theaussieword.com special interview with Peppermint Heaven.
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?Juno: We started out in Chicago several years ago playing in a band together in the clubs there. That band broke up and a few years ago, we both met up again here in LA and formed Peppermint Heaven. It’s like having a second chance and we’re going for it.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? Spark: It’s what we do and what we’ve always done. The music’s in us and this is how we express ourselves creatively. It’s always there and we’re always writing and arranging and mixing. Juno: Can’t stop the music!
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Juno: Just to reach as many people as we can with our music.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Spark: We’re excited about promoting the new album – doing press and possibly touring. We’re already working on songs for the next album which will be a nice progression from this one.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music? Juno: We would describe our music as 80s influenced indie pop. We’re influenced by a lot of the 80s alternative bands like New Order, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys and so on. Our approach is direct, yet oblique. I play a vintage 1984 Roland Juno 106 synthesizer which can be heard on all of the tracks on the new album. Spark plays a Rickenbacker bass and programs the drums and drum loops. We have a guitar player named CG who played on several tracks on the album. The album is called Precious Things and it’s coming out on January 29 all over the world. It’s quite exciting.
Success, what is the secret to it? Juno: Persistence and hard work. Spark: And a bit of talent, of course!
What has been your biggest career highlight? Juno: So far, reaching the Top 10 in the UK on Music Week’s dance chart with our Delicious EP and again with our single “Plenty Of Time.” Spark: Releasing this new album is the highlight. We’re very proud of how it turned out.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? Juno: Well, right now David Bowie is a great inspiration. Seeing his album Blackstar go to #1 all over the world and all the tributes from everyone – it’s really inspiring. What an amazing career of reinvention and brilliance. I would say he’s influenced us and so many artists throughout many years.
Any new projects in the pipeline? Juno: We’re producing seven animated videos in support of the album. Four have been completed with three more to come. The videos are all directed by UK director Pierce G Wilson and illustrated by a Taiwanese animator Jeremy Zhang. We’re trying to create a continuity and a theme and something unique. It’s a hand-painted watercolor looking style of animation – some of the characters don’t have faces, some do have faces. We’re working with a website called PopWrapped and they’re doing our exclusive unveiling of each video. So far they’ve unveiled “The Cage That We Live In” and “Decide 4 Yourself”. Everyone check these out, please!
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Spark: Making great music and reaching more fans. We’re very confident about the future.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Juno: I love Icehouse. They made some of the best music of the 80s – “No Promises,” “Electric Blue,” “Great Southern Land.” Cut Copy is a newer favourite. Even Troye Sivan is making some interesting music. Spark: INXS, Crowded House. You guys make some great music.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? Spark: We do like having the ability to reach our fans directly through social media. We can interact with fans all over the world, instead of only at a local show. It’s certainly changed in the past 20 years. Juno: People are listening to and buying more music than ever. It’s just in different ways than it used to be.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Juno: We have remixes that have been completed for three of the tracks on the album; AMPM remixed “The Cage That We Live In,” Seamus Haji remixed “Decide 4 Yourself” and Damon Hess and Deep Matter remixed “Words Colliding” and we will be releasing these dance remixes about a month after the album in late February. We’re going to be hitting the dance clubs and dance music fans and DJs with these alternate versions of the tracks, so keep an eye out for that as well. Spark: Thanks for having us!