Guest of Honor: Love at first sight with Chopstick and Johnjon

Guest of Honor: Love at first sight with Chopstick and Johnjon

Dec 20, 2012 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Hi, I'm Sharron (26). Characterized as curious, easily bored and afraid to miss out. So always looking for a new adventure.

You probably had your fist pumping moments a few times before when you heard their song called Listen, And if you haven’t seen them before, you had your chance at Straf_Werk. If you did, you’re already a fan. If you didn’t, I will make you! Because not only their music, but the guys too, are awesome!

Chi-Thien and John better known as Chopstick and Johnjon, are a Berlin based DJ duo for 10 years now, running their own label Suol with Fritz Kalkbrenner amongst others. They describe their music as “ass shaking tracks that put a smile on your face”. I totally agree on that one! So I met up with the guys before the whole ass shaking and vodka sipping affair and spoke to them about Ashanti and traveling.

Please explain to me how a tall crook and an Asian looking guy get the idea to start making music together?
Chi-Thien: “A common friend who knew I was a producer and John was a DJ hooked us up. She thought that we would fit together. So we met and listened to each other’s music and from that point we were a duo.”

So you guys had a click right away?
Chi-Thien: “Yeah it was love at first sight, haha”
John: “I showed him records that I liked and we knew that it was on common ground and we had a good vibe. So we started producing a track together.”

Were you specifically looking for a partner at that time?
John: “Not really. I was in a phase where I wanted to start producing, but I didn’t know anyone who was doing that at the time and could help me out. People where telling me all kinds of different stuff. Like I had to buy a computer and others told me I had to get samplers and mixers… I was like ‘what the fuck’? So it was good to find someone who had experience in producing. Otherwise I would have got lost.”

Chopstick and Johnjon’s master hit!

One of the reasons you guys are DJ’ing is so you can travel around the world right?
Chi-Thien: “Yeah absolutely, it’s one of the main reasons! It’s the best way to see a lot of different countries and cultures. You go to a country not like a tourist, but in a different way. Because the promoters show you around in their city. And what better way is there to see the world than through the eyes of the locals?!”
John: “At our first tours we basically invited ourselves. We just booked a flight and tried to play at clubs. It always worked! For example we wanted to go to Vegas but weren’t booked anywhere. It ended up with a three week US and Canada tour. So tours for us don’t always start with a booking. It’s more like we want to go somewhere and try to make a holiday with some music.”

I heard you guys are vodka-fans too. How do you deal with the hangover, ‘cause mine sucks every time again!
Chi-Thien: If you just stick to vodka, it isn’t a problem…

Well it is for me! If I drink too much vodka I have awful hangovers!
Chi-Thien: “Yeah well at a certain point if you drink too much, I guess you have a problem. Before you go to sleep you take an Aspirin, but you have to prepare it in a glass of water before you leave the hotel. Otherwise if you’re too wasted, you’ll forget it. I actually learned that after many years…”

Back to serious now! You have your own label Suol. How do you decide if an artist can produce at your label?
Chi-Thien: “We actually always approach the artist. All of us are friends, we don’t just strictly do business together.”
John: “It’s nothing new but we had this idea to start a new ‘family label’. So we told our friends like Till (von Sein) about our idea and they were all very enthusiastic! And out of that idea Suol was born.”

You are working on a new album..
Chi-Thien: “Haha yes, we are saying that for many years now.”
John: “We recorded a lot of stuff, but we still have to finish it though. We’ll release it next year.”
Chi-Thien: “I think we have to set ourselves a deadline…”

Well I got it on tape now, so you better!
John: “So it’s official! Haha no, we’re working on some great stuff, with Chris James from the band Stateless… We just want so many great things on our album, it takes a while.”

Their new remix that was released the 19th of December

So you guys argue about the music you make?
Chi-Thien: “No, not at all! We can be really supportive towards each other. When one has doubts the other will convince him that it’s good.”
John: “Yeah, or when it’s shit… Basically if we’re on a roll we make a track a day. So if something really works we finish it quickly. If you get stuck on the track it’s not good enough.”

The Ashanti remix that matters

I might get a little too personal on you with this one, but DJs always claim to make music about their experiences or feelings right? So I was wondering, who’s the whore in your EP called Obviously She’s a Whore?
Chi-Thien: “Haha, there is no whore!”
John: “The thing is, when you save a track on the computer for the first time, you have to create a name. And at that point, you never know what it’s going to be. But listening to the vocals we thought; Well obviously the girl must be a whore! So we had no one specific in mind…”
Chi-Thien: “They’re actually the vocals of Ashanti’s song Foolish!”

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