INTERVIEW: Tall Juan Talks 'Olden Goldies', Mac Demarco, and Life in Far Rockaway
  • MONDAY, MAY 08, 2017

  • Posted by: Kirsten Spruch

[Photo Credit: Laura-Lynn Petrick]

Previously described as a "Latin Elvis," Tall Juan hails from Argentina and makes the kind of rock 'n' roll that'll make you want to cut your hair and rebel against your parents. Although he's originally from Argentina, he's been warming up to Brooklyn nicely for the last few years. In fact, he even shared a house in Far Rockaway with his buddy Mac DeMarco, who contributed to his latest album Olden Goldies, which was released last week on May 5th via BUFU. His love for The Ramones and The Beatles is evident when listening to the record as well, with its old school, rough around the edges DIY production and melodic howls. It tackles life in Far Rockaway, drug addiction, and love, and it also features a cover of Mac Demarco's "Another One," entitled "Another Juan." Hot off his Coachella set, we had the opportunity to talk to the artist about performing and recording, and what to expect on his latest effort.



KIRSTEN SPRUCH: So you just played Coachella this month, how was it?

TALL JUAN: It was pretty fun... actually, so much fun. We played two shows and I couldn't say one was better than the other.

KS: What does your live show look like?

TJ: It's just a regular show--a rock show with a three piece band.

KS: When you're writing a song in the studio, do you usually think about the live show going into it?

TJ: No, not really. I usually write the song, then I listen to it again and again, then I practice with the band, then play it live... Then I start changing the song to make it more enjoyable.

KS: Who are some of your influences?

TJ: I like The Beatles a lot, and the Ramones. Lately I've been listening to Paul Simon and Argentine music like tango, but when I'm writing I'm more influenced by the Ramones and The Beatles - their songwriting.

KS: You lived with Mac DeMarco too, right?

TJ: Yeah, we moved to Far Rockaway and got a house about three years ago and moved in with some friends. That's where we both record.

KS: Was it weird for you when he gave out his address to all of his fans?

TJ: Yeah it was weird. Sometimes it was cool, sometimes it was not. It was fun!

KS: And you're releasing your debut album Olden Goldies in May, can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process behind the album?

TJ: I recorded everything in my room, I think it took me a year to do everything. There are four year old songs and one year old songs, so the album has everything from the past four years.

KS: Did you produce everything yourself?

TJ: Yes, almost everything. My friend recorded the drums on a few, my sister did some backing vocals, and another friend did the keyboard in one song. I pretty much did the whole thing besides that.

KS: How does this album differ from your other stuff?

TJ: I think it's pretty much the same. When I recorded my older songs, someone else would help me record. I didn't have to sing all day so it was easier. Now I have to explore while recording, I didn't know much about it so I was recording while also learning the process. I made a lot of mistakes so it probably doesn't sound that good but I think I learned more on this record than before.

Tall Juan's latest album, Olden Goldies, is out everywhere now.
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