Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Nov 11th 2010 6:00PM by Innika La Fontaine
Will Reid, Victory Arts
Hails From: Ottawa, Ontario
Why We Love Them: This bubble-pop baby raised on tech house and '80s new rave will bring the house down with their catchy indie-electro beats -- and wear out your dancing shoes.
Essential Listening: 'Meet Me After Dark' (MP3 Download)
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Exclusive Q & A with synthist and vocalist Roland Marckwort:
How did Politique start?
I guess it began about four years ago. I started writing stuff that was a little less strictly dance-floor. I was trying to do the crossover with indie and electro with more of a song structure. Prior to that, I was doing the Liquified stuff, then I was DJing and thought it was pretty cool for a while but I tend to get tired of things pretty quickly. I tried that for about three years then I was like, "I've got to get out of the studio and on stage, which is the most exciting part of the whole thing."
You're trying to get away from comparisons to bands from the past. Why?
I feel like I've been doing this long enough now that I feel comfortable not referencing other people. It's like we've crawled in a hole and just want to do our own thing. I know it sounds cheesy but eventually you just want to stop referencing from the outside and bring out what is you, and I think we did that for this record. I just stopped listening to a lot of outside stuff; I couldn't give a s--- anymore and wanted to do what was in my head.
What happened when you stopped listening?
I found myself re-invigorated and re-energized by what we were doing and it became interesting again. I started turning on old equipment that I hadn't used and mucking with sounds and messing them up.
What was the creative process behind the album?
It was pretty much me writing, sitting in a hole in my basement -- like a lot of people -- and hammering stuff out. I would write 80-90 percent of a song, make it into an MP3 and send it off to the other guys and they came back with their ideas and we'd flesh it out. But at that point there is nothing much left to do but put the vocals on top and make the beats real with a real drummer.
How do you translate from using a mixer at home to performing a live show?
That's the toughest part. It's weird -- you want them to sound like the studio tracks but you still want the raw energy. What happens is, I strip the studio tracks down to their bare elements and leave room for the synths that I can't play with my feet because I don't have enough limbs [laughs]. Everything else is live.
What is your favorite album right now?
Oh my god, can I have a second? I hate to say our record, that sounds so wanky [laughs]. Could I go for a favorite single? I've been listening to a lot of Tiesto remixes of Emily Haines and Tegan and Sara. Big-room tech-house stuff I've fallen in love with like Boyz Noize and Cut Copy. So nothing super recent I guess, and no solid album right now. Mind you, I've also been immersed in getting our stuff out.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
Good question. Maybe the Cure 'Disintegration' tour in 1989 in Ottawa. It was an outdoor concert at the football stadium. It was like the best bill ever at the time because I was into old-school alternative stuff, and it was the Cure and Love and Rockets, so I was in teenage heaven. I was just with a bunch of friends and we were too broke to get in so we watched the show on a big bridge where you could see the stage and listen to this big cacophony of music resonating around. We took a bus, had all our booze and stimulants stashed in our jackets. It was amazing.
What's your biggest vice?
Strong coffee and spending too much time in my studio surrounded by synths and knobs. I get crap for it because I should be spending time playing with Lego blocks [with my daughter].