EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Five Minutes With… Tube & Berger
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell.
This is the supporting quote that recapitulates Tube & Berger’s new politically charged single ‘International Corporate Motherfuckers,’ taken from their upcoming album We Are All Stars, which will be released on May 19th via Embassy One.
The press release for this track sums it up beautifully: “A seven minute number squarely aimed at both the dance floor and the politicians, investment bankers, businesses, large pharmaceuticals, lobbyists etc, that are simply messing it up for the rest of us and as such, is a much needed response to the current global crises from the otherwise supine dance scene.”
The revenues from this single are all being donated to children’s charity ‘IT BEGAN IN AFRICA’ – a testament to Tube & Berger’s commitment to their cause. Of the single, the duo aptly state:
“There was a time when music artists spoke truth to power, it was kind of our job, but it seems those days are over, nobody says anything about anything to anybody and especially in the dance scene. Well, in these times of trouble, we are as mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore! Our lawyers told us we cannot explicitly name and shame those responsible – but we all know who they are. So, are you with us or against us? Do you also feel it is time that us dance people made our feelings known? If you do, you know what to do. Be part of The solution, not the Problem.”
Now comes the release of their full album, We Are All Stars, a twelve track collection which features an array of collaborations including post-punk band White Lies, Richard Judge, and Kyle Pearce. Described as their most accomplished work to date, this high profile project once again affirms the reputation of Arndt Rörig and Marco Vidoviz, AKA Tube & Berger as “a prominent and respected name within the international underground house music scene for over a decade.”
We chatted to the self described “hippy punk ravers” ahead of their release…
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
All good thanks. In the studio producing an extended club remix of our next single ‘Quiet Time (Shadow Of Myself)’ – our collaboration with UK indie band White Lies which is being released in June as part of our album campaign, and rehearsing our live show!
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Electronic with indie sensibilities. We are hippy punks who went raving and it shows in our music.
What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Nirvana – Nevermind
Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
The KLF – The White Room
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
On the club side then: Brett Gould, Patrice Baumel, our Kittball sister Juliet Sikora of course and a new guy we signed for Kittball called Kean Sanders – they make beats of club tracks !
On the downtempo / electronica side: Bonobo, SOHN and the new Gorillaz album
On the rock side: we like this new UK indie band The Amazons
What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
We always say that it is a great business, but a tough business. You need a lot of stamina and patience ! The business certainly seems harder nowadays in that there is still not that much money in the record and publishing side compared to live performances.
We can see it starting to come around again through streaming, but if you don’t have a live act that people want to pay to see, then it is going to be really tough to launch and make a living.
Also while it is great that anyone can make and release music via the Internet, fans have so much choice and it is hard to cut through. It seems the big majors just want conformist pop artists who go viral on Spotify, so anybody a bit leftfield has to fight really hard to get promoted, it seems, as there are less Indie labels these days willing to take a risk.
Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
Everywhere and nowhere, baby! On the road, in the studio, hanging with friends or our collaborators. We don’t have a strict routine. Hippy punks who went raving, you see!
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting your music together?
Depends on the type of track. We always start with an electronic groove of some sort. We might take it all the way to becoming a club track, or strip it right back until it is just the click track if we are going more downtempo or less club.
If we have one of our vocal collaborators on board we will ask them to jam on some lyrics and melodies. If not, then it’s either looking for the right sample or inventing our own sounds to fit.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
There have been a number of great ones, so hard to pick just one! Maybe headlining Brixton Electric for the first time with our buddies Claptone & Weiss in support, or maybe ANTS in Ibiza? This summer we have 2 very exciting ones that we are really looking forward to: our first ever show at the new HIi Ibiza, supporting Eric Prydz; and the ANTS stage at Tomorrowland
And the worst?
Again quite a few to mention here too……
But we won’t, because we like to respect all the Promoters who booked us. They had faith and took the risk, but sometimes it does not work out for whatever reason. (Diplomatic T&B!)
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Children’s Charity Worker – probably in Africa. We are both Fathers now and feel the pressure to make the world better for ours and other people’s kids. All the proceeds from our current single ‘International Corporate Motherfuckers’ goes to the charity IT BEGAN IN AFRICA which we have supported for many years now. After our own album, we will be producing a 3rd compilation album for this cause.
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Can we have 2?
One living for Mr Berger – Pink Floyd
One dead for Mr Tube – Kurt Cobain
Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
This year we will be playing even more shows as a “live” band so our aim is to ultimately play all the best Festivals in the world like Glastonbury, Coachella, Melt etc. But we still have a massive appetite, and aspirations for our DJ side too – so a headline main stage or Kittball stage show with all the big visuals and pyro at Tomorrowland or Ultra etc would be great too.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Lots ! Our 2nd Album ‘We Are All Stars’ is released on May 19th on Embassy of Music/Kittball in Germany and on Skint/ BMG in the Rest Of The World. Our Next Single ‘Quiet Time (Shadow Of Myself) is on June 9th, and ‘We Are All Stars’ Album World Tour kicks off in late May and runs for the rest of the year.
Watch ‘We Are All Stars’ below: