The music video for the electro-funk duo Chromeo’s song “When the Night Falls” features beautiful cinematography, cinema-level production and a plot involving band members Dave 1 and P-Thugg impregnating women with the power of their music.
It’s a perfect visual encapsulation of the band’s music, which pairs a very modern take on the funk music of the 1970s and ’80s (P-Thugg’s backing vocals are sung through a talk box, a la Zapp) with smart, witty songwriting akin to the honor roll student shooting spitballs at the teacher from the back of the class.
The band’s new album, “White Women,” has already taken Chromeo to the main stage of Coachella, to late night talk show performances, and now to a sold out two-night stand at Terminal 5. Dave 1 took time to chat to amNewYork in advance of the shows.
The band took its time following up 2010’s “Business Casual.” Was that time needed?
It was really hard, but we needed to. We needed to take some time and revamp the Chromeo sound, reupholster the living room, if you will. ? We took a year and a half to make this record and we just set it up slowly, bit by bit, getting everyone back on the Chromeo train. It’s culminating around now, but I feel like we’ve been working at it for a while. ? It’s been a slow build that allowed us to build the momentum.
The Chromeo funk influences are clear, but your songs always sound like you and you alone. How tough is it to walk the line between being influenced by the past and making a flat-out homage?
That’s the biggest challenge for us. What do you do to make sure you never go too much on the homage side? It’s gotta stay from the modern perspective. A lot of that has to do with the lyrics and subject matter. The stance and the humor with which we approach the songs are decidedly modern, or even post-modern. ? We’re not into looking back; we’re students of that music but we make music for today.
You’ve mentioned before that fashion and Playboy photographer Helmut Newton is also an influence. What attracts you to his work?
It’s the highbrow and lowbrow. On the one hand, it’s a little bit vulgar, and on the other it’s super slick and sophisticated. That’s always been our motto. We want to be highbrow and lowbrow, but never in the middle.
If you go: Chromeo is at Terminal 5 a 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 610 W. 56th St., 212-582-6600, sold out