Saturday, 14 December 2013

Jay-Jay Johanson Interview

Are you afraid of cockroaches?
I have only met a cockroach once, at Chelsea Hotel in New York, it was not a pleasant sight, but one cockroach can't scare me, but if they would have been many, then I would have found it disgusting I guess.

What does this word represent as the title of your new album?
Well, there are many answers, one is that they say that the cockroach will survive the human being on this earth, and I begin to feel like a survivor in the music business, I never thought I would do more than maximum 3 albums - and now I have released my 9th! I feel like a real cockroach. a survivor. and another answer is the hat I'm wearing on the cover. I saw this hat the first time in 1982, and I have always wanted one, it was designed by Malcolm Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm had it on in the video for Buffaloo Gals, if you remember, I've been trying to find a vintage one for ages, and finally a couple of years ago I got my hat, and when I put it on, and took the photo, I felt like I was protected, like if I had a shell over me - like a cockroach.

What is the concept of the new album (or the message you'd like to come across)?
I never really think conceptual - even if the end product sometimes turn out to be a very conceptual result, like Spellbound became very minimalistic and private. this time I wanted to continue where we left the studio on the last song we recorded for Spellbound - that was Dilemma - and I wanted this new album to be full of the percussions, drums and beats as we did on Dilemma. that was the only idea really - and to continue to dress up my songwriting in peculiar experimental alternative arrangements and work with improvisations etc.

You've always dived into melancolia (apart from a short break when you experimented with electro pop). Would you play again with other genres?
I don't know - I can magine to make an instrumental album one day - in the spirit of the song Insomnia from my new album Cockroach.

Even though you are swedish, you dont make happy pop music (as most of the musicians in your country). How come?
I have no idea - I only write the type of songs I can write - I can't really change - and I have no idea why my song writing is like it is - it's hard to explain the sources and fundament of creativity.

Do you feel you connect with the greek audience and in what way? 
Well - they have been there since the beginning - it was one of the first countries I started going to with my first album Whiskey back in 1997 - 16 years ago! - together with France Spain Portugal - I think my Greek fans are among the people who knows me the best - and it's a great pleasure for me to come back to your beautiful country again and again... 

Jay-Jay Johanson is playing TIKI (Athens) sunday 15 dec. 

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