A Q&A with Juno Francis
Juno Francis is a mysterious and emerging Berlin-based indie synth pop duo, featuring two Swedes, who serendipitously met through mutual friends and had an instant creative connection. With the release of “Dance With Me,” the Swedish-born, Berlin-based duo have received attention in Germany for a sound that they describe as a mix of 60s psychedelia and cheesy 80s sounds. But interestingly, “Dance With Me” sounds as though it were inspired by Giorgio Moroder and Daft Punk – in particular, Moroder’s From Here to Eternity . . . And Back and Daft Punk’s Homework comes to my mind.
Building upon a growing profile, the Berlin-based duo released their latest single “Queen’s Anthem” today – and the single continues a run of shimmering and sultry pop centered around rousingly anthemic hooks but unlike its predecessor, it’s decidedly ‘80s inspired, reminding me of Stevie Nicks and JOVM mainstays St. Lucia and Washed Out. Certainly, as a child of the ‘80s, the track manages to bring fond memories of much simpler – and perhaps, far safer – times.
I recently exchanged emails with the members of Juno Francis for this edition of JOVM’s ongoing Q&A series. In this interview, I chat with the emerging and mysterious band about their shimmering and infectious new single, their influences, Berlin – in particular, places to go, things to see and places to see music, and more. And of course, with governments across the world closing bars, restaurants, nightclubs and music venues to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the impact on the music industry – especially on small and mid-sized venues, and the touring artists, who grace their stages has been devastating and life altering. Over the course of this pandemic, I’ll be talking to artists about how the pandemic has impacted them and their careers. Naturally, there are a lot of lost gigs and lost opportunities and artists across the world have been frantically figuring out what their next steps are – if any. In the case of Juno Francis, they tell me what they’ve been doing to remain creative, as well as continue the momentum of “Dance With Me.”
Check out the interview and the single below.
Solina Records · Juno Francis – Queen’s Anthem
WRH: Much of the world has been in quarantine and adhering to social distancing guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. How are you holding up? How are you spending your time? Are you binge watching anything?
Juno Francis: We are safe and healthy and spending most of our time hanging out with a webcam drinking wine or working on some new material. New favorite shows are Foodie Love, Killing Eve and a little bit of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! when the quarantine loco vibe strikes.. 😉
WRH: Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, festivals have been postponed or cancelled outright, artists of all stripes have postponed, rescheduled or cancelled tour dates. Most of the world has been on an indefinite pause. How has COVID-19 impacted you and your career?
JF: All shows have been cancelled or postponed and of course that is affecting our career, but we’re working on new material and some live streams instead and it’s not that bad.
WRH: You’re currently based in Berlin. What brought you to Berlin?
JF: Well we both moved here to float around in the music scene with the intention to float into a person to do great music with. It’s a city we both find fascinating and crazy, right up our alley
WRH: I’ve been to Frankfurt many years ago for the Frankfurt Book Fair. What can I say? It was a free trip. I desperately want to see Berlin though. So, say I get on a Lufthansa flight to Berlin. Where should I go to get a taste of local life? What’s a tourist spot that I’d have to see to get a true sense of Berlin?
JF: Berlin has many sides and in our side there’s not that many tourist spots or book fairs, but if we were your guide for a weekend we would probably show you ”Juno Juno Shop” a great vintage store and the location for our studio. We would take you to nice wine bars and show you some nice industrial areas where you can boogie woogie to some disco beats all night long. 🙂
WRH: Where’s your favorite spot to see live music in Berlin?
WRH: Are there any acts in Berlin that should be getting love from the outside world that haven’t yet? Who?
Dance Depot (facebook.com/DANCEDEPOTBERLIN/)
WRH: How did you meet each other?
JF: We met randomly in Berlin through some common friends, it was a creative explosion at first sight.
WRH: Who are your influences?
WRH: Who are you listening to right now?
JF: A lot of Italo Disco!
WRH: How would you describe your sound?
JF: We describe our sound as mix of psychedelic 60s and 80s pop. So far we only released songs that sound more 80s pop but later this summer we will release an EP that show the other side of the Juno Francis project..
WRH: Your latest single “Queen’s Anthem” officially drops today. I love the track It’s got that anthemic 80s synth sound paired with enormous hooks – and as a child of the 80s, it brings back a lot of memories. What’s the song about?
JF: It’s a nostalgic memory of growing up in Sweden and the mixed emotions connected to moving back. It’s also about believing in yourself and the longing for something more.
WRH: How do you know when you have a finished song?
JF: It’s all in the vibe, if it feels right and sounds right it’s done. Some songs take a week to finish others months and some haunted ones never seam to be done..
WRH: What’s next for you?
JF: We are working on an EP at the moment and aim for a release in the middle of this summer. It will be exploring other sides of the project and sound a bit more dreamy and mysterious…