Benoit & Sergio produce house, however unlike many house artists their musical heritage was not born out of a desire to be a DJ, and then writing tracks accordingly. Collectively they cite the The Talking Heads, Simon & Garfunkel, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana among others as key artists that got them into music. Whilst not particularly underground and certainly not electronic, it is perhaps this varied and song based outlook that has elevated their music beyond short-term disposability. Since their 2009 debut ‘What I’ve Lost’ their music has been a juxtaposition of ideas, evoking a sense of inner turmoil and incisive optimism.
Benoit & Sergio first came to our attention with their 2011 Visionquest release ‘Walk & Talk’, and we have since spun their Principles and Let Me Count The Ways EP’s. With this in mind, a recent RA mix and their upcoming EXIT Festival performance we cornered them for a quick catch up.
Having done a little research online Benoit & Sergio (B&S) have already done a number of in depth interviews which cover background, influences etc, so we’ll try and avoid covering too much old ground. For those who cant live without such information get yourself over to google.
BBB: – 2011’s Principle single was a huge success, how would you say this single has changed things for you?
B&S: – That’s hard to tell. We were riding a bit of the “Walk and Talk” wave and then we put the “Principles” single out, which was another wave, and the two waves made a bigger wave that we have been riding around the world, playing shows, making new friends.
BBB: – Principles was voted by RA as the 18th best track of 2011, and Walk & Talk 12th, do you think such accolades are important and have value?
B&S: – Of course. It’s nice to see that people enjoy your music. But it is more important to feel that you made good music, regardless of what other people think. We were proud of those tracks. The RA poll, along with all the other polls (Mixmag, itunes, DJ Mag, etc.), was a kind of cherry on top.
BBB: – As artists would you describe yourselves as ambitious? Do you find yourself thinking, “would love to get number 1 on RA, headline that festival, play on that stage, sell x amount of records etc”…..if not what drives you?
B&S: – We aren’t ambitious in the sense of wanting to be number 1 on some list. We want to make music that resonates with both of us and with lots of people. The language of “drive” and “ambition” does not seem appropriate to our way of doing things. That seems to be the language of corporate executives in America and that’s not our vibe.
BBB: – Having both had real jobs, Benoit we understand you were in Speech Recognition Technology and Sergio you were teaching Literature, what were your dreams and ambitions before entering the real world, who did you idolize?
B&S: – Our dreams were to be doing pretty much what we are doing now–except there were more scuffles with the paparazzi in those dreams of yore.
BBB: – What would you do if your music careers were to end suddenly, we’d go work for Apple, seems like an inspiring place to work.
B&S: – Sergio would become a recluse and live a spiritual life back home in Iowa. He would never be heard from again and no one would really notice. He would maybe start a family, too, if only to indulge in the narcissism of perpetual youth.
Benoit would become a shepherd and follow the 70s dream of escape, while trying to pursue research of its own, about nature or the human condition.
BBB: – Ok, in recent months things have been a little quiet in camp Benoit & Sergio, what should we be looking out for in the coming months, an album?
B&S: – We are finished with and releasing two EPs soon: The first is called “Bridge So Far” on Hot Creations. They have put out amazing music the past two years–some of our favorites. So it’s an honor and pleasure to be a part of that label. We are also putting out an EP on Visionquest called “New Ships.” It is the follow-up to our first record with them and we think that this one has a lot of magic. We are also working on an album and three other EPs, none of which have a home yet.
BBB: – We’ve bought the records but not managed to see you perform, what can we expect from your set at EXIT, are you playing live, DJing or both?
B&S: – We don’t DJ. So we’ll play live. We will sing and dance and play new and old stuff. Hopefully there will be a crowd to rock.
BBB: – Finally, if you could perform at any time in the history where and when would it be, and who would be headlining?
B&S: – Chopin would be “headlining” some small, elegantly furnished concert hall–300 people–in Paris in the 1830s. We would be sitting in the audience, listening to the voice of God singing through Chopin’s delicate hands.
Beautiful, thanks for talking to us, see you at EXIT
For those who have not been paying attention, here’s a few things you may have missed…..