SAMURAJ CITIES – Wild at heart (from soon to be released new album “Metallic”) + Interview

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Samuraj Cities – Wild at heart (video)

A new song “Wild at heart”, a new video and soon a new album called “Metallic” out on the 2nd of May: the Samuraj Cities are back on track, four years after their second album “Mixed up record collection”.

I had the chance to listen to the whole album. A truly great one. You know one of the few I will remember at the end of the year… Anyway, it is a little bit too early to review it. But  the perfect timing to do a Q&A with Jonathan, who launched Samuraj Cities with Magnus. A fun interview actually, where you could learn about the new album, the record process, vinyls, Serge Gainsbourg and the Swedish club Las Palmas…

Samuraj Cities are back with a new album. Finally ! What happened since the previous one released back in 2009 ?

Samuraj Jonathan : Bonjour! We recorded a lot of music since the last release. Recording is of course one of the things we love the most, and we got stuck in the studio having so much fun. We have easily made more than 100 songs and picked out 9 of them.

You’re not signed on Imperial Recordings anymore. What happened ?

We are not on Imperial anymore, but we still love them and they still love us! We are releasing this album through our own label instead, Cheap Deluxe Ent.

To me, the new album does not sound that different than the previous ones. In which state of mind were you before to release it?

Do you think that “Metallic” sounds a lot like our previous album “Mixed up Record Collections”?

To me it is more diverse, but, still, I think the Samuraj Cities sound remains quite recognizable…

Well, when we decided to finish the work with “Metallic”, we thought a while about how we wanted the record be. We wanted to make an album that was like one of our favorites. When I’m listening to vinyl records or albums on Spotify, I’m usually chosing music from the mood I’m in, or want to create. We wanted to make a record that was genuine from the first to the last song, to be one of those records you chose if your want to put yourself in a certain mood. “Mixed up Record collections” was actually more of a mix of our record collections. This one is more composed around a certain but moving sound. We used a lot more acoustic guitars, drums and synths on this one, and less drum machines. We have recorded everything on mostly vintage stuff from the sixties and seventies, and used the old equipments limitations and used them in ways they were not supposed to. So, in a lot of ways, this new album is very different for us. What makes it sound like Samuraj Cities again is probably our souls.

Maybe it is linked with the production then: what I always love with you guys is that your songs are never “too clean”. I think a lot of music nowadays are “over” produced, if you know what i mean…

Yeah. We don’t like too clean music neither, and I think we got a new way of dirty sound this time thanks to all this old equipment. We had a hard time keeping it all working.

Did you change the way to record this new album?

When we decided which songs we wanted on the album, we re-recorded most of them. We never really did that before. Also, we are a bigger band now we have grown from 4-6 members, and this time we wanted everyone to be on the recordings.

You mentionned vinyls and Spotify… I’m curious: do you listen to the same kind of music on vinyls and on spotify? I do not. I “consume” music on Spotify and “dive” into music on vinyls. How about you? How do you actually listen to music with Internet, Facebook, Spotify, vinyls, cds, the little come back of tapes ?

I mostly use Spotify to “check out new music”, or if I travel. If I find new music I like, I usually try to find it on vinyl. But I mostly buy old stuff on vinyl, I think I listen to weirder stuff on vinyl. Things that haven’t reached Spotify yet : Old 60s music, German krautrock, old french records…

Old french record? Like what ?

Serge Gainsbourg, Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin are some of my favorites that inspire me.

1970s French stuff then… Well, Gainsbourg, ok I get it. But Françoise Hardy… I never understood why so many foreign people loved her… How about Swedish bands ? Which ones do you currently listen to ?

Hmm. Let’s see. Check out Maja Gödickes song “Ligga still”. Really good song! Goat, Samling, Syket, Sällskapet, trummor och orgel… I actually just found some great Swedish stuff on Absolut Noise ! I didn’t really know about This is head, before, just heard the name. I like them.

What’s next with the Samuraj Cities ?

The new album will be released on the 2nd of May. We are really looking forward to release it. We are very happy with it and hope that a lot of people will listen to it, so we can get some cool gigs. We love to be on tour, especially far from Gothenburg. We would love to go to France and play!

Aren’t you tired of the other samuraj buddy Magnus? It’s been some time since you play music together, right?

No, Im not tired of Magnus! When we made our first song I knew that we can go on forever. We are best friends, and have fun whatever we do! Samuraj Cities started in 2005, through email correspondens between Gothenburg and London, and…


Yeah, Magnus was living there for a short while.

But how did you two meet?

I´ve read an old interview published in your blog, where we answered “we think it was in Las Palmas”. Let’s stick to that !

Ah, ah, I was just checking! Well, thanks for your time. 

I must add to conclude that this feels like a very fun time for us, in one way it feels like we are back where we started. And I think this new record has more in common with our first one “Cheap Deluxe” than the previous one “Mixed Up Record Collection”.

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