Dropping a sample into the inbox of Wolf + Lamb, PillowTalk lifted their heads the following day to find the label reciting tune ‘Weekend Girl’ right back at them, live on Skype. Swing.
Irresistibly seductive and smooth; Sammy D, Ryan Williams and Michael Tello have been laying down damn sexy tunes since 2005. Making waves with their early Wolf + Lamb releases , these three, San Fran. based boys have gone on to capture attention of electronic music-taste makers and forward-thinkers Visionquest and Life and Death.
Meeting through mutual mates, PillowTalk draw influence from an eclectic mix of genres and have risen fast, famed for keeping themselves looking particularly sharp. Compulsive ad-libbers, they’re always changing-up their live shows, keeping their loyal following on their toes. When it comes to having fun and creating new material they’re seasoned Lotharios, with all the right lines and a whole lotta love from the laydees. i-D online caught up with the band of boys to find out how they like their eggs in the morning and to scoop an exclusive peek at their new video, ‘Heaven’s Gate’.
Tell us about your musical backgrounds… Sammy D was a choir boy and lettered in adjudication and sight reading. He DJ’d for close to twenty years, with releases on Classic, Dirtybird and Buzz’n’Fly. Michael Tello started playing keys, producing beats and DJing at the age of 12. He’s taken piano, music theory and electronic music classes since Junior High, and completed his BA in Audio Engineering at the age of 21. Michael has also released several original tracks and remixes for labels such as OM Records, JIVE, Cadang, Gemini Records, and Bombay. Ryan Williams never had any sort of real musical upbringing. But he has been making bedroom recordings for the better part of this last decade.
What inspired the new music and lyrics on The Come Back EP? A lot of things. We all listen to and collect northern soul, motown, indie rock, yacht rock records, and the ideas just came from our late nights in the studio. We are really influenced by so many types of music.
What artists, musicians and bands have had an impact on your sound? Sam Cooke, Beach Boys, Quincey Jones, The Tams, Hall & Oats, Frankie Valli, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Brenton Wood, Aretha Franklin, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Otis Redding, Apparat, Aurthur Russell, Bill Withers, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Broken Social Scene, Animal Collective, Dr. Dre, Bon Iver, James Blake, The Pharcyde, CFCF, Caribou, Aphex Twin etc…
Why did you decide to name yourselves PillowTalk? Sammy’s drag name was Raven Pillowtalk at Floating Man. When it came time to decide upon a name, Pillowtalk seemed like the most appropriate one.
Which side of the bed do you prefer to sleep on and why? Sammy’s on the right. Ryan’s on the left. Mikey’s in the middle.
What are your top five tracks of all time?
1) One Step Ahead, Aretha Franklin
2) Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers
3) Lost and Looking, Sam Cooke
4) Surf’s Up, Beach Boys
5) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), Talking Heads
What’s next? We’re playing live this NYE in NYC at Verboten, the BPM Festival for the Life and Death Showcase, hopefully SXSW, and Berlin along with the rest of Europe for the summer (and possibly Japan). On top of that, there will be lots of new music that will be coming out throughout the year, collaborations, remixes, and a debut album.
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Poached.
PillowTalk’s ‘Far From Heaven EP’ is out 19th Dec 2011on Wolf + Lamb
Text: Milly McMahon