Oyster #98: Justice
"It's a hard question!"
If you went to a certain kind of nightclub between 2003 and 2007, you most definitely heard the pounding sounds of French electro wizards Justice. What sort of people could possibly make such music? We decided to find out by giving them an existentialist quiz.
Ariane Halls: If Justice were a hip-hop crew, which one would you be?
Gaspard Augé: Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.
Xavier de Rosnay: Oh, just Run-D.M.C.
[Laughs] Would you do a song with Aerosmith?
de Rosnay: No. No! But I remember a reporter talking about Run-D.M.C., saying that it was great because it wasn't slick, but it has the energy and the movement that was making rap good at the time they were making it. And we think of Justice as — well, we’re always trying not to be slick or not to sound slick, and to always put more effort in the energy, the movement, more than trying to be slick or whatever. And it’s true that rap has never been as good as when it wasn't slick and [was] just really simple.
OK. What about if Justice were a food?
de Rosnay: A food?
de Rosnay: I don’t know. It would taste really good if it was food though. It would be good, but it would be… I don’t know what it would be. It's a hard question!
Would it be expensive food or cheap food?
Augé: No, never [cheap food]. It would be meat, obviously — but then, what kind of meat?
de Rosnay: It would be good food. Made with A-OK, like, good products, cooked in a very simple way.
Uh-huh, like a roast chicken.
de Rosnay: Yeah! Or like a good piece of meat and you just have to put a bit of pepper on it.
Oh, like a rare steak.
de Rosnay: Yeah.
With fries. Perfect. What about if you were an animal?
de Rosnay: Animals? We look like — I look like a monkey and he looks like a dog, so I think we would be a monkey and a dog.
de Rosnay: Not mixed together, hopefully [laughs]. Like, holding hands.
de Rosnay: I would be on his back [laughs].
What about a TV show?
de Rosnay: A TV show? It's hard to think of something special, because of course the first answers you want to give are the things that you like, but they don't necessarily look like what it should be. For example, I would have picked Columbo, but Columbo doesn't look at all like Justice, you know what I mean?
I don't know, your glasses are kind of Columbo. Not that he had glasses like that.
Augé: Columbo-ish, yeah OK.
de Rosnay: I don't know, maybe Riptide. Riptide is a bit like Justice. Or what else? Oh no, Cobra! I really need to say that. It's an anime from the early eighties, and it was inspired by a French actor called Jean-Paul Belmondo, and it's a guy that has, like… We are talking about it and it sounds so geeky, so we should stop talking about it right now. Cobra, let's just say Cobra.
What about a movie?
de Rosnay: A movie… What would be our movie? It would be Airplane! No, I’m kidding. It's hard, it’s so hard.
I know, I’m sorry.
de Rosnay: Because you don’t want to say…
de Rosnay: Or, like, Full Metal Jacket, or something like this; you don’t want to say that. You don’t want to sound pretentious, but at the same time you want to say a good movie. The movies I like the most, I think, are the ones that become accidentally popular, or that have ingredients that can possibly make them popular, but the backbone of it is really peculiar or bizarre. So, hopefully it would be a movie sort of like this.
What about an eighties band?
de Rosnay: An eighties band?
Augé: Maybe ELO.
de Rosnay: But it's more seventies than eighties, though.
Augé: The Buggles.
de Rosnay: Yeah.
Augé: The Buggles.
Oh, The Buggles. I was confused.
de Rosnay: I think Age of Plastic is, like, late seventies? Or maybe it's early eighties.
Augé: Yeah, it's '81? Or maybe ’79.
OK, last one. What about if you were a country?
de Rosnay: A country?
Augé: We would be France, that's perfect.
Interview: Ariane Halls
Photography: Ryan Kenny