Brooklyn-based duo Junior Prom are making quite a name for themselves in the indie-pop world. With their debut full-length set to be released this fall, along with an accompanying tour, Junior Prom should be on everyone’s radar. We chatted with members Erik Ratensperger and Mark Solomich about their music and new album.
Interview questions by Leigh Eron
OOE: Junior Prom is still a relatively “young” band in terms of the music scene, yet you guys are already signed–a feat many experienced bands still struggle to reach. Can you tell us a little bit about how you started out and how you got picked up by Elektra Records?
ERIK: We played in a band prior to JP but eventually realized that it wasn’t the creative direction we wanted to take things musically, so we quit and immediately got our own rehearsal space and didn’t leave it for a about a whole year. But when we did, Elektra called us up and asked us out and we said “yes”.
OOE: You’ve already started recording, but had to scrap your first “album.” Can you tell us about that process and what that feeling was like?
ERIK: It was very much an exploratory and exhaustive process, but also necessary. The first year of of JP didn’t see the light of day. We were off the map, and there was something safe about it, knowing that all the time spent on writing, recording, rerecording, scrapping, resurrecting, all that stuff – I think it accelerated us to the sound that we’ve arrived to and continue to explore now. I think the EP is representative all this.
OOE: Now you have your self-titled, debut EP coming out this fall. How has this music set the stage for Junior Prom’s career, and what do you want it to showcase to fans?
ERIK: I hope it shows that we’re trying to push the boundaries of pop music and demonstrates that we’re not about to paint ourselves in a corner and be a one note band.
OOE: What was your favorite part of the recording and releasing process?
ERIK: Well, we signed with Elektra having already recorded the EP in Mark’s kitchen and our rehearsal space. The label loved it as it was, so the only thing we did was remix and remaster what we had done ourselves.
OOE: Junior Prom really made a splash with your cover of Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That.” What made you choose that song, and what are your thoughts on the fans’ reactions to it?
Mark: Hall and Oates are tremendous songwriters. Just jam after jam after jam. “I Can’t Go For That” was a particular favorite and we wanted to try our hand at a cover, but done in our particular style and it just came together very quickly. The reaction so far has been great, especially to our video which mostly features Oates’ mustache.
OOE: You guys seem to pride yourself on your unique sound. Can you describe that sound for us and what it means to you as musicians?
MARK: We like to think of it as soul/dub/punk/dance, which sounds like it’s trying to cover all the bases, and might be. We’re just trying to come at pop music from our particular angle.
OOE: Do you have any dream tours or collabs you’ve already set your sights on?
ERIK: Kendrick, Bruno, Justin, Rihanna, Wacka Flocka