The Cansecos Juices!

The Cansecos Juices!
When you’re busy, sometimes four years can go by without realisation, but when you’re in a band, people tend to notice. So it goes for Toronto’s the Cansecos, who dropped their debut self-titled album back in the early stages of 2003. In between, Canseco Gareth Jones has kept busy running their label Upper Class, building success stories like the Russian Futurists and Cadence Weapon. However, now’s the time for Jones and his co-producer/co-songwriter Bill Halliday to steal some of the spotlight with Juices!, a stylish successor that refines the thrift shop pop of their debut. It’s an understatement to say they’ve developed their sound — the synths now glide like silk and their attention to detail for the finer points in production, be it intricate percussion (see "Lunar Landing”) or layering their library of synths, shows they’ve become compulsive producers. As evidenced on their first album, they also know how to write a pop hook, which is publicised instantly with the swelling Balearic harmonies in "Seen the Sun Rise” and the electro slide of obvious single "Raised By Wolves.” Where Juices! prospers most though is in its shameless ambition to both hang loose and chillax, which it essentially implements in "Rise Up,” the most blasé call for action you’ll ever hear. Juices! tastes great and is less filling.

The first album took a while for you to record and now it's taken the Cansecos four years to release a second album. What's up with that? Were you trying to challenge My Bloody Valentine and then just finally gave up?
Gareth Jones: Listen; you can’t choose when you’re hot, you just gotta strike when in happens… like it was ’82 to ’87 between Thriller and Bad. Also, 2003 and 2007 are prime number years. So using that formula, our next record is due in… well, we don’t have a calculator here. We’re not scientists Exclaim!, we’re producers.

Considering you've been away for so long, what was it like coming back to music? Was there a plan that got you back into the studio?
It’s no biggie. Our studios are at our houses, so, we’re always working, but it just became time for Juices! to come together. We didn’t choose the time, the time chose us.

The new songs sound much more, for the lack of a cooler word, sophisticated. What do you attribute to the newfound sophistication in the music? Did your tastes change? Did you become better musicians or producers?
Okay we got it, Exclaim!. This one is better than the last one! We had more feelings this time. Feelings make radical music. And we got some new gear. And yes we listen to much more yacht rock now.

You worked with Adam Nunn, who's mastered acts like Air, Radiohead and Kylie Minogue. What was it like chillin’ in Abbey Road? Did he have any interesting stories to tell?
He also did The Baha fuckin’ Men! Plus Juices! was done on the same mixing board and in the same room as Dark Side Of The Moon, and Adam smoked out the window but he asked for permission first, from us.

What I liked so much about the first album was how vintage and junky some of the synths sounded. Are you still using the same kind of equipment?
We have a serious arsenal now. That’s what we’ve been doing. Hand-crafted instruments from the 1970s, high tech electronic drums, good software, good headphones and a very expensive collection of scotch… that trashy gear angle can only really work for one record!

Tell me a little bit about Juiced!? What convinced you guys to make a disco version of Juices!?
We can honestly say it stemmed from a hallucinatory disco vision. We were just listening to a lot of disco. A lot. And then started hearing our songs as disco songs in our heads, and from there, it HAD to happen. We did it for ourselves and our friends, but it turned out really good, so we decided to put it up on before Juices! came out. We invented the pre-mix. We’re glad other people are digging it.

Both Cansecos work creatively with other artists. You’re a big-shot label owner and Bill is a video director. Are those learning experiences at all for you guys that you can take away from and apply to the Cansecos?
Yeah, I think that absolutely falls under "more feelings.” Working with other people with other feelings gives us more feelings. And feelings make music, everybody knows that.

What's it like working for yourself as an artist signed to your own label? Does Gareth the artist get along with Gareth the head honcho?
It’s like being on both ends of the rainbow at once. I’m still trying to find Matt Hart’s [Russian Futurists] pot of gold though, that fucking leprechaun-o hid it on me. I checked both ends of the rainbow, and it’s nowhere to be found.

Why are your friends on the Cansecos’ MySpace page mostly very young looking hot girls?
We provide and the girls abide. No biggie. We’re always recruiting.

Finally, have you ever met either Jose or Ozzie?
No but sports blogs are starting to mention both those players and us players in the same posting, so it’s only a matter of time before a meeting and collaboration. (Upper Class)