Stimulating LA-based electronic duo OOFJ – the exciting project of real-life couple Jenno Bjørnkjær and Katherine Mills-Rymer – delivered darkly mesmerizing and sultry cinematic tunes via 2015’s standout LP ‘Acute Feast’, released on Ring The Alarm US and Fake Diamond Records ROW.
Now they open up to FM about other dimensions, masks, Castrati boys and eating kale….And also about their stylishly hypnotic and futuristic video, directed by Jonathan Turner, for ‘Don’t Look’.Can you tell us something about the idea behind the amazing video directed by Jonathan Turner for ‘Don’t Look’
J> We were emailing back and forth about the idea of the ubermensch.. The godly aesthetic…With our faces on it.
K> Which is amusing and exciting to think about.
J> Jonathan worked tirelessly over months to make the CGI, and we talked back and forth over what these avatars meant…
K> We wanted to have this perfect chromed-universe of Jonathan’s to be sexy and emotional. That these avatars have an arc and a conclusion.
J> Hence the vagina sequence.What’s going on with the “mask”, tell us who is behind it and why is so important to you…
K> Um, I think the mask is basically pretty simple. It’s the living terror of aesthetics, surface and the unsaid of just walking around and interacting with people.
J> Yeah. It’s the facade that is only presented most times in life, it’s intoxicating and also because you cannot see beyond the surface, it makes life a little scary.
K> If you think about it too much.
Why did you pick your project name as OOFJ?
J> This is an ongoing struggle for us. When we started the band we decided to make my solo name which was Orchestra of Jenno into OOFJ as it looked good and was unique. And served the purpose of signifying we had made a new band..
K> But we hadn’t factored in how difficult it was for people to actually say. So as with most things a blessing and a curse.
How do you hope your music makes your fans feel?
J> Maybe like you are stepping out of time into another dimension…
K> Ja. Maybe like a personal perfume…Fragrant and intoxicating .. hahahah
What’s inspire you to make music together?
J> It just happened. We spend most of our time together and in the beginning we were just playing around. Now its more of a plan of waking up and making music for a few hours, even if you don’t feel like it.
K> It’s like eating kale or something. Necessary and good for you.
What’s the best and worst thing about playing live your LP ‘Acute Feast’?
K> For me it was grappling with just being looked at, and falling into the music so some cool stuff could happen in a live setting..
J> We have a lot of improvisation in our live shows…So no set is the same, so that it keeps it strange and fresh. This can be the best and also the worst…You never know where it’s gonna go.
K> You have to push through and trust yourself a lot…It takes a lot of rehearsal in order to feel as free as we are beginning to feel.
Could you briefly describe your music-making process?
J> We just get up and try make something.
K> Generally Jens will either send me a sketch or maybe play something on guitar. Then I will go to another room and work on my sketch of melody and lyrics and some structure.
J> And then email me her sketch, then I will work on it a bit more or we’ll have a conversation about it.. And then repeat the process and then go into demo recordings. And then go back and forth and listen and listen. And then put it away for a while. And then listen and critique.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
J> Thom Yorke
J> Also Flying Lotus, Clark, Prince and The Berlin Philharmonics would be great.
What kind of music are you listening to these days?
K> Not anything really. Some medieval stuff…Don’t worry no lutes on this album. But pure, kind of ascendant nun music.
J> Puritan sounding vocal harmonies are interesting to us…
K> Probably because my voice can sometimes sound like the Castrati boys, which is weird to say out loud.
What do you have planned next?
J> We have a show in Mexico in about a week or so, and then get back to working on our next release which you should look out for in late March. And then probably some more shows in the spring and summer.
K> Working on the new record and eating kale.
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FM