SHA Interview // Spitzer
With a debut LP released at the start of the month on InFiné Music, it’s the perfect time to get the lowdown on French brothers Spitzer. Craig ask’s the questions and you can check out our review of the album here..
Hello Matthieu & Damien and welcome to SHA. How are you both today?
We are really fine: we’ve got a new flat and last week was all about painting. Now we’re gonna be able to work on new material. And, of course we are excited by the release of our first album The Call.
Your debut album The Call is about to be released on InFiné Music. It has been 2 years in the making, tell us the story behind this LP?
Making an album was our teenage dream and we knew it would take a lot of time to achieve it.. When InFiné gave us the opportunity to express ourselves on a long player, we already knew that it was gonna be diversified. All the difficulty was to stay coherent despite the different influences we have. We did not want it to sound like an Eps compilation.
The Call projects many different themes and imagery. At times industrial, at times moody prog rock, the overall sound has a distinct and dramatic film score sound to it. What influences helped in the creation of this LP?
The Call is obviously an electronic album but we mainly have an indie rock background. Bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool or Fugazi are as essential as electrtonic producers such as Apparat, Aphex Twin or Jackson And His Computer Band.. All these guys managed to make albums which evocate different moods and need several listens.
You actually took your name as a nod to Al Pacino’s favourite drink ‘The Spritzer’ in the film Donnie Brasco. Are you keen film buffs?
Yeah, definitely. Our father has a huge collection of movies of very different genres. Since we are very young, we’ve grown up watching many movies in which sometimes soundtrack was what we remembered the most. That’s probably why we naturally associate music and imagery.
Growing up, I read that you had your own band. Did you have a musical upbringing?
Yeah. Dam has been playing drums since he’s 7 years old and Matt had his first guitar few years later. Many years of boring lessons tought us that making music is a long and laborious process.
What made you make the move onto electronic music from there?
When our first band split 8 years ago, we found it easier to make music just the 2 of us. At this time, we were discovering that electronic music had a lot to offer. Artists like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Telefon Tel Aviv and even Radiohead showed us that there were a lot of interesting things to do with machines. Then we bought a computer and Spitzer was born even if our music changed a lot since then.
Your music takes influence from a vast number of factors; techno, electronica, pop and even punk rock. How would you describe your own sound?
It’s a bit cliché but our main goal is to make the music we would love to listen to. We don’t really think about any classification. We are a bit bored with actual club music. In few words, we try to make deep, melodic and organic electro with a rock spirit.
You have always enjoyed great support from the Nuits sonores team, the co-founder Agoria and now the label he also co-runs, InFiné Music. How were these links established?
It’s all about an old friend of us, Pierre-Marie Oullion, who’s been working for the Nuits sonores fest since the beginning. He has always followed our musical evolution. When we were commissioned for the Kylie Minogue’s remix, he naturally decided to manage us. Thanks to him, we played at the Nuit sonores fest and we went in Shanghai in 2008 for a gig where we met Agoria who lives in Lyon, just like us. Agoria was interested in our music for his label InFiné but at this time, he felt we needed more maturity (and he was right!). One year later, our Aufgang’ Sonar remix was released on InFiné, then we worked on our first EP, Roller Coaster. After that, it was a natural process to release our debut album The Call on InFiné.
How does being brothers equate into being production partners. Do you instinctively know what each other is thinking?
It’s true that we instinctively know what each other is thinking. No need for long explanations to express our ideas. The other advantage when you are brothers is that there is no ego problem. Our musical background is the same and we were together in a band for nearly 7 years so we got pretty much the same idea of the music we want to create. Of course we sometimes disagree and if one of us does not like an idea, we forget it. We have to be 100% satisfied.
You have remixed for the likes of Sally Sharipo and Kylie Minogue and this was before you had even released a single record! How did you achieve this feat?
We were asked for these remixes via our Myspace at this time. A girl who used to run a blog called La Decadanse in NYC posted few tracks she listened to on our Myspace. Actually, everything started here. Other blogs followed posting our tracks and we had a unexpected mail from Kylie Minogue’s remix commissioner. It happened the same way for Sally Shapiro’s remix.
Given the chance, which artist(s) would you love to work with or remix?
There are so many!! Our dream would be to work with David Bowie, Portishead, PJ Harvey or Killing Joke. We love to work with vocals. As for remixes, we are not very excited by techno stuffs. We are more interested in remixing rock songs.
Finally what else have you got coming up? Any plans to tour with the album release?
A clip is already out to support the album and we’re just back from Berlin. Many gigs are planned in Europe and we hope we will cross the oceans again to spread our music over there. Beside that, we never stop producing and another EP is already scheduled…..