TSS Presents Smoking Sessions With P-Thugg Of Chromeo

By: 09.14.11

TSS: Hey, keep 100. Please. It seems kind of crazy to me that your last album, Business Casual, came out just over a year ago. Looking back, how do you feel about it?

P-Thugg: Well, it’s actually exactly a year ago.

TSS: It seems like it was yesterday.

P-Thugg: Yeah, it went by pretty fast. I really haven’t had time to think about it. To me, it’s like it came out two months ago, you know? We’re already starting…we’re gonna’ pump out albums. So, were gonna’ start working this winter on a new album.

TSS: Good. That was going to be my next question, because it seems like you guys typically put about three years in between albums to fine-tune them. But you’re jumping right into it now?

P-Thugg: Well, we want to jump right into it and not make people wait three years for another album. Hopefully.

TSS: What’s your key to maximizing promotion for an album? It can’t be easy. A lot of artists just jump right into their next mixtape or their next album six months in. But you guys have always taken your time. How do you maximize that time between albums?

P-Thugg: Well, for us, an album is a body of work. It’s a whole thing. It’s not just putting songs together. So, we’d rather think about it for a longer time. Take more time between releases, so we will have something that will last forever, you know?

TSS: Right.

P-Thugg: You can’t just put an album out where the artwork doesn’t match the music, the video aesthetics, or the songs are just put together. I mean, we put so much time into the just the order of the songs. You know? Just to make it a full experience. So, once the album comes out we can really take our time and put out four singles and four videos per album, which is a lot.

It’s not like we’re trying to stretch out what we have. It’s that we are fully exploring every song on there, and we make we sure we have enough songs to make people talk for two-three years.

TSS: It’s quality over quantity.

P-Thugg: Yeah, exactly.

TSS: And, that’s what I would want as a fan. That’s what I do want as a fan.

P-Thugg: That’s what I want as a fan, too. Like, when you listen to a Tribe album, you know? Dude, I can listen to the first three Tribe albums from beginning to end. Especially Midnight Marauders. From beginning to end, it’s like a fucking journey, man. It’s an experience.

TSS: It’s cohesive.

P-Thugg: That’s exactly where we’re going. You can listen to Thriller beginning to end, nonstop. You don’t have to be like, “oh, I’m skipping to track seven.” There’s interludes. The songs connect. It’s cohesive. It makes sense. That’s what we’re going for.

TSS: I met you guys about a year ago at the Majestic, when you were in Detroit last September. You guys were very gracious and I appreciate it. But, one thing that Dave said to me, after I mentioned, “Hey, I first heard about you on a Reese’s commercial back in like 2006…” and he said something like, “Well, man, the radio doesn’t play us, so we gotta get money somehow.”

And I found that very intriguing. Because, on top of that, you have now been in the new FIFA video game, an NBC primetime TV series and even a Bing commercial, as well. Basically, in the United States specifically, you’re everywhere but radio. What’s it going to take for Chromeo to get on Top 40 US radio?

P-Thugg: That’s an ongoing battle for every band. How do you make it to Top 40? It’s having one mega-smash hit. It’s having money. There’s a lot things involved, man. It’s not as easy as people think. You can have a great song and you might never see daytime radio. Just because of, you know…

TSS: Politics.

P-Thugg: It’s not necessarily politics. When you do have that song that transcends…it’s one thing to have a cult following and a bunch of people that want a part of everything and that love you. And I think that’s where we’re getting at and we’re really thankful for that. But, I think it’s another thing to hit cab drivers in Greece, you know? It’s a different game and a different way to write songs. Some people are paid for that, to chase and write songs that are made for radio. There’s a certain sound.

TSS: Right.

P-Thugg: And there is the odd song every now and then, like “A Milli” or “Fuck You,” by Cee-Lo. Stuff like that, that doesn’t sound like anything. It’s pure UFO. It comes in, everybody loves it, everybody connects and then it leaves…and the radio goes on with Ke$ha and Katy Perry. You know what I mean. That’s basically what it is.

TSS: [Laughs] Is that something that’s alluding you or something that you’re just going to let come to you? Or, do you guys even care?

P-Thugg: We are perfectly happy where we are, because we know the fans we have are die-hard. If you get us, you know – without being influenced by radio, then somebody told you about us and you really get it. You understand. You’re not just influenced by big-time, Top 40 radio, like “Oh yeah, this is a cool song” but never know what the rest of the album sounds like. Every one of our fans knows all of our songs. It’s not just, “Oh yeah, it’s that band that has that song, ‘dah dah dah dah,’” you know what I mean? That happens to so many bands.

People go to their show for one song only. I can name you bands, dude, like…huge bands that have one, two hits. People come there and only listen to the two singles and then listen to the rest of the album and have no idea what’s going on. I wouldn’t personally like to have that. Maybe if both worlds could be combined and we’d have something that universal, to the level of Stevie Wonder and Prince. That’s universal music – if you go see Stevie Wonder, you go to the show and know every damn song he’s playing. By heart. You know what I mean?

TSS: And that says a lot. About an artist and their longevity.

P-Thugg: Exactly. I mean, we’re aiming for longevity over overnight hits and radio play, and temporary stardom.

TSS: Vanilla Ice had maybe one of the biggest songs of an entire decade, yet now he’s doing reality TV shows, selling houses. I can’t see you guys doing that in 10 years.

P-Thugg: No, no. Dude, I mean, if Chromeo doesn’t work and everybody hates our next album and we basically go out of business, I’m not going to chase stardom. I’m going to go back home and open a restaurant. Anything. You know what I mean. Have a family. We’re really in it for the music. For the art. We’ve taken conscious decisions over time, to stay close and true to what we like.

It’s very easy to go out there and chase radio hits. You get to a label and they bunch you up with a bunch of songwriters who sit and write for Katy Perry, and you would probably – in a 10-year-career – have super fame for five or six years. But, that’s not what we’re really about. I want to look back on my career and have 10 albums of dope shit, that kids in 20 years will be listening to as a reference, like we’re doing old hip-hop or Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix or Parliament Funkadelic.

TSS: Well, as a fan personally and pretty much on behalf of everyone else who’s a fan, I really commend you guys for sticking to your guns and not giving into the system. I feel at the point you’re at right not now, it would be easy to do that. It’s appreciated.

P-Thugg: Thank you.

TSS: You got anything to tell everybody going to the shows this fall.

P-Thugg: We’re comin.’ Get ready.

For further reasons to get pumped up about Chromeo coming to your town, check out the tour schedule on their official site Chromeo.net and download their latest release, When The Night Falls Remixes EP, on iTunes.

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