Jansen & Barbieri Interview from 1984

Interviews with the band and ex-members

Jansen & Barbieri Interview from 1984

Postby Astronaut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:51 pm

Found this interview on the back of one of my old DD posters! Thought somebody else out there might like to read it too! :-D

Jansen and Barbieri Interviewed by Angie Somerside for Chart magazine [UK] January 1984:

A year after the split of Japan the four members of the group are still heavily involved in music in one form or another. David Sylvian and Mick Karn being involved in individual projects, while 1984 sees Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen coming together to work as a duo on a “long term project”.

The 2 took time off from writing their forthcoming album, due out in the spring, to talk about their musical past, present work and future plans.

After the split Steve and Richard went on to work on David Sylvian’s solo album, then fitted in a tour of Japan with a Japanese group, before returning to Britain to start work on their album.

Japan’s music was very much influenced by Eastern culture. I was intrigued to find out whether the duo’s material had a similar sound?

“We’re getting away from that”, explained Steve. “We don’t really play heavily on any influence. We’re just trying to write material that is not what people would expect from ex-members of Japan”.

Do they feel then that perhaps the Eastern influence came more from David’s fascination with the culture?

“No way! Dave was no more influenced by Eastern culture than anyone else in the band. We were all very much involved with that. As far as the instrumentation goes, which was all left down to us, that was where the oriental feel came from. We wouldn’t like to fall back or rely on that sound although we were very much a part of that.”

So how would they describe their present music? “It’s a bit more dynamic than Japan’s music. Japan’s music worked against what should be. Where there should have been dynamics there weren’t any, intentionally. Rhythmically its more dynamic and musically it makes more sense” explains Richard.

So how’s Steve finding taking over the vocals? “It’s not something that comes naturally to me to do, obviously, because I have done it before. I’ve been aware that I could sing if I wanted to, but I didn’t know how well I could put it across come the time. Not that I expected it to come the time.”

The next few months for Steve and Richard revolve around getting the album finished and then possibly a tour depending on the success of the album. There will obviously be a lot of immediate interest from Japan fans. I asked Steve and Richard if they ever realized just how popular Japan were?

“Not until the very end. It kinda struck me that the fans were a lot more dedicated than we thought,” muses Steve. “I think they’re interested in what we’re doing”.

“Even in the beginning there was something strange about it. When we did our first concert at The Music Machine we were playing in front of 2000 people and there were fans with banners with Japan and badges they’d made”, Richard remembers.

And the future? “We hope to do something that’s equally as important as Japan was” says Steve.

But does he think they ever will? “Yes, I believe that even if we’re trying to achieve something as important as Japan was then that’s enough, but if we achieve it that would be even better”.

“As long as we’re staying inspired to do something and not turning into cabbages then we’ll be happy”.

I don’t think they need have any worries.

AS.
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Postby anortherncod on Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:53 pm

Thanks Astronaut! That was a new one for me.

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Postby Astronaut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:56 pm

No probs my friend! :-D
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:05 pm

Yep, thanks from here too. I hadn't read this one. Guess they were then planning the Dolphin Brothers stuff already?
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Postby Astronaut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:09 pm

Hi Sisterlondon! :smt006 Yes, that's what I thought too.
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:15 pm

Or could be "Worlds in a small room" Mmm... That one was released before the Dolphin Bros one.
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Postby Astronaut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:25 pm

Were they working on in late 1983? I'm guessing this interview took place in November 1983, possibly earlier as it was in a January '84 edition of the magazine and they were normally published in the middle of the preceeding month? I'm not sure ... :?
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:34 pm

Dunno, but that was released in 1986, yep? Did they release anything else together before WIASR?
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Postby Astronaut on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:39 pm

Gosh!, I really don't know! Bet Karnsculpture does though! Maybe we should send him a PM + find out?! :D
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:42 pm

Sure that some people in here should know :)
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Postby heartofdavid on Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:41 pm

Interesting little interview, thank you.

WIASR was released in 1985, it is the first J/R collaboration.

Interesting how Steve's views the Dolphin Brother's work in the recent interview on his site:

"In the 80's I made a record with Richard Barbieri under the name of The Dolphin Brothers, for Virgin Records. I sung all the songs and wrote all the lyrics and yet it was a far less rewarding experience than making 'slope', primarily because I wasn't being true to myself with the work. It wasn't the sort of music I wanted to be making (even though at the time I thought it was), but it's where the industry led me. I learnt my lesson."
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Postby sisterlondon on Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:00 pm

I knew you'd know for sure ;)

Yep, that caught my attention as well. I love the Dolphin Brothers cd, pity he doesn't like it that much, but I understand what he means. I still think that Steve has a great voice and I love some of the songs he sings (like "At eleven", the best in "Changing hands" for me :))
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Postby anortherncod on Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:21 am

Oh, you've all beaten me to it! The Dolphin Brothers album was released in 1987. I had the choice of not buying it and being able to catch the bus home, or buying it and walking home. Obviously I chose the latter!!!

I s'pose I can understand what Steve means, and again, he's looking back at something he did 21 years ago now, but I still like it.

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Postby sisterlondon on Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:36 am

Yep, I knew that Catch The Fall was released in 1987, but wasn't sure if there was anything before Worlds in a Small Room that I had missed.

*hugs copy of Catch the Fall* Love this cd!
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Postby tallulahtaurus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:00 pm

Thankeee for that Astronaut

Wah Catch the Fall was such a good album, one of those few that I can tolerate all the way through.

What I wouldn't give to see the video they made for the single...
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