GLASS CANDY: ALPHAVILLE AND ADAM ANT
You guys are all over the world these days. What has been your favorite place you’ve traveled lately and why?
Johnny Jewel (production): It’s probably a tie between the south of France and Spain. Both are right on the ocean and full of huge palm trees. The food is amazing and the cobblestone streets and alleys are like some beautiful dream in a Bridgette Bardot film. We fucked up and missed our plane in Marseilles this week so we had to stay two extra days. I made beats by the pool and Ida went exploring down the coast.
Is there a big difference between the clubs you are playing in Europe and the US?
JJ: The clubs are bigger but about the same. The lighting is crazy out there. Everything looks like a cross between Alphaville and Adam Ant, which we love! In the states, it’s more about the concert. Out there it’s just the whole vibe of the night. Two weeks ago, we played a show outside in a park in Moscow that was totally insane. The Russian police got on stage and unplugged us. It was raining and the sun was setting. The whole place was going nuts and no one could really speak English but they were all screaming the words to ‘Candy Castle.’ When we played ‘Miss Broadway’ they set off a ton of fireworks in the sky. It was touching beyond words. Definitely not Ronald Reagan’s Russia.
L.A. has loved you for years. What can your fans here expect this time around?
JJ: We’re trying out a couple new songs at the L.A. show. We’ve been deep in the studio working on a new LP and we’ve been pretty much keeping it under wraps. Right now we’re just supporting B/E/A/T/B/O/X to people who are seeing us for the first time, but we’ll be experimenting with a couple things in L.A. We can’t wait to be back in L.A. We love you.
I read that ‘Glass Candy have made it fashionably safe to shake your ass again.’
JJ: We’ve never heard that before. Did it ever go out of style? No one told us.
How did ‘Miss Broadway’ and ‘IKO’ end up on the runway of a Chloe fashion show?
JJ: We have no idea. Those videos just popped up on the Internet. We were just as surprised as everyone else. But when Karl Lagerfeld screwed the pitch down on ‘Candy Castle’ for the Chanel show, that took the cake—very psychedelic.
Sometimes when you guys play, you both look like you’re in your own parallel universes. What are you thinking on stage?
JJ: We’re not really thinking at all. It’s a blur. We usually have a lot of trouble even remembering what happened. We just try and break ourselves down on stage and let the audience interact with the music directly. We each have incredibly different roles. I’m buried in the physical aspect of dropping and looping the beats and Ida’s job is to interact with the energy in the room and create a focal point. We lean on each other—yin and yang.
What is your favorite song you play live and why?
JJ: That varies from night to night but we really love playing ‘Miss Broadway.’ It’s such a wild song. People just go crazy and get loose on that one. One of our new songs, ‘Feeling Without Touching,’ has been really fun to play. It’s really heavy and minimal so there’s a lot of room to butcher it on stage.
What makes you happy?
What weirds you out?
JJ: Immigration police.
You two have been working for more than a decade now. What has kept you playing music this long?
JJ: We just love music. It’s really that simple. We started in 1996 in a shitty apartment in Portland. It took us three years to make our first seven-inch. We didn’t think anyone would care about what we were doing. That’s not really the point for us. It’s an obsession. It’s no different from, ‘Why do you wake up in the morning?’ You just do. And it’s beautiful outside. We love Portland. It’s beautiful here. There are so many trees and so much water. We get the full four seasons. Sometimes we wish it were sunnier but there’s something about Portland that always welcomes us home. We don’t really go out too much when we’re at home. We’re mostly in work mode so the nightlife isn’t really a factor. There are a ton of people working on art, music and fashion in Portland now. At our first show, ten people in Portland came and we were like, ‘Yay! Everybody’s here!’ It’s so different now.
What do you when you’re not on tour or working on new material?
JJ: I never leave the studio unless it’s to go to the beach. Ida takes dance and does yoga seven days a week. We travel so much now that when we get a chance to be at home working on new music, we spend all of our time doing that. Everything influences me. Things I like, I might lean toward. Things I don’t like, I try and figure out why I don’t connect with them as much. In a literal sense, I’m really into any vigilante cop movie from 1976 to 1987. The soundtracks are always amazing. And the whole concept of swimming up stream for something you believe in. It’s so melodramatic. I love it. We listen to a lot of Top 40 rap music. I’m from Houston so the Robert Davis crew is in the blood. I love freestyle and watch way too much Fantasy Island and Love Boat.
Where does the lyrical inspiration come from?
Ida No (vocals): Life. Whenever I have a really good day and feel really connected to everything, the lyrics just pour out faster than I can write them down.
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