Orlando rockers JANANI are in the middle of a truly exciting month. They release their new album Duality this Friday, the 13th. And, then, they celebrate the album release with a killer show on October 21st at The Haven Lounge in Winter Park.
We snagged a few minutes of their time to chat about the new album. Check out our interview with the members of JANANI.
David Medairos and Traverser are Orlando rock royalty. What was it like working with him?
Nathan: It was awesome for sure. Dave has a great ear for music and songwriting. He was a huge help giving these songs that final polish. He worked his ass off getting the instrument tones and perfect takes from us in studio and then he burnt the midnight oil mixing it just how we all like it.
Anthony: He put in his all like he was a member of the band, and he was just really cool to talk to. His presence can be felt on Duality just as much as any of our instruments.
Did Medairos’ influence change JANANI’s sound in any marked way?
Erick: David did a great job of letting our personal sound and direction dominate while chiming in only when he thought there was something we weren’t immediately thinking of. His personal musical experience also allowed him to have a strong appreciation and understanding of what we were trying to do with our often dark, brooding, but still very musical and dynamic songs.
Nathan: I wouldn’t say he changed our sound but he definitely complemented it. Dave had tons of great ideas about the technical nuances of how we played parts and what harmonies to use. He really helped accent our strengths as a band.
For fans who have listened to your live sets in the past, what will they notice as the biggest difference in the band’s evolution on Duality?
Jay: I think we’ve all matured both as a band and as musicians. Our sound reflects where we’re at in terms of that. I’ve personally learned a lot about myself and my songwriting on this record.
Nathan: There’s been some lineup shuffles throughout the band’s evolution, but with this lineup we’ve really found the right chemistry. The music has huge contributions from all four people and you can really hear everyone’s influence on this album.
Erick: There’s always some small details that you can really only hear in a recording with headphones. We are hoping the fans will find a new appreciation for the songs they are familiar with in a sonic environment that is much closer to what we have had in our minds the whole time. Clear, while still dense, musical texture and clear relationships between disparate polyphonic elements.
What is the concept behind the new album’s title Duality?
Jay: Duality was a reference to the dichotomy of life. Good comes with evil, love comes with hate, life comes with death. I wanted to emphasize the idea that you can’t have one without the other, but that doesn’t mean the polarities are inherently bad. You have to find the balance.
Erick: We transfer a lot of the Duality symbolism to much of the album artwork and various aspects of the lyrics.
Nathan: Musically the songs really accent minor and major tones and shift between the two keys frequently. Each track is very emotional, in one way or another. I think that kind of humanity is inherently dualistic.
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Is there one track on the new album that best captures JANANI’s sound today?
Erick: The fun part about this album is that there are songs that directly resemble and reference discrete influences and sounds that are core to our musicianship. But if there had to be one, I would say “Poison Me” does a good job of showing our dark and heavy moods while still showcasing our musicality and ability to be dynamic and unconventional.
Nathan: In my opinion, “Unforgettable” best captures the band’s sound. It starts off as the softest most intimate song and then it crescendos into basically a melodic metal song. I think it’s the strongest track melodically on the whole record.
Anthony: Probably “First To Fall”. It has a great vocal melody, an awesome guitar solo, a killer bass line, all on top a super fun drum track. It’s everything you could want.
Jay: It’s funny to see that we all have different opinions on this one. “Poison Me” is probably a prime example of the band’s current sound. But honestly, between writing and recording the record, we’ve been so absorbed in these songs for the past year and half… it’s hard to say. I think the fans will tell us which song best represents us.
Check out Janani’s “Poison” here:
Which songs(s) do you see translating the best live? Are there any new tracks which you think will be live favorites?
Erick: There are songs like “Unforgettable” that have very disparate sounding sections and a very purposeful build in texture, energy, and dynamic. Usually that means it’s hard to make it work live because of all the elements that have to work together. Despite all this, I think “Unforgettable” is going to be a powerhouse on stage for its loud and emotional tone and impassioned lyrics and vocals. The best songs are the hardest to get right, but sound great when executed well.
Nathan: “Violet Hour” is the most fun to play live in my opinion. The song was adapted from a short flamenco Spanish guitar piece I had written years ago to a thrashy metal song, and it is the heaviest song of our set. I’m a huge metal fan, so for me that song is a riot.
Which one song has the most meaningful lyrical content?
Jay: I think we can all agree that “Unforgettable” is going to make everyone shed a tear, but I also think there’s some hidden gems on Duality. There’s something for everyone.
What can fans look forward to at the album release party?
Jay: We have some awesome local talent on the bill that I’m super excited to share the stage with. Maniacal Mojo Records always puts on great shows, and the Haven holds a special place in our hearts because it was the first venue we played at together.
Anthony: It’s a great venue filled with great bands. Come over, have a drink, and enjoy the show. This record took a year to make so we are gonna have a great time finally getting it out for everyone.
Erick: I hope you’re ready to have a good time!
Nathan: We have a long set planned with lots of bells and whistles. We’re really pulling all the tricks out of our back pocket for this one. It’s going to be intense. Hope to see you there.
The album release party is October 21st, where JANANI will be sharing the stage with Auditory Armory, The Catalystix, Copper Bones and Saferwaters. The event is open to the public and will start at 7pm. Get all of the latest JANANI information here on the JANANI Facebook page.
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