Interview: Telepathe

Brooklyn electronic duo Telepathe’s Melissa Livaudais chats with A&E before their visit to First Ave. this weekend

WHAT: Telepathe WHERE: 7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N. WHEN: Sat., June 6, 8 p.m. TICKETS: $8 advance/ $10 door Editor’s note: This interview was conducted via e-mail. One part industrialized sample theatrics and one part free-associated song-speech, TelepatheâÄôs latest LP, âÄúDancemother,âÄù is one of the most engaging albums to come from the East Coast electronica scene this year. With tracks about frustrated love and, occasionally, birds waiting for therapy, the album is eerie and undeniably memorable. Its production received a hand from TV on the RadioâÄôs Dave Sitek, which shows in its expert blend of glitz and gloom and finely-tuned melodic tension. A&E got the chance to speak with TelepatheâÄôs Melissa Livaudais, who, with Busy Gangnes, makes up this Brooklyn-based duo. You call yourselves âÄúhookersâÄù because you like indulgent hooks in your songs. Can you explain the anatomy of a killer hook? ItâÄôs hard to fully articulate “the anatomy of the hook.” Lately, I’ve been listening to that Boy George song “Time (Clock of the Heart).” Infectious hooks âĦ if it doesn’t send chills up one’s spine then itâÄôs just completely useless. Any funny stories about working with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio? Funny stories about Dave Sitek? Far too many to list here. We could publish a novel about that one! He doesn’t sleep, ever. He has the energy of a 12-year-old boy in the best way and he is absolutely one of the most free and creative people we have ever encountered. In your video for âÄúSo Fine,âÄù does the table of food symbolize anything? It reminded me vaguely of Iron & WineâÄôs video for âÄúNaked as We Came.âÄù Also, were the street scenes alluding to the âÄúThrillerâÄù video at all? The table of food kind of signifies just how weirdo the whole video is. That scene came from the amazing mind of Kate Nolfi, who directed it. The scenes don’t make any sense together, but make perfect sense as a whole. For instance, we knew that we wanted a dance scene, but we also knew that we wanted to warm our hands up in a trash can fire in the middle of winter. So there it goes âĦ table full of weird food, dancing (we love âÄúThrillerâÄù), and trash can fire. You guys were once a couple. Would you say that songwriting relieves any lingering tension you might have, and if so, how? We don’t like to discuss that so often … do people ask Gang Gang Dance or White Stripes or somebody if they were a couple? Have you, as an all-female band, felt unfairly categorized or labeled in the press youâÄôve received? Yes, we’ve noticed that we as people, our music, or both polarize people. They hate us or love us. Also, writers sometimes comment on the shape of our bodies or the clothes that we wear. I’m not sure what this has to do with our music. Pitchfork criticized your lyrics. Defend yourself here: Haha, you mean [writer] Joe “Cave Man” Colly? It seems so unfair that our album should fall into the hands of a person that couldn’t possibly understand our music at all … I think that he really believes that we don’t play instruments. Busy’s mother is an opera singer and she started studying music theory and piano at the age of three. I have studied music theory, piano and played guitar since I was 12. We are fully aware of the key signature in every one of our songs. We write complex rhythms and arrangements. Pitchfork can eat a dick.