Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

Indie rockers Japandroids have more of a reason to keep the peace in their band, and make sure everybody’s happy, than the vast majority of acts. “Everybody” is just guitarist/vocalist Brian King and drummer/vocalist David Prowse, and when your band is a two-piece, accommodation and communication can mean the difference between here today and gone tomorrow. For them, that means splitting the songwriting credits 50-50.

“We just say all songs written by Japandroids,” says King over the phone from Oslo, Norway. “It’s what we’ve always done since the beginning. We’re a two-person band, and those cliché things – where somebody doesn’t feel like they’re getting the right credit, so you end up replacing them – can’t happen. Five-person bands can have these disagreements, and all of a sudden there’s a different guy in the band. We don’t have the luxury of being able to have those kinds of fights.
“You’re doing it as a band for your fans,” King continues, “so people who give a shit about their own personal credit, I don’t have time for that. Dave and I tour a lot together. We spend 90 percent of our lives, 24-7, together. It’s just really important for both of us to preserve that relationship so we can keep playing in a band together. 

“Dave and I tour a lot together. We spend 90 percent of our lives, 24-7, together. It’s just really important for both of us to preserve that relationship.” – Brian King

“I write the lyrics, but Dave comes up with a lot of the stuff on drums. I don’t know how to play drums, so who’s to say what’s more important or what’s not? So no matter who plays what, we just always say, ‘It’s by Japandroids.’”

Japandroids formed in Vancouver in 2006 and released its first two EPs, All Lies, in 2007, and Lullaby Death Jams in 2008 (now available together as 2010’s No Singles). It’s likely you never heard about Japandroids during that time, but in April of 2009, Canada’s Unfamiliar Records released the album Post-Nothing on vinyl, and influential music site Pitchfork praised the song “Young Hearts Spark Fire,” essentially validating Japandroids’ years of hard work, and the quality of their writing.

“Yeah, maybe validation is the right word,” says King. “We were just doing the same thing we’d always done for so long… No one seemed to give a shit the day before that happened, and then the day after that happened we couldn’t even get through all our e-mail accounts. It was like, ‘You have 10,000 new e-mails.’”

This was all the more remarkable because Japandroids broke up for a few months at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 out of frustration, working for three years and “getting absolutely zero attention.”
The Post-Nothing album, which was then licensed by Polyvinyl Record Co. for release in June 2009, landed on year-end lists of NME, Spin, Pitchfork, Exclaim and others. It earned Japandroids a place on the 2009 Polaris Music Prize long-list and a 2010 Juno nomination for Alternative Album of the Year.

They dropped Celebration Rock last May in Canada and June internationally, earning a 9/10 rating from Spin and appearing on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Albums of 2012. The single “The House That Heaven Built” gained lots of attention worldwide, eventually being voted as the new entrance theme for the Vancouver Canucks.

This year, Japandroids toured the U.K. and Europe in late March and early April, before heading to the U.S. to play the Coachella and Sasquatch festivals, and more dates into June. They plan on returning to the U.K. and Europe throughout July, and in August they’re slated to play Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Australia and New Zealand.

When Japandroids are touring, King says very little songwriting happens. Days are filled with long commutes “in a van full of people and gear” – on the day of this interview, for example, they drove all day from Copenhagen to Oslo in time for load-in and sound-check – which is not the ideal setting to start strumming out song ideas, or concentrating on lyrics.

“It’s not like you’re doing nothing,” King clarifies. “You’re always collecting ideas and in sound-check, you find some good guitar parts. Or if you’ve got a day off and you come up with a good idea for a song or lyric, you start writing that stuff down, but we don’t really finish very many songs on tour. Just the initial spark might happen, but it doesn’t really get finished until you get home and have time to work on it.”
While they split the songwriting credits, King does handle the lyrics. “I never, ever talk about the lyrics or what they’re specifically about to me,” he says, “mostly because I think part of the power of the song – at least as far as our audience is concerned – is their interpretation of the songs. Some of my favourite songs of all time, I have no idea what the song is actually about to the person who wrote it, and I don’t actually care. It’s what I interpret the song to be about and its reflection in my own life.

“That’s where the real power to me lies in it,” he continues. “I think that about our songs as well, which is one of the reasons I never, ever talk about what songs are about – but I can assure you that they’re all very, very, very personal. I certainly did not rip something from the headlines and then turn it into a song.” King says he writes on electric guitar, adding “If I had more money I might buy an acoustic guitar; it would be convenient to have one.” He says that writing is part of a multi-part process for him and Prowse.

“We write songs in order to play them live,” he says categorically. “There’s no separation for us between writing a song and recording it and then playing it live, [unlike] the way that, say, Radiohead will write a song, go record it, and then they’ll worry about how they’re gonna play it live afterwards. For us, that’s kind of why we play in a band in the first place – to perform live. “So writing the songs is always about, from the beginning, how are you going to perform that live at the end of the day? Because our records are essentially live records. They’re [recorded] in a studio, but they’re recorded essentially live.

“Interaction between Dave and myself, because we’re just a two-piece, is an important part of the process,” King continues. “So I’ll have the skeleton of a song, but it’s not until I actually bring it into our jam space, and we start going through how we would do it together – how the drums are going to sound, and how the breaks, and the pauses, and the transitions are going to be – that it actually starts to take life in the way that Japandroids songs do.” It begins very traditionally, King says, with a verse, chorus, bridge, a melody and a loose idea of the lyrics. This is what he calls “the kind of standard pop-song or Beatles-song elements of it.” Then comes the Japandroids goal: “How do we turn that into something that’s really impressive to play together?”

Then comes the Japandroids goal: “How do we turn that into something that’s really impressive to play together?”

“It’s never really done until we literally can’t do anything more impressive to it,” King says. “Then after that’s done, usually the instrumental will have changed because we’ll have put in this new part, or we’ll have changed the beat of this. Then I’ll have to go back, after we’ve got the instrumental as this really impressive thing, and re-write lyrics and sometimes the melody on top of that.”

Of Prowse, who wasn’t available for this interview, King is clear that the Japandroids would not be Japandroids without him. “I write all the lyrics to all the songs, and I’m the guitar player so I write all the guitar parts, and David’s the drummer so he plays the drums. But in terms of breaking down those roles to the nitty gritty, we just don’t give a shit about stuff like that.”

Né d’un père paraguayen et d’une mère mexicaine, Daniel Russo Garrido (alias Boogat) attrape la piqûre d’écrire des chansons lorsqu’il entend le célèbre « Prose combat » de MC Solaar. C’est en 2004 qu’il débarque avec un premier album, Tristes et belles histoires. Un deuxième opus plus assuré, Patte de salamandre, suivra en 2006, puis un disque de remix tiré à quelques centaines d’exemplaires physiques (Rmx Vol. 1) en 2008. Après trois compacts de hip-hop servis dans la langue de Molière, l’homme faisait paraître en février dernier l’éclectique El Dorado Sunset. Un album entièrement en espagnol (à l’exception d’un titre, « Wow », avec Radio Radio). Un changement de cap nécessaire pour celui qui arpentait la scène hip-hop montréalaise depuis déjà plusieurs années.

« J’avais le cul assis entre deux chaises. Je faisais de la musique trop intellectuelle pour plaire à la clique hip-hop et trop rap pour une scène qui aime la chanson. J’avais toujours des problèmes au niveau de la catégorisation. Pour le booking des spectacles, ça devenait pénible et ça marchait plus ou moins. Vers 2007, j’ai commencé à jouer avec des groupes de salsa et de rock qui exigeaient que je rappe en espagnol dans leurs shows. À partir de ce moment, je n’avais plus besoin de dire aux gens de lever les mains. Ils dansaient pour vrai et avaient le goût d’être là et de passer une bonne soirée. Ce changement m’a permis de graviter autour d’autres scènes et de voir d’autres gens. C’était évident qu’il fallait que je poursuive dans cette direction, » raconte le volubile auteur-compositeur-interprète et producteur de 33 ans.

«À partir de ce moment, je n’avais plus besoin de dire aux gens de lever les mains.»

Ça donne un déferlement de rythmes chauds et lascifs, empruntant autant à la musique urbaine et électronique qu’au dancehall et aux musiques latines, un son naturel, organique, de fortes mélodies et des arrangements audacieux. Bref, une proposition tout à fait moderne et ambitieuse qui donne envie de bouger. Épaulé par Ghislain Poirier à la réalisation, Boogat estime que ce dernier fut d’une aide précieuse. « Il m’a appris à tester mon matériel devant un public avant de l’enregistrer. Presque toutes les chansons de l’album furent jouées devant une foule avant d’entrer en studio. Je voulais voir la réaction des gens et ça m’a grandement aidé. Poirier m’a beaucoup ouvert les yeux. Et le résultat détonne. Pour quelqu’un qui connaît la musique, cet album est un beau bordel total! Il y a plein de choses, qui normalement ne devraient pas aller ensemble, qui se rencontrent. Bref, c’est comme la vie. »

Ayant comme sous-titre « el gran baile de las identidades » (le grand bal des identités), le disque se veut une véritable célébration des cultures, latino-américaine certes, mais aussi québécoise. Pour Daniel, la langue ne doit pas être un obstacle à la musique. S’il écoute peu d’artistes francophones, c’est qu’il croit que cette scène se retrouve face à un problème majeur. « Lorsque je faisais de la musique en français, je pensais beaucoup aux radios commerciales, puis à pénétrer en France. C’était les seules options! Aujourd’hui, penser que la langue empêche l’art de circuler, c’est faire fausse route. Il est difficile de percer à New York parce que la musique est de très haut niveau. Musicalement parlant, la proposition de beaucoup de musique francophone est moche. C’est une musique qui n’a pas une facture actuelle. Il faut se mettre au niveau des productions internationales. On va y arriver un jour. Ça prend un groupe qui va fonctionner en français à l’extérieur de la francophonie pour ouvrir les yeux aux gens. »

« Je voulais voir la réaction des gens et ça m’a grandement aidé. » – Boogat

Malgré l’affluence d’artistes et l’industrie musicale vacillante, le jeune homme garde la tête haute. Pas question de s’apitoyer sur son sort. Il explique : « Ceux qui pleurent que l’industrie musicale va mal sont essentiellement des gens de la vieille garde. Ce discours nostalgique ne me touche pas. Aujourd’hui, je considère que le pouvoir est aux musiciens. J’ai une plus belle carrière depuis qu’on dit que l’industrie musicale va mal. Le monde change, évolue. On n’y peut rien. Il suffit de s’ajuster. Plus que jamais, on ne peut plus se permettre d’être un musicien du dimanche. Ça devient de plus en plus difficile d’être populaire et de remplir des salles avec une seule bonne chanson. Si tu veux gagner ta vie en étant musicien, t’es mieux d’être bon! Les gens qui fréquentent les salles de spectacles connaissent la musique. Ils voient immédiatement si tu es bon ou mauvais. On est de retour au même endroit qu’on était avant que la musique ne soit enregistrée. C’est un retour à la scène, à la vraie performance, à l’idée artistique qui prime. »

Si l’homme cultive l’ambition d’exporter éventuellement sa musique à l’étranger, il concentre son énergie sur le Québec. Après avoir tourné deux clips (pour les chansons « Eres Hecha para Mi » et « Único »), Boogat planifie une escale européenne cet automne tout en gardant l’œil ouvert afin de faire paraître l’album dans des territoires à l’extérieur du Canada. Pour l’artiste, pas question de penser en fonction de marchés distincts. « Quand tu produis une œuvre artistique, tu ne dois pas songer à ça. Si ta proposition est intéressante ici, elle le sera ailleurs aussi. J’aime me concentrer sur une chose à la fois. Ne pas brusquer quoi que ce soit. Ça m’agace lorsqu’on avance que le Québec n’est pas une province cool. Elle est magnifique et unique! Un artiste n’a qu’à présenter son matériel d’une façon intéressante et le monde va embarquer! »

Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

Six years after it initially opened, music publisher ole’s L.A. office is on fire.
In the past year alone, the West Coast branch of the Toronto-based business – which describes itself as “the world’s fastest growing independent music publisher” – has rocketed from relative pop/urban modesty to establishing itself with a major chart presence, thanks to the game-changing signing of high-profile producer and songwriter Tim “Timbaland” Mosley.

Current and future chart action includes: all 10 songs – including the Top 10 hits “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors” – on the chart-topping, multi-million-selling Justin Timberlake album The 20/20 Experience, co-written and co-produced by Timbaland; Timberlake’s follow-up album, expected to be released later in 2013; seven songs on the upcoming Beyoncé album Mrs. Carter (again, courtesy of Timbaland); and recently, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler’s songwriting contributions to his band’s No. 1 album Music From Another Dimension, courtesy of an administration deal.

A couple of ole’s SOCAN member writers have also made an impact: Shiloh is a co-writer on Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Tonight I’m Getting Over You,” recently re-cut with the addition of rapper Nicki Minaj; while Tebey Ottoh co-produced and co-wrote “They Don’t Know About Us” on U.K. boy-band sensation One Direction’s top-selling Take Me Home. 

“Our Canadian writers are some of our most important writers.” – ole Creative Director Chad Richardson

Robert Ott, co-founding Chairman & CEO of the eight-year-old music publisher, says this is only the beginning. “We’ve been working to build our presence in pop for some time and were fortunate enough to do a deal with Timbaland,” he says. “Tim is the modern-era Quincy Jones. We’re very pleased and fortunate to be working with him.”

Ott says the Timbaland signing and ole L.A.’s subsequent success is part of an overall expansion plan that will see a dozen staffers occupy the office by the conclusion of 2013. “There’s a lot of growth in L.A. right now and it kind of follows the same patterns as we had in Nashville, where we began in a smaller way and then built up a great, creative roster of people on the staff side and great writers,” he explains.

“I feel like both of those offices have grown to the point that they have their own identity, they have their own regional mandate, and I’m going to be empowering both to proceed on a much more self-directed course from now on.”

ole Creative Director Chad Richardson says activities such as its annual October pop and urban song camp, and constant searches for film, TV and other placements via the Business Development and Synchronization and Licensing departments are a few ways in which the company is supporting the its Canadian roster, which includes Shiloh, Alan Frew, David Tyson, Jim Vallance, Mother Mother and Lindi Ortega (the latter two part of a co-venture with Last Gang Publishing Inc.), as well as composers Dan Friedman and Jack Lenz, among others.


“Being Canadian is a big part of our identity,” asserts Richardson, also a SOCAN writer. “I’m the only Canadian in the L.A. office, but it’s something I really push and stress. Our Canadian writers, in my mind, are some of our most important writers.”

Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.