They are three vibrant personalities with the musical abilities to express themselves in the most unique and human way: dOP are'nt just another Techno or House act. dOP, consisting of Clement, Damien, and JAW, are an organism with three hearts, one soul, and a circulatory system full of unheard-of musical ideas. In their tracks you find deeply moving rhythms beside real woodwind instruments and a honey-coated voice. That is why their debut album Greatest Hits received jubilating reviews globally. If you see them live you will not witness some laptop nerds checking their emails. dOP on stage means pure energy and total commitment. For both - their productions and their live shows they been world-wide recognized as one of the hottest contemporary dance music acts around. Last year they also established with the vocalist Brian Brewster a new project called Aquarius Heaven. Where the music of dOP whips around in a flurry of jazzy moods and a very French sense of mischief, Aquarius Heaven explores the depth and space of dub-rooted music. This summer dOP will inaugarate another new music adventure called Les fils du calvaire. Rejecting the notion of dance music completely, the trio will be joined by an additional drummer and guitarist for a purely Folk project, with all the lyrics sung in French. It’s surprising to think that it was only four years ago that dOP first crept onto the scene with their flamboyant style of House music, so much they have achieved in the short time that has passed ever since. What some of their fans do not know: they also did a string of remixes for such artists like Kate Simko, Gwen McCrae, Franz Ferdinand, or When Saints Go Machine. For Carhartt Radio they compiled a few in a deep and gentle moving mix. As always we hooked up with our hosts and asked Clement, Damien, and JAW some questions.
How do you guys all know each other?
Clement: We know each other for 25 years now, so I think we are allowed to not remember how we met. But I am dead certain that I see these guys every day since 25 years !!!!
Damien: Some people call it „destiny“.
When did you know that you want to be an artist?
Clement: I am a born an artist! I always knew I was it just took some time for the rest of the world to realise it!
Damien: As Clement I am born as an musician to be precise!
What is your musical background? What was the impetus behind the start-up of dOP?
Clement: I always loved all genres of music. You just got preferences or a main musical focus during a period of your life. In some month or years you discover or explore a genre. Then another one. But I studied music and this opened my ears for Jazz. With Damien I spend hours and hours just listening records religiously, analysing what the guys are playing!
Damien: I had a scholar muscial education with some amazing guys. I will write their names: Abdu Salim and Brad Wheeler. They have been my two biggest influences during my learning years. They are both saxophone players, one from Chicago and one from Texas. I think the biggest impetus for dOP was the hours we spent together playing and listening to music in our childhood. We always dreamed about a life of a musician. Then we start to believe in it and now we are living it.
If you could describe the dOP sound in one sentence, what would you say?
Clement: A good old country side sound,`a l’ etouffee.
Damien: A charming turbulent deep young adult!
What's the inspiration behind your work?
Clement: I want that aliens recognize that I am lost on this planet and that they come and pick me up! Quite selfish I admit, but true. Beam me up please!
Jaw: There is nothing behind, everything is front.
Damien: To feel something.
On what future projects are you working on?
Clement: I am gonna buy Facebook and Carhartt.
Jaw: We have a new band call Les fils du calvaire very soon into your ears!
Damien: I start to do the rehearsal for the next Lars von Trier movie. More infos to come.
How does living in Berlin shape the work of dOP?
Clement: When we been living in Paris and just finished a track people would say „Are you sure somebody is gonna listen to it ?". And in Berlin they say "It's nice, maybe a bit soft". Berlin give you more confidence to the crazyness of your ideas! Also we got windows in the studio now!
Jaw: I still live in Paris, so dOP can keep being a bit rude and beefeaters, not hippies and bike riders!
Damien: We are probably more relax here, and the windows play a big role in the studio. More space. More facilities. Nicer flats. I don't know how all this it influence our music, I think we would do what we are doing right now wherever in the world, we have a vision.
Within four years you played in almost each big club around the world – how can you raise the bar in the future?
Clement: Going out of the clubs (maybe in front of the clubs?)!
Jaw: Or maybe behind.
Damien: Music has not borders and limits, so if you're true to it, you can always raise the bar.
Why do you think your music is so successful?
Clement: I am not sure if our music is successful itself. It is more the live show and the way we play our music on stage that is successfull in my eyes!
Jaw: The successful part is coming soon, until now it was just "l entrée" now comes "le plat"!
Damien: I think we are successful in music because we are passionate, we never thought about doing anything else. We physically and mentaly need it. We can't live without doing it. On stage or in the studio!
If you could do a wishlist about the perfect audience or perfect club what is on it?
Clement: I would focus on the guestlist. For me the best clubs/partys are when the audience are real club people. They make the party! Then of course a good sound and good drugs!
Jaw: And some Rhum diplomatico!
Damien: Yes if we think about the audience, let's be careful about the guestlist and the proportion of girls. And which type of boys you invite. But also we had so many parties in the middle of nowhere, with a very simple crowd, far from the hype of the big cities. Again last weekend we played in Cludj in Transylvania, it was awesome. You would not believe what's going on there!
What advice would you give to producers, DJs who are just starting out?
Clement: Give me 3000 Euros, I make you a track and release it on a famous label!
Jaw: Give me 10.000 and introduce you to Vicky.
Damien: Give me 15.000 Euros, I do what the other 2 are doing, plus a weekend in Jo's mother 's house in the south of France.
What you like and what you dislike about contemporary club music?
Clement: I like that this music is totally limitless and can be feed with anything. And it is creating itself everyday new and breaks rules, using the backdoor... I don’t like artists that totally blocked in their brain, having the TRUTH about music and electronic music in particular, they don’t make the story go on.
Damien: I like the dancing and party side of this music, when it comes to celebrate. The hypnotic and psychedelic side also. As Clement I don't like in general when it become a matter of truth or realness, that's bullshit.
What was your biggest hit so far?
Clement: I think we did’nt do that yet, but it’s coming soon
Jaw: Very soon, with David.
Damien: We can't speak about having a hit, but when we play live, the people start to sing wherever we go our song Horny, it's getting crazy.
Would you say your art has a message?
Clement: Art as an activity is a message in a sense like look what you can also do in your life (just about creating and being sensible to everything around you, not about success or so) and it opens anybody getting in contact with his own sensibility. Also art can be a media to any message that an artist or a dictator want to give inside, and a very good one and also art can be meaningless too!
Damien: Art is a message itself! You can use it how you want. Even to do things without a meaning is a message.
How does an average dOP weekend look like?
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?
Damien: It's a selection of various remixes since our early days. Some of our favorites ones. We did many remixes since we start so far. We always wanted to be good at this excercise. But many are not known enough to my opinion. You should check it.
What records from the past coined your live?
Damien: For our live show there are some artists who inspired us with their presence and charisma. We been inspired by Nôze at the beginning, that is how we start to imagine our live show. In the electronic scene at the beginning people were hostile to us. They did’nt like the real live thing with a singer. Now it's quiet the opposite. We have been also inspired by all the bands from the 70s, I think we consider our live performance a bit like this. The music is very open and we use the songs just as a platform for creating a moment.
Who are you listening to these days?
Clement: Beatles and Rolling Stones, I listen more to songs than electronic music at the moment!
Jaw: Nick Cave, Bodi Bill, Clare Fader, Banda Cultivo, Ludovico Einaudi.
Damien: Raphael: La balada del la trompeta. Generaly I am into songs for a moment. Only on and off sometimes.
How do you think about getting married and having kids?
Clement: I don’t want get married! I don’t want to finish broke like Steven Spielberg or Kobe Bryant! Kids for sure! I reel tribe! I don’t know what kind of father I am going to be but I know my kids will have great uncles!
Jaw: No marriage but a lot of kids!
Damien: I am married and I will have kids with my wife. I am actually the most happy man in the world!
Can you name us a decision you regret?
Clement: Making music, I know my real destiny was to be a surfer (waves), and since I do music I totally messed up my surfing carreer.
Jaw: Forgetting about my shoe project .
Damien: To work with our friends.
What shall the world forgive you?
Clement: I keep this joker for later!
Damien: To be not enought respectful with the world.
What you like and dislike about your female fans?
Jaw: They are fantastic, but sometimes they are a bit to afraid of their desires. Making love is not only a big deal.
Damien: Do we have?
Can you name us people that should collaborate for a better world?
Clement: All Israel girls and Palestine boys should get together, and at same time all Palestine girls go with Israel boys, and in a few month a bit of love will come.
Damien: I'm a bit lost about the quest for a better world. And who is doing what for whom. I'm even not a good witness. I represent a very small minority of privileged persons. But first step is too try to follow what's going on.
What was the most immoral offer you ever received?
Clement: For the moment I am ok, you got any offer for me?
Damien: Nothing that should be remembered for now. But i'm sure it will come.
Can you name us some things that you haven’t done yet but you always wanted?
Clement: Using the name we have and the friends we have to do something useful for people who need it! A well done charity event.
Jaw: My list is way to long
Damien: Write my first movie, study cello, spend the winter at the Baikal lake, learn how to sail, so many things....
What superpower would you like to have?
Clement: Teletransportation for sure! Boom and I am in club Renate!
Jaw: Same! Boom!
Damien: To control time.
What were your teenage years like?
Clement: Dirty nails, hashish, and so much fun man you can’t imagine!
Jaw: Beeing with friends having fun and waiting for 2012!
Damien: Long hair, missing school, Clement, Jaw, and some other guys.
Can you name us 5 things you used to believe!
German’s are not cool!
American’s are cool!
My neighborhood (in Paris where i grew up) is the best.
I am gonna be a professional surfer.
That the German’s tried to kill Santa Claus
......I was always wrong
That I will be a Jazz saxophone player.
That I will not do Techno.
That I will not take drugs.
That I will not get married.
That I will not live in Berlin.
If you could spend a night partying with any of your icons, who would it be?
Clement: Keith Richards for sure, im not stupid!
Jaw: Kate Moss ...
Damien: If you speak about partying: Keith Richards and Clement. They have the same taste.
You are located in Berlin. What are your favorite spots and secrets that you would recommend to somebody that comes around for a visit?
Jaw: Liquid Raum, Sauvage Restaurant, and Salon zur wilden Renate of course!
Clement: The only one place to recommend is the Salon zur wilden Renate, Alt Stralau 70 Ost Berlin beach. And the new flat of Damien looks good for more extreme partys, and if you feel more like a simple red wine and pingpong you can come to my place kusskuss!
Damien: Schlosshotel the librairy suite, and also Park Inn Hotel room 3414, you can't be disappointed. And the studio in Renate.