The Count & Sinden are a DJing duo from London, recently responsible for tearing up dance floors just about everywhere. The two were already well-acclaimed before joining forces – chances are you’ll have heard their work at any self-respecting club night. Sinden has remixed artists ranging from Björk, Basement Jaxx and Crystal Castles to name but a few. The Count goes by the name Hervé on his own, and alongside remixing artists including Depeche Mode and Bloc Party, he runs his own record label called Cheap Thrills (home of Fake Blood and more). Catching up with the Count/Hervé/Joshua, he told me how it all started out.
“I’ve basically been making music since I was a small kid. I started off playing drums and piano, then in my early teens I got an Atari computer and a keyboard, and started DJing when I was like 16.” Like Graeme (Sinden), he was more into collecting music, getting into hip hop in his mid-to-late teens, and then starting to DJ.
“We had our own paths until we met one day in a mutual friend’s studio, and he just said, ‘you two should work together.’ We got on really well, so I just said: ‘yeah, let’s do it.’ He came round to mine to do a studio session, ended up staying for five days, and we did the first EP. It had Beeper as the B side – we wanted a kind of garage thing, but with a new twist. We thought ‘oh, people won’t buy it but we’ll put it on there.’ But that was the one people went crazy for.”
Yes, they couldn’t have predicted the phenomenal club success of Beeper, which became the party anthem of 2007 and scooped the International DJ Tune of the Year Award. Then last year, after signing to Domino Records, the track got reworked and re-released, featuring the vocals of rap mistress Kid Sister. “We’d been in contact with her for a while through A-Trak. She was just starting out with different beats and stuff, and we got her on it and she did a really good job.” This new version of Beeper proved to be a hit, reaching No.1 in the UK Dance Singles chart.
Since then, the duo have toured all over the UK and ventured to other parts of the globe, unafraid of putting together eclectic sets, and always leaving new fans in their wake. “When we play we’re really trying to sew together a wide variety of music; it’s not just like we’ll bang one kind of tune and then bang another kind of tune, we’ll try and make it a flowing thing – not in a pretentious way – but in a way that you’ll have different sections, and be entertained by different kinds of music rather than just one kind. I think it’s more exciting, more like an event, an alive thing. This is our music, and we just try and get everyone involved in it really.”
This year they released the massive tune ‘Mega’, and have mainly been working towards an album, though the project has seen its share of setbacks: “Obviously the album’s been a long time coming. We’ve gone through so many phases with it and we kind of upset the label and everybody in management saying we don’t want to do this, you know – we need to stay true to what we are. So we’ve gone back and done more stuff that we’d play in the clubs. That’s really what we wanna stick to being – we don’t just wanna be two dudes standing behind the keyboards with some wailing diva in front of us. We wanna to be true to ourselves. I think we’ve been trying to do that, but we’ve been led a bit astray by thinking about playlists, and trying to get on radio, stuff like that. But now we’re just trying to make the biggest records that people enjoy in the clubs, and hopefully they’ll buy the album.”
At Domino it seems that The Count & Sinden have at last found the creative freedom they craved. “You couldn’t get more supportive than them, they’ve always believed in us.” Their much anticipated album should see its release date around April next year. “We’re just rounding up the last few sessions of writing. We’ve done five new tracks, and I think we’re gonna do a couple more.” The album may see further collaborative efforts with other artists. “We’ve got some possibilities lined up, we’ve just got to wait and see how they pan out. It’s quite difficult with collabs ‘cause you do them and then obviously, over time people’s albums come out and then they change their mind. I think we’ve lost four major artists through one reason or another, you know, us changing our minds about the beat, or them changing their minds about their vocals, or just disappearing or not being able to reach them. Incidents have been going on, but in a way it just makes you regenerate and rejuvenate the album. It sounds a bit of a silly cliché, but it’s just all made the album better.”
It would appear then that 2010 is set to be huge year for The Count & Sinden, as a pair and individually – Hervé will release a solo album next year, whilst Sinden will be launching his own record label. In the meantime, jungle infused single ‘Strange Things’ drops this week, and Hervé assures me that the video to B-side ‘Elephant 1234’ is not to be missed. If you haven’t already done so, check them out.
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