With the brand new Odyssia Festival fast approaching, The Idle Man scores an exclusive interview with headliner Detroit Swindle to get us pumped and share with us their on tour experiences.
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Detroit Swindle has been dropping crazy beats since the duo's formation in 2011, if you don't know this dynamic duo then you certainly need to get amongst it. Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets met in Amsterdam, where they first shared an awkward first meeting when Lars had to fire Maarten for his exclusively underground sets, but through this interaction the two soon discovered their shared appreciation for hip-hop, Motown and early house music.
Since then the two have not stopped, Detroit Swindle has been creating insane, soulful amalgamation tracks that infuse musical styles from various time periods, with their latest EP dropping earlier this year. Along with producing their own music, the unstoppable duo run their own label, Heist Recordings, the go to imprint for A-list DJs like Andy Hart and Max Graef and M.ono. Detroit Swindle also curate 'The Great Escape' club nights throughout Europe, featuring their favourite house artists and young talent, satisfying Lars and Maarten's love for synth and appreciation of this generation's electronic music.
Why all this talk about Detroit Swindle? Well, the duo are currently on tour and set to perform at Greece's brand new addition to its festival calendar, Odyssia. This massive seven dayer is running all day and night from the the 30th of August - 5th of September, just an hour away from Athens in the stunning village of Schinos. Being held at the legendary Cariocas beach bar and club, this festival encompasses mental beach sessions and boat parties. Detroit Swindle are joining a powerful line up that celebrates house, techno, disco, world music and underground, with names like DJ Harvey, Gilles Peterson, Body & Soul, Benji B, Jeremy Underground, Delano Smith, Midland, Marcellus Pittman.
What can be found in your DJ bag?
Lars: Depending on the mood we’re in, anything from original disco 12”, african or jazzy 7”, a bunch of old and new house records, one Soundstream, one Sound Signature and one Detroit Swindle record (last one is always one we give away), vinyl cleaner, ear plugs, sleeping pills and deodorant.
What can’t you be without on tour?
Maarten: The records that don't fit in the bag and my family, unfortunately.
Do you listen to music whilst you’re travelling?
Lars: All the time. Promo’s, our own work in progress, or just some nice downtempo stuff to set your mind at ease and snooze in the plane.
Best in-flight snack when flying?
Maarten: Banana Chips. Sweet, but savoury, good for a bit of a sugar rush and they always taste good.
Lars: Dutch double salty liquorice. It’s a crazy snack that I don’t think anyone outside of Holland really enjoys, but we’re both really addicted to it.
Best film or series to watch on a Flight?
Maarten: I’ve just finished watching Twin Peaks, which is so strange and funny and disturbing, that you really loose track of time, which is a good thing when you’re on a plane.
Lars: I devour all the series there are. Just finished the latest season of House of Cards and watching the new season of Game of Thrones right now. Film wise, I think we’ve both spent so much time in planes, that we’ve seen all the new ones, so we’re back to ‘the collection’ and really enjoy watching vintage movies.
Biggest character you've met whilst on tour?
Lars: We just met Darren Emerson from Underworld, but only for a short chat. He seems to be that type of guy that turns any random night into a complete freak show.
Maarten: We were playing with Chez Damier and Kerri Chandler a few weeks back. Kerri’s a good friend of ours whose opinion is really important to us and whose work ethos and energy is a big big example for us. Chez is the funniest guy ever, and we had so much fun messing around with him. He’s a real dude.
Any touring nightmares you’ve had?
Lars: Hmm… Not really. But sometimes you have those weekends when you’re spending more time travelling, than actually enjoying a city or diving into the local music culture. You’ll be playing until 6, going to bed for one or two hours of sleep, travelling with stopovers for more than 10 hours to get to your next gig, and repeating this for three or four days. That’s still not even close to a nightmare, but it’s so so heavy that you feel completely drained after it. A good show and great crowd can really pull you through this and make you enjoy the complete weirdness of it all even more though.
What’s a typical day like for you when you’re touring?
Lars: Get up too early, have breakfast, take a taxi to the airport, fly, take a taxi to the hotel, sleep, go to dinner, prepare music, play music, sleep, repeat. (+ bonus for those days with easy travel where we get to walk around town, shop for some records, relax in the sun, enjoy local culture, see old friends, etc.) it’s a weird rhythm on tour, but we love it.
What’s a typical day like for you when you’re not touring?
Maarten: Get up too early (I have two young kids), make them breakfast, drink strong coffee, go out and do something fun with wife and kids, buy stuff for a great homemade dinner (you really get to appreciate that when you’re not home that much), clean diapers, do some reading, catch up on my email and meet with my friends whom I probably haven’t seen in a while. And of course, spend as much time in the studio as possible to give our synths the attention they deserve.