By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
With the 2004 debut release She's in Control, an original sense of humor, and supersexy songs, Canadian duo Chromeo has delighted bored folks stranded on lonely dance floors in megaclubs all across the globe.
Friends since high school, Patrick Gemayel (AKA P-Thugg) and David Macklovitch (AKA Dave 1) grew up in Montreal, sharing the same musical sensibilities. These days, though, P-Thugg continues to live in their hometown while Proust fan Dave 1 works toward his PhD in French literature at New York's Columbia University. But the distance hasn't kept them from producing new music, like 2010's Business Casual, or from bringing electro-funk fun to bored folks everywhere.
This Tuesday, the boys will turn the Fillmore Miami Beach into a hypnotically jazzy disco. All hyped up about dancing and laughing, New Times spoke with Dave 1 about Hall & Oates, Weird Al Yankovic, and Miami Sound Machine.
1700 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Category: Music Venues
Region: South Beach
New Times: You are getting your PhD in French lit. Who is your favorite French writer?
Dave 1: Proust. There is no other competition.
You and P-Thugg have been friends since high school. It surely has its perks. Does it have any challenges?
Obviously, we know each other really well. So it's kind of like an old couple. I know P more than I know pretty much anybody, except my brother A-Trak. It doesn't really have any downsides. It only has upsides, because we're both very focused. And we both know what's best for both of us. He knows what kind of crazy person I am, and I know P, so it works.
You two got to work with Hall & Oates. Were you always fans? You've been compared to them musically.
I was always a fan. I remember listening to them as a kid. When we started the first Chromeo album, we kind of rediscovered them. And this was before they became trendy again. I would do interviews and say, "We're like a modern-day Hall & Oates." And people would think I'm joking. Or like they'd hang up the phone or something. There's a whole generation of bands that have played a big role in giving them their newfound critical acclaim. Hall & Oates know that. And in turn, they've picked us up, asked us to play with them a couple times, and we're going to work on some other stuff with them eventually. It's like an intergenerational musical friendship.
You guys went to Daryl Hall's house for an episode of the web series Live From Daryl's House. What's it like in there?
He buys these country houses in the Northeast, like around Connecticut. And he refurbishes them. So this is one that he bought. It's in the middle of nowhere. He did a little studio. There's a pool. It's nice. It's cool. Nice gourmet kitchen. He's got a wine cellar. And everybody in the band eats together and hangs out, and he records his thing. It's amazing.
Your music is funny. "Needy Girl" is a really funny song.
It's humorous in a way. It's funny without being joke music.
You're not Weird Al Yankovic.
We've treaded that line. I thought "Momma's Boy" was going to be Weird Al, and that's why I didn't want to do it. I was like, "You know, P, I've got this really cool song that I want to do. But it's way too Weird Al to do it with Chromeo. It's called "Momma's Boy" and it's like this superjazzed ballad." And he was like, "Let's do it! Let's do it!" And we played that song in L.A. and we had like 17,000 people singing with us.
So the big difference is it's funny, but it's sincere. You can tell we're actually sincere about how much we love this kind of music and how much these lyrics relate to everyday situations. It's the sincerity that touches people. Whereas when you're doing a joke thing, it's a pose.
You're not parodying anybody. Do you ever get tired of hearing one of your songs?
When I came to Miami, I was at Gigi's a couple of times when my songs came on. And it's a little awkward. But I'm flattered. I'm honored in a way. I feel like going up to whoever played it and being like, "Yo, thank you." Then I'm like, "Am I supposed to ignore it?" It would be so cheesy to be like, "So anyway..." But I also can't start dancing on the tables.
You could show off your double pleat.
I can't do the double pleat. At the end of the day, we're so grateful. It's like, "Who woulda thunk?"
In GQ you picked your favorite items. You said you play the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Goldtop. Is that your preferred instrument?
Yeah. But I actually just bought a new one. I just bought a really cool 1959 Stratocaster. So I think I'm going to switch. But traditionally, I've played the Les Paul.
Will there be anything special about Chromeo's Miami show?
We'll have to think of something. Maybe we'll bring out the Miami Sound Machine.
Everyone would love that.
Maybe we'll cover "Conga." What I think is going to be the next shit is... When we started doing the whole Rick James sort of funk, everybody thought it was a joke. And now it's accepted. Then we started playing all these guitar solos in our songs and everybody started doing yacht-rock jokes. And we were like, "We saw that one coming." I think the next level is tropical funk like "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie. That kind of thing is very Hawaiian shirt, white pants, Club Med. But it's also really funky and cool. It's got a cool groove. P would definitely wear a Hawaiian shirt.
Would you wear a Hawaiian shirt?
Nah. But the white pants, though, for sure.