There's something incredibly intriguing about Jerome LOL. He co-runs one of the coolest dance music imprints (Body High) on the planet and has influenced a ton of producers and artists from the current web generation with his music and overall visual representation. He's someone who basically learned how to make incredible music while carving out his own slice of Internet attention before it was really even cool to do so. Hard to believe though that the LOL Boys went on hiatus almost two years ago and now we finally are lucky enough to get an official debut EP from Jerome. This stunning four-track release (Deleted / Fool) on Friends of Friends is out today and I wanted to make sure DAD got some of the scoop on what fueled the EP and what all this dude was really up to.
You're one of the growing number of folks in today's dance music community wearing multiple hats and keeping crazy schedules with a label, production output, and a touring DJ schedule (did I miss anything?). What's that like to balance everything and how does it motivate you to try and excel at more than 1 aspect of the business?
Sometimes it can be a little hectic, but I feel very lucky to have a lot of things to work on at any given time. Though some might disagree, I believe you have to focus on a variety of aspects if you want to make “music” a profession. That truth was a little hard for me at first, since all I wanted to do was make music and stay away from the whole “business” aspect. But I’ve realized there are extremely creative aspects to marketing and branding that I have embraced. I just wish things would slow down a little sometimes.
There's been a fairly distinct sound coming from you since the "final" LOL Boys release. The rolling jazz big band drums and the use of female vocals in particular. Do you think you've found a distinct sound for yourself as you've branched out as a solo artist, and what's your experience been like writing songs with vocalists? Do you see yourself continuing to work with vocalists in the future?
I’ve just been making songs that I want to hear. It has taken a while for me to be comfortable to release music that isn’t implicitly club-oriented. I’m a big fan of pop music, so I guess this music is my own version of pop music. Luckily, I have been able to work with extremely talented vocalists, which has been a very rewarding experience. I definitely see myself working with vocalists in the future, but there are no immediate plans as of now.
As an artist who's basically come up in the Internet generation and is an admitted product of the Internet, why is there so little social media output from you outside of your Tumblr?
Facebook and Twitter both became really overwhelming and frustrating to me at a certain point last year, though I definitely see the value in them. But, I like Tumblr, Instagram, and Vine, because I like visually interesting media.
The new Deleted / Fool EP is gorgeous and also doubles as your debut solo release. Was there much debate on putting it out with Friends of Friends over your own imprint? If no, why?
Thank you very much, I’m glad you like it. I knew I was writing this record for Friends of Friends when the first demos came together. To me, this record is an extension of the work on the Changes EP, and it makes perfect sense on Friends of Friends. I have things in the works for Body High, though, that I am very excited about.
The Bjork and Stan Getz edits that you did and are giving away to folks that pre-ordered the EP. What's so special about these two songs that made you want do something with them?
With this EP, I really wanted to present a light side and a dark side. This is why the cover looks the way it does, and why it is called Deleted SLASH Fool, and why there is definitely a distinctive sound with the first two songs and a distinctive sound with the second two songs. So, I thought I would take two songs that have this light and dark side already in them and work with them. To me, the originals are the perfect combination of happy and sad, which is my favorite kind of music.
What's on the table for Jerome LOL in 2014 and what can we expect/look forward to from you?
I’m beginning to work on a solo album, but who knows when that will realistically be done. Samo Sound Boy and I have been working on a DJ Dodger Stadium LP, which will be released in later this year. I also would like to expand my live set more. I experimented with it on a tour with Baths, and I really enjoyed it, so hopefully there will be more live sets in 2014.