June LaLonde is a pretty special woman. She has a kind heart, lovely spirit, and is one to take the bull by its horns. Also, she is a talented multi-instrumentalist, and fierce singer-songwriter from Minneapolis.
Tomorrow, March 26th, she is releasing her brand new self-titled album June LaLonde and we have the pleasure to premiere today Bootlicker. We also had the absolute privilege to talk to her about these releases.
Bootlicker is an energetic pop-rock delight that hits you with a engaging bass as soon as you hit play. Early 2000’s alt-indie rock influences can be heard throughout along with sarcasm dripping lyrics.
Getting to know June
WtMM: Hi, June! Thank you so much for agreeing with this interview and premiering your new single Bootlicker with us! First of all we’d like to ask you: how are you? How’s this pandemic treating you?
June Lalonde: Thank you in kind for sitting down with me, I’m honored! The pandemic’s been treating me as poorly as everyone else I figure – reckon it’s gonna feel pretty alien being around people again when I eventually get vaccinated. It’s just about spring here in Minnesota though, so at least the weather’s being kind.
Some of our readers may not know who June LaLonde is. I know this is a loaded question – it’s always very meta to try to describe oneself -, but could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Sure, I’ll try my best – Hey folks, my name’s Juniper, and I’m a 32 year-old trans-woman musician and artist based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I make whatever I want to hear in the hopes that it resonates with someone else. Nice to meet you. Care for some coffee, maybe a game of chess?
When did you decide on a musical career? And continuing from the last question, do you think being a musician is an integral part of who you are?
Ever since I could remember. I picked up my first guitar in middle school and I used to stay up late watching MTV recording music videos to VHS tapes. I originally wanted to be a filmmaker, but that was mostly so I could eventually make my own music videos someday. There was a period where I was feeling incredibly low about my work and “gave up” on music – that only lasted two days. I was horribly disgusted with myself and realized that music is too big a part of who I am to throw away. I’ll be making music until I can’t.
Sounding like June LaLonde
Just by the little conversation we had prior to this interview, I actually fell a little bit in love with your honest spirit, empathy, and humbleness. Are these characteristics you incorporate in your process of songwriting?
You’re far too kind, thank you. I do incorporate those parts of myself – but that’s due to where my music comes from. I have to care, for better or for worse, about the things I write about. I can’t make music if it doesn’t come from a genuine place inside me. I have to be open, I have to be vulnerable, I have to tap into the things that resonate with me. Without them, I don’t think it’s possible to make music that speaks to other people.
How do you compare the sonority of your new album June LaLonde with your previous album Sound of June LaLonde and those before that?
That was actually more of a “best of” that Fuzznet put out for me – samples of past work that I’m still quite fond of. It’s pretty similar to the new record though in that this record sees me digging into my influences and really embracing the sounds that I loved growing up to put my own fresh drive into. But in a really exciting sort of way, it’s absolutely nothing like where I’ve been before. I think listeners will be surprised at the places it goes to.
Bootlicker and June LaLonde
Do you reckon Bootlicker is a good representation of what we can expect from the album?
Not at all. Don’t get me wrong – I feel there’s a lot to get excited over on this album – but it’s really all over the map in terms of mood, genre and intimacy. I promise it makes sense, just keep an open mind when wandering into the album.
Bootlicker immediately caught our attention with it’s powerful percussion, upbeat energy, and especially how it’s infused with self-confidence and humor. What would you say were your biggest influences when creating this piece?
English brit-pop band Blur, one-hundred percent. I’m a giant fan of Damon Albarn’s work and Graham Coxon is a personal hero of mine. Blur defined my teenage years and their particular blend of sarcastic cultural critique over upbeat – and sometimes honestly quite beautiful – backing tracks is a vibe I still resonate with quite strongly. I’ve always wanted to have a go at writing my own “Country House” or “The Universal”.
Most (if not all) of your work seems to have a lot of meaning backing it: could you explain what motivation or message lies beneath Bootlicker?
I found myself perplexed and quite disgusted with the behavior of people who defend billionaires. Especially during the Trump years and even now. These folks have problems much closer to you or me and rather than work towards bettering things for all of us, they’d rather defend the actions of people who grew up carrying emeralds in their pockets that will never do a thing for them. I suppose I wanted to prod at that and point out how ridiculous they all sound.
Touring, Collaborations and Future Releases
How are you going about the release of June LaLonde? Are you going to treat yourself and enjoy the moment after so much hard work (two albums back to back only a year apart sounds pretty exhausting!) or are you ready to roll up your sleeves and dive again into work?
I reckon once I push that big red button, I’ll have a cup of coffee and a nice nap. It all really depends on how this release does, but I reckon I’ll be right back to writing more music and continue honing my craft. After the nap, of course. Terribly important, that.
Regarding future work, what would your dream collab be?
Graham Coxon, Damon Albarn, Jon Hopkins, or James Murphy. Any or all would be a dream for me.
I know it’s still a bit early to talk about touring given the current state of the world, but are there any plans regarding this matter? Maybe a quick stop by Portugal?
Haven’t played a live show yet, believe it or not! Used to be too scared so I’ve only been a recording artist up to now. Working through my transition, dealing with the pandemic, and surviving the Trump years have all taught me that I have to live loudly and I have to start saying “yes” to things that scare me more. If I get the opportunity to do a show in Portugal, I’d definitely say “sim!”
We would like to thank June once again for agreeing with this interview and for giving us the pleasure to premiere her new single Bootlicker out of her new album June LaLonde – get it on Bandcamp tomorrow!
Don’t forget to check her personal notes on the track list for June LaLonde on her thread:
Some notes on the tracks of “June LaLonde”, as a thread. One track a day until release. You can pre-order here: https://t.co/yyLcPW3cjc— “June LaLonde” out on the 26th! 🦌 (@June_LaLonde) March 17, 2021