Growing up in a small industrial town in Germany and confronted with the boredom that comes with it, Tube & Berger, aka Arndt Roerig and Marko Vidovic, found music at an early age. Then, age sixteen, the two found themselves performing stage shows in a punk band when the ‘90s House and Techno boom hit town. Driven by the challenge of giving electronic music an organic and “live character”, they made their breakthrough in 2004. The Song „Straight Ahead“ featuring new wave legend Chrissie Hynde climbed straight to the top of the US Billboard Dance Radio Charts and bookings from all over the world started to roll in.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Electronic with indie sensibilities. We are hippy punks who went raving and it shows in our music.
What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Nirvana – Nevermind
Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
The KLF – The White Room
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
On the club side then: Brett Gould, Patrice Baumel, our Kittball sister Juliet Sikora of course and a new guy we signed for Kittball called Kean Sanders – they make beats of club tracks ! On the downtempo / electronica side: Bonobo, SOHN and the new Gorillaz album. On the rock side: we like this new UK indie band The Amazons.
What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
We always say that it is a great business, but a tough business. You need a lot of stamina and patience ! The business certainly seems harder nowadays in that there is still not that much money in the record and publishing side compared to live performances. We can see it starting to come around again through streaming, but if you don’t have a live act that people want to pay to see, then it is going to be really tough to launch and make a living. Also while it is great that anyone can make and release music via the Internet, fans have so much choice and it is hard to cut through. It seems the big majors just want conformist pop artists who go viral on Spotify, so anybody a bit leftfield has to fight really hard to get promoted, it seems, as there are less Indie labels these days willing to take a risk.
Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
Everywhere and nowhere, baby! On the road, in the studio, hanging with friends or our collaborators. We don’t have a strict routine. Hippy punks who went raving, you see!
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting your music together?
Depends on the type of track. We always start with an electronic groove of some sort. We might take it all the way to becoming a club track, or strip it right back until it is just the click track if we are going more downtempo or less club.
If we have one of our vocal collaborators on board we will ask them to jam on some lyrics and melodies. If not, then it’s either looking for the right sample or inventing our own sounds to fit.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
There have been a number of great ones, so hard to pick just one! Maybe headlining Brixton Electric for the first time with our buddies Claptone & Weiss in support, or maybe ANTS in Ibiza? This summer we have 2 very exciting ones that we are really looking forward to: our first ever show at the new HIi Ibiza, supporting Eric Prydz; and the ANTS stage at Tomorrowland
And the worst?
Again quite a few to mention here too…… But we won’t, because we like to respect all the Promoters who booked us. They had faith and took the risk, but sometimes it does not work out for whatever reason. (Diplomatic T&B!)
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Children’s Charity Worker – probably in Africa. We are both Fathers now and feel the pressure to make the world better for ours and other people’s kids. All the proceeds from our current single ‘International Corporate Motherfuckers’ goes to the charity IT BEGAN IN AFRICA which we have supported for many years now. After our own album, we will be producing a 3rd compilation album for this cause.
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Can we have 2?
One living for Mr Berger – Pink Floyd
One dead for Mr Tube – Kurt Cobain
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Lots ! Our 2nd Album ‘We Are All Stars’ is released on May 19th on Embassy of Music/Kittball in Germany and on Skint/ BMG in the Rest Of The World. Our Next Single ‘Quiet Time (Shadow Of Myself) is on June 9th, and ‘We Are All Stars’ Album World Tour kicks off in late May and runs for the rest of the year.