From writing lyrics in the bathroom, to filming music videos in Jean Paul Gaultier’s mansion, Dragonette have come a long way since forming in 2005. We caught up with Dragonette’s leading lady Martina Sorbara to talk Parklife, marriage, Gaultier and Solveig.
P: Hey, how are you? What have you been up to today?
D: I’m good thanks. Just been doing some laundry.
P: Is that a typical day in the life of a Dagonette?
D: No, not really. But I’m moving out of my sublet in Toronto, so I haven’t washed any sheets and I also got some acupuncture on my face
P: Wow, so what’s that like? Is that the beauty secret, to put needles in your face?
D: I’ve done it about 10 times, it keeps you young. However, don’t do it by yourself at home
P: Yeah, that’s probably not advisable. So, the big thing with Dragonette at the moment is the collaboration with you and Martin Solveig and Jean Paul Gaultier, how did that come about?
D: I was in Sydney, and standing on the bus going to the airport at the end of the Parklife tour and the only three people on this giant bus was me, Dan and Martin Solveig. A few months later he emailed me and asked me if I wanted to do a collaboration, and I was like ah-huh!!
P: What was it like working with Martin, obviously he’s a huge name in dance music?
D: It was really fun, and really laid back. It was a very chilled out process. I didn’t really know what to expect but he’s the sweetest man alive.
P: The film clip was so over the top and absolutely ridiculous, is it true it was filmed in Jean Paul Gaultier’s mansion?
D: Yeah in his â€ Maison de Couture’. It’s where they make all the designs and he has all his fashion shows. It’s the most over-the-top and gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen in your entire life. I was like, â€ I’m in a fucking dream’
P: So you mentioned Australia before and that you met Martin on tour at Parklife hereâ€¦ Most Australian’s first introduction to Dragonette was through Australian remix’s, such as Midnight Juggernauts and Van She, how did that come about? Did you find them or they found you?
D: It was a friend of ours who worked with us, he had a real vision with the remix’s, so that’s how we found them and we ended up meeting Van She for the first time at Parklife. They’re doing another remix for us now which is very exciting, cos I think their remix was my favouriteâ€¦ and the Midnight Juggernauts remix.
P: So, do you have a special place for Australia in your heart?
D: Of cause I do!
P: What were the highlights of the Parklife tour?
D: One of our best shows was in Brisbane. I think you guys call it â€ Bris-begas’. It was really fast and really intense. Whenever we were at the hotel, one elevator ride would get us in almost three fights on the way down. But I also had such a good time in Sydney, but that was the only city that we got to stay for a prolonged period of time in.
P: You’re about to embark on a huge Canadian tour, what can go wrong on tours? And what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the road or when performing live?
D: One thing that can happen, and has happened to us, is that the band before you can be a bunch of fucking dickheads and blow up your whole PA before you go on. You go on stage and you cant make any noiseâ€¦ I remember hearing the band before and thinking â€ wow that’s really loud’ and then it went really quiet. It really sucked
P: Going on the road from city to city, is that something you enjoy?
D: Yeah, but it’s really daunting before you get into itâ€¦you think â€ Oh my god, I’m getting into a van with seven guys’.
P: Have you learnt to become one of the boys now? Because it’s a dude environment and there’s all these smelly guys in a band?
D: Yeah, I blend right in with the whole band attitude on the road. All the insanity, the fart jokes, and locking the window when you fart.
P: That’s really funny. So you’ve collaborated with people like Cindy Lauper and Basement Jaxxâ€¦ If you could work with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
D: I would love to collaborate with Prince, but now that they can be dead, it would have to be Frank Zappa I think.
P: Can you take us back to when Dragonette formed and how it happened?
D: Dan and I met at a festival. I was working on my own album and he was working on his own stuff. He played me something and I was like â€ yeah I can write something on that’ even though I didn’t have any experience of sitting in a studio and writingâ€¦ my method was to sit by myself in the bathroom with a guitar â€¦ but then we wrote â€ I get around’ and that was the first song we wrote together
P: You guys are married is that right?
P: Have there been any problems? Shitting where you sleep so to speak
D: Yes, big time.If you have a work colleague there’s a certain amount of politeness but when you’re married it’s more like â€ dude I really hate what you just did on that song’. I’m sure other bands are like that too, but they aren’t in bed together at the end of the night.
P: Does that influence the way the band works at all? Because a husband and wife relationship is such a distinct thing, do the other band members feel like the kids?
D: I think they kind of do.
P: So it’s like if mum and dad are fighting their in the corner covering their ears?
D: That’s totally what happens! We’ll have this big fight and we’ll be like â€ Joel what do you think?’ and Joel’s like â€ umm, if I choose a side right now are you going to hate me?’ or he has no comment.
P: There seems to be an resurgence with female leads in electro acts and it seems people tend to group them all together, do you think this is a good or bad thing? And what do you think of those acts?
D: â€ Girl’ is now a category on the radio and historically I think â€ girl’ is it’s own genre and so when you’re a female artist you automatically get lumped in with people you wouldn’t really associate yourself with. I’m totally used to the categories being so broad when you’re a female. Like if Brendan Fowler was a chick and the dudes from MGMT were chicks, we would all be put in the same category.
P: What have you guys been working on at the moment? What’s in the future for Dragonette?
D: We’ve been rehearsing for our live shows and blasting our heads off with a gazillion decibels of noise. And we’ve been getting the merchandise ready, me and my friend are designing the T-shirts, because the guy who does it is just a really awesome dude and he’s my friend and so we do them together.
P: Did you have an active interest in fashion before you met Jean Paul Gaultier?
D: For sure. I made a lot of clothing, and I don’t like reading Vogue every week but I like thinking of fashion as an art form. I like creating things that I can wear
P: Well thanks so much for your time Martina
D: Okay, lovely to talk to you
P: Ill see you guys in Australia when you come around.
D: Yep, thanks cya!