Techno Tuesday: Tube & Berger on rock ‘n’ roll, EDM culture, and major labels
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Tube & Berger are some of the more outspoken producers within the underground community; and with good reason — the duo have been releasing quality dance music for over a decade. The German house music stalwarts are currently celebrating 10 years of Kittball: their esteemed imprint alongside Juliet Sikora and P.A.C.O. The label celebrated the milestone with a special compilation, A Decade of Kittball, including their club-savvy smash, “Back Drop.”
As an act pushing the enticing crossover space of live electronic music, we enlisted the duo to share their thoughts on the influence of rock ‘n’ roll in dance music culture.
What the hell happened to Alternative Music and so-called Indie Rock??? Did it lose its balls? Nobody remembers Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine or Pearl Jam anymore? Are Nickelback, The Jonas Brothers and Maroon 5 (argh) all that is left these days? We were wondering what happened and why?
One reason for the slow death of Rock n Roll could be that it’s a lot easier and way cheaper to go on tour with USB sticks, headphones and a laptop instead of several guitars, a drum kit, backing singers etc... That means you’ll have to rent a tour bus and before we forget them, you will need a bunch of roadies to build up your stuff, carry your instruments and drink Whiskey with you after your shows. A DJ is one person or a DJ team like us is two, a band is at least 3 but most likely it’s 5 people which makes 5 flights and 5 hotel rooms. Oh.. We forgot the roadies again.
To make it clear: Being a band is very expensive.
To cover all these costs you simply need to become a big rock band and make big money by selling records. Ouch! Selling records became a lot harder in times of illegal downloads. Even producing records became pretty tough for bands because they need to rent a proper studio to record in and indie or major record companies don’t want to pay advances anymore.
DJs on the other hand just need their mummies to buy them a laptop and some friend to download a cracked version of Ableton. Next step is sampling a record that already was a hit some time ago and add some beats. Done!
And… since someone said DJs are the new rockstars, the major labels jumped on the band wagon. So the money that used to go to cool rock bands now goes to (cool?) EDM artists.
We were talking about money a lot. What about the spirit? What are Rock n Roll dreams made of besides money? Right! It’s drugs, booze and groupies. Again it’s so much easier to get all of these as a DJ and you don’t even have to learn an instrument. In fact you don’t even have to learn DJing anymore because the machines do most of the work for you.
So is this the end for Alternative music? Is Rock n Roll finally dead?
The answer is NO. We believe in a fusion of electronic music and alternative / indie rock.
Some say the days of “Everybody fuxxing jump EDM” will be over soon and others say “super cool minimalistic underground Techno” gets super boring after a while. Today, electronic music is everywhere and it’s evolving constantly. Rock n Roll isn’t dead. It just found a new home.
The need for vocals, riffs, hooks and let’s call it “ideas” is rapidly growing in our beloved “dance” scene. More and more “written” music merges with cool club sounds. Our latest single “Disarray” with J.U.D.G.E is what we see as the future of House AND Rock music. Even if DJing is a lot easier than being a band we’ve started working on our live show and are about to become a band again. We play instruments on stage, people like J.U.D.G.E join us to sing live and for us it feels like we’re bringing back the Rock. Jack Black would be proud.