By Ryan Meehan
Thirty Three Hertz are Manhattan’s blackest white boys. Their unique blend of pop fused with 70’s disco and soul has put them on the map and has drawn a lot of comparisons to France’s Phoenix among many other successful pop bands. Benny Lowe and Tim Wagner were cool enough to answer the FOH call and 33Hz is this week’s artist in 5 Questions.
1. A lot of your songs have serious sexual overtones. Do you feel committed to write lyrics like that because of the funk nature of your music? Or would you write lyrics like that if your music sounded like Dan Fogelberg?
Tim: I don’t really think the songs are too overtly sexy, if you listen closely the lyrics are introspective and often full of self-loathing which we mask with a velvety drape of pop and disco cheeriness. Crazy All the Time FE:, with its “woo” refrain, is about constant anxiety and the seeming futility of personal progress. Sentinel of Love is about spiritual emptiness in New York City, and Hot Flashes is about air-conditioning…
Ben: Don’t hate on Fogelberg, Leader of the Band, C’mon!
2. On the tracks “Chemical Reaction” and “Crazy All The Time” you guys are somehow able to incorporate acoustic guitars with electronic-sounding drum beats and keytars. Was this a sound you guys set out to create to distinguish yourselves from the other electronic bands in your genre or was it just something that happened during the creative process?
Tim: We’ve always sought to marry the organic with the electronic, our whole style is about mixing pop songwriting with classic and modern dance styles, especially from where we live.
Ben: If you strip away our production, most of the songs are really folk, country and reggae songs. Almost all of them work that way.
3. Have you guys toured Europe yet?
Ben: Yes we’ve toured Europe a number of times and are looking forward to going back to support our new releases.
Tim: We love it in Paris. The whole French crew there are just really amazing people
4. Any remixes in the works that we need to know about?
We’re working on one special secret remix for a band we all know and love from New England but that’s all I can reveal. Otherwise we’re focusing on our new material.
5. What’s on deck for 33 Hertz in the next twelve months?
Ben: Our remix for L’Rationale drops this summer, as well as our new single and video for the song “Nightspot” b/w “Stephanie All Night” with some amazing remixes including Acid Washed and Eli Escobar.
Tim: Then our single “See The Light”/” Under The Sun” comes out on the fall with remixes by Prins Thomas and FM Belfast. And probably an EP at the end of the year. And of course, our super secret collaboration with the legendary Kim Carnes.
Thanks, guys. Looking forward to hear those tracks soon.
Check out their website: www.33hz.com
Here’s the video for “I Feel Alive” courtesy of Vimeo. http://vimeo.com/5915707