Ratatat stormed onto the scene in 2004 with their debut single ‘Seventeen Years’, which launched their idiosyncratic mix of rock, electronica and hip hop to an unsuspecting world. A support slot on The Killers’ first major UK tour didn’t do them any harm, either. With their third album, ‘LP3′ out next week on XL Recordings, they have now established themselves as indie royalty. One half of the duo, Mike Stroud answered our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
We started recording together about seven years ago. Evan had his laptop studio setup in his tiny bedroom in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and he invited me over to record. We started making a bunch of joke songs together and then finally hit on ‘Seventeen Years’. We had a really simple set up, just a guitar, distortion pedal, one keyboard, and a couple other little things. We didn’t realise we were forming a band together then, we were just making songs for fun.
Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I think the inspiration for making ‘LP3′ came mostly from the environment we were in. We found an amazing studio to record in called Old Soul. It’s an old 1800s style house in Catskill, NY, supposedly next door to where Uncle Sam grew up. It’s filled with a huge range of different instruments, like harpsichords, grand pianos, about twenty different organs, etc. So, coming from small bedrooms in Brooklyn with only a couple instruments to a place like this was a big deal for us. Oh, and every song was written by ghosts.
Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It’s different every time. I guess most of the time we start out with a beat and just play over it until something sounds cool. I think the songs were written much faster this time because we had a broader range of sounds to work with in the early phase of the song. The sounds that we use as we’re starting a new song usually dictate what the theme is and then we just go from there.
Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Chemirani, White Flight, The Kinks, Werner Herzog, John Stamos, The Idle Race, Christopher Lloyd, RyanDan, R Kelly, The Zombies, SonofJerry, too many to mention all of them.
Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
You’re a little late. Just kidding, I’d say “it’s cool, we’re cool”.
Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I’m just hoping to tour around the world and see as many new places as possible, and then keep doing that in the future