Falling somewhere between the digital psychedelia of MGMT and the dance-punk of Friendly Fires, San Francisco’s Limousines caught the world’s ears with “Internet Killed The Video Star,” a hyper-hooky song about the cyclical nature of music fads. Formed in 2007, the Limousines are a simple operation, comprising of vocalist Eric Victorino and composer Giovanni Guisti. It’s hard to tell whether or not the synth-pop they cop will continue with it’s current renaissance, but for now, the Limousines have more than a bit of guilty pleasure about them, and vibe that embraces music’s unformed future rather than its past.
Hive recently spoke with Victorino about the band’s origins and recent success — which appropriately enough, was due to the Internet.
These days, are the Limousines just you and Giovanni? Or has it swelled into something bigger?
The one rule we have is that it’s always going to be just us. But the last show we played, we had a live drummer and four other guys who came out in animal masks and played these crazy sound-instrument drums. It’s always been a goal for us, when you come to a show, you may see something you haven’t seen before.
It sounds bigger than just two people.
Gio does all the music in his little garage studio he has set up. But we don’t pay attention to what instruments are being used on the record; it doesn’t matter to us on how we get a sound necessarily. When we play it live, we just have to load it up in a sequencer. We don’t try to reproduce. If we were to hire enough guys to play every single thing, it’d be a madhouse. Some of the songs have Indian flutes. Where you going to find a guy to do that?
You see the duo format in rock because you can play off the guitar and drums. But you don’t see much electro-pop duos anymore.
I think everything with us when it comes to trying … I don’t want to sound pretentious and say we don’t fit into a genre, but I kind of think we don’t. If you went and saw the Beastie Boys, you know they know how to play instruments, but you wouldn’t be bummed if it was just a DJ and then on the mic. We look at ourselves almost like a hip-hop act. They way we write and perform is more hip-hop than it is [anything else]. It’s not about faithfully reproducing the record on live instruments; that’s not what we’re going for.
And why did the band decide to re-release Get Sharp, this time on a label?
I think we just wanted to see how far we could take it with little to no help or experience. I think we did as much as we could and then it was time to get someone else involved. The fact that we still haven’t toured on the album, it feels pretty new still. Having [Dangerbird] re-release it will get a bit more exposure and give it the attention it deserves.
Your music’s been used in a lot of TV shows over the last few months.
Before we got signed, it was cool to see a bunch of our stuff on Jersey Shore and stuff like that.
And that probably helps in actually getting signed.
I don’t know if [Dangerbird Records] even knew about it.
Did it surprise you that there was this visual interest in your music?
Yeah, when we put that video on YouTube, we got an email from someone at MTV that was just asking if we’d submitted to them. We were like “cool, how do we do that?” Then we got into a conversation with [them] about getting the music on the shows.
And how does that work for you guys: Do you approve everything in its use? Or do you let it go and let people take it and use what they want with it?
In the case of MTV, it was basically we gave it to them and said any shows they want to use it.
Have you watched the use of your songs on TV?
Yeah, yeah. Whenever we find out there’s going to be one, we’ll try to tune in. It’s always interesting to see what scenes people use certain songs for. How it juxtaposes.
Get Sharp is out now on Dangerbird Records.