Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ JD Samson & MEN

JD SamsonBrooklyn-based collective JD Samson & MEN play Toronto’s The Garrison this Sunday, January the 26th in support of their new album Labor. With shows known for being ridiculously fun, we caught up with the lovely JD Samson (Le Tigre) ahead of the gig to discuss Labor, theatrical shows, inspirations, and more.

AMBY: Hello JD Samson & MEN, thanks so much for speaking with us today; we’re honoured to have you on the site. What have you recently been up to?

JD Samson: Well, we recently put out a record in October called Labor, and since then we have been playing some shows around the US and Europe learning new material and checking on our fans. I’ve been DJ’ing as well and planning the rest of my year with a lot of new exciting stuff!

AMBY: You soon embark on a North American tour and we’re excited to have you in Toronto! What are you most looking forward to?

JD Samson: I’m excited to continue this journey, dance a bit, get tired, remember why I do this for my work. All of the amazing stuff that happens when you lose yourself.

AMBY: JD Samson & MEN’s latest record Labor is amazing. When creating the album, what was your ultimate goal?

JD Samson: We had a lot of different goals. Partly we wanted to create a body of work that implemented a lot of new ideas of how to work as musicians. That includes musically, business wise, and emotionally. The main goal is to be true to ourselves, and make art. Hopefully a lot of people will love it.

AMBY: What’s the significance behind the LP’s title?

JD Samson: Labor refers to the idea that this is our job, as well as the idea that can be difficult, and taxing on us. There is also a double entendre there in terms of birth. We created this object, the project, the record, and it was birthed by us and for us, and now its like it went to college or something. It’s not really up to us if it succeeds or not. So crazy!

AMBY: Your live shows have been described as “different” and “conceptual”. What inspires the drive behind making your shows so theatrical?

JD Samson: I always consider myself an artist before a musician, and performance is an integral part of what makes me love what I do. The multi-media aspect of live performance means you can really do whatever you want. You can find a way to make it work, and I also love spending hours of my time before a tour painting and sewing and creating a story to go along with the group of songs we will be playing.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?

JD Samson: Oh gosh. I’m terrible at questions like this. I don’t really remember anything. haha. We have had a lot of technical problems, but that isn’t funny! that’s complicated. haha. hmm. you got me on that one. I’ll have to let you know if I think of something.

AMBY: Music stimulates a variety of senses; which senses stand out as triggers to inspire your music?

JD Samson: Movement is a big thing for me in making music and performing. it has to groove to be able to work for me.

AMBY: Being in the industry for more than a decade now, what is the best piece of advice you have been given regarding the music industry?

JD Samson: Have fun. And always have a secondary job so the business of the industry doesn’t ruin you creatively.

AMBY: Which release are you most looking forward to in 2014?

JD Samson: I have no idea what’s even coming out this year! Gosh. I’m terrible. Always looking forward to Planning to Rock’s music. I think that’s coming out soon.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about JD Samson & MEN that nobody knows yet?

JD Samson: We are always changing.

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Thank you JD Samson & MEN, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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