This past weekend I was fortunate enough to successfully compile C+A+D‘s first exclusive interview with none other than The Twelves. I was a little ecstatic to be given this opportunity because I can’t count the number of hours I’ve spent on their essential mix and remixes. It’s such a fulfilling experience to see the faces behind such appreciated talent and, in this case, hear what they have to say. It also made the trip up to SF that much more worth it considering they threw down the funkiest two and a half hour set we could have asked for. Being star-struck aside, I feel like this interview will shed light on a lot of info you all probably didn’t know about this glorious duo.
C+A+D and The Twelves
C+A+D: How has touring been so far for you guys?
12s: This was the third show actually, so there is not a lot to tell quite yet. We played Edmonton and Vancouver in Canada and San Fran tonight. So far so good though! Edmonton was a Thursday and there was like 800 people and tonight sold out also so, so far so good.
C+A+D: What’s with the lack of LA dates? I know there is a pretty massive fan base waiting for you guys to come back after HARD Summer.
12s: We weren’t able to set dates down there because of Coachella. You’re not supposed to play around the area 2-3 months before and after. It’s the one place we really would play and every tourist wants to play…especially because we’re really tight with the promoter there.
C+A+D: Well I was going to ask this later, but how did you guys feel about getting that Coachella spot? Have you ever been? It’s a pretty major accomplishment as far as the music scene goes around America.
12s: No, no..we’ve never been. We only believed it when we saw the poster. Up til then we heard only rumors and were like “Is this gonna happen??” But only when it’s on the poster on the official site, we can say, you know..it IS gonna happen.
C+A+D: Yeah that’s what I was waiting for…people are always trying to get everyone hyped with fake posters. It’s frustrating.
12s: We were on the fake poster…and uhh we spread it to everyone haha. We saw the message board and people were all excited about it, and we just thought it was funny. We didn’t want to deny it. But we really didn’t know until it was on the official site.
C+A+D: And you guys have never been or heard of the magnitude of the event?
12s: We’ve heard of it ever since we started. When we started, playing at Coachella was like..”the thing.”
C+A+D: Exactly! Coachella is where it’s at as far as it goes around here. Congrats on that!
12s: Yeah it’s something you put on your tombstone…”Played at Coachella 2000 whatever.” haha
C+A+D: It’s going to be cool. I know you guys said you’re bigger on the club shows but Coachella has its own thing going on. Thousands of people are going to see you guys.
12s: I dunno how many people are going to watch us, but we’re definitely going to watch a lot of people.
C+A+D: A couple years ago when I went I saw Fleet Foxes and I noticed you guys like to remix them from your essential mixes and others that are just floating around.
12s: Yeah yeah yeah, some guy really wanted to hear us play it so we put it in this mix..He pretty much demanded it. Not sure if the Fleet Foxes guys would like it though.
C+A+D: When did you guys start touring internationally? What’s your favorite place that you’ve toured at so far? Any places you guys want to go that you haven’t been?
12s: 2007. It was a small tour. We were sleeping at promoters houses, going from New York to Chicago but it was good fun. We really love playing here (San Francisco), I know it sounds cliche, but it was the first place we played at in the U.S. And yeah sure! We’re supposed to go to Rome, so we’d love to get that done.
C+A+D: And now the question that had to be asked..why The Twelves?
12s: It’s actually a weird coincidence. We were born in the same city, on the same day, same year, same everything…July 12, 1980. [Luciano] He’s my evil twin. haha
C+A+D: I was really curious as to how you guys felt about this. But you can’t read any bio, any description, any anything without you guys being referred to as “Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk.” It was even in your essential mix.
12s: Ahhhh we hate that..we hate that. We can’t compare. [Luciano] I did shake Guy Manuel’s hand in Paris and I revere them. But that’s the closest we get. It’s embarrassing..I wonder who came up with it. [João] Pete Tong? In the essential mix? [Luciano] Nahh he’s an announcer he doesn’t come up with marketing slogans..I don’t think so anyway?
C+A+D: How is the scene in Brazil? How did you guys start doing what you’re doing given what’s going on down there?
12s: I think we started mainly because of a lack of a scene, in Rio at least. I dunno, there’s a small indie rock scene in Rio, but it’s pretty much people just playing the same tracks every night. So we wanted to try and do better than that. We were in an indie band, but we wanted to try to make tracks for the dance floor setting.
C+A+D: What other instruments can you guys play? What made you guys want to do the DJing thing instead?
12s: [Luciano] In the band I played bass and João played guitar, but I feel like I was more of a drummer by trade. I had been playing drums for like 8 years. But yeah we were trying haha it just didn’t really work out. Didn’t go anywhere.
C+A+D: Do you guys listen to songs differently now that you’ve been remixing as much as you have? What’s your favorite remix that you’ve done?
12s: [João] I think so, yeah. I think people got scared of the remix scene though, because it kinda got out of hand. [Luciano] Awhile ago it was easier to find vocals for tracks so we could remix with them. Now people don’t really release vocals as much as they used to. Because if you do, you get like 30 remixes in a day and most of them are shit. [Luciano] Favorite remix of ours? I like the Fever Ray one. [João] And I really like The Virgins one we did.
Random dude in the hotel lobby: If you were being attacked by a swarm of midget monkeys flinging poo, which one of you would run and which would stay and fight?
12s: [João] ha! I would just laugh probably. [Luciano] I would make a bracelet out of their heads for sure.
C+A+D: What about producing? Now that you’ve guys have pretty much mastered the remix thing…are you going to try and make some more originals?
12s: Ehh we haven’t mastered anything. We’re always trying, but we’re always touring. It takes a lot of time to get used to the studio environment again and start being productive. If you’re doing a lot of gigs, it gets tough. [Luciano] I like hearing when you hear a band made an album in the country side, in an abandoned warehouse. I think it’s a good thing. You need to isolate yourself from email..and whatever. You have to focus. [João] I envy artists who can produce while they tour. It’s so hard. Because in my time off, I don’t even want to listen to music, you know? Sometimes, silence really is golden.
C+A+D: How about the essential mix? How’d you guys go about pulling that off and laying out the tracks and stuff?
12s: Someone new a guy that new a guy that new a guy, pretty much. [João] We were supposed to go home and do the essential mix for two weeks, and we really wanted to do it that way. And the guy was like, “No you have to do it now!” We were touring at the time too, so it’s actually a live recording from a show in Scotland. [Luciano] We were going to do the London one, but it turned out to be shit. I rented a bass and stuff to do it live, but it didn’t really work. [João] Yeah plus you were really drunk…
C+A+D: Is there ever a time you feel like you’ve made it? Like you’re where you want to be? Or are there things you still want to accomplish?
12s: Those moments definitely exists, but they last like 30 seconds, and then after that 30 seconds you’re like “nahh gotta go do it bigger next time.” You forget about it. There are ups and downs to the whole thing. When we go home and we play 5 nights a week, it all feels really good, but when we start traveling you just feel like you could do better. But ultimately, no one is ever satisfied with what they have. We’re happy.
C+A+D: Last one. You’re stranded on an island..1 album, 1 bottle of alcohol. What’s it going to be?
12s: [Luciano] Bottle of alcohol, easy: Kettle One. [João] Probably have a 6 pack of Hoegaarden. Album? Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins. [Luciano] I’d take Mozart’s Requiem.
C+A+D: That’s it then..Thanks a lot dudes and for the fucking awesome show.
12s: Our pleasure, really. Time for Arizona in the morning..
If you want to see videos I got from the stage, check out our YouTube page. It was a massive sold out show, and rightfully so.
Fever Ray – Seven (The Twelves Remix) Delightful Choice!
Radiohead – Reckoner (The Twelves Remix)
Daft Punk – Aerodynamic (The Twelves Remix)