If there’s any question that dance music has swallowed pop music whole, take the example of NERVO.
Sisters Olivia and Miriam Nervo have worked on songs for The Pussycat Dolls, Miley Cyrus and Kesha. They’ve also spun at some of the biggest clubs and festivals around the world. And the duo’s debut album, “Collateral,” shows just how little daylight there is between the two worlds, with club bangers occupying space next to pure pop tunes and even disco throwbacks.
amNewYork caught up with Olivia Nervo in advance of the duo’s appearance at Electric Zoo over Labor Day weekend to talk about the dichotomies — touring versus recording, festivals versus clubs — that seem to be ever-present in their lives right now.
Your first singles as NERVO came out in 2010 and 2011, yet you just released your debut album in July. What took so long?
Our touring’s really picked up over the last four years, and that just made finishing the songs a little bit longer. When you’ve never been to India, and someone comes forward and says, “Hey, I’ve got this really cool India tour booked,” and you’ve never been to Africa and it’s the same thing — before you know it you’ve got a full gig schedule.
What’s the biggest adjustment you have to make between writing pop songs and making dance tracks?
In dance music, you’ve got to make something that will work for the dance floor. That means it’s got to have a very similar tempo and a high energy drop. I feel like the variety that pop music has can be heard on our record. We’ve got some tracks on it that don’t fit the dance floor at all, that are more for driving around in your car or for other places.
You and Miriam are resident DJs at Omnia, one of Las Vegas’ biggest clubs. What’s the difference in spinning for a place like that and spinning a shorter festival set?
We’re finding a lot more that our club sets are becoming like our festival sets. It’s almost like a mini-festival at some of these big clubs anyway. It ends up demanding a festival set — crunchier drop, more poppy mixes. The lines are getting more gray. Once upon a time you used to be able to groove it out a little more in a club, you had more time. … The crowds in the last couple of years have been so nuts, jumping around, and that energy that EDM brings is so special.
If you go: NERVO performs at Electric Zoo on Saturday at 6:55 p.m. The festival runs from Friday through Sunday at Randall’s Island Park, with music starting at 1 p.m. each day, $109-$299 (single day passes), $299-$799 (three-day passes), electriczoofestival.com.