Premium Content:

Summadayze DJs

On Saturday January 6th, Perth’s mainstream fest of all things electronic will bring together a touch of 80s/90s retro humour, heavy-handed house and pretty much anything electro that falls in between and spread it across five stages at the Supreme Court Gardens and the Esplanade. OUTinPerth talked to three of the acts who will take the 2008 Summadayze stage. So, without further ado, here’s Patrick Gemayel from the quirky Quebecois outfit and successful Arab-Jewish collaboration Chromeo; Mitchell Scott from Australia’s homegrown masters of grunge rock in a mixer, Cut Copy; and virgin-to-Australia, turntablist Dave Spoon.

CHROMEO

- Advertisement -

Making a Joke, Not Being One: The point of music, for me, is to entertain. Show people what’s in your mind, what’s in your head. Write good songs, good lyrics, good sounds, and tell a story if you want to, entertain people. If it’s too serious, there is no point. I don’t like all these bands that are depressed and suicidal. Everything is so serious. Music is music. It was there to entertain people in the first place.

With us, we are really into what we do and we do it really seriously. We sit in the studio and talk about drum sounds and how this drum sound is better than this one because this song on such record and in this year sounds like this and not like this. We sit there, we write songs. Hopefully there is substance to the songs – a beginning, middle, and an end, substance and subtext. Once every two songs we will make a little joke, a little wink, add a little humour. That’s what sets us apart I think. The music is still written very seriously.

Dave’s Ivy League Escape: I know Dave [Macklovitch, second member of Chromeo] well enough to know he is probably surrounded by all these Columbia, high grade students, very smart people, very pretentious environment. Maybe Chromeo is his way of keeping the balance and having something fun just to do on the side. He’s at a level of study that is serious and meticulous and he could brag about it all day, but he comes on tour with me and we do songs together and he is in a totally different world from what he is doing at school. I think it’s a balance. [Note: Dave is currently getting a PhD in French Literature from Columbia University.]

Ditching the MC Hammer School of Finances: I’m an accountant. I don’t have the same pressure Dave has. I’m not, as Homer Simpson would say, as learn-ed as Dave school-wise. I do accounting because I love numbers and I like doing accountant. Chromeo is like my way of doing what I like the best. I don’t have time for regular accountancy anymore. I’m busy with touring and making songs and doing the business and accounting management for Chromeo. So, I still have both.

Arab/Jewish Collaboration: We grew up in a high school that had so many different nationalities and religions that nobody even cared to ask. If anything people would try to find what they had in common instead of finding the differences. So, it was really never an issue with us. You get into the music businesses, the “real world”, saying this in an ironic way, and people start noticing this stuff more than you do. ‘Oh, you’re a Jew and an Arab working together.’ Yeah, okay, so what?

We put it [that Patrick is Arab and Dave is Jewish] in the bio, just to take the piss at it, but the questions people ask make us realize there is a problem somewhere and if we can help by showing people that we are working together and it works, then why not.

I was born in Lebanon and I grew up in the Civil War. I moved to Canada when I was 8 years old, after living in Lebanon for a fair bit of my life. We could – and Dave is very much in touch with politics and what is happening in Israel and the Middle East – keep a smart conversation on this topic. I could talk to you for hours about stuff I lived in Lebanon when I was a kid, stuff I have seen, stuff that’s happening in the government. We could talk for hours about this, but we choose not too. We don’t have to get into a conversation about the Middle East to prove a point. To get into politics would just be defending ourselves. I don’t see Chromeo going in a political direction or making songs to Free Tibet or anything like that. I’d rather do fun stuff, dumb stuff, enjoy myself and show people that I am enjoying myself and not taking myself seriously, with a Jew by my side.

Bring It Back: Calling the album ‘Fancy Footwork’ was just to be like there is not enough dancing today. People again are too serious. Whether it’s indie rock or hip hop, everything is a bit too serious. It was our way of getting back to the dancing. Where is that nowadays? It’s gone – let’s bring it back.

Oh, Canada: Canadians are usually very polite and quirky. I don’t think it plays a big role in what we do or our humour. Canadians have a particular sense of humour that we make fun of. I can’t stand Canadian humour. It is not funny – jokes about the Queen, the Prime Minister, how they want somebody else on the $5 bill. It’s really different, small town humour, spread out over the whole country. There is no sarcasm, just straight jokes – you either get them or you don’t.

Oh, Montreal: I live in Montreal and quite frankly, I like it, even if it’s super freezing and I’m sick right now. I like Montreal, it doesn’t move as fast as I would like it. People are a bit slow to catch on to things here. The city is very slow, but people in general, music, fashion, it’s a bit slow. I think New York is too hectic. It is a zoo over there. I couldn’t live over there. I like the city, I feel at home over there. It’s everything I would like in a city, but it’s too crazy.

I think people are willingly creating a myth of Montreal. It is not a secret garden of flourishing arts. There are no particular geniuses here, apart from myself. It’s this myth of ‘hey, it’s this small secret I know about and am telling you about.’ It’s just a regular city. The one great thing is that artists can develop because rents are super cheap and you don’t have to work that much to get by for the month. So, you have room to actually create stuff. You have room to rehearse for 30 hours a week with a band and make songs and have fun. You can’t do that in New York City. In New York you are a struggling artist. Here you can work 3 days a week, have dinner parties, rehearse with your band, have a great studio apartment for cheap and live over the poverty level without much effort.

Thank God for Curry: I’m not going to go to Tibet one day and change my life because I met the Dalai Lama. I understand different cultures, but I have my way of doing things. I’m not looking for anything to transcend my life or my religion. As far as I’m concerned, I’m an atheist, I like doing music, I like going places, I like tasting different foods – that will change my life.

The best food? Italy, Japan and France. You want to know the worst food – England. It’s so bad. Thank god, for immigration in England, without immigration there would be no good food in England. The only good food in England is Indian food and Lebanese food. Thank god for curry.

CUT COPY

Bedroom Performance: Cut Copy started out as Dan’s solo bedroom project, and DJing was the live form of that… The idea was to play garage band cover versions of some of the songs… Even with going over to New York and having an amazing studio, some of the sounds you get in the bedroom or crappy rehearsal room on a $2 mic you just can’t replicate. There’s definitely a good amount of stuff that goes straight from the bedroom through to the final record.

Under the Influence: It [Cut Copy] is dance music, but it has as much influence from indie guitar bands, like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, as it does from dance music.

Electro Roots: Dance music in America seems to be a lot more rooted in disco. You hear a lot of people playing 70s funk and soul and disco and dance music that really leans towards that. Europe is where subgenre upon subgenre of dance music comes from and there is a club and a crazy thriving devoted scene to each one of them. Australia seems to have a bit of everything and be a bit more abreast of the stuff that we are doing – the live music dance scene.

Pop Uncontrived: If songwriting is something that you are into and it doesn’t come from a strange contrived place, like it would for Britney Spears, if writing a song is a legitimate thing, then it’s just a matter of whether it will sound good to people.

Manager Backtracking. I really like playing Time Stands Still, which is a funny one because our manager awhile back told us he thought that song wasn’t working. We stopped playing it and took his advice. Then, a bit later we realized that none of us agreed with him, so we’ve been playing it again and it always seems to go down well, which is sort of a ‘I told you so.’

Getting On With It. We’re just lucky that we manage to get on. We certainly didn’t come together in that we were amazing musicians – none of us [except Dan] could play at all before we started the band… It was not this coming together to form some kick ass band, it was really just a bunch of friends wanting to do something together and wading their way through it.

DAVE SPOON

What’s in a Name. The Dave thing came from a joke from when I used to work in a record shop, which isn’t worth me telling you because it’s just not funny – you had to be there. And the Spoon, there again, I used to do this cut and paste audio comedy thing with a friend of mine… you need to hear it to appreciate it.

Defining Moments. The real key time for me was early UK hard core, when we stole the sound from Chicago and turned it into rave. And before that, listening to New Order, Depeche Mode, and even Erasure – I was only a kid then, I didn’t realize they were a gay band … I just loved the sound, the electronic sound.

Sample Size. I have a ridiculous sample library that I have been building since I got into making music at 12, 13 years old at school. My sample library dates back to 1989-1990, so I sometimes bring an older sound into what I do. About 6 years ago there were a lot of big disco house samples around. That was something I was doing back then and you were constantly on the hunt for samples, but it’s not like that now. I don’t look for things now, but if I stumble across something, yeah, I’ll use it, but if I’m working on a track, I like to work a sample into it rather than base the track around the sample.

Eco-Friendly Electro. The past few years, it’s been about getting organic again, writing bass lines, not just sampling an old disco song and about using things and merging it with a new sound. You got to have a producer who pays a bit of attention and tries new things. You’ve got to be an innovator. You can’t just be plodding on with one kind of sound because it’s starting to get a little bit tired over here, that whole electro sound in Europe.

Old Kit. I love playing with the old equipment, like the drum machines – you can’t sample on those. It’s really rewarding coming up with an original sound using that old kit.

Flying Virgin to Australia. I’ve DJed quite a lot, but I’m doing it for the first time in Australia [at Summadayze]. I’m like a virgin – never been to Australia, never had a summer Christmas, never played at a festival of that size…

Latest

Romy shares new tune ‘Always Forever’

The song incorporates a 90's classic from Donna Lewis.

Next edition of the ‘Freeda the Frog’ series deals with same-sex parents

Author Nadine Haruni has won awards for her children's books.

‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell to tour Australia

Find out how her life inspired the hit TV show and movies.

Sky News host Danica De Giorgio says vilification laws will allow people to complain about pronouns

She says the government will set up a Hate Speech Hotline.

Newsletter

Don't miss

Romy shares new tune ‘Always Forever’

The song incorporates a 90's classic from Donna Lewis.

Next edition of the ‘Freeda the Frog’ series deals with same-sex parents

Author Nadine Haruni has won awards for her children's books.

‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell to tour Australia

Find out how her life inspired the hit TV show and movies.

Sky News host Danica De Giorgio says vilification laws will allow people to complain about pronouns

She says the government will set up a Hate Speech Hotline.

SYLVE provides an anthem for West Pride in Gothenburg Sweden

Take a listen to 'Bleeding Red'.
Old Lira. Delicious roman sourdough pizza since 2013.

Romy shares new tune ‘Always Forever’

The song incorporates a 90's classic from Donna Lewis.

Next edition of the ‘Freeda the Frog’ series deals with same-sex parents

Author Nadine Haruni has won awards for her children's books.

‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell to tour Australia

Find out how her life inspired the hit TV show and movies.