The ’80s brought people together. Millions amassed under brightly lit disco balls, mullets congregated on the bonnets of DeLoreans, and music enjoyed some of its finest moments in history.
The ’80s also brought Froyo and Janey together, two duos wearing their retro revivalist tendencies like a badge of honour. They also both have new releases to their names; Froyo’s Blue EP comes out today and Janey’s latest single L.A. hit the airwaves just last month.
With so much in common, getting the bands together for a chinwag was a no-brainer. Yes, the ’80s were discussed. Heavily.
Karaoke jams and Chinese food: ’80s revivalists Froyo and Janey celebrate their stunning new releases with an artist on artist chat.
Janey interviews Froyo
JANEY: There’s an obvious ’80s flavour to your music. Has your romance with ’80s sonics been a long-time thing? Or more recent?
FROYO: We were ’90s kids growing up, but we’ve always had a thing for the ’80s. The fashion, the films, and just the overall aesthetic of the decade (beyond its music) has this alluring neon glow about it, ya know. Although, we were only compelled to start collaborating for realzies once we both watched the movie DRIVE starring Ryan Gosling. Phwoar. That soundtrack… that movie… that MAN. It was quite the determining experience for us.
JANEY: Talk me through your songwriting process. Where do you normally start – with lyrics, melody, chords or…
FROYO: ALWAYS chords and a groove first. Those are so easy for us. We can create instrumentals real fast, but we always treat melody with utmost importance. Like, if somebody can casually hum your melody and it’s STILL 100 percent recognisable without lyrics/chords/etc, then you know you’ve done something right. Sadly, we leave lyrics till the very last though. Not by choice, mind you. We just suck at writing lyrics, haha.
JANEY: Why ‘Froyo’?
FROYO: Why NOT Froyo? Next question… haha, nah the truth is, we didn’t even think about it! Our existence as a band was a complete accident – it started as a uni assignment, which accidentally led to a gig, radio play, and a whole lot more. We’re accidents, Janey. Accidents! Also, frozen yoghurt is delicious. You ever had it with those mango boba balls? My goodness, it’s yum.
JANEY: What brought you two together? What made you decide you wanted to be in a band together?
FROYO: Our shared taste in music brought us together. Although, our shared taste in food is just as strong to be honest. Perhaps stronger. Heck, in a parallel universe, we’re probably running a food truck together. Actually, plot twist: it’s a food truck, but we actually drive around town secretly to solve paranormal mysteries and such. Maybe there’s a dog involved, and two other human companions. Anyway, we liked a lot of the same music, and (as mentioned before) the movie DRIVE really solidified for us what we wanted to create.
JANEY: If you were only allowed to eat one type of food for a week, what would it be?
FROYO: Chinese food. You can cover a lot of ground under that one umbrella, so yes. CHINESE PLEASE.
Froyo interviews Janey
FROYO: From one retro-pop duo to another, we’ve ALL surely belted out a few ’80s classics in our respective cars/showers. So, if we randomly hit up a karaoke bar tonight, what are your go-to songs?
SARAH: Hah! You know it! Well lately Billy and I have been obsessing over A-Ha’s, Take On Me. We also have a lot of fun with the Thompson Twin’s Hold Me Now. But we’d be definitely throwing in a few MJ hits in there… maybe Beat It, or Billie Jean. We grew up on a very healthy Michael Jackson diet as kids.
BILLY: I’m going through a massive Prince season. 1999 and I Would Die 4 You keep on ringing through my little ear drums. Perhaps the most influential ’80s banger that Sarah and I ground our selves with is Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, just such intense raw assertions of how it feels be heartbroken and confused in life and relationships. The ’80s was just such a raw period of music history.
FROYO: L.A. is such a brilliant single. Be it consciously or subliminally, who would you say were the musical inspirations behind it?
SARAH: Oh thank you! L.A. is an interesting one. It started off in Billy’s head as a much more Ramones bop and it turned into something else altogether. As we were in the studio, we could definitely hear influences of Bruce Springsteen as we put the song together. We intentionally listened to Lana Del Rey in the studio, to help me feel comfortable about doing the spoken word pre-choruses, which was a new thing for me.
FROYO: You played a packed show the other week with our fellow ’80s-inspired friends Vast Hill… but in your wildest dreams, if you could share a bill with any living artist right now, who would it be?
SARAH: Oh gosh. How to choose? Well to follow through with recent obsession we have with A-Ha… maybe they would be the go. They’re still touring now and they’ve still got it. So that would be amazing. To choose a more current artist – St. Lucia would be fun!
BILLY: I feel like sharing the stage with The 1975 would be a rad fit for us. They’ve inspired us so much through the years and I feel like our palette of sonics would synergise. It would be one phenomenal night of lush synth anthems!
FROYO: Is there a song out there that you wish YOU had written first?
SARAH: Oh so many. But there are actually two songs that inspired me to be a better songwriter, and think about how melody and chords can pull the heart strings. Those two songs are You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins (yes, from Tarzan), and Viva La Vida by Coldplay. If I had written these, I’d be a very happy woman.
BILLY: I’m a huge Arcade Fire fan. I could retire from my songsmithing yesterday if I had written Ready to Start. The weight of raw dark emotion is in that song is intoxicating. I literally feel my life’s histories, joys, trauma and existential questioning – every time I hear that track. I want to channel more Win Butler in my art making for sure.
FROYO: We’re hungry. Tell us: what’s the perfect dessert?
JANEY: Ah we’re half Asian, and our tastes buds prove it. Mango sticky rice FTW.
Froyo’s new EP Blue and Janey’s latest single L.A. are out now.