It’s not every day that two cute Australian boys burst onto the scene and release a killer hit single. But Garçon Garçon seem to be the kings of just letting it happen, and it’s really worked for them so far. The band started in 2010 when Nathan and Nick met through mutual friends, only to discover that they lived right across the road from each other. A few demos and jam sessions later, the boys made GG official and after a string of super catchy buzz singles in 2010, the Aussie duo struck gold with their debut single, "Stay in Touch," in 2011.
The song and video garnered major praise from some big publications and tastemaker blogs, as well as big name fans like fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Their latest EP (simply titled EP
) takes the heat up a few notches. With guest appearances by Cazwell, slicker sound and even more delicious beats, this new release has made Garçon Garçon one of the most sought-after artists in 2012, and they have no plans of stopping this party anytime soon. With the boys set to play Grapefruit this weekend at fly, Fab
got a chance to talk to them and learn a little more about their style, music taste and Nathan’s secret girl crush.
Max Mohenu: The music scene in Australia is very eclectic. What types of music influences your sound and production style?
We listen to very different music in our own time. I listen to stuff like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Twin Shadow, Grimes, The Drums, whereas Nick is into The Knife, Sigur Rós and is a massive
Björk fan. Despite having quite different tastes in music, when we work together we seem to meet in the middle somehow.
The electronic DJ scene is big in Australia, especially Sydney. Do you feel going to different nights/parties changes your perception on how you make dance music?
I run a monthly club night in Sydney called Hot Rod and have some friends that run other parties, and I think that it definitely does influence the way I approach music. I often wonder whether people will dance to the songs in the club or where I could see it being played. It’s kind of helpful to get informed about new music that way, too. If I hear something I like, I always ask the DJ who it's by and put it in my music notes on my iPhone to check out later.
“Stay in Touch” was an immediate hit. A lot of people seemed to like how it had a slick electronic vibe but also a very strong pop presence, as well. Do you think having such a cool dynamic is what garnered such mass appeal right off the bat?
We were really surprised by how much people seem to love “Stay in Touch,” to be honest. We never overthink it when we write, and we usually write quite quickly. I'm really happy that lots of people connect with it, and I often forget that people actually pay attention to the lyrics and it means something to them. It's a really nice feeling when people say how much the songs mean to them and how they relate or that it’s special to them in some way.
Aside from being gay pirates, what were you guys going for conceptually with the video?
We were working with a great team of people and pulled in so many favours to get the video made on no budget. We wanted to keep it light and a little tongue-in-cheek, since the song is quite serious and emotional, so it was nice to have a little fun with it. The song is about a breakup, obviously, and we filmed it just around that same time it was all going on. The last shot of the day was me singing the song direct to camera, and I started to cry in front of the whole crew. How embarrassing. So there are real tears in my eyes if you look really close.
I read that Jeremy Scott is a huge fan, which is funny because you guys sort of have that “street glam” style that Jeremy has been known to channel in his pieces. Is he someone who influences your personal style?
Absolutely. Jeremy is so clever. I love how he mixes sexy, street and pop culture references and throws it all together. It's super cool and always fun. I really admire him and his work.
Artists like Gaga, Hot Chip, Diamond Rings seem to all have a “tailored” style that fits the music perfectly. Do you think that combo sends a stronger message when you’re trying to sell a pop project?
Sure. In the digital world, image and appearance is pretty key, but the most important thing for me is that it needs to be genuine and sincere. Someone like Grimes does that really well, I think. I have a total crush on her.
What was the recording process going into your debut EP?
We both have full-time day jobs and are totally independent and unsigned, so it was kind of hard to work it into our schedules. Once we wrote all the tracks, it was a real learning curve for us to pull it all together. We learned a lot about mixing and mastering and putting artwork together. All these things seem to just come up that you hadn't thought of.
Cazwell is a huge name in the queer rap scene. How was it collaborating with him on this EP?
It was super cool and really easy. We imagined it would be so difficult to make it happen, but we actually just called him up and asked him if he would be interested, and lucky for us he loved the track and agreed to guest on it.
What songs are you most excited about on the new EP? Any ideas for future music videos?
We would love to make more videos, but it’s expensive. And we used up all our favours for the last one. We're working on new material right now that we're really excited about and enjoying playing all the songs off the EP for fans while we're on tour. It's so cool to see people singing along at the shows.
With the EP garnering crazy buzz and the tour going well, what’s coming up for you guys in 2013?
New music very soon for everyone, a new video we hope, play more shows. It's going to be a busy rest of the year!
Garçon Garçon performs at Grapefruit's 10th anniversary party this Friday, Sept 14, 10pm-3am, at fly nightclub, 8 Gloucester St. $10 before midnite, $15 after, $5 students until midnight.
Here's the Facebook event page: facebook.com/events/484700178224526
— Max Mohenu