Name: Jacques Bon & Vincent Drux
Occupations: Producers, DJs
Nationality: French
Recent Release: Jacques Bon & Drux's A Long Way is out via Smallville.

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

Jacques / I can remember that music was very important since my early age. I loved to spend times in record stores since I was like 6 years old. I remember I always asked my mum to take me there ever since my parents offered me a walkman as a present.

Vincent / For me it was the same. I have always been immersed in music since my childhood, thanks in large part to my father who was a DJ and played disco.

My parents put me in music theory lessons early on and then I learned different musical instruments.

In '98, one of my best friends came back from Manchester after spending several years there and brought back some house records. This is where I started to get interested in electronic music. I bought his turntables and a computer to start producing.

Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?

Jacques / I started to build my own musical world, as it felt for me like a way to escape reality and feel free.

Vincent / For me, electronic music, in any case, minimal music makes me think of a sort of light floating cloud in which the different sounds intertwine.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

Vincent / I'm a sound engineer so I already have an activity that I really like because I work on films. But it's true that sharing music, whether it's listened to or played, has always been a bit the basis of what I wanted to do as an artist.

Jacques / For me, it all came naturally - buying my first turntables, working with cheap software on my old computer, working in a recordstore where I met people who I could talk about music production with, sharing plugins etc ...

Then I played in bars and small club for the first time and finally started to release my music.

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

Vincent / I've always liked the experimental in music as well as in art. References in different musical styles such as rockJazz with Weather Report or in electronic music such as Pole or Rechenzentrum ...

We are trying more and more to add the unexpected in our songs although the techno rhythm is always the project basis.

[Read our Stefan Betke / Pole interview]

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

Vincent / I like originality and seeing that it is still possible to create new music styles. For me, associating a timeless base in a style like techno with a sound or an original rhythm like randomness, makes it possible to establish a link between the base and the novelty.

Jacques / I think I like both, but I don’t pretend to make the music of the future or to continue a tradition. I just try to make music. (laughs)

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

Jacques / I like to work with analog synths and drum machines but also with software and digital tools. Using both of them together is maybe a way to try to make the «music of the future» by «continuing a tradition». (laughs)

Vincent / For me, the piano helped me for creating melodies and the drums for building rhythms. It was the perfect combo to create.

Of course a bit later, the computer would give me sounds, randomness and sound work.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

Jacques / We like to go to the studio in the morning and to start playing and creating music before our minds start to get polluted by all the other things we have to do …
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

Vincent / For me the basis is to hear a sound, sometimes on existing music or a recording. Using randomness also allows me to find basic ideas to create a first loop.

Jacques / I dont really have a recipe for my creative process. Ideas can come from anything, like a sample, a movie scene, some words and sentences from a book, a sound in the street or in nature, a special instrument, or even when it comes from an unexpected event, a case of serendipity.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?

Vincent / Jacques and I make music on our own. It is true that I was surprised in my style to accept and try new things that might not have pleased me in the sounds. It is by working together, by accepting the work of the other that we collaborate

Jacques / I love both making music alone or with others, It s great to feel free to control everything. But it is also great to share ideas with others.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?

Vincent / It is true that music, like smells, can remind us of strong memories over time.

Like everyone else, I have childhood memories with my parents' music. And what I find interesting is that the rhythm, for example, of the disco music that my father played, is always there for me with techno, for example.

There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?  

Jacques / I love the connection between science and art. They both have the same quest: Trying to make visible what was invisible, or going from abstract to concrete, using the infinite development of technologies.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

Vincent / Being a sound engineer, I obviously see an interest in new musical technologies, in this case the work in immersion sound for a live performance, with the installation of many loudspeakers. This gives new perspectives for the mix other than a simple stereo.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

Jacques / Maybe because the ears are the way to the heart? (laughs)