Punks Jump Up is a London based DJ/production duo that will make you want to get down. You’ve probably boogied to their latest track, “Mr Overtime,” on a Saturday night. Although the song has quickly put Punks Jump Up on the dance music map, this isn’t the two’s first time at the rodeo. Joe and David have been making music since 2001 and over the past decade-plus have remixed tracks for serious artists like Miike Snow and Crystal Castles. With the Get Down EP and “Mr. Overtime” already under their belts, 2012 is shaping up to be the year of PJU. I had the chance to chat with Joe and David about their success, background, and where they see the future of the music industry going. You can read the interview after the jump. And remember to catch them at U Street Music Hall this Thursday when they take the stage with Gigamesh, Foxes and Mr Little Jeans. You can grab tickets and RSVP for the show below.
STREAM: Punks Jump Up – “Mr. Overtime (Ft. Chromeo’s Dave1)”
Nancy Lu: You guys have been making music since the early 2000s. Did you think that “Mr Overtime” would be the track that catapulted you into the mainstream?
Punks Jump Up: It’s the first track we have done that has more of a pop angle, we are into a good melody as much as a good beat so we wanted to combine both. We didn’t sit down planning to make a track to please the mainstream, the track just turned out like that which is cool.
Nancy: Can you tell us more about the concept behind and making of the “Mr Overtime” video?
PJU: We always thought the track had a night time vibe & also wanted the give the track a darker vibe. The lyrics are actually kinda paranoid & we wanted to emphasise that aspect of the track too.
Actually this clip will explain most of it!
Nancy: Punks Jump Up…is that from the hip hop track by the same name from Brand Nubian?
PJU: Yep. When we started out we used to put on parties and play all sorts of music. Hip hop, punk, disco, acid, reggae. We think Punks Jump Up summed up what we’re about nicely.
Nancy: Can you tell me about your musical influences (including hip hop) and how that plays into the music you make?
PJU: See above haha! We like all sorts of music & we try to incorporate as many styles as possible (without sounding schizo), it makes it more interesting and fresh. All musical genres are combinations of styles. Keep an open mind and you’ll have more fun!
Nancy: How has your music style and tastes changed since you two started? Was it completely organic, engineered, at all influenced by other music and artists at the time?
PJU: We were influenced by a lot of other artists when we started, we were heavily into the Clash, Tom Tom Club, LCD Soundsystem, ESG, Joakim, Soukwax etc. These influences remain but there are constantly new influences coming through, whatever inspires us will come out in our music. Lately more classic jacking Chicago acid & Freestyle.
Nancy: In addition to being producers, you guys also have your own record label (Cassette) as well as a t-shirt line (Stiff Couture). How do you manage to do all of this while maintaining a heavy touring schedule?
PJU: Well both the record label and clothing line has taken a back seat lately as we wanted to focus more on our music and get that out there as much as possible. We find clothes and style as interesting as music and we love how a cool design, video or clothes give the music a much stronger impact. We will def return to both of these things very soon! Watch this space.
Nancy: There’s obviously a lot of synergies between music, fashion, and culture and more artists are starting to promote big brands like A-Trak for Grey Goose and Swedish House Mafia for Absolut. What do you think is the final frontier? What would you guys like to be involved in?
PJU: Working with brands is a great way for acts to actually make some money (read make a living) today as music and we totally welcome it. We’d like to continue working with Scion a/v, we played their NY & LA parties recently and it was really cool. We’d like to work with any brand we’re into, Stussy would be great! Wish Members Only was still around ! Oh also Appletizer! peanut Kit Kat! Yo Sushi! What else do we like…
Nancy: In a time where blogs and sales are dominated by singles and remixes, what do you think are some challenges when it comes to making albums?
PJU: To keep people’s attention span going for a whole 40 mins! Albums will prob change even more to being a collection of singles. In the end it’s still down to the artists who wants to tell their story and variety will always exist as long as there are people making music.
Nancy: What are the top five tracks you’re listening to right now?
PJU: In Flagranti – Gridlock
Peter & Magician – Memories
DJ T – Dis (Catz & Digs edit)
Faze Action – Freak For Your Love
Martin Brodin – Agogo