Dynamic duo: Tim & Jean’s fresh brand of electronica

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Myspace. The breeding group for wannabe music stars. Every who-they/whatsit flogging their band like there’s no tomorrow. Only a select few can brag on the success of hard cyber labour and one of those musical outfits is Tim & Jean. With the help of Triple J’s ‘Unearthed’ competition, Tim Arye and Jean Capotorto have done their dash on amateur hour and now, having released their first album, have got big things coming.  The handsome young ’uns who hail from Perth have been compared to US retro-pop outfit Passion Pit, but its takes one listen of their impressive debut album ‘Like What’ to realise they’ve got a lot of something going on. Cream has a chat with Jean about the birth of the band, playing festivals, and hanging out with full-on extrovert most of his waking time.

Interview by Kaya Strehler



So what’s been going on in the life of Tim & Jean?

We’ve just been doing a ton of promo. We’ve been doing a few acoustic things, which has been fun for a change. We did get to go to New York to produce a record in July last year, which was an amazing experience. Totally inspiring. We got to see amazing buildings like the Apollo in Harlem, where all the greats began.


Speaking of beginnings, how exactly did you and Tim cross paths musically?

We come from a pretty small place, just out of Perth, a place called Mandurah. We had just seen each other play and said well maybe we should get together sometime and have a jam. So when I was 14 we began jamming on some jazz kind of stuff. It was pretty strange and we just did it for a bit of fun. Then I hadn’t seen Tim in, like, a year and I ran into him at the train station and from there we made our first track.


And how has life changed since recording that first track and scoring a record deal?

We get a lot of free CDs from the label, so that’s pretty cool.  We do a lot of things like interviews and promo and that’s cool: it’s what we’ve got to do. But in terms of making music, we still just hang out and have fun. We’re just really grateful for having a label supporting us in doing what we want to do.


And is this what you want to grow old doing?

Yeah. It’s kind of what I wake up and think about. I was heading down the whole school path; going to university and getting a job, but I think that music is what I feel most comfortable with. My parents were kind of expecting me to go the family route, which is doctors and surgeons. But as soon as I got more involved with music, my grades just died. At this point I don’t see myself doing anything else.


You guys seem to like playing intimate gigs. Do you prefer these to the festival vibe?

We really enjoy the festivals because it’s fun to hang out backstage. But playing your own show is an amazing feeling. You have people coming to see you. It’s more intimate and you can chat with people and hang out with them after the show. We definitely enjoy both.


Chat with people after the show? Does that mean you’ve used your musical stance as a pick-up line?

Not really. I try to use it against my dad sometimes. “Dad I need some dinner, please, I’m in a band now.”


So fill me in on Tim.

Tim is definitely full-on. He’s a character. He loves a chat, put it that way. He’s sort of in-yer-face a lot whereas I’m the kid who says nothing the whole time, so it pretty much balances out. We were really good friends before we started doing this.


So what’ next in store for Tim & Jean?

We’re heading over to the US in June. We’ve never played there so it’ll be cool.


Would you ever relocate overseas to further your music?

It would probably be the smartest thing to do but I think both of us are really enjoying living in Perth. Being so isolated, we can kind of just hang out and get away from it all.


Tim & Jean’s debut album ‘Like What’ is available through Universal Music.