The electronic duo talk devo and dreams as they sit down for a chat before taking on Dubai. We listen good
Describe your sound. It’s 1,000-mile-an-hour electronic rock ’n’ roll.
Rock ’n’ roll? Although we have electronic instruments and guitars, we see ourselves as a real band. When you see our live show, you will be able to see that our musical backgrounds are in rock ’n’ roll.
So you don’t just stick on an MP3 and plonk a keyboard? Oh we never do the same set twice – more than anything we’d get bored of ourselves. So it’s always completely different.
What are your influences? Loads of things: Primal Scream, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, and obviously New Order and Joy Division. But it’s not about taking anything from other bands. We want to make something totally new. I appreciate that people want reference points, but for us it’s about making music that means something to us personally, and that others will hopefully get into.
How did you and fellow autoKrat Dave Cox meet? We met outside a club about three years ago. I was sick on his shoes. He was about ready to kick my head in, but he saw I was wearing a [new wave band] Devo T-shirt. So we started talking about music and got on pretty well.
So Devo saved your life? Very much so! Not for the first time.
Good stuff. So come on, what happened then? We’d both been in rubbish bands that were never going to do anything, and we were both a bit fed up and bored. So two years ago we decided to make music together. I run a label in London called 1-2-3-4 Records so I already knew about the electronic scene. But we sent our first record to [French electronic label] Kitsuné Music and they liked it.
Was it a surprise to get picked up that quickly? We kind of knew what we were doing was good, so we were just glad they agreed. Kitsuné was always the label we wanted to be on. There are a lot of labels in electronic music that monopolise a sound and never move forward, but Kitsuné genuinely is passionate about new music.
What’s been the best moment of your career to date? To me the most special moment was always going to be playing [massive annual UK music festival] Glastonbury, because I’ve been going there since I was about six years old. My parents used to take me – that was their little rebellion, I think, trying to be hippies when they were really just social workers form Manchester. It was so much a part of my growing up that playing there was the pinnacle of my career. So far, at least.
Did playing there shatter your illusions about festivals? No, everyone was fantastically lovely! I didn’t go backstage on the main stage, though. I couldn’t handle the fake celebrity culture that you see at these things, with the VIP areas and stuff like that. Hanging around with our peers is always more fun.