Following the release of their new EP, Desserts, Swedish Electronic duo CAZZETTE are on tour, and return to UNIUN nightclub for their stop in Toronto. I had the pleasure to sit down with Alex and Sebastian before the show and talk about their EP, as well as their tour and what they’ve been up to lately.
How did Desserts come about?
Alex: We had so many tracks, and ideas. We were thinking about what out next move was going to be, because we had done the album, EJECT, and put out singles. We were like, “We haven’t done an EP”, and so we figured, why not? We went through all of our favourite productions that we hadn’t released, finished them up, and put them together. The name ‘Desserts’ came later.
Sebastian: That was actually a funny thing, because I had this idea of doing an anagram concept for the EP. (Anagram: a word that can be read both backwards and forwards.) Ash, our manager, came to us and said “we have to have a name – what’s the name going to be?” I told him, “Alex and I are down for an anagram, but we can’t come up with anything.” He was like, “Fuck it – let’s name it ‘Together EP!’ And I was like “Oof, no – corny, never!” We later get a phone call (from Ash), and in the middle of the phone call, he’s like “I got it – Desserts!” I’m like, “Why Desserts?” “Because if you reverse it, it’s Stressed!” and we always talked about that with him, that when we made our first album, we were kind of stressed out. He was like, “that fits perfectly! It’s an anagram, and we could do a cool concept with the artwork.” And that became the name.
A: Because we turned our stressed music into dessert music.
S: The artwork was written in Jam on paper.
A: Yeah, that’s actual jam in the logo.
What flavour is it?
S: They tried caramel sauce, but it didn’t look as good – so it became strawberry.
You mentioned that there’s a love for French House, especially in the production of Genius – do you see yourselves leaning more towards it in your production?
S: With that particular song, we were heading towards French House music, but it’s not something that we’re thinking every time we go into the studio. When we sit in the studio, we don’t like have to have any specific rules in our minds. In the creative process, when you’re just starting out, if your mind is completely empty and you don’t have any rules, you can create something more interesting. After that, you can adapt. Like, if you made an Indie song, you can say “If you put a ‘French House’ touch to this, (it) could be cool.” But in the beginning, we like to have that freedom, at least in our minds.
So it’s almost like starting on a blank slate and just working from there.
A: Yeah, that’s how we do it every time. I think we’ll stick to that concept – it’s more fun that way.
Because you never know where you’re going to end up.
S: If you always think “Oh, I have to have a 4/4 beat on there”, it can be very limiting. And you always have to think about references (…) to that kind of music, which then limits you, and it can be the same thing, over and over.
What do you think of the current state of EDM/electronic music, and where it’s going?
A: I don’t really know what’s going on in EDM anymore- I don’t really keep track of it.
S: To be honest, I don’t think either of us listen to it, that much.
A: We have certain artists that we like, like Kryder for instance – if he sends us stuff, we’ll listen to it. There are a few artists we think that are good/follow, but we don’t really keep track of the whole ‘festival/what’s-in-what’s-out’ thing. We just like good music.
S: The thing is, Alex usually takes control over the sets, because he’s like “Okay – we’re going on tour now, and we have to have a set, and at least some songs that we know we’re going to play, because we want to have a grip of what we’re going to play.”
… But it becomes interesting, because we don’t really go on Beatport and search that much… We go on Spotify, and then we take songs that we listen to, and might find something interesting there that we would play again.
A: It’s more of finding a selection of songs. Let’s say tonight we play for two hours. Then maybe we’ll have picked 60 songs that we like, and then they’re in our list, and then we’ll see what it’s going to be like. If the crowd is feeling Hip Hop, we might play a lot of that, or if it’s Tech, we might go deeper – so we always have these options. So that’s more of how we work, we don’t really go along like “oh, what’s Top 10 on Beatport, check that out!”
So, more of what the crowd’s feeling, rather than the popular vote.
A: Exactly – because it’s no fun! I feel like anyone can do that.
S: I feel also, like if there’s something good, we will not miss out anyways because somebody will tell us to look into something. You should take advice in that way, and looking on blogs sometimes – but that’s pretty much it.
Can you tell us about a typical day in the life of Cazzette?
A: Well, on tour it’s ‘waking up, showering, going to the airport, arrive, work out, have dinner, go to the show’ and then repeat, for two months basically. (laughs) That’s an average tour day.
S: Even when we’re not on tour, it’s… kind of the same.
A: Minus the flying.
S: Minus the flying, yeah. And going to the studio. The thing is, we’re not crazy people – we don’t party that much, at all. And we don’t really do anything crazy. We just like to work. Because we see everything here as, “we have to do this in order to keep doing this, etc.” And it’s kind of structured, when I think about it… But it makes sense, because when you’re on tour, for instance, you can’t really go and be all crazy and party, because – well, you can, but then you’re going to obviously feel like shit, because your health is going to go down.
A: Yeah, it’s not sustainable.
S: And if you’re going to keep being creative and have energy left to make music, you have to eat healthy, you have to work out, and you have to sleep as much as you can. And if you’re drinking, it’s not going to help you. So, we’re trying to stay away from all that. Sometimes we party, but that depends on if we’re off.
A: Yeah, you’ve got to pick your dates – you can’t do it every night.
S: Yeah. It’s kinda boring, but it’s also very effective. And we like it that way, because we like to work.
How long do you see yourselves holding on to the Cazzette symbol, especially in terms of the Cazzette Heads?
A: Regarding the masks, unfortunately they barely work, and we haven’t used them in a while. When we travel them, they break and it’s such a struggle – we get disappointed, the fans get disappointed, and it’s just a mess. So we’re taking some time off from the helmets right now. We still provide our show and interact with the crowd, so we don’t really see how it harms our live appearance. I would say on the contrary that it actually makes it better, because we’re happier when we play and it’s easier – everyone can see us and we can see everyone, which is a huge plus when you’re playing.
S: When I have the mask on, I have to take off my glasses, which means that I can’t see anybody – so, for me, it’s no problem.
What’s one of your favourite moments on tour to date?
A: I’d say show-wise, we played a show this summer in Romania, which was amazing. We had 50,000 people in the crowd, which is rare – it was a BIG festival.
S: I still think the best show EVER was in, uh…
A: San Fransisco?
S: No. Well, that yeah, it was very good too. But, the best that I could think of was a festival in Canada – Center of Gravity. In Kelowna, BC. Best show. Crazy Crowd. Amazing Experience. Super nice.
Is there anything you’re working on that we can look forward to in the near future?
A: Yeah, we’re going to go back to the proper studio soon, when we’re off tour. We’re going to work on some new material for some new originals, which is going to be fun. So there is new music coming, which is exciting.
Is there any hints/teasers as to what style the new music may be leaning towards?
A: See, we never know – we don’t know until we go into the studio! That’s the beauty of it.
S: We don’t really know until the day before we decide to release it – we always go at the last minute, so it can be anything. And I think it’s not gonna be too far away from what we’ve been doing before. It’s always something new, that’s what we’re striving to live like. We never know. Maybe it’ll be a ballad, who knows.