Chromeo: Renegades Of Funk

Videos by American Songwriter

Watching them interact with their fans says more about their character than any interview ever could. These are two music fans that have somehow generated their own legion of fans and they love every moment of it, from the act of creation to the waves of adoration. If you could put a price on the elation of every girl that got to dance with Dave 1, Warren Buffet would have a hard time floating the tab. Between their avidity for the music they love and create, and their conviviality with every person that just wants to bask in their presence, nobody enjoys their job more than Chromeo.

If you talk with Chromeo about their much ballyhooed collaborations with Daryl Hall, one half of blue-eyed soul superstars Hall & Oates, you get a reaction that’s not dissimilar from those girls on the dance floor – their eyes light up, they get so excited they’re almost speechless, still in awe that it actually happened. They talk about their first trip to Hall’s abode to record an episode of Hall’s ongoing web series Daryl’s House the way some people talk about the birth of their first child. They recount the story of their Bonnaroo set with Hall and their one seven-hour rehearsal with the wonderment usually reserved for explaining a weird dream rather than a gig at a rock festival.

When the pair find out that John Oates just happens to be staying in the same hotel while in Nashville recording his new country record, you can almost hear the gears turn in their heads, fan boys plotting a way to have a run-in with their idols. The same enthusiasm comes out when the topic shifts to Business Casual collaborators like arranger Larry Gold – whose string arrangements defined the Philly Soul sound of the ’70s – and mixer Philippe Zdar, an architect of the French disco-house scene that gave the world Daft Punk, and producer for indie-wunderkinds Phoenix’s breakthrough album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

As the night winds down at the Mercy Lounge, as the bartenders cash out their registers and the bouncer reminds everyone that we don’t have to go home but we can’t stay there, P-Thugg and a pack of stragglers head down the stairs and into the night. Dave 1 has disappeared along with the visceral energy that has permeated the building since the doors opened nearly seven hours ago. All that’s left are an exhausted, overworked bar-staff and discarded plastic cups and empty bottles as evidence of the once-raging party.

Chromeo are on their way to the next city, the next sold-out show in a string of sold-out shows that’s likely to last longer than your average, aspirant country star’s career. They’re on their way out of the indie wasteland and into the mainstream, flying the funky flag for a generation that desperately needs fun, honest, unpretentious pop music. But at least when they’re gone, Nashville can get back to messing around.


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