Digitalism is wrapping up their North American tour at the Mezzanine on Wednesday. For ticket information check here.
They’re still pumping music out of a windowless World War II bunker in Hamburg, Germany, but Digitalism is comfy there despite having toured the world.
Earlier this year the two producers released their second full-length album, I Love You, Dude, and the 3 feet thick cement walls in that bomb shelter apparently do a good job at keeping influences out. They kept around the love drunk sound that flirts between dance and indie, and even hooked up with Julian Casablancas to collaborate on “Forrest Gump,” a song shiny enough for radio that could rival, and obviously resembles, The Strokes.
Jens Moelle and Ismail Tufekci have always been wary of letting people tamper with their music, with the exception of each other; “all the songs on the album are like the 20th remix of the original idea.”
Where’d the title for I Love You, Dude come from?
It actually comes from a short trip to Australia end of last year. We were on a forced break from the album writing process, because we don’t like producing on the road, and we were still not finished with the record.
We had a great time there, in the sun, thinking about a few things regarding the album, and this phrase kind of got stuck in our heads. We like doing unexpected and daft things, and we don’t want to maintain a certain cliché about us, so just by gut-decision we decided to name the album I Love You, Dude.
It was something completely out of any context, and it’s done a great job so far as a pretty controversial album title.
Idealism was looked as a scene, not just a compilation of songs. Was that the same vision for this album?
In a way, yes. I Love You, Dude is kind of a snapshot of scenes that we had in our heads that we experienced on the road during the last world tour, and also imagined ones. Each song takes an important role in it.
I Love You, Dude is more down to earth than our first album, it’s about relationships and friendships. And it feels a bit sunnier than Idealism, which was more nocturnal.
Maybe that’s due to the fact that we produced it during the daytime and didn’t stay in the studio until 6 in the morning this time, but also we never want to repeat ourselves, that’s why the overall feel now is more like a “sundowner scene” as opposed to a late night one on Idealism.
What were the changes in how you went about writing I Love You, Dude?
Basically it was like our first one, but with a few new techniques. After the last tour, we went back to square one and only did DJ-sets. Then we would make tools and tracks for the sets to try out, and after a while we had a couple of favorite ideas that we wanted to turn into full songs.
We found out that what works for us best is when we create the musical ideas, set them aside, start writing lyrics just with a keyboard to check the chord progression and then add the original music accordingly. And then we remix ourselves a couple of times.
You collaborated with Julian Casablancas, anymore collabs of that type planned in the future?
We don’t know yet – all our previous collabs were last minute gut decisions so far. We know for sure there’ll be loads in the future, so everyone watch out for some surprises! We kind of got into it now and opened up for that kind of stuff. We’ve been really particular about it before.
How has your live performance evolved since past shows?
Compared to our 2008 tour we have a completely new stage setup, with new visual elements and lights, and we added a live drummer to the show now. We felt like it was time to put him out there as we use so many live drums in our recordings anyway, so it was a logical step.
Over the last months on the new tour we turned into a well-oiled machine. With all three of us performing and interacting with the audience, it’s pretty full-on. A nights gig is our daily workout, we always lose tons of sweat. You could say we now know what we’re doing there.
San Francisco is the last stop on the tour, anything special planned?
You never know what’s gonna happen on a night like that. The Mezzanine is a brilliant venue and we’ll go back to Europe after that show, so for sure everyone is gonna go crazy.