Juno Q&A: Dave1 of Chromeo

Chromeo's Dave1 talks mainstream recognition, sexy vs. sexist, and why 32 is too old to wear vintage.

For Dave1, half of Montreal-incubated electrofunk duo Chromeo, the honour at the Junos isn’t just to be nominated. The real thrill was performing at the show Sunday night. During a chat in the lobby of the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto the day before, Dave1 (better known to his Montreal pals as David Macklovitch) predicted (correctly) they’d ultimately lose the Dance Recording of the Year category to Niagara Fall’s deadmau5. “deadmau5, on a sales and impact perspective, he deserves to win,” he says.

While his co-Chromeo-nian P-Thugg is up in his suite nursing a brutal cold, the charismatic voice of the DJ duo talks mainstream recognition, sexy vs. sexist, and why 32 is too old to wear vintage.
What does it feel like to be nominated for a Juno?

It feels good, because it’s the type of honour and recognition we never thought we could have, because we consider ourselves such an underground band. For a more commercial or mainstream establishment to give us that recognition is really moving.

The Business Casual album has a distinct sound and a distinct look. What were some of your references for that?

It’s kind of erotic, with humour. It’s ’70s French erotic cinema, it’s Barry White, it’s all the kind of smooth lovers’ music. Some people when we came out with our album cover, people were like, “Guys, maybe that’s a little bit sexist, do you really want to put a girl bent over photocopying pictures of you guys?” Because it’s artistic photography, there’s nothing vulgar there.

The guy who shoots our album cover is a photographer by the name of Harri Peccinotti. He did stuff for Vogue and Vanity Fair in the ’70s. He also shot Pirelli calendars, which were very famously erotic calendars, in the late ’60s. So that’s why it’s got this vintage, classic flair to it, but with a weirdo postmodern twist, because you got a guy with a do rag on the cover and a guy who looks like me.

How would you describe your personal style?

I will wear a lot of Margiela, my brother [DJ A-Trak] and I are big into Dior, and a lot of Balmain. I’m 32, so I can’t go around wearing vintage as much as I could before. Past a certain age, I think you have to find a look that works for you and stick to that. If you see me I’m probably going to be wearing either a suit or skinny jeans and boots and a leather jacket and my wayfarers.  

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Junos. Who in Canadian music are you a fan of?

Well, I’m sitting next to Robbie Robertson, and he’s the man!