Interview – The Cookie Jar Complot

I recently reviewed The Cookie Jar Complot’s latest EP, CAVIAR CAPITAL, and I was amazed by the musicianship on display. These guys are fantastic, so make sure you check the EP out if you haven’t already!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released an EP titled CAVIAR CAPITAL, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the EP and where can it be purchased?

CAVIAR CAPITAL was recorded over a relatively short period of time, three days or so, at Unison Studios here in Luxembourg. We think of CAVIAR CAPITAL as setting a trajectory for The Cookie Jar Complot, it references all of our influences and we build on that to find our own world.

CAVIAR CAPITAL can be streamed anywhere where streams can be had (Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube) and if you want to go the extra mile you can buy the EP on iTunes. We also have great merch, if we do say so ourselves.

What does the title refer to?

The title came about while ordering food during the recording sessions. One of us asked what you could get in Differdange, the town where Unison is located, and Tom Gatti, brilliant producer, recording engineer and tone wizard, suggested that you could even have caviar delivered. We lost a solid 20 minutes riffing on that idea, and decided that Differdange was the CAVIAR CAPITAL of the world. The title really encapsulated that precocious, intense time, when we were just two dudes in a studio that hadn’t even played a concert yet.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

It has and it hasn’t. Because most of what we do is DIY, so even concert-wise we could play a show any given week, circumstances and local legislation permitting. Of course, over time uncertainty can become draining. But given that Gilles and I do most things ourselves, we can work around slumps. We’re doing okay, is what I’m trying to say.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

Writing one can take anywhere from a couple of days to 2 or three months. Logic projects get sent around between Gilles and myself, with fresh ideas, changes and revisions to songs. We think of it as pitching an idea to one another, which makes the whole disparate construction of genres, melodies and influences work.

Recording is a pretty even split, Gilles will record all drums and 50 percent of the bass, while I record all the guitars and the other half of bass tracks. We usually end up with a gargantuan amount of guitar tracks.

Do you plan to release any singles in the near future?

Without spoiling all of the suspense, there will be a single or a series of singles released this year. People that have seen us live will probably have heard a glimpse of what is to come.

Why did you decide to go down the instrumental route, rather than having vocals?

Gilles and I have been working together on and off for 10 years, always with the idea in the back of our minds that we will eventually have to find a singer. After trying out a couple of people, the project was put on hold. We found our way back to each other about 2 years ago, but this time we made a conscious choice to make instrumental music. With how much we want to put into our music from our respective instruments there simply isn’t space, logically and sonically.

You’re a duo, yet your music sounds really full, with a great production quality. How do you manage this as a duo?

First off, thank you so much! Sound is something we labour over constantly so we’re glad it’s making an impact. We’re obsessed with making our music as compelling as possible. For me personally, even listening to other music becomes a quest to find out how did they do this, this sounds really full, how could we do that? Mixing and mastering was of course done by Tom Gatti, with whom we worked on getting a warm and full-bodied overall sound for the record. I remember that we discussed a kind of “modern Nashville” sound in the beginning stages of the recording process, I guess it stuck.

What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

Gilles usually listens to a lot of contemporary indie and folk music, while I listen to older records. I had and still have a Steely Dan, The Eagles, David Bowie fixation, which seems to be recurring every few months. Where our musical tastes intersect is at the early Foals records, Two Door Cinema Club and acts like Snail Mail.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

We’re both based in the southern region of Luxembourg. There’s been a lively rock music scene here for a long time, but recently there’s been a lot of structural changes like better recording studios, agents, management… These things really give the whole country perspective.

Do you have any tour dates lined up? What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

We’re lining up tour dates for Luxembourg and neighbouring countries, keep your eyes peeled on our socials (@thecookiejarcomplot on all platforms).

Any last words for the fans?

Thank you for listening, coming to shows and making us feel right at home on every stage. We can’t wait to give you more music to dance to.