Self professed control freaks when it comes to music, the Midnight Juggernauts have always done things their way. And it’s paid off.
Following the success of 2007’s Dystopia, the Juggernauts have just dropped their second album The Crystal Axis.
Who The Hell chats to Andy Szekeres about the new record, the toils of running your own label and what it’s really to have your gig ruined when John Travolta decides to throw a Scientology bash at the same venue.
What was the big idea behind The Crystal Axis?
Well, I suppose it changed over time. After we finished touring at the end of 2008, and we’d spent that whole year away from home, we just wanted to come back and start working on the album. I think the live touring really carried over into the recording process, we just wanted to work on a much rawer sounding album, and I suppose the three of us were a lot more involved…
People seemed to be fascinated by the hype of that whole indie-dance thing when you put out Dystopia in 2006. How did you keep ahead of the game when other similar acts like the Presets and Cut Copy we’re putting out records at the same time?
That whole indie-dance thing became really popular and helped push along internationally in 2007 and 2008. But for us in the way we approach music, we’ve never really thought of ourselves being tied to a scene. I think even doing interviews at the beginning of that, we always said we were in to exploring new things and that each of our albums would be really different. We still didn’t know what the second one was gonna be like back then, but we went with an idea we had at the end of 2008 and it morphed and evolved.
It’s interesting because we have a lot of fans from that more dance music scene, and it will be interesting to see how fans will take it. We’re really proud of it and it’s definitely a different album for us. I guess we’ve written so much in our time, and a lot of it has been different styles so I guess that it’s not really weird that we’ve come up with an album like this. So if you only knew Dystopia, it’s a whole different flavour to that…
But I suppose you’re expanding your audience by trying new things?
Hopefully there’s gonna be a whole lot of new people who get a chance to listen to it. Its hard to know how anythings gonna go. And for us the next six months is just touring throughout Australia and the US and Europe and the UK. We kind of go back and forth constantly. Its good just to be able to have a new set to play
How do you juggle label duties with touring?
I mean its extra work, but we’ve chosen for it to be that way. With this album and the build up for us, like organising and co-ordinating the label side of things with releases in all the different territories was a lot of work and especially when you’ve got people in different time zones. It’s okay at the moment coz we’re in that mode of just getting up the album and working on it. But when you’re touring it gets hard, which is where you need people who you’re working with that you can trust and to handle things when you’re away, so that’s what we’ve set up with the label now.
What was it like with Chris Moore in the picture?
When Chris came along, we hand’t met him before so it was really strange. But we really liked his work and we’d spoken on the phone a few times, and it was great having him here in the role engineer and in certain times when we’d need a certain sound and him being there to facilitate that. He was really easy to work with.
Maybe we’re control freaks, but we have ideas of how we want things to be. He wasn’t there to work as a producer, but as an engineer working alongside us. He was a laid back guy so it worked well.
I read somewhere that John Travolta kicked you out of one of your shows in Paris?…