EQ’s Peter Wilson talks to Grum about his “interesting” music videos, their mutual love for Chromeo and why he isn’t a fan of dubstep…
Peter Wilson: Your videos really are astonishingly entertaining. I found myself grinning throughout the whole of “Through The Night”, how did you come up with the idea for the video? Did something inspire you, or was it always going to be like that, even while you were writing the lyrics?
Grum: I have to admit, the video idea was not completely mine…although I was very keen on the 80s pastiche thing. We worked with a production company called The General Assembly who produced the whole thing for us. They are based in LA so it would have been difficult for me to get too involved. However, the videos they have created have been amazing so I’m really happy. The response has been brilliant. I like how it divides opinions over the extent of the two cops relationship.
One of your other music videos, “Can’t Shake This Feeling” is a grotesque food porn extravaganza, but still manages to have a compelling narrative. The video is messy. REALLY messy. It’s kinda like watching “Call On Me” crossed with an extreme 80s McDonalds ad. Did the girls mind shovelling the food down and getting it everywhere?
As with the “Through The Night” video, I wasn’t there on-set when it was being made, although it looks like they’re having a good time. Again the idea with this was to give it an alternative feel, while making fun of the typical “Call On Me” style dance music video.
You’ve played at a broad range of venues all over the world, so whats been your favourite ever? And what has been your biggest gig or crowd?
In terms of bigger gigs, Avalon in LA has been great both times I’ve played there. I also played this party in Athens last month, which was amazing. Everyone was really receptive to the music and I got to try out some cool 80s edits.
What gig are you most excited/nervous about playing?
I’m playing the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party supporting Booka Shade. Totally cant wait to play that, and to a home crowd as well, it’ll be great.
In a couple of other interviews I read that your early influences were disco and that is certainly apparent in your songs. Your music sometimes reminds me of Chromeo, who I’m a massive fan of, have you ever met the guys or listenend to their stuff?
Yeah I love Chromeo! The new album is one of my favourites of the last few months. I haven’t met them but they are definitely a big inspiration to me. Maybe one day we can work together…
You use alot of samples in your work, what makes you decide which one to use? Is it an impulsive thing or do you narrow it down from a large selection?
Sometimes I just hear something and think…I can do something with that. Its usually a pretty organic process, rather than trawling loads of music for samples. I’m moving to writing more and doing things for vocalists, as I’m enjoying that much more than sampling at the moment.
I’ve heard you aren’t really a massive dubstep fan, is there any dubstep artist who, if you could work with, could change your mind and sway you to the syncopated swayers?
Yeah, it just doesn’t do much for me. Although, I can see why some people like it. Its just a bit irritating how it has become incorporated into the house, disco and electro scenes, because I don’t think it sits well with those other styles. If I were to pick one producer, I do like some of Nero’s stuff.
If dance/electro/disco music dips out of the mainstream, could you see yourself working in any other genre?
Good question. I have always loved synths, and more processed sounding or electronic music so I’m not sure!