TheVine interview: Justice: “All we know is what we do.” November 2011

I interview French electronic duo Justice for TheVine. Excerpt below.

It doesn’t feel like Justice have been away for four years. And perhaps that’s because they haven’t, in a manner of speaking. After the release oftheir earth-shaking 2007 debut,, Frenchmen Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé toured almost continually for eighteen months, compiling a live DVD and indulging in a slew of side projects throughout 2009, before finally sitting down early last year to tackle some fresh recordings.

Still, taking the best part of half a decade to cook up your second album is an eternity by modern standards. The fact something that would be so detrimental to most artists is hardly a blip on the Justice radar says plenty about de Rosnay and Augé’s impact on both electronic music and wider pop culture. And in a sense, ‘modern’ is the word that best describes Justice. They construct their music rather than write it, and new material seems little more than grist for their jaw-dropping live performances.

So, how does an album as ’70s prog and (seemingly) instrumentally driven as last month’s Audio, Video, Disco convert to the live arena? It turns out de Rosnay and Augé don’t quite know yet — they’re debuting their new live show in Australia this summer. That didn’t stop us from getting on the phone to de Rosnay and trying to find out, as well as picking his brains about life in the studio, Justice’s impending trip, and the idea that thirty years ago he and Augé wouldn’t have been musicians.

You’re not in Paris, Xavier?

I’m in London right now. We live in London now.

How long has that been the case?

Two years.

You just released your second long player – Audio, Video, Disco – about a month ago. It’s four years between albums. You’ve been busy, but that’s still an unusually long gestation in the digital age.

We released our first album in 2007 and then we toured flat out for one and a half years [afterwards]. When we finished touring it was 2009 already, and then we worked on different things, together and separately. Together we put out a live DVD and documentary, A Cross The Universe, and we worked on separate stuff. Like, a soundtrack for Gaspard, I produced for a band called Jamaica, and other sorts of things. For one year we did that and then we started to make our [new] album. We started that in January 2010 and worked on it for a bit more than one year, and then, yeah, here we are! [laughs]

That was four years, but we just didn’t sit around – we were working on different things, and finally four years has passed, but it didn’t feel that long – it feels like six months.

Was there pressure to follow-up  in a tighter time period?

No, not at all. It was just that we were working on all those things. We started when we had time to start working on it. That’s about it. It’s just that we didn’t have time to work on it before.

I’ve read a comment by Gaspard that you only had thirteen tracks at the end from which to construct the album. That would make somebody think it was an arduous process.

No, it was really easy to make. We take a long time just because we are slow at making things – it was pretty smooth and fluid. But the thing is that when you’re making music, there are two methods: either you make, say, forty tracks and keep the ten best, or if you need just ten tracks you make ten tracks. This is what we do. When we make an album with eleven tracks on it, we make eleven tracks. We did the same thing for the first album. We don’t make spare songs. For this album we decided we’d make twelve songs, so we made twelve songs. It’s as simple as that.

For the full article, visit TheVine.

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