Creating Beats with Javelin

I first saw Javelin back at CMJ 2009. One of my friends and fellow Modern Mystery writer, Joe, told me I just “Had to hear these guys.” Curious, we headed out to see the chill wave duo at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. It was noon time on a weekday. As intimate as it was, it was one of the highlights of my CMJ. The cousins who are currently residing in Brooklyn are getting bigger by the day. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with George Langford who was waiting to pick up Javelin’s new tour ride. Their debut album titled No Mas drops on David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop on April 20th. Be prepared for one of the hits of the summer.

Modern Mystery:The first time I saw you guys was at CMJ last year. At the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn at an early afternoon show. How has things changed for you since then?

George Langford: We played a lot more shows since then. We finished our full length that’s coming out in a few weeks, we just did a tour in the UK with Yeasayer. It’s a new experience. It’s been a barage since then, and we’ve had increase in activity, more opportunities and better shows. Things have been good since then.

MM: How does art play a role in your songs, stage performance, and overall image of the group?

Langford: Tom and I would both agree that a visual experience for us is a valid one in the way music is produced. What we draw inspirations from are musicians and other music but also visual things. We spend a lot of time at record stores and thrift shops and its not always the music but sometimes the cover. The two go hand and hand, the visual and sonic.

MM: Do you find it hard to bring what you created in the studio onto the live stage?

Langford: All the time, its pretty much the constant battle. It’s the fun of the challenge of the band. You’re in the studio and make this song, you try to create them and you can’t. You play that element and try to portray it live and jump around onstage.  It’s a learning process . We’re just two people. It’s a challenge.

MM: How do you create and write your songs? Where does your inspiration come from?

Langford: In the past it had been like two chemists working in the same lab, working on different projects and working with each other. Some of the best stuff we ever made are the instances we work together. Sometimes we make things together or bring it to the other guy and flush it out together. In the beginning we had very different styles and now its more similar. In the start for me it wasn’t competition to out do the other one but try to impress the other one. To come up with something better , try to impress the other person. That’s how it was in the early days.

MM: Have you ever been on the tour this much? Did you think a year ago that is where you would be?

Langford: We’ve never had to tour this much, its always been looming,. Like if we are going to do the music thing we’ll have to be road dogs at some points. Compared to some bands we’re hardly that. The next couple of months we’re going to be on the road a lot and it’s going to change the live show and format, getting loose with it and finding new ways to t do it

MM: Are you excited about the release of No Mas or more nervous?Langford: I’m so excited. So many songs we’ve been sitting on for years, some of the material is brand new, and some is old and reworked. It’s pretty bizarre. It’s like murder to me waiting for this to come out.

MM: How did you get involved with David Byrne’s label?Langford: It was just a lucky thing. We have been burning these cd-rs and selling them at shows, giving them to friends.  This one cd Jamz N Jemz just got in the hands of the people at the label, and here we are. I guess it doesn’t happen like that to a lot of people. We weren’t very active in the pursuits of labels.

MM:  What do you like more? Being in the studio or being on stage?Langford: In the past I’ve been very much of a studio type person. I’m a total hermit and I love being at my house, but it is a tremendous rush I get from performing. I used to have paralyzing stage fright but it went away…like panic attacks and anxiety. It’s now excitement .I could never understand this foreign idea of getting up there and performing but it feels so good. So I guess at the moment I enjoy being on stage. I don’t know how to compare.

Javelin- Oh! Centra by modernmysteryblog


A Modern Mystery Holiday Party with The Miniature Tigers

Yes, its another edition of the Modern Mystery Holiday party with today’s guests, The Miniature Tigers! This band became one of our favorites this year. Not only are they the nicest and funniest guys you’ll ever meet, but their music is astonishing.  We haven’t heard indie pop as good as this in quite some time. The Miniature Tigers released their debut full length this year titled ‘Tell it to the Volcano’ which hasn’t left our record players yet. Charlie Brand and Daggrr shared their Top Albums with us amongst other things. There may be more Top Albums coming from other Mini Ts members, so stay tuned!

Charlie Brand’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
Beach House – Devotion
Alvin Band – Mantis Praying
Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman
Grizzly Bear – Yellow House
Elvis Costello – Armed Forces
The Kinks – Entire Catalogue
Portisthead – Third
Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle

The Best Thing that Happened to Me This Year

The best thing that happened to me this year was recording our album. That was a great deal of fun. That, and being able to come to new york was fantastic. San Francisco was amazing. Great year.

The strangest thing was probably that waitress.  (Check out our Miniature Tigers CMJ Interview)

My Favorite Holiday Memory

One year my brother and I got a go kart for christmas. We took one lap around the block and by the time we got back to the top of the street, our neighbor was there telling our parents how dangerous they were. They returned it to the store later that day. I’m not sure why that’s my favorite memory. Maybe it’s not?
Daggrr’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

1. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

2. Beach House – Devotion

3. The Ruby Suns – Sea Lion

4. Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel

5. The Kooks – Konk

6. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed

7. Late of the Pier – Fantasy Black Channel

8. David Byrne – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

9. Princess Ladyfriend – History Time Travel Gig

10. Santogold – Santogold

The Best Thing that Happened to Me  This Year

So many great things happened this year. I am very fortunate to have the life that I do. The most pivotal would have to be discovering Dzogchen, which is a form of Zen Buddhism. It has helped me so much with my day to day life and my constant pursuit to live without fear and see the world in the present moment.

The Strangest Thing that Happened to Me This Year

Being hired to play for Miniature Tigers. Those guys are weird.

My Favorite Holiday Memory

Miniature Tigers had a foosball match at The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco right before a gig. Rick and I totally spanked Charlie and Lou in what can only be described as 8 rows of foos men, which are plastic, metal, wooden, or sometimes carbon-fibre figures mounted on horizontal metal bars. Each team of 1, 2, or 3 human players controls 4 rows of foos men. There is talk of a rematch but no dates have been confirmed.