Folkpop triumvirate, Junip, returned earlier this year with a stunning record, spearheaded by the unmistakable voice of José González. The Swedes’ self-titled set is an album full of cling-to melodies and gentle hooks, as demonstrated by its first two calling cards, Line of Fire and Your Life Your Call.
Following on from a successful launch gig at Village Underground back in May, the band play their biggest London show next week at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. They also have a single, Walking Lightly, coming out and to celebrate their return to London the lads have chosen Londonist to premiere their brand new video for it.
Shot earlier this month in the woods of Jonsered outside Gothenburg, the video was directed by Fredrik Egerstrand and features Junip alongside their respective girlfriends as well as Gonzalez’s twin nieces, going back to nature and keeping things simple. You can watch it after the jump, the jump being our interview with the band’s Tobias Winterkorn, below.
Hej, Tobias! It’s been a couple of years since your previous record – did you guys spend all that time working on the new one?
No, after we recorded ‘Fields’ we toured a lot all over the world. It wasn’t until autumn 2011 we started to make ‘Junip’.
What was the first song you finished for the album?
We were working on different songs at the same time and we had 2 older songs that were almost done – After All Is Said and Done and So Clear. So it was one of these songs that was finished first, musically at least.
Do you feel that they set the tone for the rest of the album?
No, not really, we had so many different ideas and we just focused on one sound and song at a time and didn’t think too much about how the songs would turn out on a whole album.
You first showcased the record in London in May. What was the Village Underground gig like for you?
It was very nice. It sold out! Great audience, what more can you ask for!
Will your forthcoming show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire differ from that initial showcase?
We’re going to change the set a bit, more from ‘Junip’ and maybe some old songs that we haven’t been playing for ages.
We’re premiering your new video today but let’s first talk about the promos for the last two singles, which had a sinister through-line to them. How did you come up with the storyline and the idea for them?
The director, Mikel Cee Karlsson, had totally free hands. He came up with a storyline and then he just made magic. We didn’t participate at all and it was so great to see the final result.
Now let’s turn to Walking Lightly, the new single. What can you tell us about the song itself and how you selected the artists chosen to do the remixes on the EP?
Walking Lightly was really interesting to make. We started with only drums for 6 minutes and pretty much nothing else. Then we built it with a lot of synths, guitar and percussion and the song turned out totally different to how we originally expected. As for the remixes, our record label, City Slang, came up with suggestions of artists who were interested in making remixes for us and the results were amazing!
You’ve performed at quite a few festivals across Europe this summer – is it harder work performing to general festival audiences as opposed to people who have come especially to watch a Junip show?
Sometimes. We had some great audiences this summer and when you have that it’s easy and can even be better than a club show. But, of course, you don’t know that in advance!
You’ve picked the brilliant Mariam The Believer to provide the support for your London show. Why Mariam?
I was amazed with her voice, that was pretty much it. It feels right and fun to have a support like her.
Have you done many support slots yourselves during your early years?
We haven’t supported that many bands. The only band I can remember is Caribou and that was so great. We supported them on some European shows and it was an incredible experience. The audiences were great to us as well.
Do you guys write new songs while on tour?
We have made some poor attempts but the downtime on tours when you can relax and do something completely different is so valuable – more than trying to make music, sometimes.
And finally, what are your plans post-tour?
For me I’m not sure. I guess finding a day job is first priority and I’m going to try to combine that and continue working on my own music. José’s going to make a solo album.
Walking Lightly comes out on City Slang on 16 September. Junip play Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday 18 September. Tickets are available HERE.