We had a chance to ask Jeremie Mondon a.k.a Demon a few questions because he has a new single out and stuff, if you don’t know who Demon is we kind of cover it in the interview. Basically, he’s a very talented guy with a huge history in dance music and he’s made some quite big tunes.
Who is Demon? How did you make your start in music?
I studied piano during one year, when I was twelve, and the teacher had this synthesizer and an sequencer on Atari. It was fascinating. I started reading Keyboard magazine and explore this world by myself, simultaneously I was discovering hip hop. I felt in love with the technic of sampling. I had this mono 8bit sampler on Atari. Then i met rappers who needed beats and I started producing more seriously.
You early work is very influenced by Hip-Hop styles, a combination of Hip Hop and funk. Were you influenced by any artists or producers in these fields?
Of course, I was fan of RZA’s work for example, the way he reinterpreted loops or just bits of sound to create his own universe was amazing. To be honest I really discovered funk and soul through sampling. I was even kind of disappointed as a kid when I realized how much hip hop beats were based on huge samples, but it helped me to discover the originals. Curtis Mayfield was my favorite.
You then seemed to take a more electronic turn and were part of the ‘French-Touch’ movement.Being around and working with artists like Ettiene De Crecy, Mr Oizo, Alex Gopher & Benjamin Diamond. Were you aware how influential this music would eventually become?
I couldn’t really imagine it, but these artistes were so talented and imaginative that, 10 years after, I realize their influence was inevitable on a whole generation. A lot of good and consistent albums were released in these times, the sound was real, dynamic, human, and for the first time in contemporary music, just french.
Most people will know you for the track ‘You Are My High’, it was quite a big track (understatement) were you surprised by how big a hit it was? Did it affect you in anyway?
I saw the track’s success growing during one whole year. I produced it just after my first album was released, exclusively for the live set. People’s reaction was huge, so we released the 12inch and incorporated it in the album. The appeal on this track made us do this crazy videoclip. It brought me some very good times, and a lot of gigs and love ! Actually I’m really happy that it doesn’t seem to become outdated.
You worked with Alex Gopher on ‘Wuz’ what was you exact involvement with this project?
Alex is a great guy. On this french electro scene he’s the first one I met and got a good feeling with. He was a mastering engineer at Translab where he mastered all my first records. He introduced me to Etienne de Crecy and they became some kind of “mentors” to me. Alex asked me to work with him on the production of his new concept album “WUZ”. We started working at my studio and I got really invested in the project, also in terms of composition.So we started to consider this collaboration more as a group. I love this album, the way we made it , best of both world. The collaboration was so fluid, it’s a record I’m still very very proud of.
You’ve remixed quite a few artists, alot of people will obviously know the one you did with Daft Punk. But what is the best track you’ve worked on and what is the track you’re kind of embarassed to have remixed? (haha!)
That’s what is interesting in remixes. You don’t have to love the track you’re remixing, you just have to give your own vision of it, there’s no rules. For example you can give the lyrics another context, another sense. Your vision can be very abstract and the result very far from the original. So, nothing is very embarrassing to remix . Of course, good vocals are really cool to start with; I remember having remixed this track from Bran Van 3000 “Astounded”, featuring Curtis Mayfield. They had found an old unreleased studio tape from Curtis and used the vocal. It was pure pleasure to remix , I did something very minimal to give the voice more space, it was Curtis on my beat !!!
Alot of people have remixed your work unofficially, how do you feel about that, have you heard any of it? Have you liked it?
I was touring for You Are My High’s promotion in France, and one day i realized i forgot the vinyl of “You Are My High” , people would have killed me. So i went to the vinyl shop and asked for the record. The guy gave me a white label vinyl with a bootleg version !! It was very good and “commercial”, people enjoyed it a lot, we’ve released it under the name “You Are My High (Bootleg version)”. I never learnt who did it.
You have a new EP out! It’s a bit different for people expecting ‘French-Touch’ Demon, how do you think people will respond to the new EP? How do you describe it?
In a way it’s not that far from what i used to do. The four to the flour kick is back ! it’s pumping and bassy like You Are My High, but it’s really more pop-oriented, based on a real song. And this time it appears that the couple kissing on the video just broke up haha. For the first time ever, I sing on the track I Think, and Craig Walker is singing on the b-side “For Fuck’s Sake”. The mood and the depth of the songs are very sincere and that’s what matters more than a question of genres. Of course it’s released with a bunch of remixes, mostly club oriented, from very talented producers like DIM, Memory Tapes , Crusz and more…
What are your plans for the year? Album, touring etc.
The new album will be finished soon, it’s called Night On Earth. I’m of course going to tour, as a DJ but also as a real live act with Craig Walker and musicians.
What do you prefer, a spy car that can flies or a spy car that goes underwater?
haha I don’t have a driving licence … a spy cab?
You should also take a look at Demon’s blog. Free tracks and mini-mixes ahoy. Very rad.