Pluto Jonze – A Translation In Talent

Pluto Jonze is getting ready to release his debut EP this Friday night at Purple Sneakers. The multi instrumentalist talks to us about the new EP, the benefits of having a producer for a father and the odd jobs musicians need to have to sometimes get by.

Music Feeds: What’s new for Pluto Jonze?

Pluto Jonze: Plenty! There’s the first EP about to drop, some tracks off which have been getting a bit of play on FBi, RRR and JJJ. Just launched the first film clip, which has been getting some blog lovin’, and Rage play. Also have been working damn hard on the live show in preparation for the EP launch at Purple Sneakers April 29, which should be a cracker. It feels like things are starting to happen.

MF: For those who haven’t of heard you yet, give us some info on the band and the sound?

PJ: I’ve been heavily influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Bowie and Beck, which I think comes through in the sound. My music is a combination of synthesized and organic sounds, with layered vocals and samples. I find I’m always aiming for some sort of ‘far away’ vibe when writing and producing songs – basically I imagine what the 60s would have sounded like if they happened on another planet. Live, I translate these songs with a drummer and guitarist with myself on synth, keys and theremin.

MF: Tell us a bit about the new EP?

PJ: I’ve poured my heart and soul into it, both in terms of songwriting and production. These songs started in my bedroom, where I wrote and produced the demos. From that point it took a while to realise these tracks didn’t need a producer, the arrangements were all there, it just needed the odd re-recording – particularly for drums. But it’s really cool how many of those original bedroom recordings made it to the final mix, which was done by Tony Espie (Avalanches, Holidays, Cut Copy). I’m really proud of the end result, the EP says what I want it to say, and to me has a consistency about it, even though there’s a fair bit of stylistic variation between the songs.

MF: Unlike most new artists, you have the fortunate position of having a father as a producer. How much did he influence/help in the recording process?

PJ: Yes, I am a very lucky guy. Dad essentially engineered a lot of the re-recordings in his home studio – and at no cost, which is hugely liberating, knowing money’s not draining away with every muffed take. But more than just those re-recordings, I think his biggest influence on my music over the years has been in developing my song-writing craft. He’s the one I’ve taken songs to since I was 13 and who’s guidance in those early years probably informs songs I write to this day.

MF: What do you do for a job outside of music?

PJ: Why is it that musicians always have odd day jobs? I’m a bike tour guide – as in I show tourists around Sydney on pushbikes, plus I also dabble in German-English translation (I lived in Berlin for a while)… So yeah I’m no exception.

MF: April 29 you’re playing Purple Sneakers; what can readers who come along expect from Pluto Jonze?

PJ: In addition to the 3-piece band we scatter an assortment of retro TVs about the stage, which play visuals hooked in to the music. Add to that a projector doing the same, theremin, wild vocal effects and samples and every audience member should attain willy-wonka-fantasia nirvana about 3 songs in. That’s the plan anyway.

MF: What’s the first song you’d put onto a mix tape?

PJ: A song I am just relishing at the moment is Too Young To Burn by Sonny and the Sunsets. That “two three four” it begins with would be the dream start to my April cassette.

Pluto Jonze plays Purple Sneakers ‘Last Night’ April 29th at The Gaelic Club


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