Q&A: Junip's Jose Gonzalez & Tobias Winterkorn on Philosophy, YouTube, and FIELDS.

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Tomorrow night, Sweden's Junip -- vocalist/guitarist Jose Gonzalez, drummer Elias Araya, and organist/synthesizerist Tobias Winterkorn -- will play the Vera Project. It's a show well-worth

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Q&A: Junip's Jose Gonzalez & Tobias Winterkorn on Philosophy, YouTube, and FIELDS.

  • Q&A: Junip's Jose Gonzalez & Tobias Winterkorn on Philosophy, YouTube, and FIELDS.

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    junip_img01_hires_picnik.jpg
    Tomorrow night, Sweden's Junip -- vocalist/guitarist Jose Gonzalez, drummer Elias Araya, and organist/synthesizerist Tobias Winterkorn -- will play the Vera Project. It's a show well-worth checking out, particularly if you've been a fan of Gonzalez's inimitable solo work over the years. Junip just released a stellar EP called Rope & Summit, a preview to their first upcoming full-length, FIELDS. I recently spoke with Gonzalez and Winterkorn as they were kicking off their national tour. Here's what they had to say about their new music:

    Some people are getting confused and calling Junip a new band...

    JG: It's fine with me. It's new in a way because it's our first full length album. It feels new for me, even though we started playing 12 years ago. All the songs are new.

    Tobias, did you ever feel left behind during the years that Jose's solo career was taking off? And what were you doing during that time?

    TK: I'm lying if I say I didn't. But not in a bad way, not like I'm angry at him or something. I was teaching philosophy at the university. I was -- I can't pronounce the word in English - it's pedagog in Swedish.

    Pedagogue?

    TK: Yeah, that's a really hard word. I'm into all the pedagogic thoughts about finding out how everything is possible and why people do what they do. So that opens quite a lot of doors in my lyric-writing.

    What are the sonic difference between Junip's songs and, Jose, your solo material?

    JG: It's still me on vocals, so some people are already saying it sounds the same as my own [music]. But I think musically it's not similar at all. It's based around the drums and the keyboards and not so much at all around the guitar. I don't think too much about trying to impress people with my guitar.

    Is that what you usually try to do?

    JG: Yeah! Usually I don't feel like the song is done until I write something intricate and difficult to play. But not with Junip. It's more about how it sounds together with the drums and synthesizers and organ.

    Are you still playing a nylon string?

    JG: Yeah, I was a bit wary, and I tried out the steel string and electric guitar, and it didn't really feel right, so I'm still playing nylon string. So live you can't really hear the nylon string at all. Only on the intros.

    You become well-known for your covers of songs like Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad" and The Knife's "Heartbeats"? Are there any covers on FIELDS?

    JG: No, they're all originals.

    How would you describe the songs on FIELDS?

    TK: It's a happy record, but not too happy. The mix of the songs, I think is really perfect. We have a pure ballad on it. It sounds like a power ballad. And then we have songs that are quite naïve and maybe childish. I think it's a great mix, and the sound is so different from song to song.

    Jose, were you reading anything while working on this record? I heard you were reading a lot of Richard Dawkins when you were making In Our Nature.

    JG: No, not really. I got a bit tired of reading heavy books. I've been watching YouTube.

    Anything good?

    JG: Louis C.K., I like some of his stand up comedy. But it's not that I've been inspired by that at all. Sometimes I go into poetry websites and read random poems to get vibes.

    Do you have plans for another solo album anytime soon?

    JG: Yeah, I try to write riffs once in a while and record them on my computer. I don't have a deadline though, so it's gonna take a couple years.

    Junip's show at the Vera Project begins at 7:30 p.m. It's 14 and Born Anchors will open.

     
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