Le Bain: In what circumstances did you two meet?
Bottin: The first contact was a Myspace message. I had sent Mike and Johnny (Jewel, the other half of Italians Do It Better) a track called No Static and they wanted to release it. Happiness ensued. When they said "we don't do contracts or release dates" I knew I wasn't dealing with the average music people. I first met Mike in person in New York in 2009 when we played together at Le Poisson Rouge. Before the show he took me to some record store. I didn't buy anything. Mike bought a bunch of punk fanzines.
Mike Simonetti: I thought he had a very 'American' sense of humor. That's rare for a Euro. Most Europeans think I'm a jerk when I'm actually trying to be funny. I stress the word TRY to be funny.
Bottin No Static (Italians Do It Better, 2009)
Bottin, you are releasing your new album on May 19. What is the story behind it?
Bottin: The title is Punica Fides which means 'the good faith of a Carthaginian'. Of course Romans did not think very highly of Carthaginians, so the expression means the exact opposite: treachery at its highest form. Thus the album revolves around the concepts of falsehood, seduction and deception. Alternatively, the theory can be largely ignored and the album enjoyed as a DJ-oriented record ranging from dark, new wavy electronica to stomping synth house.
Mike, it seemed you have been touring everywhere those last months. What was the very highlight?
Mike: I'm actually in London as I write this (laughs). I took off from long trips from october 2013 'til february 2014 to be with my wife and kids around the holidays to spend time with them. I also finished up some songs for a full length. But now it's back to 'the grind' as they say. I'm always surprised at the weirdest times at places you wouldn't expect.
Mike Simonetti & Johnny Jewel The Downside Of Gentrification (Italians Do It Better)
Which recent record really impressed you?
Mike: The Future Islands record is great. Excellent live band as well. I'm in the middle of remixing them actually. Huge fan. I try not to listen to dance stuff during leisure hours (laughs).
Bottin: I'm really enjoying Mona & Maria's album. they are a folk duo from Norway. Think Simon and Garfunkel but with long blond hair.
Tell us about the night you discovered Disco.
Mike: I discovered it a few times. The first was when I was a beat digger and I realized there were beats on those records. That was back in 1993. Then by the late 1990's I became immersed in the music.
Bottin: I was too young to go out at night when disco was around. I discovered disco when De La Soul sampled it.