First up, we have Jordan Czamanski and Gal Aner, also known as experimental jazz-infused duo Juju & Jordash, followed by Nomad and Dirk Leyers, the creative pair behind the electronic dance outfit Africaine 808. Next is ambitious UK-based team Ben Shenton and Dean Meredith, who head not one but two projects – Mind Fair and The Central Executives. Lastly, Payfone (aka Phil Passera) is a producer/DJ based in London who creates disco-inspired beats with a range of collaborators.
Where is home for you? ?
Nomad : Home is my bed – right now on a top-floor apartment at Les Bains Hotel/Club in Paris, due to a DJ Residency. Next week my bed will be in Berlin, African Quarter.
Dirk: Just came back from Canada to Berlin.
Ben & Dean: Rogue Cat HQ.
How would you describe your sound?
Gal: Nice stuff between 20hz and 20khz?.
Nomad : This is not our sound. It belongs to us all. We just borrowed it from all the sounds we were fortunate enough to listen to in our lives, and found a personal way to reflect, balance and counterpoint them. The product is a mash-up of all the things we love and grew up with: African polyrhythms, Latin percussion, Jazz horns and Rhodes, amen breaks, sound system basslines, jungle, dub, rocksteady, rave culture, avant garde, folk music – and most of all, soul.
Dirk: Still learning. There is so much more to discover.
Ben & Dean: Disjointed, out-of-control, wigged-out jams.
Payfone: 1983 New York disco gets electronic, dark and mean, reflecting the reality of street life as opposed to the glory and optimism of the disco scene that preceded.
Where do you look for creative inspiration? ?
Jordan: My anger.
Gal: Just listen to good music?.
Nomad : If you have to look for inspiration, it’s already too late. I have to focus to keep inspiration out, sometimes. Inspiration should be a permanent companion for artists. Unfortunately… where was I ? Sorry, lost the plot.
Dirk: I don´t have a formula for it. Could be anything. Goji berries, for example.
Ben & Dean: Anything and everything.
Payfone: I get inspiration (or no inspiration) from everything around me. At the moment I am reading The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I have attempted to capture the atmosphere and heat of that book in one of my latest songs, titled ‘Padre, Pray For Us.’
What is you favourite place to visit while touring? ?
Nomad: Always the one where we are right in that moment. Nothing beats living in the now and being happy with it.
Dirk: It is great to be able to travel and play music for the people. There is no favourite city or country in my book.
Ben & Dean: We don’t tour.
Payfone: It has to be São Paulo, Brazil – absolutely magical. High quality and vastly original street artwork on every corner… a whole different outlook on life than I am used to in Europe. It’s not the perfect place as it has so many social/corruption issues, but it’s so vibrant.
How would you describe your personal style?
Jordan: I wouldn’t?.
Gal: Too cool for school?.
Nomad : ‘Keepin’ it Unreal”.’
Ben & Dean: Buffalo rangers on DMT.
Payfone: This appearance – fashion or musical – I don’t really understand?
What’s your spirit animal?
Jordan: A chicken schnitzel?.
Nomad: It’s a pug?.
Ben & Dean: The gibbon.
Payfone: This week, my spirit animal would have to be a cormorant.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? ?
Nomad: I am still working on it – can’t spoil it now.
Dirk: I am not interested in superpowers.
Ben & Dean: The ability to telekinetically rotate a plastic plate two millimetres anti-clockwise on a Wednesday.
Payfone: To identify and extinguish all selfish greed from this planet.
What was your worst ever day job and why?
Jordan: Either unfreezing and baking horrible pizza for a couple of asshole bosses, or polishing blemishes off photos of a hardcore S&M mistress’s ass.
Gal : I didn’t really hate on any job.
Nomad : I was once hired as a bodyguard for some Hollywood brat while I was living in LA in 1990. I quit after four hours – I couldn’t protect the nagging little fuck from myself.
Dirk: Working for a radio service hotline telling people which German ‘schlager’ they just had listened to.
Dean: Sterilising the instruments in a hospital was a fairly grim job.
Ben: Probably the worst for me was at a bathroom factory where I sprayed toilet roll holders… tedious doesn’t even come near.
Payfone: A very brief period in my early 20’s, working as a removal man. I’ve done many horrible jobs in my life but this was the worst, because it was like moving house every day.
Who do you most admire? ?
Jordan: My girlfriend?.
Gal: Aid workers and jazz musicians.
Nomad: Besides my dad: Nicolas Flanell for his heritage, Luzifer for standing up against a dictator, Gandalf for being calm, Sauron for having style, Sith warriors for being badass and mothers for their love.
Dirk: My family and my friends.
Ben & Dean: The late, great Arthur Russell.
Payfone: Martin Luther King.
What profession (other than your own) would you like to attempt?
Gal: Cooking, perhaps.
Nomad: I once rented out paddle boats on a lake when I was a kid. I would like to get back to that.
Dirk: Carpenter or craftsman. You see what you have done at the end of the day.
Ben & Dean: Massage therapy.
Payfone: I always wanted to be a pilot.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would they be?
Jordan: A few magic lanterns.
Gal: Lighter, guitar, something against mosquitoes.
Nomad : A fishing rod, a solar-powered sound system and a luxury mansion.
Dirk: A time machine and two fishing rods.
Ben & Dean: Sun cream, an electric fan and a volleyball.
Payfone: My girlfriend Maria, a fishing rod and a toaster.
On a scale of 1-10, how honest are you? (… Is that an honest answer?)
Jordan: Pretty honest.
Gal: 7… semi-honest answer.
Nomad: Your truth or mine?
Ben & Dean: 10 – honest!
Payfone: I am 9/10 honest. I’m too honest for my own good – I can’t even tell a lie successfully. I would make an awful politician.
What’s your favourite cereal? ?
Jordan: Sugar duds?.
Gal : Coco Pops.
Nomad: Tortilla chips and salsa verde.
Dirk: I try to avoid cereal.
Ben & Dean: Weetabix.
Payfone: Hops and barley that go towards making English ale (beer), which I love to drink every day.
If there is a fork in the road, do you go left or right?
Nomad: You would be the last person that I am telling where I am heading.
Ben & Dean: Seeing as we’re blokes, we’d probably lean towards the left.
A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here??
Jordan: He says ‘kill me’. He’s in the music industry, and he’s looking for someone to kill him.
Gal: He says, ‘Excuse me for not having a yarmulka’ (as he thought it’s a synagogue).
Nomad: “Bitch, I ate your cereal, deal with it!”
Dirk: A good question for a Turing Test.
Ben & Dean: Penguins – as you should know – don’t talk. He’s come round to clean the guttering.
Payfone: The penguin says, ‘Good morning – I understand that my wife was here last night.’
Beatles or Rolling Stones??
Jordan: Rolling Stones?.
Gal: The heart says Stones, the mind says Beatles.
Nomad: The Grateful Dead. DUDE!
Ben & Dean: Both.
Payfone: Impossible to choose. That’s like saying night or day. So perhaps The Beatles for daytime & Rolling Stones for the evening.
Beer or Champagne?
Gal: Champagne, for sure.
Nomad: Depends on the beer and the champagne… and who is paying.
Dirk: Ginger tea is my favourite drink at the moment. Beer is ok. Champagne is overrated.
Ben & Dean: Beer.
Payfone: Always beet – I actually dislike champagne.
Heads or Tails?
Ben: Always heads.
Payfone: Heads you win, tails I lose (Tom Waits).
Jazz or Rock ‘n’ Roll?
Jordan: Both but no jazz-rock?.
Nomad: Fuck fusion after 1980 and fuck emo. Why should green be better than red?
Ben & Dean: Jazz.
Payfone: Jazz… another tricky one. I spent 10 years indulging myself in the Blue Note back catalogue but my favourite band of all time are Royal Trux from Virginia, USA, who are about as rock as you can get.
Rock, Paper or Scissors?
Ben & Dean: Scissors.
Payfone: Rock. You can’t build your house on paper or scissors.