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Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Monday 14th November, 2011 12:15PM

Nik Brinkman has shed his previous project - Over The Atlantic - and signed an EMI Publishing deal. UTR caught up with him to discuss his new project Junica, what the deal with EMI means and what his plans are for 2012.

You played with Naked and Famous last week, how was it?

It was real good. It was pretty much sold out so it was a huge show and I think we pulled it off. We were real nervous because itís only like the third Junica live show so we were pretty pressured to nail it but I think it got received pretty well.

Because youíve only just put the Junica live band together right?

Yeah that was the third show so it was totally new. Itís got Dan Nagels from So So Model and Ash from Secret Knives on bass and Kate Wareham on keyboards and it's great to have the line-up finally sussed because it takes so long to get it. The thing with Wellington musicians is theyíve all got their own bands going on and you canít really poach people you know.

Tell me how and when the Junica thing started?

It started after Over the Atlantic ended and I had a bit of a break and started writing demos. Then I got a call from my management in Auckland who wanted to work on a new thing, and then I signed a deal with EMI Publishing which triggered a writing trip with them where I went and wrote overseas. So I did heaps of demoing with lots of people in London, LA and Stockholm and then I had those songs and needed a project for them so I started Junica. Iíve only just now started the live stuff.

Tell me about the publishing trip Ė was it amazing?

EMI offered to take around the world to write with these people I admired that were on EMI as well. I went to London LA and Stockholm for 3-4 months constantly writing songs with different people; Peter Bjorn and John, Shout out Louds, the guys from New Order in Stockholm, so many people. It was so good seeing how people write music; it was amazing seeing the way people approach writing pop music. It made me more aware of ways to go about writing a song; you can do it a lot faster. You donít need to spend as much time on certain things I did; itís made me work faster.

Did you learn tricks to writing the perfect pop song?

Ideas on how to arrange songs that I didnít know before. And ways to make things more refined; Iíve always loved pop music but Iíve never known how to approach and not make it waffle on for ages. Itís good to see how other people do it. It hasnít changed my writing doing that but itís made me much more efficient and better.

When you sit down to write a song for Junica what are you trying to do?

Iím not trying to write anything particular, Iím going to write something that resonates with me and I genuinely like. Iíve always loved that new wave eighties melancholic pop sound so that kind of stuff Iíve always been interested in, itís just trying to get a wider appeal with it these days and not being so focused on being obscure; trying to be a bit more accessible in more ways.

While still keeping the tracks interesting?

Still making it interesting of course and still pushing boundaries. What I was trying to do years ago but refining it.

And so is there going to be a Junica album coming out?

Weíre talking to labels at the moment so hopefully around March but it might be pushed back a few months.

Not necessarily on EMI?

Not necessarily, no, talking to some other labels at the moment.

So you write music for other things outside of Junica.

Yep Iíve got Psychic Powers as well so doing things for them and EMI Publishing. Anything I donít want or doesnít suit me can be for other artists on EMI so there are heaps of songs Iíve written that can go and work for other artists.

Are there any Nik Brinkman tracks that someone else has adopted that we can hear at the moment?

People are just starting to take stuff now but nothing in the public yet but thereís definitely songs that have been picked up.

Is it crazy to think that other artists will be using Nik Brinkman tracks?

Yeah itís awesome because I want to do behind-the-scenes writing for other artists as well as the Junica thing.

Whatís the future plans for you? What are you focusing on for next year?

More live stuff. Weíve got Big Day Out which we got on the bill for yesterday, and then thereís more touring next year. Once the album is out weíll do heaps of touring; Australia and look at American and European stuff as well. It will be a year of touring.

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