Ratatat are two guys from New York who play laptop-programmed music with a million layers of guitars and synths. It sounds like sleazy, robotic, oom-pah chamber music and makes girls like Kelly Osbourne go weak at the knees. If you took it all apart and got real human beings to play their music it would be like one of those Glenn Branca shows with 87 people playing guitars...
Vice: You guys look a little the worse for wear, if you don't mind me saying.
Evan: Sorry. We played a show at The Astoria last night. It got a little crazy.
Mike: Yeah we played with CSS and then they took us to this place The End - Durr or something? I don't know.
Evan: Can you tell these UK promoters to stop giving us Jack Daniels on our rider, that stuff isn't even whiskey. It's just headache in a bottle. Ugh.
Your music seems highly programmed. Is it not just a case of standing onstage and pressing buttons?
Mike: No not at all. It would be unfeasible to play it all live though. We have a guy called Jacob who plays live keys with us now. And we do live guitars. Lead guitar and lead bass. Live is always exciting - we're not jamming out or anything but the live stuff can influence the studio stuff subsequently.
Evan: Yeah, I wanna make more aggressive stuff now. We could maybe do it live as a special one off show in New York or something. That would be cool. We have video projections we use too.
Would you cry if your laptop got stolen?
Evan: That would be the worst. We'd probably have to give up music.
Who is the average Rattatat fan?
Evan: Her (points at elderly lady sipping tea in the ICA café).
Mike: Seems to be a lot of stoner kids in the US.
So you've gone from playing guitar with Ben Kweller and Dashboard Confessional to remixing Biggie and Young Jeezy. How did that happen?
Mike: The job with Dashboard was just me and it was just that: a job. I was playing in a band on tour with them and they needed a piano player so I took the gig. I did one studio session then Ben poached me. That was more fun but this is what I wanted to do. As soon as we had the opportunity we did this. We met at college and we have been making music together since then.
Evan: The hip hop thing was just something we wanted to do. As well as Queen and this band White Light, I really love Timbaland; his production is a real inspiration. The remix thing is just a logical progression of what we do I think. Labels have begun to come to us. We did a remix for the Television Personalities. That was interesting 'cos I wasn't too familiar with them apart from like "Part Time Punks". We also did a remix of a track by The Knife. That was weird.
Mike: Yeah the girl sent us this super specific e-mail where she was like: "I want it to sound like this one specific Prince track" and spelled out in the e-mail duh duh duh duh duh duh duh. You know? Like how she wanted it to sound. Weird.
Evan: We heard back from Beanie Siegel and Devin saying that they'd heard the remixes and were into it. That's nice.
* Ratatat's new album Classics is out now