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Peroxide Mocha: The Electro Party Duo

Posted on 26 October 2009 by Tim

Peroxide Mocha, the electro party duo, has released their 4th album of synthpop titled, Making Out With Strangers. While focused on relationships, the album tends toward observations about the dysfunctional ones. Other hot topics include cup size for women and Port Angeles, Washington – the town. No joke. Rachel and Pete bring a fun yet quirky attitude to their music, which I’ve really enjoyed.

I’d like to thank both Pete and Rachel for chatting with me about their music.

Interview with Peroxide Mocha

Peroxide-Mocha How did you two meet and start making music?

Rachel: I got Pete’s number from a friend – I can’t remember specifically why I wanted it in the first place – I was in to calling strangers at the time. I called him and bugged him and somehow it came up in conversation that we had both always wanted to be in a band. We recorded our first song that very night over the phone. We were both 17 years old.

Pete: If somebody just called me up out of the blue like that today it would seem stalker-ish and weird, so its strange to think back that at 17 it seemed perfectly normal. Those were different times. I had been making lots of experimental music and just beginning to learn to put beats together to make songs. I didn’t really have any money so my equipment was a sampler that I programmed myself using Hypercard on my Mac, a copy of SoundEdit, a Casio SK-1, a turntable and a huge library of old 45′s that I liked sampling from. When Rachel told me she wanted to make music it seemed natural to just write things on the spot and record stuff using whatever we had laying around. I guess I was doing that a lot, forming bands and various recording projects with just whoever was around at the time. Rachel and I shared a similar sense of humor and aesthetic and it just kinda stuck!

What inspires your music?

Rachel: Something will catch our attention – not usually anything big or important – and we’ll make a rhyme out of it and laugh about it. 90% of the stuff we write will never see the light of day, but we’d like to think that 10% that does is pretty good, or at least amusing.

Pete: We definitely only write to amuse ourselves – we actually have a really good writing system down, it’s almost psychic, being able to complete each other’s thoughts. We write, write, write all the time, then go back later and pick the best stuff to record after it’s all stewed for a bit. I think we get inspired by everyday activities and interactions, things that people otherwise might not stop and think about.

From CDBaby:

Cult favorite boy/girl party pop duo return with their 4th album filled with witty observations about relationships disguised as floor-filling, booty-shaking break-up anthems.

What is the relationship with your fans like? Do you derive inspiration from those interactions?

Pete: I think since the initial fan base for our stuff was just our circle of friends, and kind of extended outward from there, Peroxide Mocha fans are kind of a big giant extended family. I have a word I made up called “Frand”, which is somebody who becomes your friend after starting out as a fan. One of our “Frands” made this really, scarily complete wiki about us once – I’m not even sure where he got his info. He has old lyrics and poems and things from our website 10 years ago – things even I’d forgotten about. Outside of that we have a couple of stalker weirdos who keep things interesting. Nobody’s dressed up as us for Halloween yet that I know of, which I’m kind of disappointed about.

Rachel: I’m always excited when I get to interact with a fan who wasn’t a friend first – because I know I’m about to make a new friend. Our fan base is really awesome and we like to make it as easy as possible for fans to interact with us if they want to. I always forget how much some people are paying attention – like what Pete said about the wiki. That was so cool because I’d honestly forgotten about quite a lot of the stuff that was covered. Our fans definitely keep us in check!

Is there a story behind your latest album – Making Out With Strangers? Does that happen a lot (making out with strangers)?

Rachel: Pete and I are both in long-term-relationships with awesome people, so our Stranger-Smooching days are pretty much firmly planted in the past. It used to happen all the time though. We’re very sexy.

Pete: We like to write a lot about imaginary relationships between people that are really, really, really complicated. I think a lot of these songs are about various facets of being in said complicated relationships, and how emotions can be be difficult to explain and even contradictory sometimes. Even if said relationships are imaginary, it makes the material a little more personal than anything we’ve done in the past. “Start The Fire” is kind of about codependency and dating somebody who is mentally ill. “Ghost Of A Chance” is about stalking. “Blow My Mind” is about complacency. I guess the title “Making Out With Strangers” evolved out of these concepts – a lot can happen in 30 seconds.

Were either of you in high school bands or did you pick up your musical talent elsewhere?

Pete: I don’t really have any formal music training if that’s what you’re asking. I learned how to DJ and beat match first and then taught myself how to make music after that.

Rachel: I was in several choirs and took voice lessons in high school, but I never was very good at anything with an instrument. I played violin & piano for a while in high school, but violin is hard and I don’t like piano music.

How has your musical style, or skills, progressed since you two began collaborating?

Pete: I think when we started off we really didn’t have any idea what we were doing musically, but we didn’t let that stop us because we had something to say. Our earlier recordings had a kind of lo-fi charm that a lot of our fans really enjoy, like it was more just about the attitude and the fun and not so much about everything sounding perfect. Now days I actually know how to use a sequencer and properly record things, so we’ve made an album that sounds really well produced. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to our fans I guess.

Also I think in the past I didn’t really have a good grasp of how to handle Rachel’s vocals to get the most out of them, so in the past most vocals were spoken or rapped or our melodies were just really simple and kind of improv on the spot. We’ve got a handle on it now – I think people were surprised when they listened to “Making Out With Strangers” and heard Rachel’s “grown-up voice”, as one of our friends put it.

Rachel: We have really come a long way since we first started. In the beginning, the vocals came before the music – which was really difficult for both of us. Eventually we figured out that it was a whole lot easier to come up with a beat and a basic melody first, which resulted in a lot cleaner sound. The end result is we sound a lot more professional, and less like two kids with a $2 microphone – but we’re still singing about the same thing we always have been.

Order Making Out With Strangers Here


Making-Out-With-Strangers-Album-Cover

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