Interview: Digitalism

Meet the electro duo Digitalism, far away from their Hamburg home, on the occasion of their Los Angeles residency, organised by music curators and party promoters MFG and taking place in Silverlake for over a month on after-hour Wednesdays – the last one coming up on March 12th. Relaxed and easy-going happy gents Isi and Jence took some minutes before the start of their DJ set to answer our questions.

So, is your 10th anniversary coming up soon?
Oh, yes, we don’t really know when, it is very vague… I guess June, which is also my birthday. It doesn’t feel like 10 years, it’s gone by so quickly! You know, besides going to bed a bit earlier, nothing has really changed, we still feel the same although we are 10 years older.

And how about the next 10 years?
I always think of Kraftwerk, although they have changed some band members, they’re still going. Even if you are 40, 50 or 60 and you still perform in front of an audience, it’s great. I think once you’ve done 10 years, you should keep it alive, it would be a shame to stop.

What do you guys do besides music?
What do we do…? We travel a lot, when we play four gigs in a row, we fly places, we like cooking so we discover new food, it is once you start travelling that you discover things. But we mainly do music, even in our free time, we might take a walk to the lake to calm down sometimes…

And what about here in LA?
J: If you are from Europe, you know you don’t want to be there from around after Xmas till beginning of spring. So you know, we like it here, it is always sunny and we have a lot of friends, it makes sense for us to be here.
I: Because of how much we tour, where we live is only a matter of where we leave our stuff. Our stuff is in Hamburg, we didn’t really have any time to do anything about it or move everything.

Do you think about moving to Berlin?
J: Not really, it is nice to be home in between gigs, we can relax, we enjoy being there, it is a nice city, like a huge park.
I: And you don’t get lost in Hamburg. Berlin is a much bigger party place, you go to Berghain, you have to have a lot of discipline not to party all the time. And we are happy to go back to Hamburg and we know people, things do not change much, it is comfortable there.

digitalism interview

And for gigs, do you feel more comfortable in clubs, concert halls, festivals?
J & I: Everywhere! You know we like small clubs, it is like playing at home, and we like big festivals, playing outdoors when it is sunny outside… But to stay in touch with everyone, you need clubs.

And do you enjoy DJing as much as playing live?
J: Yeah, that’s where we come from, that’s how we started, so it’s always going to be fun for us to DJ.

How do you select what you DJ?
I: Hum, for selecting we do vinyl and online shopping, you have to try everything and discover new music. I mainly use Soundcloud at the moment, at least once a week and the vinyl shop, I try to get things that other people don’t buy so much. And we used to work in a record store, so we are used to searching for all kinds of music, soundtracks, 70s, 80s…
J: We love the 80s, I guess that’s our weak spot!

Are you ready to start DJing now?
I & J: Yes, we are ready! Being here, we can connect to our fans, and we can share not only our music but also our taste in other musics… Ok, let’s go now!

Photos are a courtesy of  Michael Melwani.

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