New York’s experimental mathcore natives Juan Bond will drop their long awaited debut album Womb on January 1st, 2021. Mathcore has enjoyed a nice resurgence over the last few years as we find ourselves further removed from the specter of djent, and we’re starting to see some new takes on the genre’s already broad playbook. Much like labelmates The Callous Daoboys, Juan Bond employs strings in their ranks, providing some opportunity for diverse textures and avenues for avant-garde weirdness.
Just last week, we premiered a brand new track from Womb, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bed”, and we’re happy to have them back again. This time, we asked each member of Juan Bond to identify an album that was instrumental in their musical development and perhaps serves as a building block on which the band’s unique sound is inspired. Read each of the band’s picks below.
Kiho Yutaka (Violin, Viola)
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta – John Adams Portrait
One of the most fun aspects of playing in Juan Bond is that I get to be in different roles; sometimes a soloist, sometimes like a rhythm guitar and also as atmospheric/textural string sections. And on this newest album, I really wanted to bring my creativity on non-melodic parts to add extra color and more… finesse.
In general, ever since I started playing with Juan Bond, I try to draw inspiration from classical music, because Jay’s violin writing is definitely inspired from there and it does help bring out the characteristics of the violin well too. So I regularly listen to string quartet works by Shostakovich, Sibelius, Bartok, Hindemith etc. which influenced a lot of the string lines that I came up with on our album. But, I think my most favorite inspiration came from this album; John Adams Portrait by Angele Dubeau & La Pieta. There was a month I branched off from my usual string quartets playlist and went down a minimalist music rabbit hole. I definitely wanted to incorporate some of the minimalist composition technique in my violin parts; to have something small and distinct but not be in the way of the other elements. This album has both Shaker Loops and Road Movies, which are both my favorite compositions by John Adams.
The gliss, harmonics and the tremolos performed in these two particular pieces helped me come up with lots of the atmospheric sections of our songs.
Jay Kohler (Guitar)
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Of Natural History
Simply put, Juan Bond wouldn’t exist if Sleepytime Gorilla Museum hadn’t. I saw them live in Boston in 2009 at Harper’s Ferry on a whim and was never the same. I had never heard anything like it; it was weird, artsy, experimental, and very aggressive. I was in music school at the time and had barely been introduced to heavy and aggressive music, I was instead interested in avant-garde classical and experimental rock and jazz. This band showed me you could be creative and artsy and still rip people’s faces off sonically as well as put me on the path of heavy music. Sleepytime also introduced me to the idea of using an electric violin alongside electric guitar to create some truly unnerving textures as well as beautiful moments.
Vicente Hansen Atria (Drums Percussion)
The Mars Volta – Deloused in the Comatorium
If I had to pick a single album that affected the way I play drums in heavy music it would be The Mars Volta’s Deloused In The Comatorium. The first time I heard it I was blown away by the combination of spastic energy and organic precision. I am also a huge fan of Jon Theodore’s drum parts. They always combine originality and functionality in a perfect balance. Jon is also probably one of the only drummers who can get away with playing songs so fast live that nobody in the band can actually play the song — and have it still sound good.
Siddhu Anandalingam (Bass)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
My album is Californication by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. While this album gets a lot of flak for goofy vocals and especially in the mathcore world for competing with the release of Mr. Bungle‘s California, there’s no denying the musicianship, especially Flea’s. Flea is my favorite musician and is able to thread the lines between making bass a low end, but also a melodic instrument. Learning this album when I was a teenager allowed me to quickly gain fluidity around the neck, and has forever changed how I think about the interplay between guitars, bass, and other melodic lines.
Logan DeFranco (Vocals)
After the Burial – In Dreams
This album came out my sophomore year of high school and was certainly a huge influence on my vocal style. Coming from a metal core pallet these guys totally hit me in all the right spots. Furious rhythms, soaring guitar solos, hard hitting vocals, and lyrics that tugged at my teenage heart strings. I was fortunate enough to meet these dudes and spoke with their vocalist Anthony for a while after their set. He really opened my eyes to focusing on breathing patterns and reserving energy for making it through a long live set. Also how humble he was about everything made me realize that making an artistic statement was more important than conforming to what was “in” at the time.
Juan Bond’s new album Womb will be available January 1st, 2021 on Dark Trail Records. The album can be previewed and pre-ordered via the Bandcamp Player below.