Hailing from the small industrial town of Trollhättan, Sweden, Janice Prix recently released their debut album “Waking”. Featuring twelve tracks made up of previously released singles and new songs, the three-piece have crafted a collection of soaring indie anthems that deserve your attention.
The title track, about refugees fleeing their war-torn homes, opens the album while the stand-out “Glitch” revolves around the 2015 school-attack in their hometown. The band are clearly not afraid to tackle difficult subjects in their powerful lyrics but weave them into catchy tunes with ambitious arrangements. Other songs reflect on a failing relationship (“Where Did We Go Wrong?”) while “Ikaros” is described as “A modern day greek tragedy taking place in Manhattan”
The band have said of the album “A lot of effort was put into making the songs revolve around things we feel are truly important. Our ambition was to also mirror this sound-wise by using dark electronic soundscapes together with real strings and instruments in a cinematic blend.”. It fair to say that they have achieved this.
We caught with Richard (vocals), MK (bass) and Victor (drums) to talk about how they formed the band, recording the album and their musical influences.
How did the band meet and how did you decide upon”Janice Prix” as the band name?
We met through school and were in fact the opposite of friends for a while until we discovered that we shared some musical preferences. As we buried the hatchet and got to know each other more the idea of making our own music grew. We decided to go in an opposite direction to what was going on in the local music scene at the time, just to provoke.
In terms of revealing the origin of the name Janice Prix, that is something we cannot do and never will.
What did you listen to when you were growing up and how has that influenced the band’s sound?
We share some childhood heroes like kent, Depeche Mode and Muse but also more heavy stuff. Most of us started out playing metal.
If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Victor: For me, I think I could endure Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ for the rest of my life. It’s such a solid record and I’ve already worn my vinyl copy down listen to it for many years. It still holds.
Richard: I’d go for Purple Rain. I discover new hidden gems within the songs all the time listening to it.
MK: I’d probably choose Bon Iver – Bon Iver. It just holds a special place in my heart. If I in this desert island scenario would get tired of this album, I’d just borrow the “In Rainbows” record from Victor.
It sounds like the period between releasing your debut EP in 2015 and the new album has been challenging for a number of reasons – what happened?
Yes, it was. Being our first album and collaboration with a professional producer our lack of experience sometimes led to misunderstandings and arguments. The process was quite slow and hard. It wore us down a bit. Although we pulled through and got really tight.
We always maintained the idea that every song should be perfect and we worked really hard with each song. From writing the songs to the final mix we worked extensively trying to get every single detail right. Looking back I think we could have done some things in a different way but you always learn from these kind of processes. Stefan Boman (producer) was really great trying to steer us in the right directions and avoiding some of the usual pitfalls of making a record.
You aren’t afraid of confronting difficult issues in your songs(the plight of refugees, the school attack in your hometown) – do hope that your music can help to change people’s attitudes in the current climate? We’re not really about changing peoples mind or stating political views. We often feel that it’s a common misconception that an artist taking on certain topics must have an agenda. Our hope is just that some people appreciate that our songs sometimes are about something else than just typical pop song themes.
What classic album cover is your current mood?
Victor: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – Communion, although perhaps not a ‘classic’ in a broad sense it’s pretty funny and seems relevant at present day. It’s a hilarious album cover but provides some social commentary which I enjoy.
Richard: Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here, ’cause it’s very hot outside. At least for being Sweden.
MK: The National – The National. I’m really keen to swim in a pool right now.
Did you consider postponing the release of”Waking” in light of everything that has happened this year? It must be incredibly frustrating to not be able to promote it properly after spending so much time and effort.
We did discuss it but sometimes you need to gamble a bit and hopefully it works out in the end. The primary focus for us was to get the album out to the world and you sort of have to deal with the rest as it comes, however frustrating it might be. As a independent artist there’s probably not a perfect time to release new music anyway.
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?Asparagus, Parmigiano and mozzarella; Green Supreme.
What can we expect in the next 18 months? Are you planning to play any shows/festivals in the US?
We hope to go to the US as soon as possible, but as of now most touring plans are put on hold for obvious reasons. Our hopes for the next 18 months are to tour and release new music.