Interview: JR JR
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 12:09:25
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The band has changed it's name, but not it's quest to make a great pop tune.
JR JR make a statement with their self-titled third full-length album [Warner Bros. Records]. The duo, previously known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., show that you can still make smart pop music. Tracks like "Gone" are impossible to stop humming, and you could just as easily hear them in a movie as you could from a festival main stage. They're catchy in the right way, but there's a sharp, smart, and sly lyricism that adds another element altogether. Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein are quite the songwriting pair, and they've got more than few hits waiting in the wings on JR JR. It's a new beginning for Detroit's finest, but it never loses sight of where they came from. That's the real magic. In this exclusive interview, Joshua Epstein tells us all about the new movie, inspiration from making their first mixtape, influences, cranking OutKast, and so much more.
The new album flows so well from top-to-bottom. Did you approach it with one particular vision or vibe in mind? Where does the cohesion come from?
The cohesion comes from our longtime producer & collaborator Ben West and us. We actually were all over the country writing this album over a year or more, so keeping the album flow right was a lot of the mix, sequence, and song selection process. We wrote a ton of songs that didn't feel like they belonged as well. The vibe came out of the mixtape process. Working on Produce Vol. 1 was liberating in that we were just making music as fast as we could and not spending too much time editing. We realized there was something to be said for going with the first instinct sometimes. So this album is just us having a little more fun and enjoying making an album.
The songs really feel visual. It's like you can see them almost as much as you can hear them. Is part of the intent to tell stories and paint pictures with the music?
A good song can bring a specific memory into your mind—like smell and taste can. Our first record felt like it was a little looser than our second, but as a result, those dogs can sometimes feel easier to access at different moments in life. We were definitely conscious of allowing the songs to veer out into whichever pasture they wanted to play in a little more on this album.
Listen to "Gone" from JR JR: