Swedish-born, London-based three-piece Junodef shared their gripping new single ‘Diane’s Robot’ earlier this month, and since then, they've become an international name. After making a name for themselves on the London live circuit with their genre-defying sound, the three-piece of Karin Grönkvist, Norea Persson, and Tyra Örnberg, have become pioneers of dark dreamscapes and haunting harmonies.
With Shoegaze and new wave influences, they've mastered a dark, melancholic and beautiful sound, and we couldn't wait to ask them all about it.
Wonderful to have you hear, thanks for taking the time. You've become a big name on the live circuit, but where did it all begin?
"Back in Sweden during our teenage years, we were all playing in different bands. Karin had a punk band from the age of eleven which Tyra joined when they were both thirteen. It was when that band split up six years later that Junodef started to take form. Norea had been in the same music scene for years and when she played with Junodef for the first time the band was complete."
How would you describe your sound?
"Imagine if First Aid Kit started a doom band and you’d have Junodef. Jokes aside I think our sound could be described somewhere between doomsday pop and art rock, with some shoegaze and new wave influences."
What influences most define your music?
"This changes very rapidly I feel. Apart from us having different tastes in music, (although with a lot of overlaps), we also shoot out in different directions and hear new music that inspires us, influencing almost every new song we write. Influences range from old school house music to Def Leppard to film soundtracks and everything in between really. Somehow we manage to make a coherent sound with all those influences. It’s probably because we’ve played together for so long we know when we’ve hit that Junodef-pocket with a song or sound."
Tell us about your new project Diane’s Robot
"The song was written by Tyra at home on her crappy, out of tune upright piano and started off as a soft piano ballad. She then started experimenting with pitching some of the vocals and using the dark, robot-like voice to accentuate the lyrics and create some kind of eerie human-robot duet. She then added the heavy synth bass to enhance the electronic feel of the song. Karin replaced the piano with guitar and Norea added the marching drums and suddenly the song was in a completely new place."
"The song is being released together with a music video that we made a papier mache robot head for. No regrets."
What is your songwriting process? How does it all come together?
"A new Junodef song usually comes to life by Tyra or Karin writing the core of the song and then we all sit together and arrange it, move things around and add bits in and try things out in the rehearsal space."
What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song?
"To let the song go the way it wants to go. We will sometimes sit down and write, and have a made up picture of what we want the song to sound like, be about and represent, but this tends to change during the writing process. Listening to the song and letting it move in its own direction even though it’s far from what you had expected when laying down that first chord or line is in our opinion what makes the song special. With that said, we still work a lot with structure and spend a lot of time rearranging, rewriting and so on to get it absolutely right."
What’s next for the band?
"We are going into a studio in less than two weeks to record some new exciting music together with legendary producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, At the Gates). The studio used to be a farm and has a milkmaid ghost walking around, giving the music that extra haunted sound that we need. Then we have some big plans for 2023 that we unfortunately can’t reveal just yet, but follow us on social media to stay tuned!"
One last question before you go, what has been your best moment as a musician/band so far?
"I think it’s impossible for us to not mention when we supported Editors in early 2020 when they toured Europe, just before covid hit. We were used to playing small clubs in London and all of a sudden we got to play big arenas in front of thousands of people all over Europe. It was a lot of hard work to make the tour happen, but we had such a good time!"
Having made a name for themselves in Sweden, the band decided to relocate to London to push themselves to new heights with their music. Since then, Junodef have toured with Editors in Europe and supported bands like Blonde Redhead, Emma Ruth Rundle and Goat Girl.
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