The morning after they opened for Rick Ross in their hometown of New York, Tanlines flew down to Miami to mix their new album Mixed Emotions. Jesse Cohen, the drumming and synthing half of the band, therefore sees his band's show tonight at Bardot as something of a homecoming.
"When we got to talking to people at the studio," Jesse remembers, "and we told them we'd just opened for Rick Ross. They all looked at us and said, 'That's completely not what we'd expect.'"
And Miami wasn't what the band expected, either. But they fell in love with our thongtropolis anyhow. After the cut, Cohen talks about driving around Miami at night listening to their fresh mixes and why Tanlines considers Miami their "second city."
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"We rented a condo is Sunny Isles, which is right over the channel from where Jimmy Douglass's studio is," Cohen told us. "We'd wake up in the morning and go the beach right away to go swimming. Then we'd shower and go to Whole Foods in Aventura or, well there are a couple of Jewish delis we found up there that we like. Then we'd go to the studio and work until one or three in the morning."
Jimmy Douglass has mixed or engineered for the Rolling Stones, Timbaland and Kanye West. Up until Douglass, Cohen and his partner in Tanlines, Eric Emm, had handled all of their own production and mixing work.
"We'd never had an experience where we'd worked with someone else in that capacity," Cohen says. "But Jimmy heard the album and said he really wanted to work on it."
One of Douglass's conditions was that the band join him in Miami for the mixing. Cohen and Emm had been working on the album for a year-and-a-half and, as Cohen puts it, "the more you work on something, sometimes the more lost it in you get. So we decided to have someone put a little magic on it at the end: Jimmy Magic Man.
"We'd never met him, just phone conversations. So when we went to the strip mall where his studio is, we weren't sure we were even in the right place. It was all -- it was the opposite of the way we're used to working."
But Douglass, Emm and Cohen quickly meshed. Cohen fondly remembers how he and Emm would leave the studio with a few hours left before dawn and a new piece of their album that much closer to being just right.
"I'll never forget how some of those songs sounded, playing them on our rental car's system and driving around Miami at night. That's what the album sounds like to me now: driving around Miami at night.
"It sounds like Miami to me but I think the way I see Miami is different from most people who don't live there. I think of Miami as this really cool, really unique city with a really weird mix of people. I think of our music as a big mix of stuff and Miami is one of the few cities that's really like that. I think our sound is unique and I think of Miami similarly. When you're there, you couldn't confuse it with any other place in the world. It's our second city."