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Chromeo continuing on with Business as Casual

Chromeo Interview

Interview conducted by Hugo Lunny, photographed by Natasha Davidson

MVRemix: So with regards to the situation with Chromeo on the internet, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the new Canadian laws that have been passed with huge fines being introduced. So if you have any illegal copy you can be penalized, where do you stand because your music is so widespread?

Dave 1: I don’t care if they bootleg our music. Let them get it as long as they like it, we really don’t care. It’s so obsolete to think in those terms. The reality is, you’ve got to let the technology dictate how you market and consume music instead of having this repressive or oppressive approach where you’re like, “You can’t do this, because… no!” First of all downloading music is on it’s way out, it’s only gonna be streaming music. You’ve heard of Spotify? (A cloud server for music) Record companies are trying to block Spotify in North America. I’m sure that’s gonna end up happening or something that’s equivalent to it. Then you don’t even have music on your computer, it’s all up in a cloud somewhere. You can listen to anything you want at any time. So I think the businesses just have to adapt to what consumers are doing. So personally we don’t care.

P-Thugg: Quite frankly at a certain level it benefits the bands more than harming them.

Dave 1: I’ll say this, if our album leaks before street date, we’ll be really upset. That’s gonna suck because that just sabotages the momentum that we’re trying to build to get excitement around one event and awareness around one event. If the record leaks then it just ruins everything. So that’d be really upsetting, but after the album’s out if some people wanna buy it, then you buy the record. If it “fell off a truck” and landed into your hard drive, come see us at a show. Buy a t-shirt…

P-Thugg: Half of the bands that blew up today it’s because people had access to their music.

Dave 1: But again, paradoxically, if it happens before the actual release date it would suck. It’s not exactly about losing sales, it’s about losing this momentum that we’ve been building for months.

MVRemix: A la “Fight Club,” “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?”

Dave 1: [smirking] Oh that’s mean.

MVRemix: As a joke… who annoys you in the media?

Dave 1: Stephen Harper, that’s it.

MVRemix: Would you win?

Dave 1: Who knows? He’d probably show up with the rifle he borrowed from Sarah Palin.

P-Thugg: I’m backing Dave up.

Dave 1: Fight the power! Literally, right?

MVRemix: I know that you’ve been saying Business Casual is quite like “Mamma’s Boy” in terms of the sound.

Dave 1: Yeah, but it’s also like “Night By Night,” there’s a lot of fun in there too.

MVRemix: The question around that was you know that MGMT had a very different follow up to their last album.

Dave 1: I actually really like their new album by the way. I really liked it.

MVRemix: Same here, but a lot of people were so so on it…

Dave 1: We didn’t do that. That was actually… We’re not gonna do that. I mean you heard “Night By Night”? Did you hear “Don’t Turn The Lights On”?

MVRemix: Oh yeah.

Dave 1: It’s not that different… It’s a little smoother and more textured..

P-Thugg: There’s no change, it’s just we concentrated on a couple of different branches from Fancy Footwork and it’s conceptual.

Dave 1: We’re not losing anyone. I really respect what MGMT did because it’s bold and I think with their status they can afford to do that. It’s a bold gesture and actually the new album is dope, I really like it. But with us, in a way, we were a little bit more conservative that we just tried to find the middle ground between giving our audience something new and also something that they expect from the brand that we’ve built.

P-Thugg: And also feel that we’re not stagnated. That we’re actually have a bit of an evolution in music.

Dave 1: That’s important.

MVRemix: There’s something that has become expected in live shows. With regards to the encore, rarely have I seen a point where it’s not planned.

Dave 1: The Strokes don’t do an encore.

MVRemix: Really?

Dave 1: Traditionally they never did an encore.

MVRemix: I’d like to see them. But regardless of the crowd’s reception, there’s always an encore…

Dave 1: And we’re suckers for that too. I mean we have a whole stage where we’re like, [sarcastically] “We’re walking out now!” “Oh my god, they’re singing the Chromeo chant,” “Here we are, we’re back!” To be honest with you, I don’t see encores as a real gauge of how the concert is going. I like encores because bands use encores to perform another type of song. I mean, look at for instance The XX. I’m sure you’ve seen them, they do that wonderful cover of Womack & Womack “Teardrops” as an encore song. Vampire Weekend did Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere” as an encore song. I like the encore because it just switches the mood of the show. So what we do in our encore is… It’s bogus, but whatever… Is we actually have our ballad segment because the energy from the show is down, we’ve gotten Fancy Footwork out of the way, Bonafied [Lovin’]‘s out of the way. So we come out, P [Thugg] does “Mamma’s Boy,” and it just becomes another atmosphere, another ambience. It’s more of a sing along slow jam hour. So we do that, sometimes we do an Eagles cover. We do “100%” which is a nice, feel good song. We use it more as a platform to switch up the mood of the show.

MVRemix: Speaking of your show, you’ve been touring a lot over the past couple of years. Are there any songs that you’d like to say, “Well I like this a lot, but maybe I could leave this song for a year.”

Dave 1: Yeah.

P-Thugg: Yeah. We just did that on this tour.

Dave 1: But I think we should change it, I don’t know.

P-Thugg: It’s a constant battle, because some cities love “this” song and you’re like “It’s in the set forever” and you wanna change the set, then you’re like “Actually most of the cities don’t really care much.”

Dave 1: It’s also the pacing, you’ve got to go one known song, one lesser favourite… It’s kind of like manipulating people’s emotions but you never really know how it’s gonna work. It’s very speculative as well.

MVRemix: Any last words for your fans?

Dave 1: Don’t turn the lights on.

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