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.