Junior Achiever Interview

An interview with Dave Fritz:

Please introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Junior Achiever, and how long the band has been together?

I'm Dave, I play guitar and sing back up vocals. I also recorded our album and co-produced it with Gene who writes and sings all the songs. We've been a band for about five years.

Where is the band from and what is the scene like there?

We're from Toronto, Canada. A lot of great international acts come through town and get great audience support. Unfortunately, local acts often get ignored until they make it big somewhere else. It's probably easier for a Canadian band to do well outside of Canada. We have a pretty strong following in Japan but struggle to get people here to pay attention to us.

Who did the artwork on the new CD and how much input did you have on it?

Gene and our friend Gordon Hawkins did the artwork. Gord took all of the photographs http://www.gordonhawkins.com/. The cover photo is of his father's dog. Gene stumbled across it while looking at Gord's portfolio and thought it fit the mood of the record.

Do you have to be depressed to write sad song?

I think it probably helps, besides when you're happy you'd rather be doing something else besides writing a song! Songs go through several stages while you're creating them, so while you might not be depressed during every part of the writing process, I think the initial inspiration is rooted in sadness.

Do you have to be in love to write a love song?

I don't know if we have any love songs, most of our songs are about having been in love and it not working out. I think you have to have been in love before in order to write about it, to really know what it feels like to be in it and how it feels when it's taken away.

Is the song better if it really happened to you?

I don't know how you can write about something with sincerity unless it's actually happened to you. You have to live it to understand it. So I would say yes.

Where did you get ideas and inspirations for some of the lyrics on "All The Little Letdowns"?

The world seems so exciting when you're young but things don't always work out the way you planned. You end up being just another fish in a very big pond with the same problems as everyone else. Struggling to pay the rent, living in cookie cutter houses, having your heart broken and longing for something more. Life isn't a big letdown, it's just a series of little ones. That's what the record is about.

What made you choice the music genre you choose?

I don't know if we chose our genre, we're just a sum of our influences. We love The Beatles and The Kinks, Gene and I were into The Ramones, Buzzcocks and stuff like that when we were kids. Jeremy (drums), Steve (bass) and I were fans of Gene's old band The Killjoys. He played drums with them, they were quite famous in Canada in the 90's. They sounded like Big Star and Teenage Fanclub. At the end of the day we're just fans of pop music, so I guess our genre chose us.

What are your future plans for Junior Achiever?

Keep playing, go back to Japan next year and start work on our next record.

What do you think of this year's presidential election? Do you like any of the candidates?

It's funny that you ask that question because we're not a political band. In fact, one review of our record criticized us for not having anything important to say because most of our songs are about relationships. That's the music we like though, all of our favourite bands sing about love and heartache. I relate to that subject matter more than I do anything else. All I have to say about US politics is that whenever there is a Republican in the White House it's scary being their neighbour.

What do you know and think of Romania?

I know of Dracula, Silva beer and mititei.

Any final words of wisdom, thoughts or comments?

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!


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