On May 9 , Electro-duo FEATURETTE graced the stage at The Garrison during Canadian Music Week. The duo, consisting of members Lexie Jay (singer) and Jon Fedorsen (Drummer) brings electro-pop to a whole new level. Having spent the last year recording their two-part, debut album Crave, FEATURETTE is about to take over Toronto by surprise. We sat down and chatted with the duo prior to their set. Read the interview below!
You’re from Toronto and you’re playing CMW. How do you feel?
Lexie (L): So so good. We’re so thrilled to be playing CMW, it’s our first year. The summers pretty packed for us so far. It’s exciting.
Jon (J): Very exciting. We’ve played in the past, but really excited this year about it, and this year in particular. The planning has been incredible, every band has been great, the venues are awesome. Everything’s been running smoothly.
Why should people come check you guys out?
L : The concept of our band is slightly different than most other one off songs here and there. So from the beggining to the end of the set, it’s actually a storyline that we focus on in the album from song to song. They’re actually programmed that way so that between each song you get that sort of conflict and resolution thing with the whole set. It’s a FEATURETTE, it’s a mini movie, that’s the premise of it. It’s action packed man.
J : We basically split our album up into two parts, we haven’t released anything yet. Volume 1 is a little bit dark, and then it gets a little bit light again in the end. It’s kind of a nice A & B of an album. You’ll enjoy it.
Is there a particular reason to why there is two parts other than the dark and light of it?
L: Just like the logistical reasons, as much as there are artistic reasons. We had a set amount of songs, and we decided it was stronger to release an EP because nobody really cares when a full album comes out. The attention span is like zero. So we want to go for shorter, action packed releases, single EPs, so there’s more and more coming and we’re always getting something new to the audience. But even more than that, to us there was a defined break in the first and second half. It goes really downhill, like really dark places and it comes right back out. So pairing that in one album might be a little extreme versus having a A side and a B side is probably a stronger idea for that.
J: We took a long time to make this record. It took us literally like since Lexi and I started playing guitar together. Like dabbling and maybe being a folk band, and I’m such a bad singer and such a bad guitar player. In the summertime we worked together and decided to make it electronic, that took a long time, to figure “Why don’t we just take this album, boom it’s done now, what’s next” This way we have a little break to focus on.
When it comes to songwriting, is it the music that makes the lyrics? Or the lyrics that make the music?
L: They’re the same! They’re one in the same. When we write a song there are two ways we can go about doing it. We have the music already in our head, whip out the iPhone, we’ve got to record this thing. If you listen to it long enough, the lyrics are already in there. I’m writing lyrics that go with this song, there is a rhythm, words into phrases that’s already in the music. You just have to find it, which sounds so hippie and crazy but it’s already out there. You pull it straight out of the sky. If there is a set of lyrics, they have a rhythm to them, and that rhythm has a little to the phrase and how you say them. And that’s musical, just the same.
J: For me, as a drummer growing up, Lexi can protest to this, anyone who’s ever met me, I know no lyrics to any songs except maybe nursery rhymes.
L : He knows the lyrics, but they’re like Jon’s version of the lyrics.
J: So for me, they’re really important. Especially in our music, lyrics bring the life to electronic music. I have no idea, and it interests me to see the process of that. Thank goodness I’m not doing it.
When it comes to festivals, what makes you stop and listen to an artist?
L : It’s like the sound, the look and the sound. I think for most of us, it’s like the first 20 seconds, it’s on or off. It’s the first chord, the sounds I want to be hearing, and right now my ears are really open to everything but mostly to that electronic sound we’re producing. Also the influences we’re getting from the places in the world that are putting those out like Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand and we want to take those things and capture them so we can join that plan. Everything is starting to change, it’s all being more progressive and electronic.
J : We think word of mouth is one of the best things too. If your friends tell you to listen, it’s usually the same taste. So that’s really important.
You’re a electro-duo. Do you find that electronic music is becoming the new pop? Or is it already?
L : Totally. Electro and indie pop, and when I say pop, some people who aren’t into that music are like ‘What do you mean pop?’ like Britney Spears, no it’s like what’s popular right now! If you’re hearing EDM influences on the radio, like really extremely popular songs, we’re not that pop. But it is popular enough that it could be heard on the radio, one day, that’s the goal.
J: It’s definitely taking over, it’s nice to hear less top 40. Dance, it’s changing to more rhytmically interesting great stuff happening.
L: This Tove Lo wave is like blowing up.
It’s crazy because she just played the Drake Underground last year. If you were to blow up like that, do you think anything will change?
L : Hopefully nothing. We’re actually plating the Drake Underground Saturday, if anyone wants to come. Saturday 9PM, be there.
J: It’s a long climb, people say she blew up, but I’m sure she’s been doing that for a while. Been writing songs for other people and meeting people. There’s no such thing as overnight success, well there can be, but generally here’s stuff we don’t see.
L: Getting in the studio, writing the next album. Cause you got to keep it well-put.
J : I think those things when you get into the next level, it’s the stability and sustainability.
How do you go The Xtra Mile?
L: I love that question, but I don’t have an immediate answer to it. The Xtra Mile we weren’t musicians only. We do other things, I say on the side, that’s sort of in the foreground. It’s hard to make money in music because people don’t necessarily want to pay for the songs they’re hearing. So going the Xtra Mile is something we’re going to be have to be doing to get noticed and get heard. I think having that FEATURETTE concept and it as a cohesive unit of songs that tell a story, which is just a generic story. It’s telling a specific story, titled by the album. So I think that’s sort of going to be the Xtra Mile factor that’s going to make people turn their heads.
J: Going the Xtra Mile, we deligenetly tried to reproduce the album live as best as we can. Pretty much everything is there and its been really interesting to try to get that to look. I been chopping off things and looping things. Lexi’s been soldering cables and light boxes. Literally Lexi’s made these light boxes that go off stage. The Xtra Mile, we really are passionate about what we do and hours and horsing this. That’s the Xtra Mile for us.
L : This comes before anything else, this is the thing. Let me describe, this is what we want.
Watch FEATURETTE live from Hard Rock Cafe below!
Catch FEATURETTE play The Drake Underground on Saturday, May 16 at 9 p.m.