They are based in Paris. They are a duo. They produce brilliant, sharp and catchy electronic music. They seem mysterious but spread a strong image and might have the formula to conquer the world. They are Acid Washed. Signed to Parisian label Record Markers (Sebastien Tellier, Kavinsky), they’ve been touring since the release of their self titled album in 2010. All these facts lead to one glorious point – they be at Le Bain this Sunday, playing besides Gavin Russom of The Crystal Ark. We met Andrew and Richard aka Acid Washed at the airport for a Standard Q&A on the way to Detroit.
The Standard: We are big fans of your first album Acid Washed. You have been touring for months, does it live up to your expectations?
Andrew Claristidge: Glad you are a fan of our album! We are fully touring since two years. It was and still is great. It went beyond our expectations. We discover fantastic countries. We play loads of gigs in great venues. We meet great people. We rave like we were still 17 years old! And it is always exciting to play in New York. The city never sleeps!
Richard d’Alpert: I think the best word to describe my feelings about touring with Acid Washed is “blessed”. I mean, come on, we do the two best possible things to do: seeing the world, making the people dance. What would you expect more from life?
Who are your inspirations in terms of live shows?
A: Steve Reich is definitely a major inspiration. Kraftwerk and The Residents as well.
You are playing in Detroit this Saturday. The city has obviously a strong influence on your music. Can you describe your idyllic version of Detroit?
R: A beautiful city in ruins, with old abandoned casinos, theaters and factories. A half-living picture of the past glorious industrial era…
A: We are playing near Detroit at the Cranbrook Art Museum. It is going to be our first time in the Motor City and we are really excited. Our idyllic vision of Detroit: maybe trying to imagine Detroit looking like Alan D. Oldham’s comics: the real techno city. Fascinating and epic!
(Acid Washed’s General Motors, Detroit, America)
I feel like “idyllic” is a good term to describe your music. Do you agree?
A: Yes I agree. That is a great compliment. I would say “epic”.
R: I can’t complain, I guess. I’d say melancholic more, though.
What was your first experience with acid?
R: My parents might read this. I never did experience acid.
Your album was produced in Brittany, France. The two of you with your machines, in an old house on the seashore… Were you confronted to any paranormal activity?
A: We did produce it in my house. I did not experience paranormal activities. But I can say that we had psychedelic times [laughs].
Do you believe in ghosts?
A: Yes. One is hanging out in my studio.
R: I definitely do. Anybody who’ve experienced a post-war country will tell you the same. The others have simply no idea what they’re talking about.
Do you think machines might have soul?
A: Yes, sure they have. Cables have a life as well…I think every producer will understand what I am saying.
Your motto is “Good boys go to heaven. Bad boys go everywhere.” Do you think it is better to be bad?
A: A good balance between good and bad is perfect!
R: It is better to be everywhere, do everything and come back in one piece. Then you’re a man who know what he’s talking about. At least, it’s what I’d like to teach my kids when I’ll have some.
If you had the power to travel in time, where would you go as a music lover?
R: As a music lover, I’ll stay in Europe during the best of the Romantic years, in Germany with Malher, in France with Ravel.
A: Too many to point one. I would definitely travel back to see Silver Apples live.
Could you describe your first experience with dance music, as a kid?
A: Disco with my parents. Patrick Hernandez Born to be Alive!
R: My mum dancing on a “Top of Italy 1986” compilation in her pink pajamas. One of my oldest souvenirs.
You say “The party’s only just getting started”… How does the future look like?
R: Dark, rough, techno.
(Acid Washed’s Snake)