Benoit & Sergio: Walking and talking

More than a year has passed since Berlin/DC duo Benoit & Sergio first broke through. Incredibly, they had released only two records by that time, but those two were enough to win over fans across the world for the way they told stories, paired the heartfelt emotion of acts like Paul Simon with the more electronic motion of contemporaries like those found on Hot Creations.


Midway through 2012 and there haven’t been that many new tracks, but the ones that did arrive on DFA, Visionquest and Spectral Sound fomented the duo’s position in a realm all their own. Now they are as likely to be playing to a small and intimate club in Italy as they are headlining a stage at DEMF or Mutek (as they will at the end of this month). As such, we caught up with them amidst a continually busy schedule (hence the interview title, see?!) to find out how life has changed, for better and worse, in the last 12 months…



How are you? What’s been keeping you busy?

We are well. We are trying to get some music done, as always… We are busy, primarily, with touring and all the joys and pains of that–it takes up a lot of time, getting to shows, preparing for shows, playing shows, recovering from shows. But touring also gives energy and a sense of accomplishment. It has become a whole way of life. We are stronger this year on the road, whipped into party-shape after 2011.



How has life been since breaking through with Walk & Talk? What’s changed, for better or worse?

Definitely better. We were working jobs that, while good jobs, were still jobs. Now we are able to fold our love for music into our work–two birds with one stone, two plums for one.



Did you have a feeling that track was going to be massive or…?

We played it for our agent and she said it was going to be massive. Then the Visionquest boys started playing it and getting excited about it. Then people started writing us on Facebook. There was a lot of electricity around the track. But we didn’t know it was going to be so big when we first made it. Not at all.




Do you feel any pressure now having had a few big tracks?

It has been awhile since we released anything, so the pressure has more to do with time and timing–when are we going to get in the studio, when are we going to finish, when are we going to put new jams out….



Has being on the road meant you can’t write as much no as you’d like? Or are you OK writing whenever and where ever?

We have learned to write on the road, but we definitely do not write as much as we would like. Before touring we had so much time to work. There was time and space, it seemed. Now there is neither, except, if by time, you mean a few hasty hours and if, by space, you mean cramped hotel rooms with no magic.



Do you find that playing out all the time means your tracks are getting harder, more dance-y, more written with the club in mind or…?

Not really. We are working on some gentle, dream-infused stuff at the moment. If anything, being in clubs all the time makes us want to make the opposite of club music.



Are you working on an album at all? When can we expect it? Has there been a big plan with how it will sound overall or is it more trial and error or…?

We are working on some gentler EPs and an album, but we don’t know when it will ever be done. On optimistic days, we imagine it will be finished by summer’s August conclusion. We have found that much of it has a kind of raw, almost dirty rock sound–not shitty rock (like Nickelback or Creed) but more of a rock energy–big drums, big hooks, much more sophisticated lyrics–basically the kind of music we have always wanted to make.



Tell us about your live show – how what’s the setup, how often do you change it and will any album be written so that it can be played live?

The live show is two laptops, synths, mic. Simple. Sometimes a toy saxophone is brought out to poke fun at the notion of authenticity.



Does each of you have a role in the studio/on stage or do you both do everything, is it organic like that?

We do everything together. Not absolutely everything. But most things. It is organic like that….



You’re playing Movement then Mutek soon – how do you feel about big festivals like this? Do you enjoy playing them?  Isn’t your sound more suited to smaller, intimate events?

We don’t have a uniform sound, so we can play big or small spaces. We have, in our opinion, some pretty big festival tracks. We also have more intimate ones for bedrooms or morning walks. A track like “Everybody” can fill up any space. We don’t make Skrillex sized tracks (and we mean that as a compliment to Skrillex) but we can get by on the Beatport stage at DEMF or Mutek.



What you got coming up/are you looking forward to?

We are working on a long overdue follow up to “Where The Freaks Have No Name” for Visionquest. It is called “New Ships” and it has a lot of energy and life. We are also finishing up an EP for Hot Creations that has a great summer vibe. It is called “Bridge So Far.”



What do you like to do outside music?

Is there an outside of music?


Benoit & Sergio – Principles / Everybody by DFA Records

Benoit & Sergio – Boy Trouble by DFA Records