Nightspots Magazine: Hi, Ed. You were into musicals as a kid, correct?
Ed Simons: Tom and I became friends because we both liked Guys and Dolls. We started talking at the University about this big musical.
NM: That is so funny. How did the group develop from there?
ES: Well, we were both at Manchester University and studying together. We wanted to go to Hacienda and that was the place to be in England for house and dance music. We were club buddies. Tom used to play me a lot of music that I had never heard before. We became close and we would go record shopping between lectures. He was in a band and the band fell apart, we started DJ-ing, made our first record and here we are now!
NM: What kind of music inspires you?
ES: There are not any particular boundaries. I like music that makes you feel things such as psychedelic music that makes you experience emotion that you are not aware of. Music that touches a shadow and that can be anything. Music can transcend where you are at a given time.
NM: What inspired your album Further?
ES: I think we had an idea from the start not to work with loads of guest vocalists like before. That had become a habit. It left a lot of space and loosened up how we were making music. Before we made classic song structures but with this record we did more repetition and kept it looser. There was a whole visual idea to play the album from beginning to end, which we did in London before the album came out.
NM: Your music videos have been incredible over the years.
ES: Yes, we have worked with some amazing people like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze. We are keen on playing with people that we are fans of. That has been our lucky experience.
NM: Is there anyone that you still want to work with vocally?
ES: It is always a joy to work in the studio with Jonathan Donahue from Mercury Rev. Noel Gallagher has been great over the years. There is a bridge that remains to be crossed on who we work with in the future.
NM: What kind of visuals are you going to have for the show in Chicago?
ES: Our visuals have been made just for this album. We feel it is important to play new music and transcend our environment. We have visuals that are quite iconic that people will respond to. We have old visuals that we made a long time ago for the old videos but working with state-of-the-art electronics for a contrast of old and new.
NM: Looking forward to see you and the show in Chicago.
ES: Nice one, see you there!
The Chemical Brothers bring their "Block Rockin' Beats" to Chicago for the North Coast Music Festival, 1501 W. Randolph St., September 3-5 along with acts such as Moby and De La Soul. Visit www.northcoastfestival.com for tickets and schedule.