With the release of their latest album, Kill For Love, Chromatics has solidified their place as a pillar of modern electro music. The following is an interview with the Montréal group.
By Yvanca Lévy-Péloquin – Photography: Richard Bernardin
After the release of their acclaimed album, Night Drive, in 2007 and their noted participation in the soundtrack for the film, Drive, in 2011, Chromatics are repeating their success with a new opus titled, Kill For Love. This time around the quartet from Portland is showcasing an album that is much darker, romantic, and mature. According to Johnny Jewel– musician, producer, and co-founder of disc label Italians Do It Better– the inspiration for Kill For Love revolves around the theme of disintegration. “We were consumed by the idea of disintegration. The idea of building something up and then watching it crumble. Our bodies, our architecture, our technology, our loves, our memories… everything around us crumbles at some point and it’s those moments that create the stories of our lives,” says the multi-talented musician and brains of Chromatics who has relocated to Montréal.
Currently touring across different international festivals, the group has the opportunity to make the jump from the more conceptual approach of studio recording and to reinvent their album through 50 minutes performances. The result? A performance mid-way between electro and rock. “We are building up rhythms and then stripping them down like a DJ. Our approach makes this the best concert we’ve had to date. It’s very stimulating,” says Johnny Jewel.
Their newest technique isn’t without influence from the film Drive. In fact, Chromatics’ participation in Nicolas Winding Refn’s feature film has well changed many things for the group. Not only did the song, Tick of the Clock, place the group on the map for a larger public audience, but it also changed their work discipline. “Trying to synchronize analogue drum machines to the rhythm of Nicolas’ movie was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a producer. Our new albums were directly influenced by this intense discipline that I had to learn while working on Drive,” concludes Jewel before jetting off to Beijing—