Exclusive Interview! Just A Band speaks on their new album 82 and more!
::KenyaChristian:: So guys, how is the year going so far?
Just A Band: We’re having quite the year – it’s been eight months and we’ve had one big gig, shot a bunch of music videos, animated two more music videos, held an art exhibition for which we shot and animated 3 or 4 additional art pieces, held DJ parties and we’ve just finished working on the new album. We’ve always been very laid back, so this is quite hectic for us.
::KC:: How is the new album “82” coming along, and when do you expect to release it?
JAB: We finished recording and mixing all the songs a few days ago, and we’re working on the accompanying artwork – based on the cover you see today. The album sounds louder and is somewhat more confident than Scratch To Reveal was. We’ve done a lot more of the singing ourselves (which may or may not be a good thing, ha, ha!). As such, there’s less guest artists on this record – Juliani, Bien Baraza of Sauti Sol and our dear vocal coach and friend, Wambura Mitaru. Eric Musyoka also created one of the tracks on this album – “Ha-He”.
::KC:: Your sophomore album seems to be coming so soon after the first one. Why so soon, is it a case of striking while the iron is hot?
JAB: Scratch To Reveal was like a pilot project for us, and we were (and still are) very surprised at how well people took it. We’ve been playing with a lot of new sounds since we released it in May last year – and we’re excited about the new sound. We initially wanted to release 82 exactly one year later, in May, but that felt gimmicky and rushed and we’re glad we waited, because some nice new songs emerged after May.
::KC:: What was the response to “Scratch to Reveal” like?
JAB: Overwhelming, surprising...
::KC:: Are you happy with the response so far?
JAB: We’re proud of that album.
::KC:: The videos seem to have really grabbed people’s attention. Was that your plan all along, to make people stop, look, and listen?
JAB: I don’t know if there was a plan – all we do is make videos that make us excited about music. We get a lot of inspiration from the way the Europeans treat the music video as a medium, and there was a period in the late 90s when black musicians were making very interesting videos, and then budgets got slashed and everyone started doing the same bling-booty-shaking-in-the-club videos, and it became boring. Perhaps because 2 of us are coming from a visual arts background, we’re always eager to use the medium of the music video to experiment with ideas and fool around.
::KC:: What do you think of the fact that you have built such a strong following in a short period? Do you think people are craving for something different, something fresh?
JAB: Who knows? Kenyans are interesting – if they decide to like something, they do it with gusto. And if they decide they hate it, they do it with equal enthusiasm.