On a Wednesday night in San Francisco, one would not generally expect one hell of a show, but when the Bromance crew rolls through town, and Lights Down Low is promoting… You get one hell of a show and so much more. Recently the stars aligned, and I was able to not only just go to the San Francisco stop of the Bromance tour with Brodinski, Louisahhh!!! and Club Cheval at the Mezzanine, I was able to spend some time with Club Cheval’s Myd and Sam Tiba.
Club Cheval is one of the few bands on the Bromance label, consisting of the four talented producers Canblaster, Myd, Panteros666 and Sam Tiba. Although they are distinct and established producers in their own right, they collaborate by bringing their diverse tastes into the studio, and the result is hot fire coming out of the speakers, igniting the dance floor.
Sitting down with Myd and Sam Tiba in the midst of the North American tour, I found out that Club Cheval was learning first hand a bit more about their positive reception out West, with Mexico and El Paso being notable highlights.
MYD: “El Paso was a good surprise because we didn’t expect as Club Cheval, as Bromance too, for people to know much about us, about our tracks. We played a lot of Club Cheval tracks and a lot of Bromance tracks and they went crazy” (Author’s note: San Francisco was certainly picking up what they were putting down as well.)
Sam Tiba informed me that the long awaited debut Club Cheval album would be coming at the beginning of 2015, with some singles debuting in the fall of 2014, and with an evolved sound.
SAM TIBA: “What has been released so far is not an exact reflection of what is going to come out. Next on the new album, there is a big R’n’B feeling but really electronic, as usual. We try to sum up all of our influences and started doing real songs, so there is going to be a lot of vocals on the album. I would not put a genre name on it, but you can feel our house and techno influences, the R’n’B influences and of course it’s really, really melodic.”
This is great news in that what you have heard from Club Cheval’s releases to date, it is only a small taste of what is to come. Club Cheval have maintained their former aesthetic, but by pushing the boundaries and experimenting, on the album they have innovated their sound and found ways to unconventionally use sounds for optimal effect and creative success.
MY NEXT QUESTION IS AS TO THE UNIQUE DEFINITION OF CLUB CHEVAL, AS YOU HAVE BEEN DEFINED IN MANY WAYS. IS CLUB CHEVAL A COLLECTIVE, A BAND, OR JUST A QUARTET OF TALENTED PRODUCERS?
SAM TIBA: “It used to be an artist collective. It still is but it really morphed into a band now as we started producing the album three years ago. We already worked with each other on solo tracks, but this (album) bonded us and now we are officially a band and the best proof is that we are planning on doing a real live show, with real instruments. Electronic instruments, but real live, no more djing, to present the album.”
MYD: “The fact is that the Club Cheval as a club is pretty special because you cannot enter it. It will never allow other people admitted. We work with a lot of people, people like Bromance, producers for our album, but no one else will ever enter Club Cheval.”
It is an exclusive creative club, and the books are forever closed, with a perfect membership established. Now, this addressed another element I was intrigued about, how exactly does a group of four producers come together and make such powerful music. For most it obviously would be an insurmountable obstacle, but not for these gentleman. Yet, in addition to that collaborative component, each of them appears to have demonstrated their prowess in disparate genres, so how do they navigate genre to produce their unique Club Cheval sound?
DOES GENRE PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR MUSIC WHEN YOU ARE MAKING IT? OR DO YOU JUST GO INTO THE STUDIO AND LET IT HAPPEN?
SAM TIBA: “It’s not about genre, but if someone, one of us has an idea, we just expose it to the others. 99% of the time we try doing what one of us has found. It can be from a movie, it can be from something you heard in the street, it can be from an actual track, and we really listen to know what we like, and how we can adapt.”
MYD: “The studio is literally the core of our project. It is the place where we spend most of the time together, even if we are friends in real life. It’s a laboratory.”
Innovators, collaborators, and bandmates, these guys seemed to not only work well together, but they could complete each other’s sentences. I can only imagine when all four are together what it must be in like in their “laboratory” working up some masterpiece for optimal club destruction.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES? DO YOU HAVE SHARED INFLUENCES AMONG THE FOUR OF YOU? OR DO YOU ALL HAVE INDIVIDUAL INFLUENCES AND BRING THEM ALL TOGETHER TO INSPIRE YOUR PRODUCTIONS
SAM TIBA: “It would be hard to find one thing that we all officially recognize as a core influence. But we do have common influences like I love Prince and Canblaster loves Prince. I love The Dream, Myd and Canblaster love The Dream. Panteros666 loves a lot of reggae that I love. Pretty much we don’t have different tastes, we just have different hierarchies, rankings of genres I would say. To me, R’n’B is more important in my life, but Panteros666 loves R’n’B too, but rock and metal are more important to him than to me.”
MYD: “But influences, if we are talking about artists, we are not fans of the same artists. We have the same taste. If we are in the studio, and Canblaster is making a chord, we have the same idea that it is a good chord or if it is not a good chord. We have the same taste, but not the same influences.”
This certainly makes sense if you are familiar with the individual releases of the Club Cheval membership. Essentially, Club Cheval is a supergroup of some of the finest young producers France has to offer. They are in their creative prime, their ears are to the ground and they are very in touch with what is going on in the music world. More than that, they have their eyes set on the creative horizon, constantly looking to the future to keep coming up with new great releases.
ARE THERE ANY BIG THINGS WE SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOU INDIVIDUALLY THIS YEAR?
SAM TIBA: “My solo EP is coming out on Bromance on the 30th of June. There are three tracks, one is really melodic, one is for the club and the other is more easy listening. So it is the second opus of what I have started with my EP (The Saddest Show in Town) last year.”
MYD: “For me, I’m working on an EP too, don’t know yet when I will release it. I am working a lot with Brodinski on his album, we are producing it together. We are working with a producer named Kore.”
To sum it all up, the long awaited Club Cheval album is coming at the beginning of 2015, and we can expect singles off the album at the end of this year. Also, expect another Sam Tiba release, and in related Bromance news, expect a Brodinski album in 2014 (Exciting!).
When it comes to Club Cheval performing, behind the decks, Myd and Sam Tiba were focused and wowed a ready-to-dance San Francisco crowd. Taking swigs on a grey goose bottle, laughing and smiling while dropping titanic tunes, Club Cheval was in their element. These artists are going somewhere and I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like.
And feel free to follow me on twitter @kirkthewilliams.