So, no one Nôze who they are? No way, that really doesn’t apply to this crazy French duo at all.
Ezechiel Pailhes and Nicolas Sfintescu have had everyone waiting for over two years for the follow up to their crossover smash Songs on the Rocks. Now they are back with their fourth album – Dring which packed is full of interesting collaborations and showcases a newer, more mature sound.
I met up with Nicolas to find out what took them so long, what the new album is all about and what ‘Dring’ actually means
Hi Nicolas, how was your recent gig at Berghain?
Oh, it was really good. We played for two hours with people screaming. Really crazy!
So, what were you doing during the last two years? Did you tour?
Well, we really didn’t tour per se, because we have pretty much been playing every weekend for the past 5-6 years. This is basically our life: during the week we work in the studio and on the weekends we play in clubs – that is why we meet a lot of different acts and other musicians during our gigs. But I wouldn’t say that it was like a proper tour. Like for example with the album Dring we are going to tour until July, but actually we’ll play parts of this album for like two years.
What musical styles influenced you during the recording of your fourth album?
It’s difficult because there are many things that influenced us: Jazz, Classical, Pop-music from different countries– so it’s very difficult to say, “this is our main influence”, because we listen to a lot of different styles of music. It basically comes by itself when we producing music -like we don’t start a track and say, “oh, now we are going to do a reggae-track” – it just comes by itself.
Are you planning to tour to support the album?
Sure! We have a few gigs set and we are going to book the full band for a few gigs, so we’ll be six people on stage with the grand piano, drums and all that. But its not going to be for the dance floor, it’s going to be a little more settled. It will be very different: the aim is not to make people dance, but to have people listen to music in the first place. In the clubs it’s different, obviously.
What does Dring mean?
‘dring, dring’ is the sound of the [door] bell!
(Laughs) Well, we did one of the tracks with Riva Starr and when we wrote the lyrics "dring dring" just came up and it was the name of the track and we wanted to give it to the album, because we thought it would be a good name for the album. There was really no thinking involved. Like, with most of the music we don’t think too much. Especially on the lyrics – maybe sometimes on the music
What differs your fourth album from the other three?
The album was recorded in France. The main difference is that all the musicians we worked with in the beginning took part in this album. They all took part in the production from the start. We didn’t try to make a big dance-floor hit, it was just some music we wanted to do without thinking “oh, we have to do a track like this, and a track like that”. We came up with thinks we like. Also the production was really different, because we rented a big studio with a grand piano to have a great sound which is very different from having a fake piano sound on the computer.
Also for the mixing I asked one of the artists I have on Circus Company to do it, because he was very good sound and we didn’t have to do this part. If you work on an album for like 2 years its very hard to do the mixing because you’re too much into the music.
Are the other musicians all from France?
Yes, the other musicians all live in Paris – I mean the drummer is from Italy, but they all live in Paris.
Whom did you collaborate with for the album?
There is dOP, because they are my – how do you say? – “little brothers” concerning music. I kind of brought them into this music scene and since the beginning of the album they said it would be nice to do a track together. We work in the same studio as well. Then they had a track they started and we finished it. There is also Florian who I played with him in Italy and we started this track and he said, “oh, I would like to find somebody to sing on it” And I said OK , I have an Idea for this track.
And also there is the song ‘Dring Dring’ we did with Riva Starr, we did the horns and melodies.
Do you have a favourite city to play a gig?
Obviously, Berlin is one of the good cities to play at, we played at most of the clubs here. People like to party and listen to music and they are very open. But I would also say Munich is a good city.
How much longer will you be in Berlin?
Oh, I’m leaving this afternoon got a plane to catch at 6.30.
Published March 28, 2011.