Whilst 90’s Germany was bending over backwards to the beats of house techno, Ardnt Roerig and Marco Vidovic, now known globally as Tube and Berger, were performing in a punk band.
By 2004, however, the duo were at the top of the US Dance Chart with their breakthrough track “Straight Ahead”.
It’s been over a decade this their first floor filler was released and in that time; the pair have toured solidly for eight years conquering some of the worlds biggest venues, created their own record label (Kittball) and launched their own charity project. Not bad for ten measly years.
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
We just came home from holiday in Bali. Batteries are recharged and we’re looking forward to a wild 2015.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
We don’t like being squeezed into a specific genre. Describing our sound is always difficult but this time we are prepared because we came up with the terms “Esoteric Techno” and “Hippie House” a while ago. It was meant as a joke but listening to our music you will find out there’s lots of truth in it.
What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
The Beatles – St. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
– Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
– Rage Against The Machine – RATM
– Daft Punk – Homework
– The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
One of the best new artists around is definitely our friend Paji. His music and Live sets are just out of this world. Wild Culture from Austria are also doing great at the moment. Their tune “The Tide” is a an absolute banger. We also like Chemical Surf from Brazil, our new boys In.deed and of course Miss Kittball Juliet Sikora.
There are so many good new artists out there and it’s almost impossible to name them all.
How did you guys first meet, when and why do you get on so well? What’s great about each other?
We know each other for more than 20 years now and we trust each other. It’s like a strange kind of brother ship, or marriage, or whatever. We went through many ups and downs together and we have no plans to stop hanging out and making music any time soon.
Did you have a musical life before Tube & Berger? Did you work on other projects beforehand?
Yep… We played in a punk band together when we were 15 before we totally fell in love with electronic music.
How do you guys work together? Do you take on certain roles, for example one in the studio, one in the booth, or do you share the workload?
Most of the time we share the workload in the studio. On stage, Tube is djing with CDJs and Rekordbox while Berger is on Ableton, firing up samples, loops and special edits. It’s a kind of hybrid live & DJ set.
Your tracks have been said to be emotive and connect well with audiences. Do you agree? What makes a Tube & Berger track?
Good music should have some kind of a magic touch. We always try to bring that in. Sometimes it seems to work…
What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?
Our secret weapon is an old, cheap acoustic guitar. No joke! We use Cubase as our sequencer. Combined with Ableton Life via Rewire you can use the features of both applications and we love it. Our Acces Virus Keyboard is still in use such as the Stingray Music Man bass guitar.
You have been involved in a Charity project called ‘It Began In Africa,’ how did this come about? What inspired you to create this?
It all started with a discussion about a drinking card in the club. There were about 100€ on it and we were wondering how many people are suffering in this world and could use these 100€ a lot better than us.
A few days later we were looking for samples and found the music of the African Childrens Choir (ACC). We asked our DJ friends to remix these ACC songs and spend the money. It Began In Africa was born and until today we raised more than 10.000 pounds to build schools and shelter places for kids in Africa. We are planning to release a third compilation of It Began In Africa by the and of 2016.
The term ‘Deep House Revival’ has been thrown about a lot these days and it’s caused a bit of a stir with its veterans. What are your thoughts on this?
Once the industry has the feeling there is money involved they like to hype things and terms. We never saw ourselves as a Deep House act. Here is the problem with genres and putting music into little boxes again. What is Deep House and what’s not? We really don’t know and does it really matter? Less hatin’ mo’ dancin’!
When you compare nowadays Deep House with what it used to be 15 years ago you will find out that it sounds different. But that’s the way things are. That’s evolution we guess…
You formed your own label, Kitball Records and it has grown to achieve phenomenal success. How did the label form? What’s the experience been like? What’s in store for 2015?
There would be no Kittball without our friends and co workers Juliet Sikora and Paco. They pretty much run the label and we’re lucky to have such great people working with us. The past few years were amazing and it feels like the label is getting a bit bigger and better every day.
There is very cool music in the pipeline and and loads of shows and festival stages are planned for the whole year which is the 10th anniversary of Kittball.
Over the years we’ve seen a boom in online music presence through platforms like Beatport and Soundcloud. When you first emerged on the scene these platforms were either in beta stage or non-existent, how have you adapted to this new world?
We have our issues with stuff like Instagram but Beatport and Soundcloud are cool. Let’s say these 2 are good parts of the new world.
We think we are lucky to know both ways. The old one: selling and playing vinyl, using phone and fax and the new one: Emails, Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, USB sticks and laptops… Phew! Sounds hectic…
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Most important for us is that we are working on our new album which we wanna finish in 2015. There will be a big compilation on Kittball celebrating 10 years of our beloved label and we’ll have some interesting collaborations coming up as well.
At the moment we’re working on a remix for Booka Shade who teamed up with Karin Dreijer Andersson from Fever Ray and The Knife. This one is going to be big!
Finally, if you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Tough question! Probably unemployed…
Tube & Berger host Deeper Sessions at Electric on 21st Feb, with Paji, Coyu, Weiss and very special guest Claptone. Info and tickets HERE.
By Alex Lewis