Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

On JAN and New Beginnings: A Conversation with Kim Talon

Written by Sadie Magazine; Introduction by Rebecca Temerario

If you’re looking for a taste of gutsiness, feistiness, and riot-grrrl inspired lyrics, look no further than JAN’s powerful and fearless female sound. JAN is Canadian native Kim Talon’s (formerly of Eagle and Talon) new solo project. Her refreshing cross-genre indie-rock and penchant for powerful melodies contribute to a unique debut record, the self-titled JAN, out on November 13th

Tell me a little about your move to New York.

Kim: I moved here for several reasons. I needed to get away from my boyfriend in Los Angeles. I also really just love New York and wanted to be here. I missed seasons. I also wanted to be in a different music scene.

Sadie: What differences do you find between the New York and LA music scenes?

Kim: I've been locked up practicing a lot, getting ready for this tour and seeing less live music than I've wanted to, but from what I have seen there are more girl bands in NYC. There's also more of an edge here. It's less safe, less polished, and more interesting.

Sadie: How did your new band come about?

Kim: Eagle and Talon was on hiatus. My partner in that came to Brooklyn to record with a violinist. I was writing a lot myself and planning to make a record with Steve Albini. At the last minute I decided to work with John Goodmanson

Sadie: How did you decide that?

Kim: I think because Steve Albini is better for bands that already have their sound established and know what they want. John Goodmanson was a good choice for me because I wanted to experiment and improvise. 

Sadie: What was it like once you got in the studio with John?

Kim: When you are getting to know somebody, boundaries aren't clear. Allison and I had always self-produced our music before, so sharing the reins was hard (I'm kind of a control freak). I was amazed by how open John was to my ideas. An example is him being open to me overdubbing three tracks of a recorder on one song. 

In the end, he totally blew my mind, and I would love to work with him again. He has a very subtle, understated approach, so you don't even realize the magic is happening.

Sadie: What are your plans for this release?

Kim: The record is coming out in the US and the UK on the label Enclave, and on two small labels in Germany (this release will include vinyl). It comes out October 15th in Europe and November 13th in the US.

Sadie: So what are your touring plans?

Kim: I'm leaving for tour soon to promote the album in Europe. We are currently booking US tour dates for November and UK dates for February. 

Sadie: Your recordings remind me of Mary Timony or Kristin Hersh. Could you talk about your sound and influences?

Kim: I never have a goal in songwriting other than honesty. It's kind of like getting a needle in your arm; you just pause and let it happen. I am paying attention to everything you can't see. I wish I could say I drew from somewhere, that I wanted it to sound like Rid of Me by PJ Harvey, but I am not that kind of songwriter. I also wrote this as someone who misses hearing rock music in a world where a lot of music is centered on heavy production.

Sadie: What are you looking forward to once this record is released?

Kim: Your audience is a mirror in many ways. This is so new. I have no idea how people will respond. I'm curious to know whether or not people still want to listen to rock 'n’ roll or if everyone is over-conditioned to listen to auto-tune and heavily processed music. With that, you don't hear the artist anymore—you only hear the production.

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