DJ Ron Slomowicz: So I listened to the album, it's a real rockish album. What was your inspiration to go in that direction?
Junkie XL: For me it's not as much rock, it's more of a personal album that is closer to me after all the big conceptual albums that I made in the last couple of years. The Pirate radio album with big singers from the 80s that were my heroes was a big concept. I wanted to make an album in three or four months start to finish and to do that I worked worked with the instrument that I feel most attached to - the guitar. So naturally yes, it would have definitely more of a guitar edge to it, but I'm not sure if I would call it rock.
RS: The last album, as you mentioned, had several vocalists and this one features one male vocalist. Was this focus an extension of your goal of a more personal album?
Junkie XL: I wanted a vocalist with a vocal sound that was not taking over the music or taking away all the attention from the music but a sound that blended in with the rest of the music. One of my best friends, Lucas Banker, who I had known for six years, also ended up in LA for some reason. He's a really talented songwriter and we got together, clicked and we did it.
RS: And the newer unknown singer helped focus on the music rather than a superstar singer that's already well-known with a style?
Junkie XL: Yes, I mean that's what I wanted with Radio JXL, a vocalist that had a really strong character their voice, and that worked great for that album. But for this album, because it's a more intimate and a more personal vibe, I needed somebody that blended in more with the music.
RS: Very cool. It said in your press release that you just recently moved from Amsterdam to California, when did that happen?
Junkie XL: About two and a half years ago.
RS: Since you moved have you noticed any changes with your production?
Junkie XL: The most important thing is that this album is about change and that's why it's called Today. It's where I am here and now in music, in my life and where I live, so it's basically a sum of like fifteen or twenty years of experience working with all kinds of different people. Living in LA and working on film scores teaches you that you need to have like a theme or a general vibe throughout your movie to keep everything together. That's the most important thing I've learned musically as a producer and that's why this album is more like one vibe. My previous albums would go all over the place and "Today" is feels more like one vibe.
RS: Building on this one vibe concept, how do you approach an album or a track differently than when you are doing a commercial?
Junkie XL: The big difference between an artist album and making any music for any type of medium where there's picture involved, there's picture and because there's picture you're limited to a certain extent. To another extent you have more freedom. Some of the stuff I've been doing for Domino, the Tony Scott movie, it's so dark and it's so underground, I would barely call it music. It's just a collection of sounds that are just placed here and there in space to create a vibe for that movie. If you listen to it without the move, it's such a dark ambience and vibe, I would be scared listening to that on a CD. So that's the freedom, because if I were to release an album like that, my record company would not release it and radio wouldn't play it and DJ's couldn't play it either. So it's very questionable where there are limits, is it your artist career or is it the picture?
RS: How did you make a jump from doing music for yourself and your albums to doing music for soundtracks and commercials?
Junkie XL: Well that started a long time ago. Since day one when I started Junkie XL in 1995, I've been involved in video games, movies, and commercials. Eventually I started working more with movies and then I started working with Jason Bentley from KCRW on the Matrix Trilogy I was in Los Angeles a lot and he said why don't you just move out here - it would be great for you. Eventually I did.