I first discovered Telepathe on a recommendation from Courtney Love. She called the New York electronic duo ‘cute’ and ‘cool’. The Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas and Diplo are also fans and Trent Reznor flexed his remix skills on the first single from their anticipated forthcoming sophomore LP Destroyer. I recently caught up with Telepathe’s Melissa Livaudis and Busy Gangnes to get a little insight into what they’ve been up to, news on the new album and what inspires them.
Why is music important to you?
BUSY GANGNES: It is a creative and emotional outlet for me.
MELISSA LIVAUDIS: It’s the only thing I’m obsessed with in life.
When were you first drawn to the possibilities of electronic music production?
ML: For myself as a producer, production became a reality as soon as I bought Logic.
BG: I was inspired by other musicians that used the studio as an instrument and weren’t entirely focused on live performance. I wanted to create with a wider range of sounds and textures because I started to feel the limits of playing drums in a live band.
Do you create most days? What’s been the most interesting thing for you about creating lately?
ML: I take breaks from writing music. Right now I’m really into DJing techno and listening to all the records released on my favorite label called, L.I.E.S. It’s really important to feel inspired rather than just churning out music like a factory.
BG: I’ve been choreographing lately; the dancer I am working with is very talented and inspiring.
What’s Telepathe’s ethos in relation to your creative process?
ML: I’m always changing it up because I get bored very quickly and need the feeling of growing and learning more—basically a constant quest for knowledge.
BG: We have a unique way of collaborating that we have developed over the years. We build on each other’s ideas while maintaining our individual creative voices.
I adore the song Heat that was uploaded to your soundcloud a few days ago! What’s your personal favourite thing about it?
ML: Heat is an old song! We made it for ‘The Fader’ in like 2009. My favorite thing about it is to hear how much we’ve evolved as artists but still maintain a lot of the same elements: synths, drum machines, effected guitar loops and us singing together.
BG: I love the heavy beat.
Trent Reznor, Alessandro Cortini and Atticus Ross remixed your single Destroyer; what were your first thoughts on it when you heard it for the first time? Why did you choose them to do it?
BG: We chose to ask them because we are big fans and respect their music. They paid us a huge compliment by returning an amazing remix. I was especially drawn into the ending of the remix. It’s emotional, powerful.
ML: Who else would be more perfect for a synth heavy song?! They are so rad and I do feel so blessed that they did it.
What inspired the song Destroyer lyrically and musically?
BG: Destroyer was inspired by the character, Pris, from the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which Bladerunner the movie was based on.
You recorded the new record in LA; what inspiration did you get from the city? I’m assuming your environment would influence your art somewhat? Have you always paid close consideration to your environment?
BG: Yes we were inspired by the hot sun, foliage, and prevalence of cults and new age culture in the Los Angeles area.
ML: I’m inspired by girls.
In an older interview with you, you commented on the creative process for your debut LP Dance Mother saying “Writing those songs was a long creative process”. Was this the case with the songs for Destroyer?
BG: It was another long process but more focused and succinct than making Dance Mother. We felt like seasoned songwriters this time around.
ML: Completely locked into the zone.
Do you have a release date yet for the LP?
ML: I wish Modular Records would put it out and then we could soon have a release date.
I’ve noticed from a few posts on Telepathe’s Facebook page that you have a fascination with the darker side of old Hollywood and, films in general; where does your interest in this spark from?
BG: I love Kenneth Anger and his critique on the dark side and decadence of old Hollywood.
I know Telepathe like bands/artists such as Kool Thing, Twin-Gemz, Jumping Back Slash, Lissy Trullie, Levon Vincent, Spank Rock and John Maus; are there any commonalities or a quality that these artists share that you admire or that resonates with you?
ML: Well some are very good friends and I consider us to be all part of the same musical community. I love and respect all of the artists you mentioned above. Most recently, Levon Vincent’s “Stereo Systems” has blown my mind. I must have listened to it 20 times in a row when I first heard it.
BG: Kool Thing and Twin Gemz are our peers. They make innovative electronic music; we support each other and play shows together.
What other music and artists are you most excited about at the moment?
ML: Today, I’m excited about M Gun, Jorge Valez, Legowelt and L.I.E.S. Records.
BG: Regal Degal.
Do you have other creative outlets besides music you could tell us about?
BG: Dance, choreography, and performance art.
ML: All things that are art and girls.
Is there anything that Telepathe are really passionate about that you’d like to share with us or would like to raise awareness of?
BG: I’m happy that I have a chance to express my creative voice.
ML: Do whatever the fuck you feel like!
Lastly, what’s something that you’ve seen, heard or experienced lately that totally amazed you?
ML: I just spent four hours last Saturday with my girlfriend rolling around on the floor of La Monte Young’s Dream House. If you come here, I’m gonna take you!
BG: I witnessed a friend of mine go-go dance in public for the first time, it was amazing!
*Photos courtesy of Telepathe’s fb & Tumblr.