Posted On 21 Aug 2019
Jitensha is an indie music duo based in Montréal. The project consists of Canadian musician David Martinez and US-born performer Erin Rose Hubbard. Just last week, they released their sophomore album, “Periscope.”
The lead single from their new collection, “Under Control” showcases their upbeat, insightful, songs with a highly emotional concept, combining catchy melodies and indie aesthetics with understated song writing skills.
Watch the video for ‘Under Control’ now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7NS68VRhYo
Listen on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jitensha-music/under-control-master-jan-2019
These two charismatic musicians create upbeat, insightful, songs with a highly emotional concept, combining catchy melodies and indie aesthetics with understated song writing skills. The pair focuses on personal themes such as self-discovery, determination and empathy. Jitensha is the Japanese word for bicycle, which serves as a metaphor for the power of human energy. The direction you choose, and the energy you put in, determines where you end up!
Learn more about Jitensha in the following All Access interview with the duo here-
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day for you both?
Literally on tap? Definitely a “No Signal” by Trestle Brewing Company. We love that place. This interview is not sponsored!
Now that we are more than halfway through the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating this duo so far? What are some goals that you have for this year and how close are you to reaching them? Did you already?
This whole year has been leading up to the release of “Under Control,” and our sophomore album “Periscope.” It seems like we’ve managed to pull it off so we’re pretty stoked! It was a challenge storyboarding, organizing, and filming our music videos – and we’re really happy with how things have turned out.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far? How did you come up with your name?
We were in a 5 piece indie band in Vancouver in 2012 / 2013. I think, in that band, we realized our work ethic, musical inspiration, and direction were a good match for each other. We’re always pleasantly surprised when we look back to our Vancouver days and see how far we’ve come.
We were not only music buddies, but biking buddies, and we both knew some Japanese when we met. Jitensha is Japanese for bicycle. And we thought it was a great moto – the energy you put in, determines where you end up. Our music has always been rather optimistic.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
Rose – I grew up on a local Boulder, CO radio station called KBCO “World Class Rock.” I learned all the 90s rock tunes by heart – harmonies and all. I still love the sound, I think I bring a bit of that style to the band. I also bring a bit more slang and twang to the vocals – David has always been more well pronounced!
David – I grew up in Mississauga, ON I can’t say that I was aware of the “sound” that was being produced there, but I do recall listening to “The Edge” which is a station that broadcasts out from Toronto. I liked it because they played a lot of alternative music.
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo work?
We both really value honest, open, communication and recognize that although sometimes it happens (in a good way!), we’re not mind readers. We try to honour each other’s ideas and support each other through our emotional ebbs and flows. David is more creative with chord progressions and melodies, and Rose has a better knack with putting an idea to poetry. We both write music and lyrics, but our different strengths help to make the songs more well rounded.
Let’s talk about your latest track “Under Control.” What was the inspiration for this song? How did it come together? How would you say that it prepares listeners for more music from you?
The song was inspired by realized we were the dupes of a weird rumour. We were working out what that felt like, and started making it into a little tune. We were on a road trip at the time from Oregon to San Diego so we just wrote the song in little bits along the way.
We’re always kind of striving to grow a little stronger than the day before – our music might sometimes dig in to an emotionally challenging place, but it’ll bring you out on the bright side.
What was it like making the music video for “Under Control”? How creatively were you involved with that overall process?
It was so fun! We wrote the storyboard for the video, and chose the costumes and locations, along with suggestions from the director, Richard Bastarache. The three of us work well together, so we had a good time.
When do you plan on putting out more new music and a full collection of new songs?
Well, our second album “Periscope” was released last week! It features “Under Control” as well as 9 more tracks, one of which “Sea of Numbers,” we’ll have another music video for.
We’ve already got some ideas brewing for singles in 2020, so we’ll see!
How do you think your sound has grown over the years? What about your songwriting process? How has that changed?
I do think our sound has matured. It’s a bit less frantic! Besides mellowing out, I think our vocals have gained a richness over the years.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Rose – I love performing. Every show is a new adventure, a new chance to recall, and shine a new light on the emotions of the music.
David – I would say the same, performing. It is really exciting because unlike the studio, you just don’t have the luxury to say “let’s do it again”.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band? Where are you excited to play at next?
Last October in Downtown Montréal, we did an underground day long festival on a back deck with around 7 other bands. We didn’t play great, our new show was still full of kinks and hiccups, but it felt really awesome to be alive that day – smelling the fall air, shivering a little, rocking on a deck with a bunch of other great musicians and indie music lovers. We really felt like “this is why we do this.”
We also loved playing at Springtide Music Festival in Uxbridge, ON this past April. Such an awesome community they have up there.
Our ideal show is one like what we just mentioned, when the musicians and audience are really connecting to a feeling.
We’re really looking forward to our whole cross Canada tour this September, but kicking it off we’ll be playing with some friends and awesome musicians at L’escogriffe in Montréal August 22nd.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
Simply the chance to do what we love and share our hearts with people is the biggest blessing we could ever ask for.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
Overall “Periscope” is definitely reflective of the current political climate. Some of the themes we stress are, the importance of empathy, learning to be patient, the threats of over-consumption, and seeing the world as more than black and white, with an emphasis on taking a stand to help other people and the environment.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
One of our favourite artists right now is Zeus – we saw them on the big stage when we played at Springtide Music Festival. They really spoke us.
Dream collaboration… there are too many choices!
Where would you love to hear your music being played? A TV show, a movie, in your favorite store, etc…?
We’d love to be played on CBC radio 2, maybe Drive or After Dark – our dream was to be played on the Signal before it was ended – Laurie Brown, are we weird enough for Pondercast?
It’d be awesome to be featured in a fun little Netflix show. Dare I say – in a theme song?
I think our music is great for waiting lines or bad traffic, cleaning the house (hi mom!) – a little pep and harmony to turn around the mood.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
We hope that the music helps people ask more questions about themselves and their environment, and not to shy away from the answers, whatever they are. We hope that the music can evoke some kind of emotion, anything, so we can feel together something together you know?
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about your music?
It’s really a pleasure to have the opportunity to share this music – thanks for taking a chance on us with your ears and time.