GENRE IS DEAD! Interview With Jimmy Urine

GID: So, in that case,e is Euringer a concept record?

JU: It’s not, but it is. When I think of concept records, I think of [Pink Floyd’s] The Wall, [The Who’s] Tommy, or Beyoncé’s Lemonade. But I consider mine a concept project. It’s like a museum when you go through a bunch of rooms and they tell you different things that are going on. It’s an experience and it all runs together as one giant song. You might get someone who loves Gerard [Way] and only wants to download the Gerard track. That’s cool, you go right ahead. We live in a world of playlists. We don’t live in a world where you’re going to buy Radiohead’s OK Computer on vinyl and listen to it all the way through. But to give a special present to somebody who would buy the whole thing and listen to it in order, it all becomes one long song. Themes pop up later, drum beats pop up on different songs that are on other songs. It all flows into itself.

GID: That’s a great idea. Because music is so focused on streaming and downloading singles, it feels like artists aren’t catering to full length albums anymore. They don’t think about the album as a whole.

JU: Yeah and I had to think about the logistics of it because you have to cater to both. It’s a streaming culture now and that makes perfect sense. But then you want to give a little present to anybody who wants the whole thing. That’s why I had to tie this all together and I’d never done anything like that. It took a lot pre-planning to make sure songs were in the right key or had the same BPMs so they could flow into the next bit. And once or twice I realized fuck I’m gonna have to re-do it because I want them to fit and they will fit. It was worth it because when I listened to it as a whole I hear it as one big long weird piece of music. It’s almost like a soundtrack to my mind.

GID: In the past, you covered songs by Depeche Mode, Rush, and Duran Duran. What made you decide to cover Kate Bush and the Doobie Brothers this time around?

JU: Usually when I make a cover my number one thing is does my interpretation sound cool? It’s less about covering people that inspired me. This time, you have one of each. I’m a huge fan of Kate Bush. I think she’s amazing. All those little nuances of prettiness and falsetto in my work are all inspired and influenced by her. So, I wanted to do a Kate Bush cover and I was like let’s go all the way, let’s do “Wuthering Heights,” which no one ever covers. I did it all in falsetto because I haven’t done a song like that in a long time. And I did it all with analog synths, there are no drumbeats and it came out so good. So, that was dope.

The Doobie Brothers one is actually from the time period of You’ll Rebel To Anything, which is when the Rush “Tom Sawyer” one came up. I was living in the lower east side of New York and there would be people selling stuff on the street. Once this guy had a crate of records and I bought it for 20 bucks. There was all this random stuff, mostly 12 inches, which you play at 45 speed. The two records that were not 12 inches were The Doobie Brothers’ [Minute By Minute] and Rush’s [Moving Pictures]. When I put them on I never changed the speed and I was like ‘oh shit this already sounds like a Mindless Self Indulgence song.’ I went with Rush, but the other one was in the back of my mind. I was thinking of how cool it would sound. It’s got such weird analog arpeggios in it and it’s kind of synthy. I sped it up and punk rocked it out a little bit and thought it sounded cool. It’s such an odd thing to cover.

GID: The Rush one has always been my favorite and I’m not a huge fan of Rush.

JU: (Laughs) One of my favorite ones is the Supertramp’s “Logical.” The thing I find interesting is the guys who were in big rock bands in the 70s don’t really love it when people try to get funky with their stuff. They’re very protective of their music. Somebody from Supertramp didn’t like my “Logical” cover and was really pissed. What I love about hip-hop and electronic music is they love to be sampled and covered, so if you do a funky cover people are totally cool. They’re also so nice. They offer good prices when you sample them, they listen to it and approve it personally. I would definitely like to do a lot more sampling and covering of hip-hop songs in the future because I think they’re so polite about it.

GID: It sounds like there were a lot of firsts for you on this record. What did you learn from making the album?

JU: I made the record as a side project because I didn’t want to corrupt Mindless Self Indulgence, which is such a pure thing. It’s always electronic punk rock going a million miles an hour and very live and very cool. But I want to experiment with other things, like BPMs or certain lyrical topics or soundscapes. So, the basis for the entire record was me trying different things. Planning an idea all the way out as opposed to from mid-way was really different for me. Usually, midway through an album, I let it tell me what it is. With this one, I spent a lot of time prepping ideas instead of coming up with music. I watched different movies, did research on stuff, and came up with a project idea of how I wanted it to look. It was more like making a movie or a short film than it was making a record. It also felt like I was pulling a lot from my soundtrack work. Combining the soundtrack work ethic with the Jimmy Urine songwriting and music production was very different.

GID: Being a big Mindless Self Indulgence, gotta ask can we expect another album in the future?

JU: Of course, you can expect an album in the future. Nothing weird is happening with Mindless Self Indulgence, we’re not broken up. Everyone is taking a break, spending time with family, and working on other stuff. I’ve been living and working in New Zealand. I love it down here, it’s great. I’m definitely gonna make a new record down here. It may be a Mindless record it might be another Euringer or Cinematic Sounds or some other project. It’s cool because down here, you get to chill in middle earth.

Euringer is out now. Pick up your copy here.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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