Having launched their debut album ‘Precious Things’ to a flurry of 5* reviews – the synth duo Peppermint Heaven have started to unveil a series of remixes. The AM2PM Dub mix has already scored love from Annie Mac, Phil Marriott, and Vanilla Ice. Well, I got the chance to have an interview with these guys who are currently very popular due to their talent and passion for music!
1 – How did you meet and when did you become Peppermint Heaven?
Juno: We started out in Chicago several years ago playing in a band together in the clubs there. That band broke up and a few years ago, we both met up again here in LA and formed Peppermint Heaven. It’s like having a second chance and we’re going for it.
Spark: The name Peppermint Heaven comes from an obscure pre-Smiths Morrissey song that we ran across in one of his bios or interviews and it was just kind of like a really interesting name. That particular song I don’t think was ever released, it was something that came from Morrissey and, of course, we’re influenced a lot by the ’80s, so it seemed to fit well.
2 – What makes the UK music scene more interesting than in America?
Spark: A lot of our favourite bands are from the UK – newer bands like Years & Years and Chvrches, as well as our 80s favourites like The Smiths, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears.
Juno: There are so many!
3 – What are the best and worst albums from the 80s?
Juno: The best I think Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair, The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead, Pet Shop Boys – Please, Depeche Mode – Music For The Masses. There’s so many…
Spark: The worst probably anything by Loverboy or Huey Lewis!
4 – What software or instruments do you use in order to produce your tracks?
Juno: I play a vintage 1984 Roland Juno 106 synthesizer which can be heard on all of the tracks on the new album. Spark plays a Rickenbacker bass and programs the drums and drum loops. We have a guitar player named CG who played on several tracks on the album.
Spark: We use Pro Tools for recording tracks. It gives us a lot of flexibility.
5 – Do you write the lyrics together? What’s your inspiration?
Juno: Though we almost always write the music together, we usually write lyrics separately. We’re inspired by life and experiences like most songwriters.
6 – Where’s your next concert? Are you available for private shows?
Spark: We not currently playing live – only in the studio. As for private shows, if the price is right…yes!
7 – Have you ever released covers?
Juno: We haven’t. We want to focus on our own original songs.
Spark: We have played covers in our live shows in the past. We’ve worked up a great version of Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain” and The Fixx’s “Red Skies” in a medley.
8 – How does the creative process work for your debut album Precious Things?
Juno: Usually, Spark comes to the session with a drum track or drum loop. We jam to it until a melody comes and we then work out the song until it’s finished. We work on the lyrics after the melody is finished usually, but many of the final lyrics come from what we sang spontaneously during the initial writing session.
9 – After the release of your newest remix The Cage That We Live In (AM2PM Dub) you have been supported by important figures in the music industry. How do you feel about it? What’s the secret formula for this successful tune?
Juno: We actually have remixes that have been completed for three of the tracks on the album; AMPM remixed “The Cage That We Live In,” Seamus Haji remixed “Decide 4 Yourself” and Damon Hess and Deep Matter remixed “Words Colliding.” We certainly appreciate the support of the dance clubs and dance music fans and DJs. In fact, we’ve just learned that “Precious Things: The Remixes” has debuted at #11 on Music Week’s Commercial Pop Chart and at #18 on their Upfront Club Chart. Quite amazing!
Spark: There’s really no secret formula for “The Cage That We Live In.” It just connected with people. It’s about letting go of limitations which I think everyone can relate to.
10 – What can we expect from Peppermint Heaven in the upcoming months?
Juno: We’ll be continuing to promote Precious Things through remixes and videos and possible live shows.
Spark: And next week, we’re going back into the studio to beginning recording tracks for our next album. We never stop!