Interview with Dada Life – June 2011 NEH Magazine

To follow is the interview I did with Dada Life as part of the 2011 World DJ Festival review in the June “The Arts Issue” of NEH Magazine.

Photo by Luc Bonnici for NEH Magazine

Much of the hype surrounding the 2011 World DJ Festival revolved around the anticipation of Dada Life’s first appearance in Korea.  The online community was buzzing with their video for “White Noise/Red Meat,” and nearly everyone you spoke to included them at the top of their list of must-see performances.  This duo from Sweden doesn’t party like you and I, that is, unless you are also fond of combining bananas and champagne. Take note of these Super Swedes as they spread their unique taste for potassium rich produce and sparkling white wine all over the world, one country at a time.

What’s this obsession with bananas and champagne all about?  How do they create music in the studio together?  We spoke with Stefan Engblom and Olle Corneer of Dada Life just before they took control of the Dance Stage on Saturday night.

NEH
Have you guys been to Korea before?

Dada Life
No, first time. (In unison)

NEH
Did you get in today?

Stefan
Yesterday.

NEH
I saw you were just in Vegas and elsewhere.

Stefan
Before that we were in Australia. So we did Australia, Vegas, Arizona and then here.

NEH
How long has this tour been?

Olle
Roughly two weeks.

NEH
Is it going to be a long tour?

Stefan
No, we go back to Sweden after this. Two weeks is good, because then you don’t lose the momentum in the studio. If you are away too long of a time, it takes a week to get the tempo up, getting all the stuff going. But two weeks, you come back, and in two days you’re going.

NEH
World DJ Festival: What do you think so far?

Olle
We took a walk among the crowd, it looks really good. The vibe is super good.

Stefan
The energy here is so great.

NEH
Are there any memorable experiences from your current tour?

Stefan
Something funny, hmmm. I think that the most funny things that happen you don’t remember. Don’t tell me why. Bananas and champagne together… boom.

NEH
I see you two with bananas and champagne everywhere, always bananas and champagne. Is there a reason?

Stefan
Try it before you ask the question, and that’s the answer.

Olle
We came up with this magic formula because it’s what we need energy wise to keep going.

NEH
Is it the potassium?

Olle
Yeah! And it’s like alcohol and sugar. A little bit of everything. It’s got everything you need. You could probably survive on it for months.

Stefan
We do on tour, that’s it.

Olle
I actually don’t like bananas. I don’t eat them when we don’t play.

NEH
Let’s talk about performing indoors versus performing outdoors. What do you prefer? I know you guys are producers, studio guys.

Stefan
The thing is, we love both. When you say indoors, I think you mean clubs, it’s more intimate. That’s fun because the audience is so close. They can almost touch [you] and you get so much energy. With this kind of festival, it’s so big, you get so much energy because there are so many people, it’s haunting.

NEH
Are there any performers here tonight that you’re excited to see?

Stefan
We saw Riva Starr, that was really nice. Really good.

NEH
Performing at big festivals like this, does it influence your recorded material at all?

Stefan
I don’t know. Maybe like, somewhere back in your brain it does. We don’t try to think too much when we produce. We just try to have fun, and whatever comes out comes out.

NEH
As far as being a duo, producing music together, is there are process you guys use? Do you work together a lot or is it separate?

Olle
Both ways actually. Sometimes we sit together, sometimes we sit alone. But in all the songs and remixes we’ve done, we’ve been sitting together for at least a few hours.

Stefan
We have two studios next to each other, so when we’re working on projects we switch back and forth, and then we sit together. It’s like a factory. The Dada Factory, it just keeps on going.

NEH
Are there any projects you’re working on right now that we can tell our readers about?

Olle
Yeah, we’re doing an album, so that’s the main thing. When we come back to Sweden now we have a few weeks and we’re gonna work on it.

NEH
Does it have a title yet?

Olle
No. And it doesn’t have a deadline either.

Stefan
That’s the bad part.

Olle
But it’s going to be out this year, that’s for sure.

NEH
Last question. Are there any trends that you see in music right now that excite you?

Olle
The coming together of all the styles. It’s been going on for a few years now, I would say like maybe three years. But it’s just exhilarating. Everything is just coming together and mixing up and I love that. All the rules that you had before are gone. That’s what I like.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on June 12, 2011.

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