TWM: How did you two become the duo called FEATURETTE ?
Jon: It started when my brother left his guitar behind after he moved to New Zealand, I picked it up to learn how to play and quickly discovered how horrible I actually was at guitar! That summer I met Lexie while working as a drum teacher at a band camp — she taught violin.
Lexie Jay: FEATURETTE actually started as a folk band. We didn’t have the name yet, but we had a bunch of songs I had written over the years and we just started jamming. Again, we quickly discovered neither of us were cut out for the guitar, but we found our stride in electronic music and started exploring that avenue more. The next summer Jon pitched the name FEATURETTE, and since the word itself means ‘mini-feature’ we started running with that concept, and it worked so well with the storyline in my songbook. We’ve been writing in the storyline concept ever since.
TWM: Did you find it a challenge pairing Lexie Jay’s classical training and Jon’s more drummer background?
Lexie Jay: Not at all! I have a classical background – trained in opera and classical theory and Jon is trained as a jazz drummer, with a jazz theory background. We had a few communication issues at first when discussing how we wanted the music to sound, because from a music-nerd perspective, we had different terminologies to express the ideas we were having. Once we found a language we could both agree on, the ideas just started to flow. As far as the actual instrument of singing classically versus pop, it’s a totally different ballgame. In finding that departure, it was very liberating for me to sing what I felt, as opposed to adhering to a traditional set of rules. We come from polar opposite fields, but that’s what makes the ideas so powerful when we agree.
TWM: Who are your influences as a duo?
Jon: We pick up bits and pieces from everywhere we go. Right from the beginning we were hearing Moderat, Deadmau5, Justice and Bjork, but along the way we’ve heard sounds changing and we’re getting more Tove Lo, Little Dragon, Phantogram, Banks, Avec Sans, and the like. We’re sure that will continue to change as we keep listening – there’s so much to hear right now in the world of electronic music.
TWM: Which band/artist would you be excited to open for?
Jon: If we opened for Phantogram, we’d do a backflip. Both of us!
TWM: Tell me about your debut album.
Lexie Jay: The first album that we plan to release this year is called CRAVE, and it focuses on the things we crave in life – love, lust, intimacy, resolution and ultimately self-acceptance.
TWM: What can we expect from your live show?
Jon: Lots of energy, lots of dancing, a bit of live theatre and some fat low end. It packs a punch.
TWM: How does it feel to be part of CMW?
Lexie Jay & Jon: Playing live has really been an exciting ride so far and it’s barely just begun! After a year of recording and production, we’ve only started performing in January 2015, and we can’t wait to get out there. The opportunities CMW has given us have been amazing – we’ve met great bands from around the world and everyone is so down to earth and open. The experience has been unreal. Saturday is going to be an amazing night, we’re sharing the stage with some incredible bands, so come early and show some love!