Amanda Edwards, Getty Images 20 years ago, way before he became a lion, Snoop…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 11:32AM by Robert Evans
Describe your sound in your own words.
Alex: Disco-nic. I guess, I don't know, as far as our own tracks are concerned, like our original material, they're all just kind of pop songs first and foremost, but they're all pretty heavily influenced by older disco records or just, in general, dance records from the '70s and '80s. And as far as remixes, I think the sound is similar, but I think with remixes, we tend to be a little looser as far as structure and arrangement is concerned.
What are your musical influences?
Alex: We both grew up searching in dollar bins for records to sample for hip hop, so we kinda both grew an appreciation for the dance music of the '70s and '80s, like Chic or Socio, or, uh, the Talking Heads or older stuff like Vangelous ... Then more mainstream stuff like Eno ... all the way up into Daft Punk. It's really kind of hard to say ... we both have quite large record collections and are kind of always getting new records and drawing on new stuff, so it's hard to pinpoint anything specific. But some New Order, those are some of the ones we kind of talk about a lot when we're making music, but there are tons of them, you know?
Do any of your fans equate you with any other artists?
Nick: Uh, I guess not. Really. I think most often, if anything, it's that people lump us in with the aesthetic of BFA Records, in general. Which is fine. People don't seem to mention specific artists when saying that we sound like something. I think people do catch on that it is sort of referencing, sort of aesthetically, disco records from the '70s or later, more electronic selections from the '80s. But I've never noticed anybody comparing us to anything in particular.
So are you able to keep your originality while still having a familiar sound?
Alex: I guess so. I never really thought about it until now. It just dawned on me, and that's kinda nice.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Nick: I mean, I like The Chaps (laughs).
Alex: You don't really feel guilty about that though.
Nick: I don't know that we have too many pleasures that we need to feel guilty about. A lot of popular sort of music that, uh, I don't end up feeling ashamed about really.
Alex: I'm a little bit ashamed about listening to that, what's the song? Uh .. Train songs. (laughs) Yeah, Train songs are a guilty pleasure.
How did the band form?
Alex: Nick and I were playing music since we were little kids. We grew up two blocks from each other and played in school bands and high school bands and one of those high school bands turned into a group called Automato, which was a rap group. Straight out of high school, we were that band. We didn't go to school, moved to Brooklyn in 2000 and worked on this record and met James (Murphy) and Tim (Goldsworthy) from DSA, who produced that record. The Automato record came out in 2004, and shortly after the group kind of fell apart, but, um, Nick and I, throughout the whole thing, really loved working with James and Tim, learned a lot from them, and kind of stayed connected with them and obviously stayed connected with each other. When the other band fell apart, we just kept going and making new tracks and even during Automato, we had started shifting more towards dance stuff, because of James and Tim's influence largely. Shortly afterwards, we shifted almost entirely to making dance music or at least tempo-wise. Speeding up the practices of making the music are similar to the way they always were, but the tempos picked up, and the arrangements lengthened a bit.
Where did your name come from?
Nick: That came from a really good song by this band called The Blockades from the '70s. (The song was) called the 'Holy Ghost,' and it was just collectively one of our favorite songs, and we were kind of under the gun at the last minute to come up with a name, so it just sort of happened. Not a whole lot of thought went into it.
What is your biggest vice?
Nick: Vice? Oh man...
Alex: It's either cigarettes or alcohol. Vice? (laughs)
Nick: Cigarettes, alcohol ... junk food.
Alex: Neither of us do any drugs, so we can't say that. Uh ... yeah, that's gotta be it. For me, its cigarettes, I'd love to give up that.
Nick: You know, normal American vices. Buffalo wings for sure.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Nick: A good backstage area is crucial. Just any backstage area, but particularly one with a cold shower and shit when its blazingly hot. You need some place to retreat to. You know, with a solid stash of waters and beers and snacks and whatnot.
Alex: Socks, underwear ...
Nick: Cool socks, night clothes ...
What's the craziest thing you've ever seen on tour?
Alex: We were just in Shanghai. The promoter normally picks you up for the show in a car or a van. We got picked up in a motorcycle with a side car. I got in the side car, Nick got on the back of the motorcycle. And this guy was gunning it down the streets of Shanghai. We're both holding our record bags, and then he was like "You smoke?" And we were like, "No, we're alright," and he lights up a big joint or whatever, on the streets of Shanghai, and like ... I haven't been that scared in a while.
If you could trade lives with any celebrity for one day, who would it be and why?
Nick: I'll take George Clooney. He seems to have it pretty good.
Alex: I would say John Mayer. Just to see what kind of douchebaggery goes on in an average day.
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