Interview: Simian Mobile Disco

Where did the name Simian Mobile Disco come from?

We used to be in a band called Simian, and started doing remixes and mixtapes as Simian Mobile Disco. When the band folded, we kept the name. It was just meant as a joke really, we didn’t plan to be stuck with it..

What was your musical background growing up as kids?

We were both in bands from a young age, playing music from early on. We both went to Uni knowing we wanted to form a band.

With regards to your remixes, how do you go about choosing them?

Pretty simple – if we like the track, and think we can do a good job on it.

Talk me through your new album Whorl, why did you choose to do a live recording?

It’s not exactly a live recording per se… well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. We have changed the way we make music so that our live set up is exactly the same as our studio set up. We no longer use computers for sequencing, the whole thing is hardware based. Basically, everytime we play it’s a live set – whether we’re in the studio or on stage. We can’t go back and edit any of the midi or move bits around. We’re just recording as we go along, and the final album is a mixture of live recordings – mostly from the live show we did in at Pappy & Harriets, but also including elements from a rehearsal we did in the desert, and a bit from rehearsals we did in our studio

Are you happy with the result?

Very much so. It was pretty challenging for us to force ourselves to work within the confines of just a modular synth and a sequencer each, and really restricted our sonic palette. But that restriction forced us to be creative.

Is this the best representation of Simian Mobile Disco yet?

Each record has been the best representation at that particular time.

I’ve read that you “don’t understand why people would want to knock out the same old shit all the time.” Who’s been knocking out the same shit and who do you think has been doing things the right way as of late?

That’s a subjective thing really. It’s up for listeners to decide themselves if artists are doing new stuff or sticking to a formula. We’re not going to name names though!

What has been your most memorable gig to date and why?

Hard to say… there have been so many. Recently, DJing at Robert Johnson in Frankfurt was great.

Which city in the world has the best crowd for you?

It’s impossible to pick really…

What do you have left to do on your music bucket list?

Record some synth james whilst skydiving.

Aside from Unknown Festival in Croatia what does the rest of 2014 hold?

Lot more studio time with various bands.. DJ gigs, live shows…

See Simian Mobile Disco at Unknown in Croatia this year, 8th -12th September. For more information visit www.unknowncroatia.com