Piemont is a Hamburg based DJ/Production duo with a penchant for delivering real catchy and inspiring house music. With a recent release ‘Teaser’ just out on Italian imprint Lapsus Music, we caught up with the guys to find out what’s their secret…
Electronic Groove: Hamburg is known for its deep house circuit – does everyone there make it, release it, DJ it, love it and play it, or is it still a niche underground scene?
Piemont: Indeed, a large number of influential producers started their career in Hamburg in the last few years. But according to our opinion, the hype didn‘t affect the musical scene in general like it happened in Berlin for instance. For us it is still a niche scene – but an influential one.
EG: You release loads and loads of music. Do you ever get writer’s block?
Piemont: For us the production mode could not be enabled like an on-off switch. So it happens that we come to the studio and have completely no inspiration and no idea of what to do. In this case we leave the studio immediately and have a coffee somewhere. Usually we are more inspired when returning to the studio later on. If this doesn‘t work we just listen to music or do some other stuff like Beatport charts or Interviews… 😉 We feel it‘s extremely important not to get frustrated as this typically kills the creativity.
EG: What inspires and influences it all? Is it different stuff or are you on the same mission each time you start?
Piemont: We never have a clear picture of what the track should sound like. But before we start an idea we‘re usually listening to some of our current favourite tracks – just to get a rough idea where we want to go music wise. Sometimes some of us have already found a cool sample at home or just had a certain melody in mind before we start the studio session. The rest just ends up like that. Our musical evolvement is just something that happens unconsciously. According to our experience, new equipment and sound sources have been influencing new tracks.
EG: What stands out as some of your own favourite works and why?
Looks like our tune ‘Carbonat‘ stands out as one of our favourite productions. At least it seems to be one of our most respected releases so far. This tune was produced 9 years ago and was actually the first track under Piemont. We weren‘t really satisfied with the production at all but in the end this one got very popular and finally very important to our early success. Two months later the track was hammered by Carl Cox at the Space opening Party on Ibiza. At a later date, for instance, we still enjoy our two full length albums. The great thing about this format is that it enables the artist to try out new things music wise and to present different sides of his musical diversity.
EG: Who does what in the studio, do you both have your own set of skills that you bring?
Piemont: After having spent many years together in the studio and after all those gigs we have played, our creativity has become more and more symbiotic. In other words, each of us doesn‘t take care of certain creative things. The creative part is done by both of us. We produce the idea and arrange the tracks together. As we have small studios at home, we often look for track elements or suitable samples at home by ourselves and bring them to the studio next day. Sometimes one of us produces a track independently. Then people can‘t say from whom it was written. It just sounds like Piemont 🙂 Frederic usually takes care of mixdown and mastering issues though.
EG: What makes your relationship work? How did you meet? Are you similar or different? Do you have different musical backgrounds or similar?
Piemont: There are mainly good things about being a duo. For instance, it makes travelling much more comfortable. Also, the fact of being a duo usually pushes the creativity. If one is stuck in a production the other one can keep up the flow. We have been friends for two decades now and have similar musical backgrounds. We met in 1995 at a party at Hamburg‘s river beach and were already talking about our similar musical taste after a couple of minutes. At a later date. our musical ambitions set off in Hamburg almost 16 years ago as guitarists and singers in various alternative bands. During that period of time we actually gained our knowledge concerning arrangement and writing of songs, which still has an effect on today’s productions.
EG: What’s it like spending so much time together – do you ever fall out?
Piemont: As longtime friends and we aren‘t primarily part of a business relationship. That‘s why we know each other very well. We just had a very few controversial issues but meanwhile we just argue about rubbish like who is next to print out boarding cards and stuff like that 🙂
EG: Tell us about the labels you run – how do you know what is right for each one and why?
We decided to pause our label activities for a while since we realized that we simply haven‘t enough time to manage these lately. Moreover, we no longer weren‘t aware of what the labels should stand for. Perhaps we‘ll reactivate Plumbum very soon with a complete new concept. We just want to push a certain kind of music so the label will get it’s own identity.“
EG: What else you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
Piemont: We have some really exciting releases coming up the next month. First of all we have signed another track to ‘Glasgow Underground‘ featuring a young talented vocalist from Hamburg. Moreover, we‘ll release our second EP on Zurich based ‘Definition:Music‘ in June.
Piemont’s ‘Teaser’ is out now on Lapsus Music
Grab it here – https://pro.beatport.com/release/teaser/1727551