For someone who grew up in Sudan, I was well aware of Nigerian disco’s impact on African music. Fast forward to Frank Ocean rediscovering Steve Monite’s ‘Only You’, to now hearing this fabulous cover by Theophilus London and Tame Impala… Excellent!
Truth be told though, none match up to the original, which was so ahead of it’s time that it still feels current right now… Give it a spin here.
Midnight Juggernauts have become somewhat of an Australian electro institution since their first release, ‘Dystopia’ in 2007. Now they’re back with their third album, ‘Uncanny Valley’, and I managed to fire over some questions to the band which I’ve always wanted to ask.
Since forming back in 2004, you’ve very quickly gained worldwide attention. Where does the name ‘Midnight Juggernauts’ come from?
We liked the idea of something a little unusual, and it seemed to describe some unstoppable force in the middle of the night which worked for us. It was also good to have a band title which hadn’t been used before so we wouldn’t have to change it down the line.
You’ve been part of the ‘Australian Invasion’ from recent years- why do you think there are so many great electro acts emerging from Australia right now?
Well Australia is so far away from the rest of the world, but there’s still a big music and arts scene down here. It’s a fairly supportive community of musicians and artists and interesting things often grow. Melbourne has always had a strong live music and dance scene. There’s a lot of different things coming out of there in different styles. Tame Impala and Pond and Lost Animal and Shags and Client Liaision. Everyone knows each other and share coffees in airports.
Your new album, Uncanny Valley, is out July 22nd. How does the sound differ on this record compared to your previous ones?
We always like each album to have their own distinct personality. so we approach their recording differently. For this album we probably had a more relaxed approach and didn’t set ourselves a tight schedule. We went to a converted church/studio in a little country village in the French Loire Valley and just dived into music with no distractions. Perhaps this album has more dance and delirium.
Where in the world do you get the best reactions from fans when you play live?
We like playing most continents but we always love playing in exotic locations where it also feels like a holiday for us. Japan is great and people there feel like true music fans. And South America is quite special as well. Maybe the sunshine there gives them a special lift of energy. We just played some shows there last week and can’t wait til we return.
Where do you draw your inspirations from when you write your tracks?
These can come from various places. We’re also heavily into film and growing up I was watching a lot of genre flicks from the late ’70s which was probably a large inspiration. Landscapes and new environments are also a potent inspiration, which is why we wanted to have our music writing and recording sessions in this French church in the country.
Of all your tracks, which do you love to play live the most?
We always enjoy playing songs with long intros and build ups. From the new album ‘HCL’ and ‘Melodiya’ are fun for me to play. ‘Into the Galaxy’ is fun as a singalong. Anything with harmonies I enjoy too. I’d like to be in a Beach Boys cover band sometime.
Where are you touring to ahead of the album release?
Well firstly through South America. Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and then over to Europe and the UK. It will be great for us as it’s now winter in Australia and we’re looking forward to playing some shows in the European summer sunshine.
Uncanny Valley is out July 22nd in the UK. Check out the Midnight Juggernauts here!