9 questions to… Jay-Jay Johanson

Jay-Jay Johanson_3
Jay-Jay Johanson

(Lire la version traduite en français ici)

With last year Best Of 1996-2013 released a few months prior to his last LP Cockroach, Jay-Jay Johanson could have been taking some time off. Nonetheless, the Swedish singer-songwriter will release his tenth studio album next January. Add an original soundtrack for La Confusion Des Genres to this and you will say it is quite a lot in less than two decades !

For now, we won’t have to wait long before listening to the first songs since two singles are due respectively in October and December. And if you still don’t know why Jay-Jay Johanson’s music style is unique, you will definitely find some hints below.

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Heepro : In 2006, the book 1001 albums you must hear before you die was published with a lot of albums, artists and bands missing. What would be your choices of albums or artists/bands that you think everyone should have listened to in their life ?

Jay-Jay Johanson : Chet Baker ‘Sings’, Nico ‘Chelsea Girls’, Portishead ‘Dummy’… well, actually, there are so many songs I love, but they are only singles, or from albums that are not so great…
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
 

H : What artists/bands, songs/albums, genres have inspired or inspire you ?

JJJ : I try not to think of inspiration when it comes to my writing, even though Chet Baker has had a great influence on me since I was a young teenager, but I do get inspired by listening to soundtracks, like Bernard Herrmann’s music for the Hitchcock films and all the great music chosen for the Stanley Kubrick films for example…

H : What books, films did you love reading, watching and could have inspired or influenced you in your life ?

JJJ : Not much, I’m not a reader really, films… hmm… nah, well of course Kubrick, Hitchcock.
Jay-Jay Johanson {Poison} 2
‘Poison’ photo session
 

H : What living artists (literature, cinema, painting, etc.) influence you ?

JJJ : Like I said, I really function as much as possible without influences, but I do love art, everything around Andy Warhol for example, the films, the music, the paintings, the whole concept.

H : What country, city or place in the world is inspiring or essential to you ?

JJJ : It used to be London as a kid, it became Paris, and lately it’s home.

H : What music have you been listening to recently ?

JJJ : I’m working on my new album, so lately I write and compose more than listen, and if I listen it would be to my demo takes, to see what I could improve…
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

H : Among all your work, what album would you like to mention in particular ?

JJJ : ‘Whiskey’ was very important, that’s where it all started, ‘Poison’ became so huge, and ‘Spellbound’ is my most personal album…

H : Do you think that an album cover has some significant importance ?

JJJ : It can, and I like to use it as a mood-setter, to show the listener what I looked like while making the songs, one day I guess I will move more into making the cover a small piece of art instead…

H : I chose Oscar Wilde’s A Preface to Dorian Gray last sentence ‘All art is quite useless’ for my welcome page. What do you think about its meaning today ?

JJJ : I don’t know really, that book is awesome, but if art is useless then everything else is useless as well.

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Interview with Jay-Jay Johanson in heepro.wordpress.com, August 2014

All pictures from jayjayjohanson.tumblr.com

Read The Long Term Physical Effects Are Not Yet Known (French)

Jay-Jay Johanson_4
Jay-Jay Johanson ?

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