Chromeo: In touch

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Often seen as the synth-funking pranksters of the dance scene, New York dwelling Canadians Chromeo proved once again just how serious they are about having fun with their 2010 album Business Casual. The duo of Dave ‘Dave1’ Macklovitch and Patrick ‘P-Thugg’ Gemayel will be backing up the new disc with an extensive summer tour under the Summadayze and Field Day banners, and Dave1 took some time out to wise-up ITM on all things retro and funky.

Hey Dave, what’re you up to?

“We’re just wrapping up a photo-shoot actually. We’ve been here for most of the day.”

Yeah, right. You don’t ever really think about that side of music, the days where you’re not in the studio and you’re not on the road, you’re doing all sorts of external stuff. And with you guys it seems like you put a lot of thought into those other things that you do, it’s controlled.

“Yeah, it is definitely that way. But the trick is not to make it look like there’s a lot of effort and energy going into it. You know, we’re this fun band that makes bubbly, light and playful music and people think that we do all of that without thinking about it all too much.”

I remember reading that as well as Chromeo you personally earned a crust teaching French at a university. Did there come a point where you could step back and focus on the band full time and not have to support yourself with another job?

“I still do teach, actually. Both are sort of a full-time thing for me right now. But yeah, I think with the Fancy Footwork album Chromeo became something that I had to take a little more seriously. You know, I had to think more about touring and making something of a livelihood out of it. I mean, we’ve always taken it seriously, but you can never control or anticipate how something is going to evolve. We just try to make the best of it and show how grateful we are for the opportunities we’ve been given. That’s really it. I know it sounds cheesy and I might sound like a gospel-kinda dude but it really is what we want to do and we want people to know that we’re grateful for being able to do it.”

I was interested to hear from you in another interview that now when you look back at the reaction to She’s In Control you kind’ve understand why people weren’t sure what to make of Chromeo. Why is that and how has that changed since the first album?

“I think people can see that we’ve been so consistent for so long now and they get that it’s really not a joke for us. People will think ‘okay, wow, those guys are really serious about this! They really care about Jheri curl, ‘80s inspired electro funk and they are so real about Hall & Oates that they actually play with Hall & Oates!’. And trends come and go, you know? When we started the band everybody else was doing electroclash; where are they now? Same thing with disco-punk; where are they now? We’re still here, you know?”

Absolutely, I get you. If a band was citing Hall & Oates in 2002 they would’ve been laughed at. Now there’s a lot of love for that sound. It’s caught up to you.

“Yeah, we were saying how much we loved guys like Hall & Oates and Phil Collins and interviewers were hanging up the phone because they thought we were just a joke. When I say that our new record sounds like Kenny Loggins and they hang up the phone again, just know that in five years everybody will be listening to Kenny Loggins.”

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