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Interview: Chester French

Chester French

You've probably seen electronic duo Chester French on the road with acts like Blink-182, Lady Gaga and Weezer or heard their collaborations with acts like Rick Ross and Talib Kweli. They're back with their new album Music 4 Tngrs and have been on everyone's radar since the release of the controversial song "Black Girls". Maxwell & D.A. took some time to talk about their new album, touring with diverse acts and communicating with animals.


1) You recently released Music 4 Tngrs. What was the recording process like for the album?

Max: We did the bulk of it in four or five months of seclusion in Milwaukee, checking in with Pharrell and Chad periodically for master level advice. Then we spent the next year sporadically picking things apart and putting them back together again until we arrived at the final product.

2) What was it like working with guys like Travis Barker and Pusha T on the album?

Max: I had an awesome time working with Travis. He's a great player and such a modest and relaxed guy. He pushed me to push him, and I'm really happy with the parts he put down.

D.A.: Pusha and Pharrell have been good friends and collaborators of ours for the past 5 years. They're both terrific lyricists and awesome dudes.

3) Any artists that you'd love to collaborate with the future?

Max: Yes. I'd love to work with some of the jazz greats that are still living. Pharoah Sanders, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie, Wayne Shorter--I could go on for a while.

D.A.: As a singer, I would like to be a puppet for Stevie Wonder or Prince sometime.

4) Chester French have toured with acts like Blink-182, Lady Gaga and N.E.R.D. Do you enjoy performing in front of different crowds?

Max: For sure. It's always interesting to see what different types of people like and dislike. Tailoring the set to a particular audience is a fun challenge.

5) What music are you currently listening to?

Max: I'm on a big Bill Evans thing lately. The Beach Boys are back in heavy rotation too.

D.A.: Strangely, I too have been listening to Bill Evans without knowing that Max has been. I've also been revisiting Nick Drake. Newer acts that I really love include KING and Jamie Woon.

6) What songs do you enjoy playing live?

Max: I always like playing covers. We've had a lot of fun playing "Remember" by the Shangri-Las and "Hella Good" by No Doubt.

7) What's next for Chester French?

Max: I'd like to break new ground in interspecies communications. I think humans can have more meaningful conversations with other animals, and I'm interested in what they have to say.

D.A.: I agree.