Though it’s been a few years since “D.A.N.C.E.” lit up every party you went to, Justice continues to refine their inimitable French swagger and approach toward big idea dance music. We caught up with them at Lollapalooza to discuss remixes, approaching music like movies and the strangeness of reading interviews about yourself. (All answers are from Xavier de Rosnay, pictured right; his partner, Gaspard Augè, mostly sat and watched.)
I have a friend who wondered if you’re “toning down the cross,” as she phrased it, in the last couple years. She said she saw you and you didn’t play with the cross on stage, is that a conscious decision on your part?
I think she made a mistake, because we’ve had the cross on stage since we started the tour. Maybe she confused us with another band.
That would probably kill her to hear that. Are you ever going to do another tour DVD?
Is touring life not as eventful as it used to be?
No, but we already made it, there’s no point in doing it again. The documentary is something we make once, there would be no point doing another one.
Do you guys have any feelings on the sudden rise of dance music in the last couple years?
No, because we never made proper dance music, so we don’t have much to do with dance music. Dance music has always been very big as far as I can remember, listening to music like Prodigy or Chemical Brothers. At the time they were already the biggest bands on earth, so it doesn’t sound really new to us.
You guys stopped doing remixes a while ago. Have you ever thought about getting back to it?
It’s not really a concern, we made them because it was fun to do them, so yeah, if we have something fun that comes, we’ll probably make one. But at the moment with touring and being in the studio, but it’s not a major concern. If it comes and it’s fun, we’ll do it, if we don’t have time, we don’t do it.
Your album last year was definitely a big shift in terms of sound and vision. It sounded almost cinematic to me. Were you guys influenced by any directors or movies while you were making it?
No, but what you say makes sense in the sense that because this music is instrumental, we have to find a way of providing strong emotions without lyrics or without a singer and this is what a director of soundtrack music has to do as well, is just be very evocative. So maybe in that sense it’s a bit cinematic, but we’re always trying to keep things in a pop format, even if it has nothing to do with pop music.
But the format and the intention are very pop, it’s simple, strong emotions on short-form music. And because we like to listen to albums, so yeah, but we are probably influenced not by directors or not by movies but maybe by details in movies, or some images, or even by movies we haven’t seen but we think about and we think we have an idea of what it might be or this is how it works, but not one movie or one director that will inspire us.
Have you been asked to score films?
Yeah, it happens sometimes, but right now we’re really focusing on the tour, and we like to do one thing at a time. Gaspard made a soundtrack for a movie, like three years ago called Rubber, with Mr. Oizo, but we just do things punctually if it’s interesting.
You took a while in between your first two albums. Have you started on your third one yet?
No, as I said, we like to do one thing at a time, and we’re touring so we just do that.
I read in an interview that you guys try to not be political, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the Francois Hollande, the new president that was just elected in France?
It’s not that we try not to be political, it’s just that Justice is not political. Because we don’t talk about politics, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have opinions, it’s just that we don’t want to use our band to spread political ideas.
If you could tell our readers one surprising thing about yourself that people wouldn’t necessarily know, what would it be?
It could be anything. Every time I read something about us, I’m surprised myself, so given that inaccuracy of everything written about us, I guess pretty much anything could be a surprise.