Colourful dance pop and two of the sweetest people on the Berlin music scene, Ducks! have all the off-kilter swagger we've come to expect from Antipodean songsters, as well as rhythmic sophistication that will set hips swaying. We catch up on everything from David Attenborough to pre-show naps.
Tell us a little about your band.
Lani: We’re two humans making electronic music that lives in the space between trip-hop and disco. We record and produce everything ourselves, in a studio called Tiny Lights.
Craig: We’re a ‘take turns’ kind of band; that’s how we work. Lani records a sound, then it’s my turn, then her turn again, and so on. We’re quite strict about it, and also very polite. It’s always, ‘After you!' After about three hours of this we usually have a song.
What’s been your best moment as a band?
L: For me, it was the residency we did at Blitz contemporary art space in Valletta, Malta, last year. I loved having a whole empty art gallery to make weird noises in, and being able to invite other people to come in and make weird noises with us.
C: Yes, that was amazing. We also did a lot of field recording hikes there, taking microphones out into Valletta and the countryside around. If I had to pick a specific moment, I’d say it was recording a little shrub full of bees on the edge of a cliff near the ocean.
L: The field recording trips did involve a few side trips to the beach, and regular Aperol spritz breaks.
C: Recorded those too, of course.
How do you prepare for a gig?
C: I literally fall asleep. It’s weird, I’m not a very sleepy person generally, and I almost never take naps in the daytime. But right before a gig I get suddenly really tired, find a place backstage to have a little lie down, and instantly fall asleep.
L: I choose an extremely colourful outfit, douse myself in glitter, do some vocal warmups, drink two beers, and poke (Craig) Schuf until he wakes up.
If you could have anyone in the audience at Bang On fest for your set, who would you choose and why?
L: David Attenborough.
L: Because he’s a treasure and I really wanna meet him, but he’s not a famous musician, so I wouldn’t get freaked out.
C: Oh yes, you don’t want Erykah Badu or Kathleen Hannah coming along to your gig.
What does Bang On Fest mean to you?
L: We love Bang On! It’s a chance to hear great new bands with women in them.
C: Yes! And we get to play a show with our Band Friends, Leoprrrds, in one of our favourite Berlin venues.
Bang On Fest is all about promoting women in music. Favourite female artist?
L: This is a really hard question...
C: I think we should make a list.
L: Okay. Björk, Erykah, Tune-yards, Lauryn Hill, Nai Palm from Hiatus Kaiyote, Janelle Monae, Sampa the Great...
C: Laurie Anderson, St Vincent, Grace Jones, Kimbra, Kaffe Matthews, Yoko Ono...
What can people look forward to about your set?
C: New songs, never before heard by humans.
L: I will look like a colourful tropical bird, and your eyeballs will be turned on.
C: Lani is always very colourful, I am not so much. We always say that when real ducks see us in the street, they probably point at Lani and say, ‘That must be the male’.
Catch Ducks! at Bang On Fest, April 7th.