May I introduce: Skip&Die
They describe themselves as “a kaleidoscopic party on the thin line between life and death” and it’s hard to find any better words. Skip&Die is like a rush of colour, sand, music, and storm somewhere on the lines of MIA, die Antwoord and the sound of the jungle. The band consists of producer Jori Collignon and multi talent front girl Catarina Aimée (also known as CataPirata). Together they’ve adopted four further boys that make their live performances complete. [Gino Bombrini (percussion, guitar), René Kuhlamann (electronica FX), Nique Quentin (percussion) and Daniel Rose (string instruments – sitar/guitar/sas)] Although they have found each other in the Netherlands they come from all over the place. It’s not really a surprise then that besides English the album (“Riots in the Jungle”) also contains parts in Afrikaans, Zulu, Spanisch or Portugese. Read the German version on DISTRICT MTV.
I met CataPirata and the four boys just before their gig at SONAR festival and we talked about world changing things like having a whale stage, a unicorn on the backstage rider or Dali designing stage costumes. For all music lovers, I promise there are some deeper question/answer combinations as well.
“Skip&Die” short but mysterious, what is the name all about and who came up with it?
CataPirata: Jori and I did. It’s all about duality and the paradoxes and that’s what we believe in. That there is nothing better than a good paradox. Light and dark, the happy skipping but also the confrontation with death. And as we started out only the two of us we thought it be nice to have like „skip AND die“.
How did you find together as a band?
CataPirata:Well Jori and I started the band together. We met in Amsterdam while I was playing in different bands, and rehearsing in his studio. Jori used to be in a band with Daniel and René used to be their tour manager, Gino just popped up.
Nique Quentin: And I actually seriously had an audition. We musicians hardly have any auditions, we usually know each other. I was supposed to prepare some pieces, and prepared all the wrong ones...
CataPirata: (laughs)nBut it wasn’t like an “audition” audition. We weren’t all sitting behind a table being judges. We just invited him to jam, and he showed up with a lot a lot of percussion.
Is it your first time at SONAR?
CataPirata: It is yes.
What do you think makes SONAR special for bands to play here?
CataPirata: It has such a major reputation. I think bands all over the world will always want to play at Sonar. For us it’s an honour to be here. Especially on their 20th anniversary. It’s really, really special.
Do you have a favourite act playing at SONAR? CataPirata: I want to see Jurrassic 5, last night we saw Kraftwerk which was amazing.
Gino Bombrini: Yeah that was really really cool. Daniel Rose: There is also a band called „Skip&Die“ which is really really cool. (laughs)
Do you prefer playing festivals or concerts? CataPirata: They are both very different. But we like different things. Music in the studio, being on tour, everything is different, always a new adventure. I mean we always make it a party anyway.
Gino Bombrini: Festivals are always bigger. Everything is amplified ten times. If you do a little thing it automatically feels bigger. It has more impact. You feel the power behind such a festival.
Nique Quentin: But if you play Club shows you can make your own atmosphere stronger, you can make a light show, prepare something special.
CataPirata: For festivals it’s nice because you can reach people that you haven’t reached before, people that probably don’t even know about you. So you can connect to people and maybe convince them.
Gino Bombrini: Search for more soul (laughs).
If you could choose a location to play at, where would that be?
CataPirata: We really want to do a South American Tour, but we are actually playing in Réunion, which is a French Island and we are really excited about that because it’s something we never dreamed of doing. Nique Quentin: Yes it’s really far in the ocean, with a white beach and a volcanic Island.
Daniel Rose: Oh but it would also be really cool to play in an ice palace somewhere in the Arctic. But I guess I would then need a new laptop for that.
CataPirata: And I need a different outfit
Nique Quentin: A whale Jacket or something.
Gino Bombrini: Or we play on the whale, the stage is on a whale.
CataPirata: The whale will be a our base.. laughs
CataPirata your style is quite unusual in an amazing way, how important is the visual part in a band? CataPirata: I think it’s all integrated. Because when you watch a band you want to see something visually pleasing and it adds another layer to the experience. I don’t necessarily see it as style, but as expression of creativity.
Do you desing your stage outfits yourself?
CataPirata: No it depends. This one (pointing to her outfit) is actually by a friend of mine, he’s a Dutch designer called Bas Kosters. I actually borrow a lot from him and try to promote him. For example in our music video “jungle riots”, all these masks are made by him. I like working with designers that are really into making their own stuff and we can help each other grow.
And if you could chose any designer to make you a stage outfit, who would you pick?
Gino Bombrini: Salvadore Dali. (laughs)
CataPirata: Yes exactly!!! That’s a very good one. I have nothing to add to that (laughs).
CataPirata you also have worked as an artist, and curator, how is that different to your work as a musician, which job is most you?
CataPirata: For me it’s just all an extension to being creative. I mean right now I don’t have as much time to do all the other things, since we have been touring since January, and we will keep on touring until next January. So it’s a whole year of travelling. It’s all very important for me. But there is a time and a place for everything.
On your album we find a lot of languages (Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Spanish and Portuguese) how important is language to music?
CataPirata: For me, languages stand for different phases of my life. So they are connected to emotions, memories and experiences. If I write a song, I don’t think about which language to write in, I just try to express my self the way I feel at that moment. And it just comes out. It’s like dreaming in a certain language. You get a little mixed up, but I like that. I don’t feel you need to be restricted to one language. You can connect to a lot of different people. I mean at the end oft he day, even if you don’t understand what we are singing about, it doesn’t matter because if you feel the vibe and you feel the energy, or you feel a message that you can connect to, that’s more important.
Daniel Rose: It becomes a sort of percussion as well.
Nique Quentin: And at the same time every language has a whole culture behind it. We want to be wide spread, and bring different cultures together. It gets quite deep that way.
„Riots in the jungle“ is also an amazing video that probably has much more to it every time you look at it, what was your inspiration there?
CataPirata: I wanted to bring together a lot of stuff that is happening at the moment. So there are a lot of snippets from South African riots. That was found footage. I feel it is important to reflect what’s happening in society. But at the same time, I also want to create our own world. We are artists so we want to fulfil our fantasy. The idea of the video was to work towards some kind of Utopia. Picturing the solitude of these individuals, but then finding each other and becoming some kind of a clan or community. People carrying for each other, instead of just thinking individually. That’s kind of the idea.
No budget limit for a music video, what would you like to do? CataPirata: Just go wild, do anything. Gino Bombrini: That’s never a good thing. Budget creates options. So I think your mind gets a little bit smaller when you have a big budget.
CataPirata: I would like to build massive sets. I love set design. Maybe something like a futuristic Cyborg galaxy.
Nique Quentin: Yes we should go to the galaxy. Daniel Rose: And record on the moon.
Gino Bombrini: Or give everyone our budget money, and just keep doing it like we’ve always did.
Nique Quentin: Well I would like to buy a moon suit. That’s what I want.
CataPirata: Actually now that you say that, I would love to do a music video when there is no gravity.
Gino Bombrini: Oh yes floating around.
If you could put anything on your backstage rider, what would be on it?
CataPirata: A horse,
Gino: A pony. (laughter). Everyone: or a zebra, a giraffe, no better a unicorn.
René Kuhlmann: Why only animals? Does it have to be an animal? Band: A tiger…no we need some drinks, a jacuzzi, no a jacuzzi filled with beer.
CataPirata: And all of our friends.
June 26, 2013
Labels: On track, May I introduce, Sail the Seas