15 Minutes And A Mix: Dragonette
Canadian funsters Dragonette are one of those musical acts that are incredibly difficult to categorize under one definitive label. Formed in 2005 the band consists of singer-songwriter Martina Sorbara, bassist and producer Dan Kurtz and drummer Joel Stouffer and have been branded everything from electro-pop to indie-house But ridiculous sub genres aside all we know is they make fun catchy music and have delivered an equally fun exclusive set for your listening pleasure today. Check out their set and what the Toronto Natives had to say as we caught up with the threesome ahead of their London performance for the Playground at Koko. We talk plans for the future, major labels and Cyndi Lauper…
What are you up to at the minute?
Sitting in a splitter van, driving through South Carolina on our way to Atlanta. It’s sunny and warmish, which is a really welcome change after the winter we’ve been enjoying up until now.
So, Bodyparts is a pretty interesting title for your album. How did you come up with that name?
The word came up in a song we started to write just as the album was finished… The song never got finished but the word seemed to stick, and since we did have a song called My Legs, it did have some relevance to what was on the album. Essentially, though, we liked the word.
Tell me a bit about the album, I heard that it was made in your house!?
It was actually made in many places. We started in Rio, and continued to work in Toronto, our house in London, a cottage in northern Ontario, and we mixed it outside of Paris. It took a long time to complete as we were touring incessantly throughout that entire period, and I think we can say that we wrote most of it while Jetlagged.
How do you feel like you’ve grown as a band since your first album?
If like to think we’ve just got better at what we do, as songwriters and performers. We definitely know more about our weaknesses as well as our strengths in these areas. And we’re excited to see how we’re going to evolve over the course of writing our next album.
How do you write your songs?
Like most other songwriters we know, we start with a tiny idea and slowly build it up into a song. Sometimes that takes 10 minutes; in other cases that can take 10 months. But in any case, we take turns in the process, as opposed to sitting together to work on the song.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
It’s hard to say… Phoebe Snow was played on the record player almost every day at our house during the making of this record; the Drive soundtrack too; some 80s pop rock bands, Talk Talk, Blondie, The Police. But there are dozens more we wouldn’t be able to put a finger on.
And what you listening to at the minute?
Some classical music, and some books on tape. And, since we’re on the bill with Major Lazer, their songs are playing around in our heads all the time too.
You guys are from Toronto, but have been based in London. Where are you now? Do you feel like different cities influences your music differently?
It’s too early to tell. We just moved back from London but have spent most of the time since on tour.
Let’s talk a bit about your experiences with Mercury records? Do you think that would deter you from working with a major label again?
Major label deals work really well for big international artists. If we were to ever become one of them, we would need a big label that can coordinate big international campaigns. At the moment, though, we think we’re better off with our little assembled team of regional or national labels.
What was it like working with Cyndi Lauper?
She is the coolest and it still goes down as one of the best experiences we’ve had in this band.
You also recently-ish collaborated with Martin Solveig but who else would you like to work with?
Last week our answers to that question were Lucinda Williams, and Prince.
We’re really looking forward to you playing in London soon. What do you think of the other artists on that line up? Any you’ve long admired?
It’s pretty great to end up on a bill with Etienne de Crecy…. There’s a giant of the scene whose been making some seminal music for a long time. Yuksek is another favorite of ours. Vitalic is gonna blow the doors off…. It all is pretty exciting.
Do you prefer larger shows, or do you like smaller more intimate venues?
That always depends on the crowd. Our best shows have probably been with smaller crowds, but perhaps that’s just because we’re naturally more comfortable in that setting. On the other hand, while big isn’t necessarily better, when it’s good, it’s fucking great.
So, what are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?
Touring, and writing songs for our next album.
What would you say your career highlights are so far?
The real highlight is that we get to continue doing this year after year, and that our little team grows bigger every year…. We have great friends who work with us as our sound engineer, lighting designer, stage manager, who along with our fans make us feel super lucky to be doing this.
Check out their exclusive mix for us below…
If you want to catch Dragonette live visit http://www.theplayground.co.uk/events/event_list.php?itemID=116-2 for tickets and more details