Daniel Werder und Timo Losli love machines. After getting bored of playing rock and going to clubs, the two young producers from Berne started making electronic music. They released a debut album “Short Circuit” on iMusician Electronic in 2011, and soon started experimenting and remixing for artists like Is Tropical, Housse de Racket and IAMX.
Often compared to Justice or Boys Noize, the two quickly worked their way among the most respected names in the electro dance scene and played some of the biggest festivals. Winners of the Swiss Live Talents Awards for Best Electro Act in 2013, they started this year with an explosive EP "Silver Eyes" that combines their usual electro touch with darker and more techno sounds. It is currently sitting at 10th position in the German Club Charts.
We got the chance to catch up with the talented duo before their showcase in London last weekend.
How’s your year so far? Busier than ever?
We just released our new "Silver Eyes EP" and are now playing a brand new liveset with a livedrummer, so there is a lot of new stuff going on!
Last month you played at MAAG Halle Zürich next to The Bloody Beetroots and Boys Noize. How is it to play with those acts which you have been compared with, and obviously inspired from?
It was an awesome experience. We opened the stage at 20:30, so we were not expecting too many people. But when we were on stage, we were proved wrong: We got a packed house and people went crazy - this was amazing.
How important is it for you to play live? Is it a big part of your income?
For us, this is a really important part and also helps us to set us apart from other electro acts who often "just" play DJ-Sets. Even if we play a reduced club-live set without the drummer, we have synths and gadgets on stage and play only our material. We also love travelling and discovering new places. And it is undeniably an important part of our income.
Is it important for you to sell music though? Or is it just a way to promote yourself in order to play live?
It is a steady interaction: To get booked for shows, you have to put some music out and get some attention with it first - and then to sell the record, you have to play live. Financially speaking, the liveshows are more important at the moment.
You came up with your debut album “Short Circuit” in 2011. Was it your decision to release this debut album yourself? Did it help make your music and name more visible to labels that you have been remixing for like Kitsuné?
We tried to reach out to some well known labels, but we did not have any music out and no fanbase at this time, so it was quite obvious that we won't get signed at this early stage. So we decided to put out the album by ourselves and started looking for an aggregator which also delivers to Beatport. When we found iMusician and saw that it is Swiss based, the decision was clear.
Your music is available on YouTube. How did you come to this decision? Is it only for promotion reasons or is it actually providing you with significant revenues? Do you think it has become an unavoidable distribution channel?
At the moment, it is more promotion than a real revenue. We uploaded it because we noticed that alot of especially younger people are using YouTube as their main source for music.
Your last EP sounds darker and sometimes harder than what we first heard from you. Is that a direction you are consciously going into? In what kind of venues do you ideally want to play in the near future?
It is nothing that we actually planned, it just happened this way. But we also can't wait to do tracks with vocals again. We are also thinking about expanding the new liveset with drums into our productions. As for the venues, we are heading for concert-like situations where the people are actively listening.
Are you getting a lot of requests for remixes? Is that an important part of your income? Is it also a good way to make new contacts and play live?
At this point, remixes are more promotion than income for us. For example the remix for Is Tropical helped us to reach alot of new fans. And maybe introduced Is Tropical to some of our fans who did not know them yet - of course not in the same proportion.
What gear are you using to record and produce? And your usual set-up to perform?
To produce, we use Logic Pro. We also try to incorporate organic elements into our productions, ranging from guitars, analog synths to recording live shakers and handclaps. For our liveset, we are using an MS20, DSI Prophet, an Arturia Minibrute and Laptops running Ableton Live.
When you look back at the last ten years, what would you say changed the most in terms of music technologies?
That computers and software became so powerful, so producing music became less dependent on expensive gear and got accessible for alot of people.
We will follow you closely this year and cannot wait for more great music. Thanks a lot for your time!
You can see We Love Machines' upcoming tour dates.
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