JD Samson is best known as leader of the band MEN and for being one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band and performance project, Le Tigre. For more than a decade JD’s career as a singer, producer and DJ has landed her at the intersection of music, art, activism, and fashion.
In 2007, MEN began as a DJ/Remix/Production team featuring JD. Eventually, MEN became a live band and art collective. MEN’s debut full length record Talk About Body was released in February 2011 by IAMSOUND in the USA and through Sony/Columbia in Europe. This was followed by the release of the EP Next in April 2012. In October 2013 MEN will release their second album Labor featuring the singles “All The Way Thru” and “Making Art”. Since their inception, the band has toured extensively internationally from LA and New York to Moscow and Shanghai to Paris and Sydney, whether it be at museums or dance-clubs, performing with the likes of Gossip, Peaches, and CSS.
With Labor MEN have made “a record of a moment”: the recorded sum of a decade of countless events. Burnished by the presence and the absence of individuals, time, and critical process. Refined in rage and frustration. Clarified in dedication, and hope.
When lead singer JD Samson and core MEN bandmate Michael O’Neill set out to make the record of these moments, Samson knew she wanted to undergo an emotional excavation, and create in a space more removed from the community self-reference of previous efforts. To make something that more universally changes hands. “We wanted to speak more widely,” says Samson of MEN’s latest, Labor. “I think what happened was that somehow, the push to be more open to new territory, led me to be more emotional, and personal.”
What MEN created is a sonic estuary, a place where Samson and her collaborators empty the contents of their minds and turn in their hands everything from gender identity to the tension between artistic autonomy and commercial success. United in Labor are mantras of the self-loathing, the chant of the penitent, the protest of the oppressed, the elation of the reckless.