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Interview: As Summer Comes To An End, Tanlines Won't Fade

Tanlines first popped up on our radar last year with a remix of Telepathe's "Chrome's On It", and shortly thereafter became an actual, well, band. This strictly production based project from Professor Murder's Jesse Cohen and Brothers producer Eric Emm (also of Don Cab and Storm & Stress fame) shortly became a conceptual music duo. It was only natural that once you got these two in front of a computer together, some original dance-y prog pop tunes (with a touch of calypso) would emerge from the collabo.

In addition to the remixes, from the Tough Alliance to Au Revoir Simone, you can catch up with Tanlines original tracks in video form over at what they've called "the best record label ever", YouTube. And if you love what they've been up to, be sure to check them out with our favorite LA noise rockers HEALTH at the Bowery tomorrow night. Tickets are $15 day of the show.

Jesse Cohen gave us some details on the upcoming EP on True Panther and his crash course in iMovie when we caught up with him earlier this week. Check out the rest of the interview, and some more YouTube goodness from the boys, after the jump...

So is the name Tanlines in reference to something specific?

If anything it's a reference to the necessity of working indoors to create music on a computer. And actual tan lines, as in the color.

If you could compare your sound to one band from each decade you've lived through so far (80s, 90s, 00s), who would those bands be and why?

I don't think I'd want to be specific, but something we've talked about before is how a lot of music in the 80's was pop music that you could dance to, rather than "Dance Music" with a capital D. and that's something that we'd be into doing. More specifically, we've been inspired by the Wikipedia entries on Stock, Aitken, and Waterman and also the KLF.

What's your writing process like? And how does it translate in the live set-up?

It's mostly editing. We write a ton of parts and throw most of them away. Then Eric plays guitar over the song for about ten minutes and we edit that down to one or two 5 second loops. then we arrange the track and then Eric sings something over it.

The video for "Three Trees" is a roller coaster ride, literally. Is that made up of footage you found on the interwebs? Or did one of you or someone you know white knuckle a video camera for the sake of musical expression?

Found footage of two specific roller coasters that have personal meaning to each of us.

What's the deal with the videos anyway? Which is your favorite?

We feel that Youtube is the best place on the internet to consume music and we wanted to be a part of that. I am proudest of the Chili Peppers video (for "Bejan") because that's how I learned how to use iMovie.

The two of you have been collaborating for a while now, from a production side on Professor Murder to the first strictly remix beginnings of Tanlines, can you pin point the moment you decided to buckle down and work on a project that was all your own?

A number of unusual factors in each of our lives coincided to form Tanlines. Our first single 'New Flowers' has Eric singing on it, so that helped us move forward with original songs and the "band" side of the project, rather than strictly doing production

Tell me about Restless People.

Restless People is members of Professor Murder and Tanlines. Our official headquarters is at

Out of the previous work you've both done, I'd say Don Caballero is the least similar to Tanlines. How would you describe the difference in the creative process from heavy guitar to more danceable beats?

There was a heavy rhythmic component to Don Caballero, and people used to say that it sounded like there was more than one drummer. I think people would say the same thing about most Tanlines songs.

How's the EP coming along? What can we expect from it? And when can we expect it?

I think it sounds really good. It sounds mostly like the songs in our live set right now. Hopefully it will be out by the end of fall.

In addition to the music thing, do you guys have day jobs?

Eric is also a music producer and Jesse is also a photo archivist.

And finally, if you had a choice to live anywhere in the world but Brooklyn, where would you end up?


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