Janaki's Palace - Everything is Temporary interview Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Janaki’s Palace (Everything is Temporary, out now) – ITW #13

Chiara, Lorenzo, Carlo, Matteo and Lorenzo form Janaki’s Palace. They released their stellar EP “Everything is Temporary” last January, and you should absolutely listen to it. Remember the excitement we felt for Lunar Vacation? This very same excitement is back with Janaki’s Palace.

Lorenzo Lena (drums) gave us some of his time to talk about the EP, their story, their creative process and 63466 other interesting topics.

One thing is sure: every breath they take, every move they make, every bond they break every step they take, we’ll be watching them and you’ll hear about it here.

Our interview with Lorenzo Lena from Janaki's Palace:

Janaki's Palace and its story: can you tell us about the formation and its members?

Lorenzo Lena: We met by chance! We live in small villages, not so many people play instruments there and we were lucky to catch each other. Chiara (singer/guitarist/keyboardist) & Lorenzo (guitarist) used to play in a band just for fun and they were looking for a drummer so… that’s how the three of us met back in 2015.

We started playing together some garage rock but it ended up being too similar to WPSIATWIN by Arctic Monkeys. After more work, our sound changed completely as we started recording our first demo, Youth. Youth was way more dreamy & spacey, but still too much influenced by modern psychedelia.

Eventually, with Everything Is Temporary we found exactly what we needed. We met Matteo (saxophone) & Carlo (bass) and our direction went pop-oriented with jazz chords and vibraphones.

Janaki's Palace - Full Band picture by Silvia Violante Rouge
Courtesy of Silvia Violante Rouge

What's the genesis of Evertything is Temporary, and how did you manage to complete this project?

LL: Reflections is the oldest one. It was composed in August 2017 and then reworked for the album. CPH-Ø1 was written in April 2018, while we were practicing like hippies (no drums/guitar pedals) in Chiara’s basement. I recall silly phrases like “I walk the dog and I’m so alone” coming out just to remember the melody of the verses.  August was born in my solitary room during the end of summer 2018, it was raining cats & dogs. When night time meets utter sadness and august blues, you get a melancholy song… that is very fun to play!

We tested these songs live so many times before recording them in a proper way… In April 2019 it became clear we needed to publish them professionally. We chose these 3 because we thought they were pretty cool and because of the EP title: it was the fil rouge between them.

Specific production techniques are quite predominant on your last record. How do you deal with "live" arrangements to recreate what you have on the record?

LL: A cheap Yamaha keyboard, a shaker, some guitar pedals & a midi keyboard (connected to a DAW to launch the samples) are the secret ingredients to replicate what you hear on the record.

We’ll try to play by click very soon to improve the details (such as reversed guitars/drones), so, yeah, proper backing tracks are the new challenges.

Janakis-Palace-Portrait-of-Chiara-Ruga-by-Silvia-Violante-Rouge
Courtesy of Silvia Violante Rouge

With quality work such as yours, is DIY still a thing once it's losing its "amateurish" sonic aesthetic?

LL: When you do everything by yourself you’ve got the absolute freedom of doing whatever comes on your mind.

It’s hard though, you’re alone and you’ve got to learn all by yourself. Our guitarist Lorenzo knows the struggle because he records all of our material. There’s a big difference between the “cool” lo-fi effect (is it still a thing?) and the “I don’t know how to make my song sound better” lo-fi effect. We were lucky enough to meet Andrea Guarinoni (multi instrumentalist from Keemosabe, a band not so far from our sad villages) and with his magic touch CPH-Ø1 & August sounded a lot better, especially the drums.

Italy used to dominate the field of fine and popular arts, from Renaissance Florence to the uberpopularity of italo disco. This side of Italy's soft power seems to have disappeared. Can you tell us why, or prove us wrong?

LL: Fashionwise, I think we can agree that people like Alessandro Michele still make the rules all around the world. As far as music is concerned I’d say that Italy’s power did not disappeared, it just went undercover.

A lot of underground artists work hard to create something unique and I’m pretty sure even though they don’t “make it” they’re like some kind of pioneers. Nowadays, customs & traditions are very different from 30 years ago and I believe everything that what happens in society is reflected on the arts.

We’re today living the rise of trap/electronic music that’s slowly replacing the “electric guitar music”, it’s the sign of the times and you can’t stop it. Maybe in 2050/60 we’ll see that great comeback of rock music in the “mainstream” trap music. It’s like a wave.

Janaki's Palace - Full Band picture by Silvia Violante Rouge
Courtesy of Silvia Violante Rouge

To each one of you: if you weren't in Janaki's Palace, which artist would you love to work with?

Chiara: Melanie Martinez or Conan Gray, terrific popstars.

Lorenzo: Kevin Parker & Mark Ronson, no need for words.

Carlo: Shiva, very young rapper from Milan making big waves.

Matteo: Serena Brancale, neo-soul/jazz from Italy

Lorenzo (drummer): I’m kinda cool on my own when music is involved, I’d love to meet Piero Piccioni if he was still alive.

To each one of you: what's your latest cultural crush? Shoutout time (can be books, movies, songs, anything)!

Chiara: lately I’ve been reading Junji Ito mangas and I just can’t stop (and I’m also kind of worried!).

Lorenzo: I fell in love with Venerus, an incredible artist from Milan

Carlo: Maurice Ravel.

Matteo: Francesca Michielin is my crush. As far as “cultural crush” is concerned, the evergreen Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye.

Lorenzo: Suna No Hoshi by Hiroshi Yoshimura is one of my favourite songs from February. Debussy vibes mixed with sea sounds, what what more could you ask for? Shoutout to The Perils Of Perception by Bobby Duffy, terrific book.

Your next concert and/or recording plans are...?

Next Saturday we’re rehearsing for some dates in Spring  & we’ll then start recording some covers & new songs! We would also like to publish another EP this year, we’ll see. Fingers crossed!

Janaki's Palace - Full Band picture by Silvia Violante Rouge
Courtesy of Silvia Violante Rouge
Janaki's Place - Everything is Temporary (cover art by Rodolpho Gusmeroli)
Cover art by Rodolpho Gusmeroli

Janaki's Palace, Everything is Temporary.

Available now.

Tracklist
  1. CPH Ø1
  2. August
  3. Reflections

Listen and order here.

what you do or say is not deeply important

sooner or later it will be forgotten

even the words I’m writing will be forgotten but it’s fine

eveything is temporary.

Interview by  Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

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