Depeche Mode

MIIKE SNOW: POP BEATS MODERN MUSIC NEEDS
September 22, 2016 6:05 pm

Miike Snow is the indelible, organic, pop hook-laden band consisting of the production team of Bloodshy & Avant, coupled with singer Andrew Wyatt. The group has been releasing albums of danceable, heavy, somewhat macabre music since 2009. Three albums to be exact, Miike Snow, Happy to You, and iii, all distinct in their own right, but inherently easily recognizable as Miike Snow.

Prior to forming Miike Snow, the production team of Bloodshy & Avant, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, were sought after producers and songwriters by some of the biggest names in pop music. Karlsson was a member of the Swedish hip-hop group Goldmine and toured with The Fugees. Under the moniker of Bloodshy & Avant, the duo produced singles for Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Britney Spears, eventually going on to win a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for Spears’s 2004 hit “Toxic”. Bloodshy & Avant was introduced to classical and jazz educated Andrew Wyatt through a mutual friend and took the name Miike Snow. The name was also a play on Japanese film director, Takashi Miike, when they added an extra “i” for their eponymous debut in 2009.

Their music has been described as “A-Ha meets Animal Collective” by The Guardian, which is a great description of the groups deep, rich production beats, and Wyatt’s soft baritone and strong range. The group has gone onto win some awards of their own, and has developed a deep respect from a multitude of artists including: Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, and Vampire Weekend, through their remix collaborations. Miike Snow released their latest record iii in March of 2016 with tracks “Heart is Full”, and “Genghis Khan” accompanied by full-length feature videos to great fanfare. Miike Snow played a string of 2016 summer festivals including Coachella, The Governor’s Ball, and Lollapalooza, and continues their North American concluding with the Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 9th in Austin, TX. If you find them near you, you need to see him and get get addicted to their amazing music.

When MSI Was Pink
September 7, 2015 4:17 pm

In 1990, Manhattan’s East Village hadn’t yet developed into the glorified shopping mall that’s become so popular with big-haired tourists and yogis alike. It was still fertile ground for people who wanted to create. And it was within this landscape that the band Mindless Self Indulgence, and the character of leader Little Jimmy Urine, were born.

MSI, as fans know them, ripped the music scene a new asshole when they released Tight in 1999. If you were a teenager in the early 2000’s, there’s a good chance you were hanging out in a musty basement somewhere shouting the lyrics to “Bitches” from their year 2000 release Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy. But what happened before that?

Bootlegs of MSI’s earliest work have been circling the Internet for at least a decade. Finally, their early work is getting the attention it deserves. Pink, coming September 18th on Metropolis Records, contains 15 never-before-released MSI tracks, plus covers of “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode and “Girls on Film by Duran Duran. The album is a snapshot of who MSI was from 1990-1997; a celebration of being young and dirty in New York City.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with singer and writer Little Jimmy Urine (born James Euringer) about the new/old album, what it was like growing up in the city, and what’s in the future for Mindless Self Indulgence.

Your new album Pink is comprised mainly of previously-unreleased music from the early days of MSI. What made you want to release it now?

JU: Well first off, people were selling the self-titled record on eBay for like 500 bucks and I was not seeing any of that money. And I was the only one who had Pink in my possession. But fans knew about the record since the early 2000’s from the Internet. Whether you like Pink or not, one thing is true – it is the most anticipated record of ours because fans knew everything about it for so long but no one even had a bootleg of it. In fact the “bootlegs” that went around were never Pink, they were other bands using the name to promote their own bad music to my fans. So I was like “Fuck that, I am going to put out the real Pink.”

Pink also has covers of “Personal Jesus” and “Girls on Film”. What attracted you to these? Has 80’s synthpop been influential to your sound?

JU: I think synthpop is influential to every single person that has ever worked with electronic music equipment, period. Even if you’re anti-synthpop, that is also synthpop influencing you to do something different. For me, I love melody and 80’s synthpop has some of the best melodies and songwriting ever.

As far as covering “Personal Jesus” and “Girls on Film,” my number one reason to cover a song is, “Can I make a bangin version of this song?” Most people cover songs because the song means a lot to them, but all my covers are based on, “Does the MSI cover slam the fuck out of the original song in some way?” And honestly “Personal Jesus” is my least favorite Depeche Mode song ever – I am a “Strangelove”/”Black Celebration” guy myself. But man does the MSI version kick ass, so of course I’m going to cover it.

msi_4

Will you be touring to support the album?

JU: We won’t be.

Do you and your wife [Morningwood vocalist Chantal Claret Euringer] ever collaborate?

JU: Hell yeah! All the time. She did a lot of the little vocal samples and background vocals on Pink, How I learned To Love MSI, and If. We’re both working on stuff all the time and we ask each other’s opinions, help each other with lyrics and melody here and there, talk about art production, business etc. My wife is super talented at so much stuff so, of course, I love to work with her.

You have your own record label, Uppity Cracker. Can you speak a little bit about the process of setting up and running an independent label?

JU: Well, it’s really easy; you just make up a stupid name and get an LLC.  Then BAM! you’re in business. It’s just a good thing to have an imprint even if it just handles your own music. But really just go on the internet and look around you can probably find a video on YouTube that would walk you through the whole thing.

Uppity Cracker was started in 1999. Do you think setting up an independent record label is something that could still be done today?

JU: Yeah, easily. Record labels are not magic they are just small business. If you can open up a cupcake shop you can start an independent label. But it will have less cupcakes…

MSI has been around for a reasonably long time, and I’m sure some of your fans have grown up with you as well. Do you keep in contact with any of them? Are there fans you recognize that come to your shows?

JU: Of course, and I am sure that is the case with a lot of bands. But I think even more so with Mindless Self Indulgence because we have always come right off the stage literally at the end of every show and mingled with the crowd no matter how big or small the show or festival is. So being in the crowd every night for twenty years you get to know the regulars.

Growing up in New York City, how great was the temptation to cut class and do something fun?

JU: That is all we did! We grew up in an X-rated adult mall basically. With a bus/subway pass for free transportation that took you anywhere and everywhere 24/7. We would go to 42nd Street, play video games, go to peep shows and jack off, sneak into movies, go to comic book shops. It was the greatest.

msi_3

Who has the best pizza in New York?

JU: Joe’s Pizza on 6th & Bleecker, and Stromboli on St. Marks & 1st.

Have there been any New York venues you’ve performed at that you enjoyed going to as a teenager? Was it a special experience for you?

JU: CBGBs, Irving Plaza and Webster Hall definitely had that full circle effect of “Man I saw a ton of shows here, and now we’re selling out three nights in a row here, holy crap!” type of feeling.

As a musician, have you ever felt pressured to “grow up”? How do you respond to this criticism?

JU: Nope. One of my biggest influences is Mad Magazine – it’s a subversive satire written and illustrated by smart, talented guys. But it’s also considered lowbrow humor for kids. As long as I’m me I am happy, and I have always been me and I will continue to be myself. It is very satisfying.

What do you see in the future for MSI or your other projects?

JU: I love Mindless Self Indulgence. That’s my favorite band because it’s the band that pays my rent and I will do it for as long as I am physically able. But I do not want to see Jimmy Urine on stage in a wheelchair. And as for other projects, I do a lot of work for TV, movies, comics and video games which are all things that I have loved since I was a kid. So I sleep very well at night.

Listen: Mindless Self Indulgence

Everything You Could Want (or Not) is On Evensi
July 29, 2015 10:00 am

Evensi is THE search engine for finding events all over the world. It’s basically the love child of Ticketmaster and Google Maps, and it’s not just for concerts either. Users can log in using their Facebook accounts for access to over 30 million activities, including music, sports, nightlife, culture, food, and fairs. There’s also a “Leisure” category that includes options like “flash mob” and “zombie.” Yes, you are living in the age where “zombie” is a leisurely activity. Welcome!

evensi_2

The site utilizes an automated semantic algorithm, which analyzes every event posted, and uses this information to suggest activities to users based on their personalized dashboard. It is also possible to browse all events on an interactive map of the world. Manhattan alone currently lists 324 events happening in the near future while London, England features a similarly impressive 260.

Users can also create and post their own events to be shared with the Evensi community, as well as access links within Evensi to events they have sent an RSVP to on Facebook. After logging on to Facebook and creating my profile, Evensi suggested three events to me, including one called “JONATHAN TOUBIN is back from Europe & SHAKIN’ ALL OVER as primitive as can be FRIDAY!,” accompanied by a photo of Toubin dressed as Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. Aside from Jonathan’s aggressive use of capitalization, I felt intrigued.

evensi_4

If you’re on the fence about checking out Evensi, just give it a shot. It’s easy to log in (even if it’s your first time using it), and it’s cool to see what’s going on in your immediate (and not so immediate) area. It’s a useful tool for finding things to do while on vacation, or even if your parents are coming to visit and you don’t know what to do with them. Using Evensi, why not meet your parents halfway and take them to the Depeche Mode & 80’s Party Cruise coming up on August 1st?