Brooklyn-based Ratatat has been on a steady ascent ever since the 2004 release of their self-titled debut. And the instrumental electro duo's rise seems primed to continue along, thanks to recent collaborations with the likes of Kid Cudi and MGMT, as well as their work on the soundtracks for a number of TV shows and movies.
Currently, the twosome of Evan Mast and Mike Shroud is on the road promoting their fourth LP, the June-released and conveniently titled LP4. The album features more experimental sounds than the Ratatat's previous releases, adding things like string quartets and Middle Eastern instruments into their alluring mix of synths, basses, guitars, and drums that fans have come to adore. It makes for a record that both stretches and keeps true to their signature sound--and that's what makes Ratatat so eclectic; they are always unpredictable, yet always fun.
That much holds up in live settings, too: Last time the band came to Dallas, they played at a sold-out show at Granada. This time, they're playing the larger Palladium Ballroom--which means bigger crowds, higher production, and, sure enough, a bigger party.
Late last week, we caught up with Mast, half of the electronic music duo, in anticipation of their show coming to town tomorrow night. Check out the Q&A after the jump.
You started a few years back working with just a Powerbook, and now you guys are using Middle Eastern instruments and string quartets as part of your sound. Do you guys plan on using anything more extravagant in the future?
I don't know. On the last few records, we really kinda went out and did the things we always wanted to try--found new instruments and things like that. I think we kinda, like, got that out of our system. I don't know, the next one might be toned down. I'm not really sure. I haven't really figured out. Usually, we kinda figure out the direction for the record while were making it. I don't know. We have to see, once we start recording, what's interesting at the moment. [But] we just started touring for LP4, so, yeah, like the next like nine months are all like touring.
Last time time y'all came to Dallas, you played at the Granada Theater, which holds about 1,000 people. Now you're playing at the Palladium Ballroom, which holds closer to 2,500. Have you noticed this all throughout the country?
Sort of. In a lot of cities, we're getting more people. The show in Dallas, I remember, was really fun. It went really well. Well I don't know, we pumped it up.
Is there anything different you are doing on this tour?
There's bigger production. We got this holographic projection screen, big video, and light system we did for this.
Your songs are pretty varied, incorporating elements of rock and dance alike. How does that translate to your live show? Will this show have a more rock feel or dance feel?
The show kinda puts on everything, rock stuff, drums, dance.
What can we expect from Ratatat after your world tour is over?
Uh, I'm not really sure. I'm gonna take a vacation, go out with my girlfriend. But I'm hoping by next spring were gonna be back to the studio.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.