What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
B-Js (hailing from Bristol, UK) is a mixture of the brainchild of B. X. Jenkins and Jacob Peters. An aspiring electronic duo who delve their sound into the heavy influences of organic, more conventional music genres mixed with the background they have of UK Bass that Bristol is known for with Basslines riveting from each and every corner of the city.
Ben: We formed a couple of years ago at the end of 2017, I came back from Uni and knew Jacob made some strange music as we done some bits in the past and instantly when I came back I was like “we do music now” and he was like a manager in a phone shop at the time so I knew he was waiting for a call to action really, and then several jobs later minus his girlfriend here he is.
Jacob: Yeah, I got into music really by watching deadmau5 online during his Ustream days and just hearing him do different things by clicking things on his computer and all these different sounds come out of it, from there I was hooked and just watched a bunch of videos on it. I was typically a drum and bass/house producer whenever I did produce which wasn’t often cause of my job and my Mrs at the time, but once Ben came back from uni we just sort of let go and went all out really.
Ben: Hence the name, Ben, Jacob, B-Js. Our mums actually come up with that coincidentally at the same time. We were struggling to think of a name and we both went to our parents for dinner and came back and we both said almost at the same time that our mums joked saying we should be called B-Js.
Jacob: I mean everybody loves a B-J….
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Jacob: Well, Panic Buyers Theme is about Panic Buying and the absolute hilarity of it! Stock piling toilet paper!! It started with this hard jungle drum and bass vibe but gradually infused different flavors into it to make it more us, like when you do when you accidentally put cinnamon into a curry. After that we added bens vocals and we loved its dirty feeling, like not too polished, I feel that testaments to what’s going on even more y’know.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Ben: Kurt Vonnegut, he tells stories truthfully. Eric Andre is inspiring because he is the best performer.
Jacob: I’m a sucker for anything Damon Albarn related he is a massive influence in myself musically and how I write and think about music. Also Lee Evans the comedian, yeah he’s a funny guy, mushrooms love him… (fungi)…. I clearly haven’t inherited his humor haha.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Ben: Obviously JPEGMAFIA, Death Grips, Gorillaz and The Garden are big inspirations to us but we want to eventually carve out a space that’s all our own.
Jacob: Yeah our sound is very direct and we like to make it known when you can hear the influence whilst still feeling like its B-Js, we get many of our close fans say that they can hear what’s B-Js and what’s not when I happen to play them some of my many demos.
Ben – There are certainly plans we already have in place on how we will become more niche and demos that already have for the distant future have already sort of paved the way for that progression which excites us.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Jacob: Gorillaz – Plastic Beach, Blur – Think Tank and Deadmau5 – 4×4=12, that deadmau5 album really was the spur that made me think actually I can start making music with just my computer.
Ben: Sufjan Stevens – Illinois, Druqks by Aphex Twin and Good Kid M.a.a.d City by Kendrick Lemar.
Jacob: As for books I don’t really read books, I just don’t have the attention span for it, my brain is so undiagnosed ADHD its unreal. I guess that’s why our music’s so weird. I did listen to the audiobook of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Mason once, it was alright.
Ben: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien and The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts.
Jacob: My most watched films are definitely Fight club, The Matrix and Shutter Island.
Ben: I may have recency bias but Climax by Gaspar Noe which inspired me to take acid, Arrival by Denis Villeneuve, and Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski which is the ultimate horror movie.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Ben: When it comes down to it, we only record the music so that we can perform live.
Jacob: There is just that element though when you’re in the studio and you’ve made an absolute stomper of a track we get so excited at just the thought of playing it out. I slap loads of reverb on it just to envision it being played live.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Jacob: Our early music videos come to mind, I think we have since removed them from the grasps of the internet but we had 2 versions our first single ‘Superficial’ the first was us parading about the whole of Bristol half naked handcuffed to each other which we got some funny looks off. And the one we actually released was us in the back garden of our old house, again half naked but in a hot tub that had a keyboard in it and my grandma’s lovely painting in the background, she likes the fact I admire it so much.
Ben: Our second single “The Taste of Irony” was quite eccentric as well actually, there was a part where we filming in front of Buckingham palace hungover after a friends party and us just sniffing poppers outside the place filming. Maybe if there is enough demand we will dig them up again.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Ben: Jog2 (Leisure).
Jacob: Yeah for now that is certainly the most bizarre track that we have released, the sheer blend of different sounds in that is unreal. Makes you think what other weird shit we got in the tank?! I assure you, there is more.
Ben: Someone in our comment section described it is “Cyber-punk bohemian rhapsody” although we couldn’t possibly compare it as such.
Jacob: Yeah Weird track, released just after Panic Buyers actually.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Ben: We’re gonna drop some more singles and maybe release a mixtape.
Jacob: Yeah who knows with the current situation what anyone’s plans are so were just playing it by ear really. When this whole thing blows over we certainly wish to do another Turbo Island, which is our own event that’s like a rave but without the more conventional techno, dnb, house etc. more like a mashup of experimental groups that deserve their tracks to be in a rave setting! Its always a stellar night.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Who would you like to shout-out?
Jacob: The Pitcher Collective which is an amazing group of people also Bristol based who have helped us so, so much with their continued support and advice and also Try Me who are an incredible duo as well in Bristol who are more than worth checking out and if they’re reading this, we miss you and once this all blows over we can’t wait to have a pint with ya!
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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