There’s a timeless quality to your music but the production values are very current. What’s your approach to making music in terms of equipment?
People think we use a lot of analogue gear, but most of our music that’s out there right now is all produced in the box. We really really really spend a lot of time in tweaking our sounds to give it a more vintage vibe, but with the addition of modern elements and grooves – we try and make music that’s hard to put in a genre or define when it was made. We really just aim to make music that’s as interesting now as it will be in ten or twenty years. We can’t tell you yet if that’s working out, but let’s see by then.
So why have you only just started to use hardware? Were you just not interested in it before?
We’re not the kind of guys to go out and buy loads of shit and then realise you don’t understand the basics and lose focus or interest. Plus we’re good with computers, so it was a nice and easy way to learn the ropes: get some software, get a decent controller and go mess around and see what comes out. Getting more into hardware from that point makes every new addittion to the studio a real gift, instead of something you feel you really need to become ‘a producer’.
What have you bought yourselves and how are you finding the learning process?
Oh man, it takes a lot of effort and patience, because we don’t get a lot of time in the studio at home since we’re touring so much. We have to be really happy with just a day or two in the studio, so with EPs to finish and the office work that comes with running a label, there’s only a short window every week to mess around with new gear. We’d rather lock ourselves in the studio for weeks and weeks and completely figure out a synth. We’ve recently bought a funky little drum machine called the MFB 503 with a really nice and raw sound and a Dave Smith Mopho which is a cool and weird little synth. The one we’re really really excited about is the Moog Voyager that we bought this summer from this weird dude in Rotterdam. The Voyager has such a great sound and we’re dying to use it more. Still though, the VSTs we’ve got are super cool so we’re also quite content with working in front of a screen. But we’re saving up for a classic MPC so we can get away from the screen as well…
Do you think it might have been easier or even better to make some of your music with hardware and analogue gear?
Let’s put it this way: if we would have made some of our older tracks today, we probably wouldn’t have done everything the way we did. But in a way that’s nice as well. It’s all about evolution, and from time to time it’s good to look back and see what you’ve achieved. And then, really quickly, get back to learning and focus on getting better and better.
If we would have made some of our older tracks today, we probably wouldn’t have done everything the way we did.
Finally, we have to ask about your name. Detroit natives can be quite defensive about their home town. Have you had any backlash about your name? Is it meant as a tribute to Detroit?
We’ve been criticised for sure and had a few funny chats about it with some Detroit guys. It’s all good though – we can’t really be bothered with localism like that. We both grew up with so much funk and soul in our lives, and Motown was the big label behind a lot of what we listened to, so we thought it would be cool to pay respect to the town that brought forward so much timeless, good music.
And why Swindle?
Since we’re just two white kids from Amsterdam, we really wanted to make fun of ourselves a bit. That’s where the swindle comes in. It’s a big scam. We’re bluffing our way into Detroit…