The name Cazzette evokes the recollection of diverse yet well-produced tracks, whether it be ‘Beam Me Up’ featuring the hypnotizing vocals of Kelly Sheehan or the Latin-influenced ‘Solo Para Ti’ off of Desserts. For Alexander Björklund and Sebastian Furrer, their recent releases reflect an upswing of tracks that the two themselves enjoy, before being concerned with the music everyone else wants for them.
The two played a stellar set this past Friday in Washington that went until nearly 4 AM, with Cazzette classics (‘Sleepless’ is forever delicious) as well as hip-hop hits tied in. Beforehand though, I had the opportunity to chat with Alex about how he defines success, what is to come (crossing my fingers for that album) and most importantly, doing what makes you happy.
I always try to ask this question first to ensure I get to it. How do you define success, whether it be in your life or your career?
Success for me is probably creative freedom.
It’s been a little more than a year and a half since you have been in DC, 2014, in April. Do you have any fond memories or stories from that time?
I love being in DC, we always have a great time. No specific memories, but we have been to DC a few times and we just love the city in general. It’s a cool spot to be at for sure.
Whenever in interviews you guys talk about how you keep moving forward in your sound. For artists who are afraid of going out of the box and doing what they love, what would you say to them to push them along?
I feel like the important stuff is that you are happy with what you’re doing. Seb and I, that’s how we are as people and producers. We always move forward. If we would not do that, we would not be happy and that was kind of the situation when we released ‘Beam Me Up’ and Eject and all that stuff. We felt the pressure that we had to keep doing the same thing, and we were not happy. So we kind of said, ‘Okay, fuck it. We can’t work like this,’ because we were not enjoying what we were producing, and that’s the one thing we do best in life – to make music.
That’s why you do it!
Yeah, that’s why we do it. So, we just said to ourselves that, ‘hey, we’re going to do stuff that we love,’ and I think that if you don’t have that vision about yourself and you don’t want to do different kinds of music than you shouldn’t do it. So you can’t really tell someone that’s kind of doing the same kind of music all the time to stop doing that, because if that makes them happy then they should do it.
Okay, so, what does your ideal promo email look like?
Promo email? Oooh… that’s… I can tell you what my ideal promo email doesn’t look like.
Go for it!
Really all the stuff involving, ‘festival bangers,’ ‘firebombs,’ that stuff. ‘Support from (insert generic DJ name here).’ … A lot of people say that. It’s usually not a good sign.
Is there any part of the music industry you would like to see changed?
Well… there’s always stuff that could be better but I think we are in a positive place. Everything is looking pretty good right now. The streaming part has kind of caught up with the industry and I feel like labels now look at change and try to go with it instead of being how they were before where they were like, ‘Oh, what is this internet thing!?’ No, it’s different now. The internet -it’s not all bad. I definitely feel like we are on a positive note right now. We’ll see.
You guys play all around the world, what differences do you see between the gigs you play in Europe and the gigs you play here?
I think the main difference between the gigs we play in Europe and over here is that in Europe you have more an old school House classics that you can play and they work really well and everyone knows them and it’s like, ‘aaaah fuck I can’t believe they played that song,’ and it’s crazy. But then again when you’re over here you can play some great hip-hop – you guys have that in your culture in a way that Europe doesn’t have. I feel like that’s the main difference. We get away with playing hip hop classics over here that we can’t play over here and in Europe we play House classics that we can’t play over here. It’s interesting, which is fun for us too because it means we can change up what we play and we always try to do that.
Is there any part of the song writing process you find the most difficult or the most tedious?
I think… it’s hard. It’s either the very beginning or at the very end. In the beginning, at least for us, it’s deciding what kind of vibe the song should have – your vision for what the song will become. But once you actually create it and it goes to mastering you’ve gotta sit down with it again and look at it and say, ‘should we remove something?’ It’s in the beginning or the very end. Everything in between is just fun basically.
So coming up with the idea and making sure it’s exactly the way you want it.
Exactly. That part can be fun in its own way, but it’s definitely one of the most challenging parts.
Can you talk about the pros and cons of being in a duo?
I don’t think there are so many cons to be honest.
Go for pros.
The good stuff is that we’re always two. But maybe that’s also a con, it’s tricky.
It’s a double-edged sword.
Exactly. It works for Seb and I really well. It’s nice that we’re never really ‘alone’ on the road. I can imagine for some people it gets pretty lonely. We never get to experience that. We’re really great friends so it’s kind of cool that we get to see the world together. Cons? Not really.. it’s small, stupid stuff like every day life. It’s like, if I’m late or if Seb is late, but that’s not really a serious con.
What’s your favorite place to play in the world?
Oooph… it’s so unfair to other places!
Okay, what about an ideal venue? What makes up an ideal venue for you guys. It does not have to be a real place – it can be completely made up.
I think we like to play concert halls a lot. Between 3000 and 6000 people. Old school atmosphere, theatre vibes. I think for Seb and I that’s perfect. Festivals are super fun and it’s really cool because you get to spread your music – a lot of people hear it. But then again there are so many people, they all become tiny ants. It’s just a mass. You wanna go a little bit smaller than the average festival and a little bit bigger than the average club. At the same time, playing a 500 cap room in a sweaty basement where everyone is just going nuts, that’s amazing too.
What advice do you have for up and coming artists? Something you wish you would have known years ago when you were first starting out compared to what you know now.
Listen to yourself, your own opinion matters a lot. Only do what you are comfortable doing – that’s going to keep you happy for a long time. I know how it is being a young producer when you’re trying to get out there and you’re like, ‘Oh, maybe I should produce stuff like this because it seems to be popular.’ Don’t do that.
Do what makes you happy.
Exactly. Do the stuff that stands out to you.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Interesting… honestly, I want to keep doing what we’re doing and keep exploring as producers. Just keep playing, doing bigger shows. Actually making a live show would be cool as well, to incorporate instruments, stuff like that. That’s something that would be really fun.
So you guys have the EP, you have the North American tour. Besides sleep, what’s next?
Well… we’re going to be on the road for two more months. We always try to work on remixes and bootlegs and stuff like that, so I guess that’s it. That’s our life. We fly then we work, we fly and then we work some more, which is awesome and I’m really happy we get to do it. We plan to lock ourselves in the studio in December and really get to work with the next chapter for us musically.
It’s an incredible life indeed. Do you have a favorite track you have produced over the years?
I’d say ‘Sleepless.’ It was a fresh start for us, it was so much fun for us to create it. The atmosphere when we were doing it was just great. ‘Sleepless’ for sure.
Then favorite track off the EP?
Mmm…. it’s like picking a favorite child, they’re all so unique. I’m going to say Solo Para Ti this time.
Let’s change it up a bit. Different subject. Favorite food?
Favorite food? Aaaarghhhh…. we went to Blue Hill in New York. It’s an amazing farm to table restaurant – that’s my favorite restaurant I’ve been to thus far. I don’t know how to define the courses, it’s very simplistic and minimalistic. For instance, a starter was like, a radish. Amazing.
So, last question! You two have this huge EP. Any major goals that you haven’t accomplished yet in your career?
It would be really cool to create a concept album, like an actual album where all of the tracks work well together as a whole experience. Where you have to listen through the whole album to get the full picture – that would be really fun. We’re taaalking about doing that. We just don’t know where to find the time! We were thinking of renting a house in France and doing it.
That’s the big thing, just renting a house out for a while and doing it.
Yeah, that would be really cool. But we’ll see. It’s just talk for now.
Truly appreciate the time, Alex!