Interview: Pig&Dan

One half of the exceptionally talented techno duo, Pig&Dan, will be making his way down to the Southern Hemisphere from the beautiful shining Spain once again. Dan Duncan is bringing his signature sound to the holy place of dance, Revolver Upstairs. The two met on a flight to Spain nearly two decades ago and their bond transformed them into an internationally renowned electronic duo making a big impact in the underground techno scene. They reached #1 on Beatport in both techno and overall genres with their hit ‘Growler’. They’ve successfully managed to create a specific signature sound recognisable to the ear, whilst not limiting themselves to just one kind of sound.

They’ve released three EPs in the last 12 months, two with Monika Kruse and another remixing Audiojack. Now they’re making time in their busy schedule to tour through Asia and Dan will be making a special appearance in Melbourne. They also took the time to share their tales and wisdom with us at New Rhythms.

Interview with Caitlyn McMahon

1. You just premiered your track ‘Give It Up’ and before that, ‘Give yourself’ from your GIVE EP with Mark Reeve. The EP symbolises your 100th release on Elevate – your record label. What does this EP/release mean to you guys?

On one level it means an awful lot to have accomplished 100 releases on a label that is very much about the music we love, and not just putting records we know will sell well. And the EP is done with Mark who is an artist we have worked with many times over the years, who has had enormous hits on a global scale. Musically, the EP is very much about high energy hands in the air moments. Two tracks we loved making and really enjoy playing out because has a very uplifting spirit to it. It puts a smile on people’s faces, and that’s what we are all about…

2. We heard last year you split ways while touring, with one of you heading to Australia and the other to the US. After years of playing together, how it touring and playing solo? Do either of you perform solo regularly? 

It’s a slightly different dynamic, however we normally play all our own music. You could say there isn’t a huge difference whether we are together or not, as the music we play would be very similar. We don’t play alone that often, but we love each scenario as it’s about connecting with the crowd whether we are together or not.

3. How do you manage to run your own label, work on your own music, tour and balance that with your personal lives? 

This is no easy task, it’s all about devotion in this field of work. It’s our passion, so of course it’s easier in some ways however it’s seven days a week and there’s not a lot of time to come up for air. If you go into this world you need to do it with everything you’ve got, or you won’t push through. The music is our lives, both on a personal and business level. There is no elevator to success, just the stairs (as they say). This is also why our label was called ELEVATE, as it’s very much about giving people a chance and platform to elevate their position in the industry quicker, and release music that in turn hopefully elevates people on the dance floor.

4. You have spent well over a decade working together – after your recent release of your GIVE EP, how do you feel you’ve evolved?

I think we are continuously evolving, as we are a duo who try to also push to the next level. It’s about trying to discover new ways to enhance what you produce. We do always look for new ways to make things sound unique, and I think that’s a key factor to the sound we create and have created this far. It’s hard to put Pig&Dan into one pigeon hole genre wise, as I feel we like to be as diverse as possible and go with any kind of experimental flow we may feel at that specific time.

5. Have your track selections remained similar? 

If you mean while playing I would definitely say no, we always feed off the moment and the crowd. We don’t plan anything and live the moment.

6. You’ve played in so many different places. Recently you were in France and Indonesia, and are yet to travel all around Europe, to Africa and then to Australia. Do you feel from your experiences that electronic dance parties have changed since when you first started out? 

Yes, for sure, I think EDM has changed things a lot. By saying that, I mean its diluted dance music in some ways because you now can hear it everywhere you go, even in a supermarket or hotel lobby – because it has been commercialised is now more widely available than ever before. However, on the other hand it has opened a lot of doors and bought along with it a new generation who then start to check out the underground scene for the first time. The world has finally opened up to this scene and it’s not just a load of drugged out folk, but there is a lot of substance in what we do and to project in a deeper form. Techno has really proved itself as not a trend, but more of a family, scene or whatever you want to call it – where people who want to let go and not think about all the other shit in life, can do so. We celebrate music through unity, and this is the beauty of dance music right now, especially when there are a lot of people going through hard times out here on the daily.

7. How have you found each location you travel to has its own characteristics on the dance floor? Is there a place you love the most to play at in the world? 

Everywhere is unique that’s for sure, and everywhere has its ups and downs. I would say that Argentina is very much the capital of energy when it comes to enthusiasm on the dance floor. People let go there more than anywhere else and just let the music take them away, so it’s a dream for an DJ to play there at one of the many awesome venues they have, or huge festivals.