Chromeo, the Quebecois duo made up of Dave 1 and P-Thug is no doubt the best example of electrofunk that you can hear today. Their productions are a mash up of synthy 80’s and electronic disco sounds, with an air of cool that is hard to replicate. They are currently on tour throughout South America and will be playing May 15th at Niceto Club.
We spoke with David Macklovitch (Dave 1), guitarist a and singer, about his memories of MCA from the Beastie Boys, his plans to collaborate with Drake + The Weeknd, and his projects outside of Chromeo.
Has your music changed much from when you first started playing together? It seems that the music scene has evolved more towards the type of music you guys have been making for a while, 80s inspired electro funk.
Yeah when we put out our first album in 2004, our brand of electrofunk definitely seemed like an oddity. Although there’s more of it now, we’re still going against the grain. When big fuzzy bass lines were the rage, we put out Bonafied Lovin and Momma’s Boy. When balearic disco was blowing up, we put our Night by Night, with a raging guitar solo. We’re always doing our own thing and not following anyone else.
What artists/bands are your biggest influences from the 80s?
Hall & Oates, Zapp, Rick James but also Fleetwood Mac, Chic…we listen to tons of soft rock as well. And then a bunch of recent stuff. It’s a mix. I’m really into ABC these days..
Is there someone you’ve wanted to cover, remix or collaborate with that has yet to come about?
The Weeknd. It’ll probably happen. Drake too. Our Canadian homies right there. We’re going to start working with rappers when this album is done. So many always ask us. It’d be cool to do more stuff with La Roux too.
We hear you’re also a professor at Columbia. How do you find the time to write about “Theorizing the Pleasure of Reading in Eighteenth Century France” and have a music career? Do you find having other projects/professions outside of Chromeo helps enrich your music?
It’s hard to find the time and the balance. I’m not teaching this academic year. My academic work doesn’t really enrich my music though — it’s more of a complimentary thing. Two opposite facets that make for a balanced intellectual and artistic life. I was an editor at Vice for years as well…haven’t done any journalistic writing since 2007 but I’m thinking of getting back into it. We’ve also got some cool design project coming up. But mostly, we’re in studio working on the next album.
Who are some of the artists that you are currently listening to that we should check out?
Lots of hip hop. I love Future, Meek Mill, Wacka, anything Kanye does obviously. A$AP Rocky. Love the new Jack White album. You know, the usual. I like this record by a British artist called Kindess. Our buddy Zdar produced that. Frank Ocean is an amazing writer, his concepts are so strong. Gesaffestein. The Magician. Other than that, I just listen to classic albums.
Any memorable or funny stories you can share with us that happened while on tour?
Well, in light of the tragic passing of MCA, our most memorable experience was opening for the Beasties in Canada back in 07. They knew all our songs. I look to my right and there’s Adrock singing Bonafied. Those guys were my heroes for so many years during my adolescence — I can’t even explain how that felt.
Is this your first time performing in Buenos Aires? What are your expectations for the city and the show?
Yes, first time. I just hope it goes well. I also expect to eat 6 boxes of Alfajores.