these diverse threads together. It may be a surprise.
Do you think there’s a reason why there’s so much great psychedelic pop music coming out of Australia at the moment? Or has there always been, and us Poms are only now taking notice of it?
Well there’s lots of different flavours which have been floating around Australia. I think groups like Tame Impala and Pond have definitely been strong magnets for drawing attention to Australia and that scene recently. There’s definitely some interesting acts down here, but I think all the bands have their own take on these sounds. Also I think Australia has surreal landscapes which fit well with surreal music.
I saw you mention that you’ve been doing film scores. What kind of stuff? Is there more on the horizon?
We’ve been diving into some pretty strange projects. More avant garde directions which has been fun. Anything from playing live soundtracks to 1960s documentaries at ACMI, or soundtrack interpretations which we played using the Grand Organ in the Melbourne Town Hall. Plus other side projects incorporating music with video and strange theatrics. I like keeping things weird as more of a challenge. Some ongoing ideas which hopefully will be released out there soon.
Did you play any festivals over the summer? If so, any personal highlights?
We played a few. Coming from Australia our mid year (June-July) is our winter so we try to head to the other side of the world mainly to catch some summer sun. We spent some time in Europe lazing on beaches and playing shows in between. One of our favourite festivals is Calvi on the Rocks so it was nice to play there and then have some Corsican adventures for a few days after the gig.
Have Adelaide Airport been made aware of the prestigious award you’ve bestowed upon them?
Haha. I did get a message from someone there asking what the Midnight Juggernaut Airport Awards were all about. I just thought it was nice of that airport to offer free trolleys when all the others charge $4 so decided to create the awards for them, to give credit where credit is due. And also to point out the greedier airports who did deals with trolley companies which make the airport experience less appealing. A bit of a smartarse post too, ha.
Finally, have there been any albums from 2013 that you’ve especially enjoyed?
Well it’s good to hear new albums from Fuck Buttons, Ghostface Killah, My Bloody Valentine, and etc etc. Will see what else appears in the next few months to round out the year.
Midnight Juggernauts, thank you.
Uncanny Valley is out now on Siberia Records.