WYS!: So, you guys have got a bit of a reputation for your love of vodka and a rock and roll approach to dance music... Is there honestly any truth in this?
Jonathan Illel (JAW): When we talk about [performing] live, yes it’s true. But it’s not our approach to dance music. We are very serious and sober about that.
Damian Van de Sande: Yeah, if we’re talking about partying, yes, I like it - it's why I go out in a club. I like to release myself, but otherwise we are the working type of people.
Clement Zemstov: It’s just legend. We never drink...
When you are touring how often do you change your live set? Like, how much of it is improvised?
D: Live music is all about improvisation for me.
JAW: Most of our show is made up of unreleased tracks so every show is different and improvised. Only my written parts don’t change. The rest is totally free.
C: We get bored quite fast, so we need to play differently every time. And we love to shape our show according to the moment we’re living so if it’s daytime or night time, out in the open air or in a dark club we’re not gonna interpret our music in the same way. We need to regularly bring the new songs to life and we play unreleased stuff to keep both us and the crowd excited. We’re gonna compose our next album more in this way too, the way we play live.
Speaking of that, what does the future hold for dOP?
JAW: We’re working on a new album. We make new tracks to try them out live. We’re taking our time. We also have an album under another name coming out in January, with a second EP in September. The band is called Les Fils du Calvaire. The whole project is in French. We are very proud of it. There’s some other stuff are going on too...
C: You never know what the future is made of… surprise surprise!
How do you create music in the studio? Do you jam a lot live or do you each write tunes and then present it to each other?
C: At the moment we’re using more and more drum machines and a sequencer with keyboards and a lot of stuff plugged around. We love jamming with it. We’re jamming kind of people...
JAW: There isn’t only one way. We’ve worked together for more than 20 years and some things you can’t explain, they just happen. For example, we are just now finishing a track that we started in 2011 [laughs].
You have been making music together for over 20 years, have things changed between you or do you still have the same vibe as when you were 13?
JAW: When the music comes, the vibe is always good.
C: Things change for sure - the individual’s distortions and the different musical expectations…
"The dancefloor should be a politics free area." - Jonathan Illel
When you are on the road what do you do to relax?
D: I like to hang out with the people who invited us and have some food and some drinks and feel out the beginning of the party.
JAW: I take care of myself and I sleep as much as I can.
C: I book a good table with Damian and local friends.
Do you have other passions beside music? Are you working on other creative projects outside of the music world?
JAW: I do photography. Last year I did 3 exhibitions in London, Beirut and Paris. A lot of fun.
D: I like to dig things, like culture in general… to go deeper into knowledge.
C: I am creative in everything I do. I am even RE-CREATIVE: I grow weed man
You all come from a background as musicians not DJs… do you listen to a lot of the music in the house and techno scene, or does you inspiration mainly come from other styles of music?
JAW: I just listen a lot of music.
D: I get a lot of promos and I try to listen everything. And I dig in all the classic styles, it's one of my passion as well, digging for music.
What are your favourite albums of 2015 so far?
JAW: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Drake.
D: I really like this album Brother I Prove You Wrong from Charles Cohen
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
JAW: Being a band and touring for 8 years and getting paid for what we love to do and travelling the world. Being free!
D: My family
C: Still being alive!
Can you tell us your views on politics and music… do you promote any particular views? Would you boycott a country because of their internal laws?
JAW: The dancefloor should be a politics free area. But in some countries that isn’t true. It’s very sad that that’s the case but if we’ve been invited to play there, we will go.
C: I don’t know about the efficiency of a boycott, especially from us but I do believe in things and I am often surprised how this scene can sometimes be ‘politically correct’ and it’s too rare when artists from our scene step up for a cause or use their fame or money to try to make a little difference. I don’t pretend to be any better mind...
D: I would like to think that music is less empty nowadays. The commercial aspect took up far too much space.
What kind of food do you like beside vodka?
C: I love big meals that take time to cook and time to eat with good friends.
JAW: I thinking eating is our second passion. It’s hard to tell you what kind of food we like. There are too many cuisines.
D: Living outside of France, I really miss food from the south west of France!