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New DFA signings Free Energy talk conspiracies and being an indie band in an electro world

When Kara Simsek asked Free Energy what they were all about, they replied: “Free Energy is a band from Philadephia as well as a concept and a lifestyle, a lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves, to live in a dirty abandoned city where the rent is cheap, the bands are good and the ladies are smokin’.”

If that statement from singer Paul isn’t wierd enough, then this might be. Free Energy is a band channelling the vibes and sunny disposition of the 1970s who openly admit that their bluesey, summery, sunbleached garage rock is influenced by Fleetwood Mac and are… signed to DFA Records. Yes, that DFA Records that count Hot Chip, Pixeltan, Plastique de Reve, Gucci Soundsystem and of course label boss James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem amongst their ranks.

How did a band so straight up and down guitary end up on such a dance-punk orientated label? Their debut album, ‘Stuck On Nothing’ is infact produced by Murphy, a move that came after a lot of waiting. “There’s a guy that runs DFA Records day to day who actually signed us, and he kept saying about it to James, but he never had time, he’s very fickle about his time and we pretty much played the waiting game with him. We just kinda hung out and kept recording, and eventually, James had enough time for us,” Paul explained. “He wasn’t instantly like, ‘Oh I have to record this band’, it was more like we hung out a long time and eventually he was like, ‘Yeah, OK I have time for it, I’ll do it’, turned out he really loved it and spent a whole year working on it. He cleared his schedule, but before then we were just kind of on the back burner.”

Obviously, the next question is if working with Murphy influenced the band’s sound on the new LP? “We’re influenced by the pop melody, and he might be more enthused by, like wierd production stuff, but there is a lot of cross over. Like the way the drums are recorded on the new record are very similar to the LCD records, warm and dry,” Paul said. “We listen to, like, Fleetwood Mac and he listens to weird post-punk, and weird disco and dance, but there’s a time in the mid to late 70s and early-80s where all those things like crossed over and Fleetwood Mac sounds like weird post-punk and disco. When people hear the record it’s going to make sense, but it is a rock band, and he is more electronic, I guess. But yeah, there’s a lot of crossover.”

And long term, are there any remixes on the horizon from any of their new labelmates? “They’ve always told us they were going to steer us away from doing a lot of remixes, but we did a remix with James in the studio of a song called ‘Hope Child’, which will maybe never see the light of day, but sounds like a Daft Punk song, but it’s still like, a lot of big mean guitar, and stuff. So I dunno, maybe, one day.Or maybe they’ll totally rip us off and the next LCD LP will sound like Free Energy!”

So, with all the ‘band stuff’ out of the way, I had to ask stuff that mattered. For those of you who don’t know, there are several conspiracy theories surrounding the concept of free energy. In a nut(insert ‘case’ here if you’re close minded and a bit of a sceptic)shell, the idea is that there are existing ways for people to get their energy and power for free, but greedy, faceless, multi-national corporations won’t allow it, and systematically kill any inventors or scientists that could blow the lid off their dirty scam or simply steal their ideas – and then kill them. Free Energy, what is your favourite conspiracy theory? “I kind of believe that the World Trade Center was done by the US. I like that one. Um, you know that the world’s energy demands can be met by one day’s worth of sun, that kinda shit I tend to believe. I wanna believe it. 2012 I don’t see as much of a conspiracy, as a probability. When it comes, it comes.”

Free Energy’s album, ‘Stuck On Nothing’ is coming January 2010.



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