Simian Mobile Disco Headlines HARD Festival, Wants to Try Fried Butter

Categories: Q&A, Show To Know

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Simian Mobile Disco wants you to listen up.
Most people think the HARD fest is all about sweaty 18-year-olds getting crazy. Well, this Friday, the  mastermind producers of U.K. outfit Simian Mobile Disco will show how to keep it classy with a wide range of original sounds, including disco and the duo's well-known distinctive take on techno. With the release of their third studio album, Delicacies, last November, Jas Shaw and James Ford have returned to their organic roots of pure and minimal techno sans vocal extremities. You can catch them play live at the Fox Theatre tomorrow night.


How do you feel about headlining the HARD festival? The past few have all been geared towards very hard electro headliners. It's refreshing to see a change, but do you guys have any qualms?
We're certainly glad to be able to provide a refreshing change! Don't really have any qualms, we've been getting very positive responses from our fans on our new music, so all should go well.

Your musical style has steadily decreased in instrumentation, from rock band to electro to fidget and now, with Delicacies, to techno/tech-house. Should we expect your next album to be follow this trajectory, or will there be a return to a more instrument-rich or bass-heavy sound?
Simian (the band) was quite a different project to SMD. For the foreseeable future, SMD is our main musical outlet, so we won't be going back to a rock band instrumentation/set up anytime soon. Our next record will probably be quite influenced by the Delicacies sound, but also including a few vocal tracks.

Your Europe tour was called Delicatessen. What's the U.S. one is named?
Well, not quite. "Delicatessen" is the name of club nights we curate and DJ at. We're doing one Delicatessen party in the US in Miami, on the 24th of March, where we're DJing with Radio Slave and some other guests. "Delicacies" is the name of our record label, album and also this U.S. tour. Confusing, I know!

All of the track titles on Delicacies are named after exotic and bizarre foods from around the globe. How many of these can you say you've sampled?
We've actually sampled very few of them ... too squeamish! Also, some of them are illegal to export (casu marzu) or just plain illegal (ortolan). Jas ate skin cracker, ligament and brains for breakfast in Indonesia though.

The last couple times you guys have been to San Francisco, you've played DJ sets. Should we expect your live shows to be completely different?
Our live show is totally different to our DJ sets. And yes, we'll solely play our own music.

What type of awesome visuals should we expect?
You'll have to wait and see about that. We have a brand-new setup that we're just putting the finishing touches to, which will hopefully look awesome.

We've noticed in the few shows that we've been to that the two of you maintain very different demeanors while performing. What is Jas's secret to appearing so happy, while James remains so concentrated?

Hahah -- well, appearances can be deceptive. Our outward demeanours do not necessarily reflect our inner mental states!

Since you have a wide array of music videos, which has personally been a favorite of each of yours?
Our most recent video, for "Sweetbread," is probably both of our favorites. The brief was exactly what we wanted, and Hans (the director) delivered exactly the right thing.



Were you present during the filming of the infamous "Hustler" video? Besides the obvious, what part of it pertained to the actual song?
Which version are you talking about the? The U.S. one or the U.K. one...?

The U.S. one.
We weren't present at the filming of either -- and if you want to know about what elements pertained to parts of the song, you really have to ask the directors. With all our videos, we hand creative control over the directors to let them produce their own visions.

Because you guys are always so busy handling multiple projects, if you had any downtime, what would you use it towards?
Any downtime we have is usually spent with our long-suffering families, or fiddling with synths.

What do you guys do when you record. Do you confine yourselves in a studio, strand yourselves on island?
We have our own small studio in Hackney in London. We're in and out of there most days when we're at home, and out music gets made like that. Confining ourselves isn't really practical, as we have a lot of other things going on -- DJing, producing other bands, etc. So often it's more a case of fitting the recording around what else is going on.

Lastly, what are you looking forward to on this American tour? Any foods you guys are fancying to try?
We're really looking forward to playing live again -- we haven't in the U.S. for quite a while now. In terms of food, we heard about deep fried butter -- that certainly sounds like it might work as a track name.

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Fox Theatre

2215 Broadway, Redwood City, CA

Category: Music

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