The Irish duo, Japanese Popstars seemed to have struck gold in 2012. From touring incessantly to providing the anthem for the International Music Summit, this is just the beginning of their successful journey. They’ve already worked with huge acts like Green Velvet and M83′s Morgan Kibby and their fanbase is growing rapidly, especially in the U.S. We had a chat about the Popstars’ past, present and future with one-half of the duo, Gary Curran.
2012 has been an insane year for you guys. In April, you toured with Orbital, where you made a stop at the Royal Albert Hall. What other opportunities have stemmed from this?
Yes, 2012 has been incredibly insane and playing Royal Albert Hall is without doubt one of the highlights if not the highlight of this year. I mean the Royal Albert Hall has been the setting for many major superstars over the years and then we came along to warm up for Orbital; meanwhile, neither of us can play an instrument. The whole Orbital show was based around the Royal Albert Hall, with great production and sound. I have a video from the floor of them playing “Chime” and it is amazing. Other opportunities that arose from this mainly came through the contacts we made and the new fans we generated. It has opened up our music to new promoters who have started showing a little bit of interest.
During the summer, you played on the main stages at huge festivals like Bestival, Global Gathering and Creamfields. You’ve played at some of these before; how have the crowds changed over the years? What do you like most about playing at festivals?
The crowds are younger (showing my age here), but there is still that immense energy and atmosphere along with a great appreciation and enthusiasm to hear new music. The guys we look up to and aspire to be like are all acts that have headlined the above festivals over the years, so for us to play all of them is still a bit mind blowing. We like to structure our show and write music with festivals in mind and we always evaluate how we can improve and make the experience more enjoyable. We have stepped in to bringing stage production, when we get the chance, and it is something we would like to persue for the future.
You guys produced the track “RS27″ for the Formula One team, Caterham’s 2012 season, using actual sounds from the RS27 engine. Now, you are the first musical act to get their logo on a Formula One racing car. How did this come about?
This was a brainwave from our manager, Matt. He came up with this idea and went out of his way to contact Caterham. Strangely enough, Tom Webb, who works in communications and does PR for Caterham, had already purchased our albums, so they were interested in this idea as well. The Caterham team was very open to new ideas and thankfully they liked this one and the music we produced. We hope to build on this for the future, but as I have said, this would not have happened if our manager Matt didn’t think outside the box.
You provided the anthem “Matter of Time” for the 2012 International Music Summit with Green Velvet, who you had worked with before. Was there a certain theme or sound you were going for?
We were very suprised but excited to have been asked to actually do this as there have been some big hitters in the past like Sasha, Tom Middleton and Cassius. We knew we had to deliver something really good. We wanted to produce something specifically for the dance floor, something that we would love to hear being blasted out over the main room at Space Ibiza as this was the first club we went to when we first visited Ibiza. The pressure was writing something that people would hopefully remember as all anthems are remembered and we knew vocals were necessary. We knew of only one guy who could deliver – Curtis (Green Velvet). Thankfully, he agreed to get involved so we sent him a few ideas to get inspired, and as always he delivered on one of the ideas. The vocals are fantastic and we have now had the pleasure of working with the legend twice
“Matter of Time” featuring Green Velvet, including the Sister Bliss remix, are out now on Gung-Ho! Recordings. Listen to the tracks below.
On your second album, Controlling Your Allegiance, you worked with The Cure’s Robert Smith, M83’S Morgan Kibby and Green Velvet, among others. What artists are you planning on working with on the next album and when can we expect its release?
Ooooh, at the moment we are just writing and getting the ideas down. We already have a few vocalists on board and we are thinking of a few more, but as usual I cannot say, it’s all hush hush.
You recently played in New York at Pacha and in Miami at Mansion. Do you have any plans to do more extensive touring across the States in the coming months and if so, what cities will you hit?
We love playing the States and I do believe there are more dates in the pipeline. We are aiming for Miami Winter Music Conference too, but aside from that, we will play anywhere that people want to hear our music