Not too long ago, What The Sound had the opportunity to grab coffee with Jane and Wayne of the electronic noise-pop group, some minor noise, along Queen Street West in downtown Toronto. We discussed what the duo has done and what to expect in the near future. Get ready for their new releases to encompass a whole different vibe than their previous works. Read our conversation and listen to their songs to better understand how the two go about making their music, what the 6ix' scene is like, and much more.
What The Sound: You totally have been teasing us with your glitchy snippets of new material on your Instagram. What have you been working on?
Jane Void: We have an entire album that's pretty much done, and a follow-up EP, and we've been sitting on them for about a year. We're waiting to release them, so we're starting to put out little snippets and things because we haven't been getting out in a while and we're going insane.
WTS: Your last release was Anachronisms, that wasn't released all too long ago. Did you make these upcoming projects at the same time?
Wayne Doe: Some of it, some of it is newer.
Jane: Yeah, some of it we did before. We had a bunch done already and then we put up this EP beforehand, it was kind of like B-sides mostly, just kind of clean and house, it's called Anachronisms because it's all songs that are out of place.
Wayne: Yeah, lost in their place in time.
Jane: Yeah, stuff that was going to come out on this album was made before and after this past one.
WTS: Did you tour at all this past album?
WTS: I know you played at Handlebar a few weeks back. How'd you get on that bill?
Jane: I think they just contacted us because they like our music, so we played it. We played some shows in New York last year but we didn't make it out this year because we're sitting on this record.
WTS: Are you self-releasing it or working with a label?
Wayne: That's kind of why we're sitting on it, we are trying to not self-release it. That's why it's taken so long.
WTS: I'm wondering about your lyrical influences, how do you go about writing your songs, who does what?
Wayne: I make the beats and I send them to Jane and then she...
Jane: Pretty much when Wayne is inspired, he'll make music and send it to me and it'll sit in the library on my computer. When I'm inspired, I'll look through it and see what's clicking with how I'm feeling and just write whatever comes out of my face.
WTS: Where'd you guys begin making music and did you have project prior to SMN?
Jane: I had Jane Void which is why Jane is the name I use. I'm trying to not go by Jane anymore but then I forget, and it comes back and kicks me in the butt. I always tell cafes that my name is Jane because it's easier than spelling out my name but yeah, I had a prior project but that fell apart. Then Wayne and I met up, and he made music that I really liked, and that's pretty much it.
WTS: How'd you meet?
Jane: Through friends.
WTS: When was that?
Jane: Two years ago. 2013.
WTS: "It Never Ends", that music video is glitchy in a sense, the 3D dots, was that your idea and did you make it?
Jane: That was Wayne.
Wayne: Yeah, I made that video. I kind of experimented.
WTS: Is there any favorite lyric from this upcoming release that you like?
Jane: Wayne has one.
Wayne: "only quitters quit".
WTS: There's a lot of stuff happening here in Toronto, from rock to electronic music. What do you like about the scene here, what don't you like?
Jane: I don't go out a lot.
Wayne: Yeah, I feel like it's a very interesting city in that, I don't actually feel like we're a part of any community. I feel like we're just existing. We play shows, we don't really know that many other people. It's kind of funny because we're aware that there's all this cool shit happening.
WTS: Do you want to be a part of all that cool shit?
Wayne: Yeah, it would be cool to be another thing that comes out of Toronto.
Jane: But, Toronto itself, I don't really know how much of an electronic scene it has. It's kind of like one-off shows, but it's not much of a community where it's like there's these few bars to play at, that type of music. It's more like weekly nights or monthly nights at some places, but it doesn't feel like there's much community. Unless there is one and we're just not part of it. Which is also possible.
Wayne: It is kind of an isolated city, winters get cold.
Jane: No one goes out.
Wayne: You stay inside.
Jane: Literally, yeah.
WTS: Do you have a name for this upcoming album?
Jane: Yeah. Still Life is the name of the album. Still Birth is the following EP. Still Life / Still Birth.
WTS: How does the Still series compare to your other albums?
Jane: Different vibe.
Wayne: We haven't figured out what we're exactly trying to do. Our very first EP was extremely experimental, without really knowing. It was a whole bunch of pieces that I had made before we even met. Then, on a terrible computer.
Jane: Yeah, it sounded really lo-fi because we didn't have the equipment to make it sound good.
Wayne: Kind of fun not to have all the tools at your disposal, it really forces you to make due with what you have. Just worrying about what you can do, and not trying to make a Lady Gaga record or something like that.
WTS: I saw in the comment section in the article that blogTO wrote about, people going crazy comparing you two to Sleigh Bells, from your looks...
Jane: In that picture, Wayne was wearing the same kind of sunglasses as the dude from Sleigh Bells. I don't know, whatever. If you're a guy and a girl and the guy makes music and the girl sings, you get compared to other duos so quickly. Like Crystal Castles and Sleigh Bells.
WTS: Do you think that those Crystal Castles & Sleigh Bells musical comparisons will change with your new album?
Jane: Possibly, I think we're getting a bit more.. downtempo... no. What is the word for, not downtempo, but the sounds themselves are less aggressive?
Wayne: No, our attention spans are too short to make proper ambient music. I don't like making songs that are longer than four minutes.
WTS: I don't like listening to songs that are longer than four minutes (some exceptions apply).
Wayne: So, whenever possible. I create songs that are 3, 3.5 minutes long.
WTS: Let's say you were able to tour with one band, who would that artist be and why?
Jane: [To Wayne] You listen to way more music than me.
Wayne: I don't even know who we fit with. I feel like we don't fit.
WTS: You don't have to fit with them, could be someone who you would be ecstatic to share the floor with.
Wayne: I really like Trust. Have you heard of TR/ST?
Wayne: It's this dude from Toronto's project. It's kind of like gothy-synth music. I don't know if we really fit with the vibe but I respect what he does. I have this old iPod. You used to be able to count plays when you plug your iPod into iTunes, and without consciously doing it, I had listened to his album ~200 times over two years. That particular album was released three years ago, it's his self-titled album.
Jane: I can't think of anyone. I'm not all up on that.
WTS: Congrats on the "Some Minor Noise" video. Jane, it seems like you kept your cool. I would have been too dizzy.
Jane: Yeah, I almost threw up afterwards. It was one take, and we tried three times. By the third time, I was hanging off the end.
Wayne: We were drinking gin out of a water bottle.
WTS: So, you do incorporate these visuals in your live set?
Wayne: We're working on it. It's going to be sweet.
Jane: Yeah, we're revamping our live set. My friend builds MIDI controllers and he's building me a wearable one right now and he's also going to do some directive visuals for us so we're excited!
WTS: Where did you hone your musical skills? What instruments do you play?
Jane: Just singing.
Wayne: I started playing guitar when I was younger and then I got to high school and realized how bad I was at it so i got some software and started making computer music essentially. I always had an ear for music, I learned to find a way that I could have a musical vision and a voice. Through synchronicity, it came together. being able to be in charge of everything in production. So, it's all my choice. I'm a lot happier that I became a computer musician than something like a guitarist. Even though it's not as impressive to watch me click a bunch of things.
Jane: I've heard so many people say that they've gone down that road, where they started something else then got into electronic music and...
Wayne: The sky's the limit. With all the stuff that we have accessible to us via software and computers, I would need to spend half a million dollars to get that type of shit in the analog world. So, it makes a lot more sense just to do it with computers.
WTS: Where do you record your stuff?
Jane: In my closet.
WTS: Small closet, you're really close to each other?
Wayne: No, I'm not there.
Jane: We work totally separately. He sends me beats and then I record on it and send it back then if he likes it, we'll workshop it. Maybe change a line or two. Same way with Travis, our manager. He's kind of like our 3rd band mate, he gives us ideas sometimes. Generally I go into my closet and move the clothes, then there's a mic stand. That's how I do it. I spend a lot of time in my closet.
As for how I do my singing... I was told my whole life that I couldn't sing. So, I just didn't. I always really wanted to but I was terrified of being heard because so many people said I couldn't sing. At some point I just stopped caring that people said that and started singing, then I found a vocal coach. I think everyone can sing. Some people can naturally use their instrument and some people have to learn how to set up their instrument. It's natural. If you look at a little kid, they're so loud and have so much projection. If you're taught to be quiet, you can't do those things naturally. So, you have to be taught how to speak, or breathe, or sing.
So, mine was a weird journey where I didn't sing till a couple years ago. Then told myself I was going to do this, then figured out how to do this.
WTS: That's awesome.
Jane: If anyone ever tells me that they like my singing, I'm always like 'that is such a pleasant surprise, thank you, you don't know how much that means.'
WTS: I like your singing.
Jane: Thank you, you don't know how much that means.
WTS: Are there any artists who you two dig right now that you don't think any of our followers know about?
Jane: My friend, Machine Fiend. Weird, glitchy, Nine Inch Nails, sort of. More down-tempo.
Wayne: I'm friends with the band Elsa. They're sort of like chill, indie.