Exit this way: Simian Mobile Disco

We interviewed the duo ahead of their appearance at Exit Festival's pre-party to talk about collaborations, a new album and performing in a castle.

Becca Frankland

Date published: 17th Jun 2015

Image: Simian Mobile Disco

Few artists have approached albums with the same diversity as Simian Mobile Disco. They've conquered and completed everything from techno, pop and house sounds since their rise to musical recognition in 2007.

Their talent is brought to light in every angle of their music, whether it's their mind-blowing live sets, assorted DJ mixes, albums or when they make magic happen with fellow artists.

They notably got the remix treatment from Justice for 'We Are Your Friends', worked with Roman Flugel, and not forgetting their massive collaboration for 'Sacrifice' with Bicep

Their legacy has been cemented already, but Simian Mobile Disco are constantly proving why they will stay relevant to the scene as long as they deem suitable. We caught up with the duo before they play Ministry of Sound this weekend in preparation for their set at Exit Festival in Serbia.  

You guys are playing 15 Years of Exit at Ministry of Sound this weekend in preparation for the festival itself in Serbia, what are your memories from the last time you performed there (check out the video from 2006 above)?

I remember the last time at Exit really well, playing that natural amphitheatre stage as the sun came up, it's such a great festival.

The location for Exit is completely unique, the opportunity to party in a fortress doesn't come up very often. Is this something you find alters your performances? Do you play to match the surroundings?

Of course, you always do your best to use your records in relation to the party. The crowd, the venue, which part of the night you are looking after - it all needs to be considered. Sometimes you want to fit in with these elements, and then sometimes you want to challenge them, but in any case they must be considered.

You'll be going B2B with Roman Flugal at Exit and you've collaborated with him previously for a release on Delicacies, how did you start working together? 

We invited Roman to our studio without even meeting him first, which is unusual as it tend to be a case of meeting people at a gig and then inviting them. Fortunately Roman turned out to be really nice and easy company in the studio.

After our collaborative release on Delicacies we did a show together at Robert Johnson and ended up going back to back in the early hours. It was lots of fun and lead to a short tour around the states with him. I think this is his first time at Exit and I have a feeling that he will really like the festival.

Why do you think that you're so musically compatible?

I think that we approach dance music with a similar mix of reverence for what has been done and hunger to do something new.

We love the B2B recording from As You Like It (above), can we expect a similar approach for Exit? 

Thanks, that’s a great club and the crowd were really open-minded. I know Exit is a festival for music heads so I’m hoping that we can take a similar approach, but this time in a castle, at dawn, so probably not completely the same.

What other festivals are you looking forward to playing this summer? 

I’ve been to Glastonbury more times than I can count but it’s always a treat.

You've announced a series of live dates for this summer so you can perform your 2014 album Whorl as a whole for the last time. Why did you decide to dedicate another set of dates specifically to it? 

It’s just to delineate the end of the process really. After the summer we will set the boxes up again, swap a few out for new toys and make some more music. The whole point of having such a flexible set-up is that we can keep moving on, keep things fresh.

Will it take a while before you start piecing together another album, or is there material in the pipeline?

I don’t imagine we will think about that until next year. I think a bit of time to piss around without the weight of the word ‘album’ hanging off you is worthwhile and enjoyable.

Finally a hypothetical question, if we could give you the power to collaborate with an artist from past or present, who would you pick and why? 

I would choose David Bowie, he’s made some pretty wonderful records both in the past and in the present.

Catch Simian Mobile Disco in action at Ministry of Sound this Saturday for 15 Years of Exit.

You can check out more of their upcoming gigs on their artist page


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