During the Off Plus Camera festival Lizard King was the official festival club, it is there where all the concerts took place, also in the same place I managed to have a short chat with Arms and Sleepers before they enchanted their fans in Kraków with a brilliant gig. Mirza Ramic and Max Lewis create a unique type of electronics, their music combines elements of subtle chillout as well as the darkness of trip hop, during our conversation they talked about their love of cinema, why they prefer Almodóvar to Lynch and who would they like to work with. The duo also spoke about their forthcoming record and how it is going to sound like.
I know that you are fans of good cinema, you also make music for films, so I guess it’s not a coincidence that you’re playing at a film festival?
Mirza Ramic: I think that if we had a choice to play a regular music festival and a film festival we would probably choose the second one.
Have you already had a chance to see any of the films?
MR: Not yet, we’ve just come to Kraków but we’re staying for another two days so we’re planning to see some of the films and the city too.
Are there any directors you’d like to work with?
MR: For sure Pedro Almodóvar, we like pretty much all his films and have been heavily inspired by them too, we also really love the music that he chooses for his songs. Obviously it would be a challenge, but if we were to choose one director it would be him.
Max Lewis: Pedro is numer one, I don’t think there’s ever anything wrong with the music in his movies, however, Noah Baumbach is an example of a director who doesn’t choose very good music. It’s not very bad but we could probably do it better, I think we naturally have ideas for the specific kind of sounds which would match his films.
What about David Lynch?
ML: He needs more help with the camera, he uses cheap equipment so I can’t watch any of his stuff because it looks like home – made movies.
New recording is coming soon, what can we expect from it?
ML: Probably a mixture of instrumental hip hop in the mood of J Dillah and Flying Lotus with 80’s synths because we’ve been watching a lot of tv show Miami Vice, we’re actually addicted to it, we can’t stop watching.
Since the beginning of your career you’ve managed to record a lot of stuff, it seems you’re very hardworking, how do you do it?
MR: Well, first of all a lot of it is not that good, but sometimes we are really inspired by a lot of different things, and there are also times when nothing comes. We’ve been around for 8 years and we’ve had many releases, but not all of them are full albums, there are also some EP’s. We try to be as productive as we can in our lives in general, not just with music so when we are inspired we try to work hard.
ML: Our schedule also influences the productivity, we don’t have 9 to 5 jobs, we have our school work where summer is off, and as we’re self – motivated we can always find time for music. Another thing is that we rely on electronics, we don’t have to waste time making demos and going to studio to record stuff. Besides there’re only two of us so we don’t argue that much.
MR: We used to be in a band with a lot of other people where the was a lot of fighting and no work done, now when there’re only two of us we’re more productive. There are still going to be disagreements but disagreements between two people are much easier to solve.
You’re planning a whole Eastern – European tour, you’re going to places like the Ukraine or Romania, while hardly anyone plays there…
MR: I’d say that our best shows are in Eastern Europe where the audiences are excited and enthusiastic about our music, so we naturally try to go there as much as we can. Playing in Western Europe or in the States is much more difficult because people there get all kinds of music, so it’s much easier for them to get jaded and a bit more pretentious about who they like and who they don’t. In Eastern Europe there’s still a lot of organic, natural excitement about music so we’re happy to go back anytime.