"Our dream is to produce the Jamiroquai comeback LP..." hmv.com talks to Chromeo
How’s 2014 been for you so far?
Your 4th album White Women is due out in May, what inspired the title?!
"It's named after Helmut Newton's first book. As you know, he's always been a big influence on us, visually, with the legs and all, our album artwork and such. I was at his retrospective in Paris a couple of years ago and they had the titles of all his publications on the wall. White Women struck me. I called Pee and said: "wouldn't that make a great title for a Bowie album? Or a Roxy Music album?…Why don't we use it?" After a bit of deliberation, we went with it. We knew it'd come as a bit of a shock, but we like it. It sparks conversation. "
It’s been a while since Business Casual, how long were you working on the new album?
"We toured for two years, 2010 and 2011, and then worked on White Women during 2012 and 2013. This is the longest we've ever spent working on an album."
What else have you been up to in the meantime?
"Studio every day! And then after we handed in the record we worked on artwork, videos and our brand new stage show."
There’s much more of a ‘live’ sound on this record, was that a conscious choice or something that just happened organically?
"It's interesting that people notice that. It happened organically. Half way through we realised 'hey there's live bass on almost all the songs'. The only conscious choice we made was to improve: work harder, give our sound a new sheen, try to make the songwriting better, make the vocals sound bigger and more convincing."
Are you producing it all yourselves?
"Nope. For the first time we worked with other producers: Oliver, who are an LA-based nu-disco duo signed to Fool's Gold. They're amazing. They've got co-production credits on about half the record and they actually produced Frequent Flyer and Old 45s: we added the extra bits."
Are there any particular artists that have been a big influence on the album, or your music in general?
"For our music in general, you know the usual suspects. On this album in particular, towards the beginning we were listening to a lot of ELO, ABC, Bee Gees, Abba. More disco than usual. Robert Palmer "Clues" as well. And then modern stuff of course. Kendrick's album was a big for us. Haim, Weeknd, Vampire Weekend, Drake, Blood Orange."
There are quite a few guests on this album, including Ezra from Vampire Weekend – how did that one come about?
"He's a good friend of mine. Even if he wasn't going to be on the album he came to the studio a whole bunch. He had this little ditty written years ago and couldn't use it for Vampire Weekend. So I said 'I want it'. It's his moment on the album, we just produced it."
There’s also another track with Solange, can you tell us a bit about that?
"She's been a friend for a while. We had her on our last album but she just sang a hook. Between then and now, Solange the solo artist really blossomed, so we wanted to have her on again, in that capacity. We wanted a full on duet with her, a co-write. So we went to her place and spent the night writing and recording together."
Is there anyone you’d really like to do a collaboration with?
"Haim, Blood Orange, Future, Ty Dollar $ign, Banks... Oh and our dream is to produce the Jamiroquai comeback LP."
What are your touring plans for the new record, and what sort of live show can we expect?
"We spent months developing our new live show. We worked with a French contemporary artist to design an all chrome set with all kinds of light reflections and mirrors. It's a big leap from our previous shows. We're currently on a headline US tour and then we go to Europe and the UK."
What shows are you doing in the UK?
"Roundhouse and Parklife Manchester in June. Glastonbury. And we'll be back for more!"
Are you guys still doing remixes as well? Any new ones on the horizon?
"We do like one a year or so, mostly for our friends. We don't have any planned. Has to feel special when we do one. Right now we're just having all our homies remix us."
What have been your favourite albums so far this year, and are there any you’re looking forward to?
"YG, Pharrell, Duck Sauce. Looking forward to Ab-Soul, Lana…hopefully Kanye gets one in before the end of the year."
Finally, where can we get one of those keyboard stands?!
"Only if they're permanently displayed in all hmv store windows."
White Women is out now, you can download it here, pick it up in your local hmv or check out Chromeo's artist page at our download store