It is always difficult to find fresh electronic music. So, with this in mind I went on the hunt, and ended up finding dOP. It really wasn't that hard to find in the end, especially as the sound I was looking for suddenly become a global success! Anyway as a hunter of quality sounds, I was happy to have found them easily.
Ranked the third best live act of 2010 by Resident Advisor, the French trio (Clement Zemtsov programming beats, Damien Van de Sande playing keyboards and horns and Jonathan "JoJo" Illel on vocals) are giving a very musical approach of dancefloor music. Meet dOP...
Hi Damien, thanks a lot for your time, firstly can you tell how you guys met each other and how you started doing music together.
We met at a very young age at school and started our first band when we were 14, I think... We did our first gig on the music day in France in front of a couscous restaurant in the eleventh district in Paris... it was epic.
Which were the moments you most enjoyed of your career so far?
I think the most magical moments are spent in the studio or playing live - When it happens you understand everything and all makes sense. But we also get great joy from traveling around the world meeting new people, its amazing to be able to do it all.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and which were your major influences in music?
With the 3 of us, we have a lot of influences, and grew up listening to almost every style of music and for that reason we are very eclectic. But we have also shared a lot of common influences through all the years of knowing each other, so you could say us as well!
How would you describe one of your days at the studio?
We compose at nights more often than not, after Brian arrives... and one by one we roll in - coffee , cigarrettes and emails - and then get to working on the song of the moment... We work until the early morning, at which point friends come along... they bring some drinks, and get involved in the track, and then we go back home for a few hours, or some of us stay and sleep at the studio. Anyway it all starts again the following day, until the weekend arrives.
And playing live...?
This is less repetivive. It depends on the place, the sound and our mood. The live chemistry is always different. You need a lot of ingredients to make an amazing moment. But for sure there are some rituals like soundchecks, a little warm up at the hotel, bigger warm up at the club... And some times after-parties.
Have you tried djing? Are you interested in that?
Yes, we do it more and more but some of us did it in the past as well. The thing is that we are booked every friday and saturday, so it's hard to find a slot to do it.
You never imagined yourselves playing electronic music... right? But now that you are adding groove kicks to your tracks, do you think you'll ever take them out again?
Yes for sure, it's the next step. We will still play in clubs, but we want to go forward and be more musical, use different tempos and play in different spaces.
You said once that the electronic scene seems to be afraid of a real live performance, could you explain that?
Well, the scene is moving at the moment, and with bands like Wareika, Moto Guzzi or Nôze and Enliven Deep Acoustics it makes thing different. But when we started as a live band with instruments and a singer we were not welcome in the techno clubs, so that was the reason I said it.
Did you receive any complaints or critics when you switched yourselves to electronic? What do you think will happen if you keep on your road going more musical as you said?
For sure our familly preferred us playing Jazz... But now they've now started to appreciate this, and understand what we are doing. For sure the hip hop crowd who we were working with didn't liked it, but some of them are now with us; same with the other project we started, Aquarius Heaven.
What's the setup on your studio nowadays? Have you considered new changes for the future?
Except for some new changes on the acoustics in Paris, the studio is the same. A lot of instruments, and not so many electronics. But Clement is building a studio in Berlin at the moment, inside our family club Salon, Zur Wilden Renate. He's painting the walls now so it will be ready soon.
We know you guys like to party, how would you define the ideal party for dOP?
Probably exactly like a Renate party would go down, inside and outside, with our favorite party crew. It's a special place in Berlin, you'll have to come and check it out when you come to the city.
Thanks for everything, and as a last question we'd like to know what the next steps are for dOp?
We're starting our new band together again, it's called "les fils du calvaire ", it will arrive in 2012 so keep your ears and eyes open.