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With a successful European tour behind him and a hopeful future ahead, recent graduate John Jagos is excited to play his second Lobsterfest. The sole member behind Brothertiger, Jagos's chillwave/nu disco sound has recently gained him popularity here and overseas. His dancey, upbeat style is perfect for his Thursday show at The Union.
ACRN recently got to catch up with Jagos to discuss what has been going on since he left Athens in the early spring and what he has planned for the future.
ACRN: How did your recent European tour with Teen Daze go, especially with the new songs?
John Jagos: It was great! We did about 22, 23 shows in 14 different countries, all in the span of one month. It was just a dream, really, just to be able to do that. There was just a lot of people who came out just to see me perform, and that was really alien to me. I get that once in awhile in the states, but over there the market for electronic music is a little bit bigger. The fact that I was able to be a part of it and people coming out to see me and Teen Daze perform was just so cool. The new songs went over really well with everyone and performing them was just awesome.
ACRN: How has the reception with the new album been going?
JJ: Pretty good. It has gotten some pretty good reviews. For the most part, I’d say, for a first full length, I’m really satisfied with the results and with what people think of it. Allmusic.com gave it 3.5 stars. I’ve been following All Music since I was a freshman in high school, so just the chance to be reviewed by them is just amazing for me, and the fact that they gave it such a good review. Overall, it has been really positive reception and a lot of people like it, so I’m happy.
ACRN: Was there anything on Golden Years that you tried differently over the last couple EPs?
JJ: I guess I tried to make things flow a little more than the last EPs. For the last ones, every song had its different vibe and in its own separate realm, to me at least. For this record it kind of had a central theme of youth, youth culture, innocence, and being young. So I think relating all the songs to each other in that way, but at the same time keeping them having their own separate styles and vibes, was something I really tried to do differently than the last few EPs.
ACRN: Do you have any future releases that you are working on now?
JJ: Starting work on the next full length, so I’m looking to get really deep into recording this summer. I’ve got a few ideas right now, and I’m going back [to Athens] in the summer to record with my friend, Elliot, in his studio. We’re going to do a lot more making it more natural-sounding, using real drums, more guitars, real bass. It is still going to have that dance, synthy, dream wave sound, but just having more natural elements to it is what I really want to do, making it a little more earthly.
ACRN: Now that you’re back here for a little while longer, what have you been doing while you’re here?
JJ: [Laughs] Working, that’s it. Working and just trying to enjoy Athens as much as possible before I have to leave. I started a new surf-pop project that I have been working on. Just trying to keep busy.
ACRN: What exactly do you like about ACRN?
JJ: I like that it’s, overall--I’m not really close to many people in a bunch of different organizations at OU--from what I’ve seen, ACRN is just very tight-knit, just a close community of people that are just all about shows. I think it is just well organized, from an outside prospective. Every time that ACRN asks me to do a show, I am always down to do it because every show is meticulously crafted and things always go well and you guys always get a good crowd out with your promotions and all your different departments. I just think that overall it’s a great radio organization.
ACRN: Have you ever gone to a Lobsterfest besides the one that you played at last year?
JJ: I went to one my freshman year and it was a lot of fun. They had the really, really big stage then. I really think they downsized the outdoor part. I didn’t catch Jay Reatard’s set, but I caught everything else before it, but I loved it. It’s always a good time and the facts that it’s in a number of different venues really rocks.
ACRN: What was your experience like when you played last year’s Lobsterfest?
JJ: When I performed, it was a lot of fun. Granted there wasn’t a ton of people out there, it was a good time. The few people that came were dancing and having a good time, so that’s all I care about.
ACRN: You’re playing The Union this time around; what excites you about playing at The Union over any other place around here?
JJ: I always like playing there. It is a really cool space and it always sounds good. It’s a place that I’m comfortable with, so I’m glad I get to play there.
JJ: I always love playing with Spencer [Blithe Field]. I think what he does is completely out in left field and is such a pure sound and I really love it. I’m a really big fan of his work and everything new he puts out. Everything Ty [Owen of Whirl] does--he is really great with technology and I don’t know how he does some of the stuff that he does, but it’s really great and I dig it a lot. It’s a great lineup and I’m really glad that I get to be a part of it.
ACRN: What are your plans once you move away?
JJ: Right now, I’m just living in Cincinnati over the summer. I’m doing a 10 show tour with Beat Connection at the end of June. I’m playing a couple of one-spot shows in the summer--I’ve got one and Denver and maybe going out to California. And then I’m hoping to move to New York in August and set up shop there and see what I can do with that. I’m trying to finish this next album, put that out, and that is all I know so far.
ACRN: Anything else to add?
JJ: I’d just like to thank ACRN for helping me get to where I am now. Without Aaron Vilk or anyone who helped me get my first few shows, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I am right now, especially in Athens, just being able to play and everything. So hats off to ACRN and thanks for all the memories.
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