photography YAEL TEMMINCK

Eight years after their latest album, the iconic electronic duo Justice is back with their fourth studio record, “Hyperdrama.” Close friends since their university days, Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé are now touring worldwide to promote their newest release. They kickstarted the festival season at Best Kept Secret Festival in Hilvarenbeek, where Numéro Netherlands had the pleasure of interviewing them. The gritty rock sound of the band’s early days has evolved into a melodic and ethereal style, a refreshing innovation that reaffirms Justice’s status as a major figure in electronic music.

It’s been over 15 years since your debut album ‘Cross.’ How do you feel your sound and approach to music production have evolved since then, especially with the release of ‘Hyperdrama’?

A lot of little things have changed, but the foundation remains the same. We’re always looking for new ways to do things, which is why we’re more focused on new technologies rather than vintage ones. However, our approach to making music is largely unchanged. We almost always start our pieces in a very classic way, with instruments. Once we have something we like, we begin the production process. This method hasn’t changed. It ensures we have a harmonious and satisfying basis. We always say that if we like the base without production, it will be even better once it’s produced.

The pandemic interrupted the initial work on ‘Hyperdrama.’ How did this period of separation and your respective solo projects influence the album when you were finally able to reunite and work together again?

It didn’t affect us. In fact, we started working right after the lockdown. So, yeah, we were lucky. It was a time when we weren’t on tour or releasing an album. It didn’t affect us at all, at least in terms of music and this album.

Why ‘Hyperdrama’? What were the main influences and ideas that shaped the creation of this album? Are we living in a Hyperdrama world in your opinion?

No, not at all. For us, drama is the narrative form. It’s not drama in the sense of something terrible happening. When you think of drama in English, there’s melodrama, where everything is even more exaggerated. Hyperdrama is a step above that—everything is more tragic, funny, sad. For us, hyperdrama is a narrative form where all emotions and sensations are exaggerated. The word “hyper” has a connotation of everything being amplified, happening quickly, and generated by a computer. It’s a space where there is no unity, no place, no time—it’s a kind of fantasy capsule.

Your recent live show debut at Coachella was a huge success! What can fans expect from your upcoming tour, and how do you plan to incorporate elements from your new album into your performances?

We incorporate, like any band, the best new songs, particularly those that are best suited to the stage, along with the best older songs to create the setlist. Everything on stage has been planned and made especially for each show. It’s a very meticulously crafted performance.

The music industry has changed significantly since you first emerged, especially with the rise of streaming and social media. How have you adapted to these changes?

We don’t really adapt; I think it depends on each group’s ambitions. Of course, we create music and want it to reach as many people as possible, but not at the expense of our mental health or what we believe is right. We continue on our path, and as long as we’re fortunate enough to do so, that’s great. We prefer to live in our own little bubble. Our music isn’t necessarily tailored for TikTok or making sacrifices just to sell more records.

Justice has an audible and visible rock influence. What do you consider the most “rock n’ roll” aspect of the band?

Rock ‘n’ roll as a genre hasn’t really existed in its original sense for about 50 years. It’s more about visual and harmonic elements at times. However, Hyperdrama doesn’t embody a rock sound. Although we still listen to rock music a lot, Hyperdrama doesn’t reflect that influence much. As for the most rock ‘n’ roll thing about us, perhaps it’s that we still maintain our rebellious spirit

With ‘Hyperdrama’ representing a new chapter for Justice, what are your aspirations for the future? Are there any new directions or projects you’re particularly excited to explore next?

We have ideas, we want to, but it’s too early to talk about it. 🙂

As a fashion magazine, we’re fascinated by the unique styles of artists. How would you describe your personal and collective style, and how has it evolved since the beginning of your career?

Our style is anachronistic and comfortable. Interestingly, we’re not particularly focused on fashion. We’ve maintained a consistent look for a long time, dressing according to our age and personal preferences. Nowadays, we tend towards suits and similar attire, always aiming for a sober and natural appearance. We don’t fuss too much about our clothing choices.