Parisian electronic-music duo Justice sits atop a stacked dance music lineup on the opening night of the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park on Friday.
Touring behind their sophomore 2011 release, “Audio, Video, Disco,” Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay have been playing to tens of thousands on the festival circuit this summer. Auge says it’s impossible to spot the Justice fan, though.
“This is what we like,” he says. “It can go from a 13-year-old girl to, I don’t know, some 40-something metal head. I guess our music is definitely in between. We’re just trying to make some pop music in a very romantic way.”
It’s a wry statement, given that Justice’s allegedly “pop” debut “Cross” — the album’s name is literally the symbol for the crucifix — and sophomore LP never get popular-radio airplay.
Hit tracks like “Waters of Nazareth” sound as romantic as a chainsaw. Justice’s stage production has consisted of an intimidating, heavy metal-esque stack of Marshall amplifiers.
But underneath the distortion and microsampling lurk some massive, classic disco and house beats. The album ended up on many year-end best-of lists, and was nominated for four Grammys, winning one.
Follow-up “Audio, Video, Disco” was home-recorded in Paris and released in October 2011; it hit 37 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums charts.
As America discovered dubstep, Justice took a U-turn and flirted with 1970s arena rock, employing anthemic vocals and prog rock song structures. It’s both cheesy and primal, a meticulous, deliberate attempt to create some thing that looks rough and superficial. Audiences seem to dig it, Auge says.
“We are very happy with the response we had so far,” Auge says. “You always have to start from almost zero when you’re making a new record. So far it’s been tense, and intense, but it’s been fun. People don’t really, like dance. They are like, throwing their fist at us, or throwing ice cubes or crying.”
A big fan of San Francisco, Justice intends to take a rare short break to explore America’s most European city, Auge says.
“We’re going to get filled with clam chowder and this and that,” he says.
Not surprisingly, Justice also hopes to catch the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento’s 50-year retrospective of artist Mel Ramos, known for what else? Pop Art.