Regularly referred to as Rio de Janeiro’s answer to Daft Punk, The Twelves are one of the best production duos to have emerged from the blogs, their big breakthrough coming in July of 2007 when they remixed the track “Boyz” from M.I.A. Jungle caught up with them ahead of their London gigs this month to see just how things are unfolding for them these days…
How did you two get together and form the The Twelves? And why ‘The Twelves’?
We used to be in a sort of Rock/Indie band way back at the start of our musical journey. From being in the band, we realised that we had a different outlook from the rest of the members and decided to try something out on our own. It took a while to get started as you get your ideas and visions to come together, but when we worked out the kind of thing we wanted to do (using live and MIDI instruments) and had a “sound” to work towards, then everything started to fall into place. And the reason we’re called The Twelves is a birthday thing – we are both born on the 12th July!
You are often referred to as the Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk. Do you agree with that? What is Brazilian about The Twelves’ music?
Well, I think any musician out there would like to be compared to Daft Punk. It’s a well known fact that we are fans of Daft Punk and are extremely happy to be spoken of in the same breath as them. I agree that we are probably generically the same, but we are not trying to copy or emulate them in any way. We really want our music to simply sound like The Twelves. In that way, the ideal would be for people to hear the first few bars of one of our tracks and be able to instantly say, “Wow, that sounds like The Twelves.” I’d like to say that our music is made Brazilian by the attention to rhythm and melodies, it’s something we focus on when picking samples for tracks or remixes and is always the main focus of the track too.
You seem to be travelling quite a lot. Have you considered moving out of Rio to be able to play more nights in the USA or Europe?
Actually, recently we have thought about moving to Europe. In terms of accessibility and general openness to all sorts of music, the UK and Europe are probably the places to be. Not to mention the fact that the majority of music business gets done in these territories. However, we both have families to consider and for that reason it needs to be an absolutely solid gold move and not something we just decide to do one night after a gig. We haven’t written it off, but for the moment I guess we’ll have to continue travelling the 13+ hours from Rio to Europe every couple of months. It could be worse I suppose! Ha!
Has your music changed since the M.I.A. “Boyz” remix that propelled you into blogsphere stardom and international recognition in 2007?
We like to think not. Those early tracks were sort of the culmination of a couple of years work getting our approach and sound just right. We’ve set a stall out now where people have a certain level of expectancy about what they will hear when they put our record on. The fans like it and so do we!
You played at London’s Lovebox festival last year. Do you enjoy performing at big festivals or prefer smaller venues and clubs?
For us, and the kind of sets we do, I think it will always be more suited to the smaller, more intimate club vibe. Don’t get me wrong, Lovebox was a great experience and we love doing the big open air shows, but in terms of connecting with your audience and getting direct feedback, it’s good to have them closer and more involved.
What should we expect from your gig at Cargo, (and in Reading!)?
Well you can expect some really big beats, some big bass from Luciano’s bass guitar and a sprinkling of vocals that you might not necessarily hear in a club elsewhere. Expect the unexpected basically! ;-D
Your debut album has been highly anticipated. When will it be out? What do you have up your sleeve to liven up all the expectation? What will your own material be like?
We are working on the finishing touches to a couple of the tracks now. Our problem is perfectionism. We have a habit of going over and over a track until we literally cannot pick fault in it. We’re hoping to have everything finished up and ready to go soon, so stay tuned!
Finally, can you name us 10 or so bands or acts you’ve been listening to recently?
Florence & The Machine
Daft Punk (obviously!)
2 Many DJs
Two Door Cinema Club
Bo$$ In Drama
By Bernardo Pires Domingues
The Twelves @ Cargo