DURING THEIR DJ SET AT WALL CLUB IN MILAN ON NOVEMBER 20TH, WE HAD THE CHANCE TO INTERVIEW JAMES FORD AND JAS SHAW, THE TWO MASTERMINDS BEHIND THE BOLD ELECTRONIC MUSIC DUO SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO
They’ve made pop, electro house and techno, and worked with a variety of vocalists. After four successful albums, Simian Mobile Disco, who left their British electro-rock band in 2005 and performed DJ sets before releasing an album of original recordings in 2007, are stronger than ever: they are pushing themselves, with the live show and the technical side of it, as far as they can to do something new at this point. James Ford, half of Simian Mobile Disco and also a producer for Florence and the Machine and Arctic Monkeys, spoke with us.
First of all we would like to know what you like about djing.
Well, it’s a lot of fun playing records to people. There’s a lot of new things being generated every night.
Which is the most fun album you made so far?
All our different albums were fun to make in different ways, there wasn’t one that was most fun really.
Your videos are always very interesting. How do you work on visuals?
We work closely with collaborators, we’ve been working with our current team of Hans Lo and Jack Featherstone for the last few albums. They have a lot of creative input on our videos and live light/video shows.
Does SMD have a sort of philosophy or principles that guides the music style?
Our general rules are: don’t repeat yourself, no acoustic instruments.
Different principles for each album really – Temporary Pleasure was very vocal lead, Delicacies had a very techno aesthetic, Unpatterns was a synthesis of a number of things, and Whorl was created in a specific location and time, in the desert on minimal equipment. For us, this is probably the most fun album we’ve ever made, in terms of the actual recording process.
Your name comes from a band called The Silver Apples, can you tell us more about this?
When we formed the band Simian, before Simian Mobile Disco existed, all of us were into Silver Apples who were pre-krautrock pioneers, and we took our name from Simeon, one of the members.