Creativity is a movement that changes through time. This is particularly true for Julie’s Haircut - a band from Emilia, northern Italy that keeps looking at the irresistible noisy pop of their early years through an ever-imaginative kaleidoscope. In their ninth album, In The Silence Electric (Rocket Recordings), they bring together rhythmic quadratures and jazzy flashes, blasts of noise and metaphysical oases. We met with Luca Giovanardi, the sextet’s singer and guitarist.
Nick Cave once said: “Inspiration is not the sacred fire that comes down from the sky, but a need that must be nourished”. Do you feel the same?
No, even if there is a seed of truth in his words: especially after a certain age, inspiration is a beast that needs to be stimulated, or else it tends to be lazy. I really like to work on beats, field recordings, sometimes on a demo of a new song. These are solipsistic exercises, to which I return to - even after years - because I happen to have the right fit for them: a soundtrack, for example. As a band, however, we usually don't write anything: we play and gather ideas from there.
How would you explain your creative process?
We usually go into the studio for two or three days, with no predefined ideas. We record hours and hours of live improvisations, let some time pass, then we open those sessions and look for the most exciting moments. We then edit and overdub until we get to have a song. For In The Silence Electric we also went back to a more traditional writing method.
What are the ideal conditions for you to compose?
It's hard to say: when you base everything on the spontaneity of the moment, you can only pray for a good day. There are days when a beautiful triple album can come out of it, and others when you get nowhere fast.
We can tell you are omnivorous consumers of music, books and art at large: what's behind the imagery of your latest album?
There are twenty-five years of artistic consumption: our personality is now the result of such a patchwork of influences that it is really impossible to tell them apart.
What's your last fixation, in terms of sound? And how did you come across it?
For this album we used the Data Corrupter a lot. It is a pedal from EarthQuake Devices, a particularly advanced bit-reducer: I think it was designed for guitars, but we obviously used it on everything else.
Instruction manuals left aside, spontaneity, free minds, feet firmly resting on a ground rich in inspirations: to Julie's Haircut, this too is creativity.