The French producer contemplates the process of aging on his new LP, due out this September on Tigersushi.
Maybe the only common thread in Joakim's career is his playful disregard for convention: on his three albums and numerous EPs, he's always flitting through eclectic genres and blending live and electronic sounds, even touring with a full band to support 2007's Monsters & Silly Songs. On Nothing Gold he homes in on a specific topic that's been weighing on him: entering the "weird place between youth and middle age."
"I used to hate people between 30 and 40 when I was younger. I thought they gave up on most of their beliefs and lived a dull and false life. Love cowards pretending to still be cool. Contemptuous grown-ups afraid of the young sharks. But now I'm one of THEM. So I have to cope with that."
We caught up with Joakim last week to talk more about the inspiration behind Nothing Gold.
When and where did you work on the album?The single for Forever Young will come out at the end of this month, complete with a remix by Discodeine, which you can download for free on XLR8R.
Last year, I started writing sketches during spring of 2010, did some rough demos, went on holidays in the south of France to put ideas together and write lyrics. Then I recorded in Paris in my new Tigersushi studio, bringing my band here and there when I needed drums, guitar or bass.
How would you describe the overall style of the record?
The first single from the album, "Forever Young," is all about the process of getting older. Why is this topic important for you? How do you explore it in the song?
Most importantly, it's about the risk of losing yourself while growing up and having to cope with reality. That's why I ask the question, "where do you belong?" You can easily get a nice, comfortable, meaningless life at some point. How can you avoid it? Is it possible?
I think I'm quite interested in those questions for two reasons: First, I've had a very happy, almost ideal childhood. Second, there's such a cult of youth today in Western cultures, it's a phenomenon that is fascinating and scary.
You said that some songs on the album "sound kinda happy" but aren't. Why is this?
Because i don't like things when they're just black or just white. I also like when lyrics bring a different perspective to a song.
Why the title Nothing Gold?
It comes from a poem in the book The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the full phrase is "Nothing Gold Can Stay." it's also about this idea of youth passing, things decaying, etc., so it fit the album pretty well. Although that doesn't mean I'm actually that pessimistic.
What's next for you?
Promo. I have to finish mixing Zombie Zombie's new album, which I'm producing. Plus one remix. Then airport-dinner-gig-hotels. Then who knows? I'd like to finish that collab with Krikor we started on the Boys Noize acid compilation. I might also release another/collaboration thing soon. I'd like to finish Guillaume Teyssier's record. I'd like to make a drone album.
02. Forever Young
03. Fight Club
04. Nothing Gold
05. Wrong Blood
06. Find A Way
08. In The Cave
09. Piano Magic
11. Perfect Kiss
Tigersushi will release Nothing Gold on September 20th, 2011.