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.Spotlight on: Les Jupes with “Negative Space”

Les Jupes by Mats Bakken 3 1mb
Les Jupes

About two years ago the Canadian four-piece Les Jupes presented their debut album “Modern Myths” and are now ready to give their fans some new tunes collected on their EP “Negative Space”, which will be available from today on. Les Jupes themselves know that a change has happened – they’ve started to reflect on their previous results and created a fresh and exciting sound – yet still they were able to keep that certain element that makes it their music.

The four new songs not only mark the start of their upcoming music but also the first EP with keyboardist Adam Fuhr. With “Negative Space” the band shows fans – and going-to-be-fans – what is yet to come. Les Jupes aren’t your everyday Pop band – these guys have the know-how and prove it. With well-conceived lyrics and song titles that will not only make you wonder what it sounds like but also think about the actual words. Best example is track 4 “Interview With a Contract Killer”; don’t tell me you’re not curious yet.

Since we don’t have the chance to get hold of Canadian bands everyday, we decided to ask the four-piece some questions that will bring you closer to their music as well as their working process. Find some of their tunes below the interview.

Les Jupes (Image Credit: Leif Norman)

.Cent: Creating unique music nowadays is quite the challenge – How do you approach recording new sounds? Do you have a certain scheme?

Michael: I think it still just boils down to if the song is any good or not.  Sounds don’t make a good song, and good sounds are usually only cool for a couple years before everyone is bored of them and shitty bands on daytime talk shows start using them.  I think it’s more important to worry about making the right decisions for the song – the song knows what it wants to be – it’s our job to not get in the way of it.  If we can make something that people have a real, human and honest connection to, then we’ll be alright. 

.Cent: You’ve supported quite a few bands in the past and even played a few gigs in Europe – do you see a difference between the American and the European audience? Is one of them more challenging?

Michael: I definitely feel that UK and USA audiences are the most demanding.  Everyone has seen a thousand bands, they’re not easily impressed.  It’s a good challenge.  Canadian audiences tend to be fairly stand-offish but appreciative.  When American audiences get into it they REALLY get into it.  And German audiences listen really intently but are really hard to read.

.Cent: Would you say your music has evolved on your new EP compared to your debut album “Modern Myths”? If yes, have there been significant changes?

Michael: Modern Myths is really dense. It’s big and sprawling and there are a lot of layers.  We wanted this EP to be more immediate and less distant.  If Modern Myths is like a painting in a gallery that you have to stand at an arms length to appreciate, we wanted the EP to be in your face and graspable.

.Cent: Since all of you have music-related side projects – is it difficult to switch between your own work and the band itself?

Michael: Les Jupes is all of our main focus, so it’s easy to get into this world.  I think all of our side projects are healthy ways to get out the other aspects of our creativity that might not find a home in this band.

.Cent: You’re working with producer Marcus Paquin, who has worked with Arcade Fire and The National before. Do you see influences of either band your music? Or do you try to keep it as unique as possible?

Michael: We work with Marcus because he has high standards, great ideas, and pushes us to be a better band. He’s also tall and handsome, so that helps – ha. The fact that he has worked on records that we love is a sign that we’re working with someone who shares similar musical values.  We’re not trying to sound like anyone else but are trying to forge our own identity, and so those discussions are always on the table.  A lot of media compare us to the National because of my low voice, but that never feels like it does our music any justice.

.Cent: Would you like to share one of your most precious memories as a band with us?

Michael: We’ve had our share of trying times and tough situations, so it’s nice to think of some of the positives.  We recently had a few days off between shows in the Canadian mountains on the west coast – so we went to some hot springs and holed up in a cheap motel and got right ripped and had some really great moments of friendship between the four of us. People rolling on the ground laughing uncontrollably, guys really connecting to each other, some good food – forging the friendships that are the heart of this band.  Those were great days and are important to us. 

After all that reading – have a listen to “Negative Space”:

Les Jupes are coming to London as well! Check out the dates below:

  • 1. October – Club Surya, London
  • 2. October – The Windmill, London
  • 3. October – Dublin Castle, London

And that’s not all yet: Feel free to browse Les Jupes’ official website, their YouTube Channel, Facebook, Twitter and, last but not least, SoundCloud. Their brand new EP “Negative Space” will be released on 30 September.

. Pascal writes about a range of topics for .Cent, but he enjoys writing about music the most. Originally from Lustenau in Austria, he has seen more of London than his native Capital, Vienna.

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