Upset faves Johnny Foreigner have announced details of their new album ‘Mono No Aware’, the follow up to 2014’s ‘You Can Do Better’. Due on 8th July through Alcopop! Records, lead singer Alexei Berrow has released a statement and a half to go along with the news.
“Johnny Foreigner is our band and ‘Mono No Aware’ is our fifth studio album. We’re 10 years old this autumn. Not like, indie band 10 years where the first year is the only good album and the tenth is the reunion tour playing that album. 10 years of writing and playing and long-haul flighting and being a mostly happy mostly functional not completely unsuccessful brokeass working cottage industry/mobile entertainment unit. And it counts for absolutely nothing. That’s the magic of music innit; yr ears and heart give not one fuck for experience or actual skill. Sure, we can use those resources in a whole bunch of ways to try convince you that this next record is The One, but if it doesn’t connect on a more primal level, well, we’ve failed.
“I am waaay too emotionally invested to tell you objectively if this next record is awesome or a failure. Or worse, somewhere in the middle. I hope you’ll take some integrity from that statement, and that we’re not paying someone to write hyperbolic bs that would include the terms “legacy” or “maturing” or “still capable of…” I hope by now all of that was obvious. This isn’t a construct. It’s not even a lifestyle choice these days. It’s part of us. Johnny Foreigner is Us, the musical. We’re not the type of band to spin our personal delights and disasters into PR angles, but it’s all there in what we create. There’s births and marriages and drama and death. The casual horror you somehow just get used to in your 30s, and the moments of bliss and clarity you don’t (and hope you never do). As portrayed by 4 friends determined not to let all manner of acquired loved ones down. It’s definitely the most acute pressure we’ve felt, to go make art good enough to justify continually juggling our burgeoning families and tenuously stable lives with the now involuntary compulsion to go sing songs about it all in darkened rooms for days on end.
“I can say, we’re happy with it. So happy. Beyond thunderdome. It has the colours we wanted, it sounds rough and produced in all the respective proper places, the symmetry works and the mountains of actual artwork fit perfectly. It feels…right. Some projects we do are Hollywood montage smooth; we plan the thing, we do the thing, we celebrate. And some are like going into a cave for three months and emerging victorious clutching a severed demons head as proof. This was mostly the latter. It wasn’t clean or easy. It couldn’t have been, really. But it was a righteous kill. We are fucking proud to finally show it off, and proud of being Johnny Foreigner in 2016, and I guess that’s what this record is about.”
‘Mono No Aware’ will be preceded by two release shows, one at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge on 8th July, and one at London’s The Crowndale the following day. You can read more about their new full-length in Upset’s recent In The Studio feature, which is both in our April issue (with Deftones on the cover), and right here.