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Talking Duck Blood, Blow Fish And Green Room Rituals With Belgian Techno-Gurus Mumbai Science

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Maarten Elen and Jonas Kiesekoms of Mumbai Science are on the road a lot. Tonight they are in Stockholm, Sweden. Tomorrow it’s Turin, Italy. Not long after that they’ll be in Ibiza, France, Belguim and Austria.

If you missed the video teaser for the new project they’re working on called 128 Memories Per Minute, you can check it out here. It’s a shotgun blast of what life is like on the road. A tour dairy of sorts, the 128 Memories Per Minute series is broken up into multiple parts and will be released in two-week intervals throughout the remainder of this year. The first one is due to drop on Monday, May 28.

We just read in a Psychological research paper that keeping a journal enhances your life and general well-being. We really understand ourselves better now.

In addition to bouncing around the world, the two recently released their Congorock remix a few weeks ago and are currently working on their new single, which is “almost complete” and will be out in August according to them. There’s also a debut album in the works due for release early next year.

We caught up with the duo a few days back to talk about life on the road and find out what all the normal people in the world are missing out on. Apparently duck blood, Blow fish and head-butts...

Are there any cities or club nights you’re looking forward to playing most on this trip?

Jonas Kiesekoms: One of the gigs I'm looking forward to the most is Dans Dakar festival Stockholm! I've never been to Scandinavia and I heard it's amazing!
Maarten Elen: It is! I’ve been to Stockholm once and it’s actually one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. We’re playing in Razzmatazz in Barcelona next month. Really thrilled to play there as well.

You guys travel a lot, definitely more than the common man. Any fun tales of extreme excitement or boredom?

J: Actually, we don't get bored easily. We’re both extremely competitive, so we’re constantly challenging each other. From high-score battles on an iPhone game to getting through security first.
M: Yeah, the sad thing is we've recently started timing the amount of time it takes us to get from the train station to our gate in the Belgian airport. Our best time is around 9 minutes!
J: Still waiting for the official certificate from the airport. Although the last thing I heard is that they don’t want people to know, cause of safety issues. Censorship can’t stop the truth though.

What about fans, any colorful incidents there?

J: Oh, just the usual stuff I guess. We’ve had some groupies who stayed outside our hotel waiting for our return. This always happens in foreign countries though, so we can never be sure if it’s a custom or some cultural thing. So we’re always really polite.
M: We’ve had one girl who left a note under the door of the hotel room. That’s creepy though.

I always wondered about working DJs and pets. Do you have any? What the hell do they do while you’re on the road?

M: I have a cat. He guards the home when I’m gone. His name is Mozart, likes to listen to Bob Marley and thinks Garfield is a sell-out.

Do you have any pre-gig routines or green room rituals?

M: We do a head-butt before we go on stage, also Jonas likes to make people kiss his chain, but no one really wants to. Don't ask...

Is being on the road conducive to your creative process?

J: We really get a lot of inspiration from travelling. You meet a lot of new people, hear a lot of new sounds and eat a lot of new food! And we're pretty used to work on the road.
M: Before we were DJs we had a 2-hour commute to our day job, so we were always doing our music stuff on the train!

Have you learned anything about yourself from being on the road and touring?

J: I've learned that it's okay to relax. I used to be a super control freak; now I'm a normal control freak. I'm no longer the guy who wants to board the plane as the very first. Sometimes you have to trust the universe that everything will turn out fine and most of the time it works!

How much of your set changes from gig to gig?

M: A lot! We're always listening to new tracks and buying new stuff we want to test out. Of course there's always our own productions, which we play out but apart from that our sets pretty much change every gig.

Do you travel with anyone specific? Do you have an entourage?

J: Nope it's just us two, and sometimes we bring our good friend and/or our camera guy Richard, from the amazing, travelling with him is really an overdose of awesomeness.

What’s on your Rider?

M: Too much! We like our beers and sometimes a vodka Red Bull, but our manager really went crazy with the rider. He says you better ask for a lot cause they always will give you less.
M: At one point when we were touring Australia with the Creamfields festival, Skrillex and Deadmau5 were coming over to ask if they could drink with us. Our rider was twice as large as theirs!
J: We made a lot of friends on that tour.

If you were the biggest musician in the world, what would be on your Rider?

J: Probably about the same as now.

Do you have a favorite airline?

J: For Europe, I think Lufthansa is pretty nice! They have lovely complementary red wine! Transatlantic I fell in love with Jet Airways India! They know how to pamper you.

First class or coach?

M: Coach, but we're saving up our miles! One day we'll be in the lounges, eating free sandwiches all day long.

What’s your drink of choice?

J: Beer, Champagne, vodka sour
M: Have to say Stella Artois. It’s brewed in the city were we live, Louvain.

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What items do you always take with you on the road?

J: My Kindle to read some books and my phone!

M: Macbook, Kindle, phone
J: International plug adapter
M: Earplugs
J: and most of the time our CDs and headphone.

What are you reading right now?

J: I just finished The Hobbit! I'm looking forward to the movie
M: I’m reading some bad romantic comedy. Don’t even remember the name.

Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights?

J: Low-lit club! When it's dark and groovy people really let their inner caveman flourish. When you get the feeling nobody can see you, you dance a little crazier!
M: Agreed! Clubs should be bassy, dark and have no cell reception.

What’s the most memorable time you’ve had on the road outside of the club?

J: We had Blowfish in Japan; you know the one that’s really poisonous when they cut it wrong. I didn't eat my piece until I was sure Maarten didn't die. Somebody's got to continue the legacy, right?
M: A true friend...

So you have adventurous palette? Blowfish is crazy, anything else?

J: The Blowfish was pretty memorable!
M: In China we once had Fried duck blood!
J: China has some weird food man…

What about disturbing events, seen anything crazy?

M: We were there when the storm hit the Belgian festival Pukkelpop in 2011. We had to run for our lives and several people didn't make it. It was so surreal, everybody was partying and having a good time and in less than 10 minutes the whole thing was washed away. Terrible!

What the first thing you do when you wake up?

J: Check my phone/emails
M: same

What the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

J: This is so bad: check my phone/emails
M: Brush my teeth.

You probably shake a lot of hands on the road, if people were really to listen after you shook their hand for the first time, what would you say to them?

M: Buy our music on Beatport
J: Like my Facebook status

If you were to describe your sound as a scent, a signature fragrance as it were, what would it be called? What about a tagline?

J: A warm scent, a bit of sweetness in there—maybe red fruits. It would smell a bit like fall.
M: Haha, tagline: Mumbai Musk—Nostrill defying

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?

M: In sign language obviously

Describe a moment of what may or may not have been “paranoia” in your life.

J: Aliens! I was a super hard believer when I was a kid! It went so far that I borrowed books from the library to read about it and afterwards I wasn't able to sleep! I figured that they thought I knew too much and had to be “dealt with.” I was waiting for their spaceship to abduct me!! At this point not yet confirmed.
M: Why are you speaking in past tense?

Talk about the most hectic conflict that you’ve been involved in.

J: The only time we got in a fight was when Maarten lost in a game of FIFA on Xbox.
M: Jonas couldn’t stand loosing, so I let him win.
J: All lies.
M: Whatever.

How do you like to spend your days off on the road?

M: We really like to visit some places. It’s pretty cool you always know someone local, like the promoter. They know were the cool places are and that way you don’t only visit the touristy stuff.
J: Yeah definitely, like when we were in Tokyo, we visited this legendary synthesizer store “5G.” It’s a paradise for musicians.


What do you look forward to most when the tour is over?

J: Definitely hanging out with all the people I love back home.
M: Friends and family!

Do you remember the first time you had a live audience’s complete attention? Do you remember how you felt at that moment, what records you were playing?

J: One of the most amazing gigs was the one in Tokyo. We had no idea what to expect but people were completely one with our music. One of the best feelings ever!
M: They were even chanting along to our tracks!

Do you have any photos from the road you’d like to share with Magnetic readers?

J:This one was shot in New Delhi at the Lotus Temple. The same temple which our logo is based on!
M: To all of those who keep bullying us: we know it’s not located in Mumbai, but Mumbai Science sounds so much better than New Delhi Science!

What are the top 5 songs in your iTunes “most played” folder?

M: ms8.mp3, kaft3.mp3, number10g.mp3, kbckaske1.mp3, ms6.mp3.
J: Haha, I guess those are working titles for our tracks?
M: yeah, apparently I listen only to Mumbai Science tracks. I had no idea I was this narcissistic.
J: now you know!
M: There’s also some stuff from M83, Black Keys, Azari & III and Black Box Revelation (amazing Belgian band) in my top 20 too though.

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