Shine on

It’s time people took Cana­dian pop­sters Chromeo se­ri­ously, David ‘Dave 1’ Macklovitch tells Jim Car­roll

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

I“White Women was the first book of pho­tos that he brought out in the 1970s. I be­came aware of it at an ex­hi­bi­tion and the ti­tles just knocked me out. I rang P-Thugg there and then and went: ‘Yo, I’m stand­ing at an ex­hi­bi­tion and the ti­tles are in­cred­i­ble, like check this one out, White Women’. It would have been such a great ti­tle for a Roxy Mu­sic or David Bowie al­bum so we de­cided we should just use it.” t’s Chromeo time again. Since de­but al­bum She’s In Con­trol in 2004, Mon­treal duo David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Ge­mayel have be­come the first, last and mid­dle word in dance­floor-friendly elec­tro­funk high japes. Their new al­bum, White Women, has just gone on re­lease, its ti­tle bor­rowed from fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Hel­mut New­ton.

What did you do in the four years since last al­bum Busi­ness Ca­sual? Where did the Hel­mut New­ton homage come from? Is this Chromeo’s only nod to the fash­ion world?

“Well, there’s two dif­fer­ent sides to fash­ion to me. There’s the con­sumer and the in­dus­try as­pect, which is cool, but that doesn’t have any real ef­fect on us. Style, though, is an­other mat­ter. We al­ways look at old pho­tos and old al­bum cov­ers and YouTube videos of 1970s and 1980s groups to see what they were wear­ing.

“Ar­chi­tec­ture also has an ef­fect, but I don’t want to men­tion that too much be­cause it sounds pre­ten­tious. ‘I am so in­flu­enced by ar­chi­tec­ture on this al­bum’. Dude, shut up! The truth is it re­ally does stim­u­late us, but for a guy from Chromeo to walk around say­ing that? I would slap my­self.” “We toured for two years be­fore we got into the stu­dio and it took us a year-and-a-half to fin­ish the record and an­other six months to set it up right. We take our time, we’re not fast work­ers, we keep ev­ery­thing kind of ca­sual.

“The early plan was just to work harder. We wanted to give our­selves new chal­lenges and one of them was to spend way more time on ev­ery as­pect of the record, from song­writ­ing to “What I didn’t re­alise is that we have a legacy of songs which people knew and were fans of. I never had any re­la­tion­ship with Pat Mahoney, for ex­am­ple. He lives a cou­ple of blocks from my house and I al­ways see him at this restau­rant. We never said ‘hi’ and just kind of ig­nored each other, like two re­ally ma­ture grown men. I saw him at the LCD Soundsys­tem show and he did a beast of a drum solo. When we did Sexy So­cialite, we de­cided to ask him to come along and he said ‘for sure’.

“Ezra from Vam­pire Weekend is one of my best friends so that was a no-brainer. Solange was on our last al­bum so she was happy to be on­board again. Who would l like to con­trib­ute with? Oh man, Haim. We def­i­nitely want to work with them. I think it would be crazy when we get into the stu­dio with those girls.”

White Women is out now on At­lantic

record­ing to ar­range­ments to vo­cal pro­duc­tion.”

Was that a re­ac­tion to the fact that some re­gard Chromeo as a joke band?

“There are some quar­ters where we’re not taken se­ri­ously, but that doesn’t mat­ter as long as people en­joy our mu­sic. I don’t care if people take us se­ri­ously or not. I can’t sit here and dic­tate how Chromeo should be per­ceived. The only thing I can do is make bet­ter and bet­ter mu­sic and I think we’ve achieved that on this record. More people do take us more se­ri­ously now than be­fore.”

But there is still a light-hearted hue to the new al­bum, isn’t there?

“It ain’t easy, man. The para­dox about Chromeo is that it’s dif­fi­cult to make this mu­sic seem so light-hearted. There’s a very fine line. If we go too quirky and funny, we’re a joke band. If we go too campy, it doesn’t have stay­ing power. If we go too se­ri­ous, it’s not Chromeo. There’s a re­ally fine line be­tween all those el­e­ments and a tremen­dous amount of work goes in main­tain­ing all of that in a way.”

There are a lot of col­lab­o­ra­tors on the al­bum. How did you per­suade such su­per-busy people to con­trib­ute?

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