- Thu, 2009-07-02 10:49
The Dø are Paris based duo, Dan and Olivia. He is French and she is half Finnish. Their debut album A Mouthful was released in France in 2008 and skyrocketed straight to the top of the charts (the first time a French record sang in English ever reached number one in France).
Dan and Olivia composed, arranged, played and recorded the whole record in their own studio in the suburbs of Paris. I Like Music cuaght up with Olivia to find out more about their music, inspirations and future plans.
"I Like Music because… it keeps me away from the dark side of the force.” Olivia, The Do
ILM: How would you describe the sound and vibe of The Do?
Olivia: The sound of a hungry stomach! The vibe of a swinging koala!
ILM: A Mouthful includes a lot of different sounds and musical influences. Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Olivia: Beck, Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, PJ Harvey, Alicia Keys, Wu Tang Clan, Thelonious Monk.
Dan: Coltrane, Bela Bartok, James Brown, Frank Zappa, Radiohead.
ILM: Unissasi Laulelet is a fantastic track! How did that track come about?
Olivia: The melody came naturally in Finnish. I didnt really plan to have a song in Finnish on the album but I must have had it in the back of my mind somehow at the time. It sounds very traditional, but I guess that's also because we were listening to a lot of Touareg blues at the time. We're in love with traditional music.
ILM: What is The Do's process of making music? How do you work together?
Olivia: It depends, but when we're in a rush, or touring, I write the basis of the songs with the lyrics and Dan arranges or restructures them. When we have time, we spend days at our studio recording everything we can, in no particular order or logic. We end up with fifteen songs in an hour or something. That's great fun.
ILM: How do you write your lyrics? Is there a set process or is it spontaneous? Where does your inspiration come from?
Olivia: Usually I write a song like I would write a poem or a tale. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it is very surrealistic. Most of my inspiration comes from the woods.
ILM: What do you look forward to the most about playing live?
Olivia: Letting go.
ILM: Out of all the shows you have played so far, which have been the most memorable?
Olivia: A tiny club in Oslo, on a Monday night. We thought no one would come, but it was packed and the crowd kept singing Stay just a little bit more for ages after we'd left the stage...it was magical.
ILM: What is your earliest musical memory? When did you first realise this was what you wanted to do?
Olivia: I remember listening to a Beatles/BeeGees tape on a train to Switzerland when I was 6. I thought they were playing it only for me. I never really thought music could really be a job until quite late...I have no artists in my family, so it was like the unknown for me. Dan always knew he'd be a musician. I guess his first musical shock was when his father played him some freejazz when he was 7...though I'm not sure he loved it right away...
ILM: Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Olivia: Goran Bregovic maybe!
ILM: What's the biggest lesson you have learnt about the music industry so far?
Olivia: When you have your own project, you are the one to know what's best for it. Don't get carried away listening to people who supposedly know better.
ILM: What are you listening to at the moment?
Olivia: Steve Reich, So Percussion and Jenny Wilson, Hardships.
ILM: Out of all the live gigs you have seen, which have been the most memorable and why?
Olivia: Goran Bregovic in Paris, a few months ago. We've been huge fans of his music for a long time, his soundtracks are amazing. Seeing him live is something I recommend to everyone. It's ancient and new, wild and civilized, simple and complex...
ILM: What are your future plans?
Olivia: Keep touring in Europe and a little in the USA until august, and finish recording album number two!