David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel make up the dashing duo Chromeo. Hailing from Montreal, the electronic band has released four albums over the span of a decade and branded themselves as “funk lords” because of their signature funky style of music. Their live show features a stage set that was designed in conjunction with their most recent album, as well as a set created just for their residency at Drai’s this year. Catch their funky vibes on July 31, August 28 and October 9 on the rooftop at Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub. Dave 1 gave us the details.
We’re still in love with your last album, White Women, but are you guys working on some new music for your loyal fans?
We’re gonna try to have something out this year. And then a new album next year.
Will this next album be in the funky style of White Women, or do you plan to depart from that sound?
It’s still going to be funk influenced—very funky and very dance-y. And obviously it’s gonna have some ’80s influence. You caught us at this period where we’re in the studio trying new things. It’s always helpful to bring in other vibes as well.
What about lyrical content? What can we expect to hear?
In that respect, it’s pretty consistent. We’ve forged a clear identity with the lyrics we write: It’s always kinda humorous and tongue-in-cheek, without being tacky. We just wanna refine that and also make the vocals better, make the vocals sound bigger.
Do you plan to continue with your current live production, or do you have plans to switch it up?
On every album, we want to take the show somewhere else. Every album is like a chapter in a history of live performances. Once the next album is done, we’ll try to revamp the show as well.
Explain the set design during your current live show.
When we play at Drai’s, the set design is different from what you might see when we play at a festival or at a club show, because we have a custom rig for that place. But if you saw us at Coachella or at EDC Las Vegas or whatever, the whole set is chrome to go with the Chromeo theme. And all of our instruments are chrome. We have this really cool set design where we’ve got infinity mirrors and a lot of plays on light reflection. The idea was just to go with a sculptural set design, as opposed to the massive LED cliché type of things you see with a lot of electronic music. Because we’re a band, we just wanted to go somewhere a little bit different.
Do you prefer to play live shows or DJ sets?
Definitely live shows. But DJ sets are fun, too, because then we can play our friends’ music. We’re guys in a band; we’re not real DJs. There are a lot better DJs out there, but people like seeing us because we’ll have a section of songs that’s a little more unconventional since we don’t come from the DJ world. It also means we can have really intimate contact with our fans, because we’re not busy playing guitars and keyboards. We’re there behind the decks and we can make eye contact, we can jump up and down, shake hands, you know? Sometimes after a [live] show, it’s fun to do an afterparty and DJ.
Would you ever do that at Drai’s?
At Drai’s it’s like one or the other. But you never know. Maybe I’ll come to [Drai’s Afterhours] and do a set. That would be a good vibe.
What else do you do after your shows in Las Vegas?
We stay off the Strip and we go to weird spots Downtown. There are a lot of cool foodie places off-Strip, that’s one thing I’ve learned about Vegas. There are so many chefs there.
I heard you guys are fans of Guy Fieri. Have you tried his Vegas spots, yet?
No, but we still fuck with him. He’s cool. I love him because he’s not pretentious; he’s not elitist. I like the fact that he goes to random, regular restaurants and just, like, gives props to some cook who didn’t have [conventional] training. That’s cool.
What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened to you here?
I don’t gamble, but P-Thugg, one time after a show, made $7,000 and lost it all and then made it all back just before checkout. I slept [the whole time]. I left when he was on his winning streak and I came back in the morning and he was still down there. And I was like, “Why are you still here?” And he’s like, “Aw, man, I lost everything and I had to make it all back.” And then we just got on the flight and left.