Interview: The Twelves

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Images Charline Messa + Felipe Fontecilla

João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira met in 2005 and discovered a happy coincidence – their birth dates. After unsuccessful attempts at indie bands due to musical differences, these boys from Rio de Janeiro soon decided to come together to remix their favourite tracks. Their potential was spotted through the internet and the rest as they say is history. From Yelle to Two Door Cinema Club, their well received remixes got them a record deal and performances at festivals worldwide. Fresh off Coachella and the release of Kitsuné Tabloid by The Twelves, JUICE snoops around and asks the “Brazilian Daft Punk” duo about their daily routine and hypothetical lost luggage among other things before they head down to Zouk KL this month.

Hello! How are you doing and which part of the world are you in right now?
We just arrived in London for our Kitsuné show at XOYO. It’s always good to be back in London.

Congrats on the Kitsuné Tabloid mix. It’s great! If it became part of a score for a movie scene, what kind of scene would you envision it to be?
Wow, good question! I can see it being part of a montage scene that slips around various aspects within a movie, maybe something like a scene where the guy is walking through all four seasons in a single shot.

It must’ve been awesome playing at Coachella this year. Any crazy stories to share?
Not really, the festival was pretty chilled out in that respect. We wanted to see so many bands there too that we just had to pitch up somewhere and then get moving as soon as they finished to try to catch the next act. It was a great experience and I am so glad we can say that we have played Coachella.

We’ve read that your music appeals more to Europe and America than your own country. Is the music you make influenced more by European and American musicians?
I wouldn’t say so. In fact I wouldn’t say it is influenced by any one genre or region. We draw on many influences and it changes from track to track. We still get a lot of support in Brazil and we love playing at home, but there are simply more opportunities outside South America, and we would be foolish not to explore them.

What is a typical day from 12pm til 12am for The Twelves?
12nn – Still sleeping
1pm – Breakfast
3pm – Wander to the beach, grab an iced coffee or something
5pm – Studio time
7pm – Dinner
9pm – Studio time
12am – Time to see what the nightlife brings…

What else do you both have in common besides birthdays?
We both have dark hair!

Wow! So do we! Of course, that’s common being Asian. So what can we expect from your debut show in KL?
We hope to bring something exciting to Malaysia. As you say, it is our first time here so it would be good to make sure we make a big splash! Wear some comfy shoes though, because there should be some serious movement on the dancefloor.

Which do you prefer more: the excitement and energy of touring or working on music?
They both have their positives and negatives. Touring is great, but it is really tiring and you generally don’t get very much time to spend in each place, so towards the end of the tour you always start wishing you were tucked up in your studio making beats instead of playing them. Then inevitably, when you get home to the studio, you get frustrated with sitting indoors in a dark studio all day when you could be out touring and seeing a new city or meeting new people. It’s a vicious circle.

We read that you both have recently (at the time of this interview) switched from using PCs to Macs. Now that you’ve made that change, do you feel like you were more affected by Steve Jobs recent passing? It seems that designers/music producers – people in the creative line in general, felt the loss of Steve Jobs more than anybody else. And since you were previously working in advertising and as a web designer respectively, you both seem like the perfect fellas to give an opinion.
It’s always sad when people die, especially “before their time” like Steve Jobs at a relatively young age. To be honest, we didn’t know him personally so it is hard to be affected by his passing. You have an element of respect that says you are not happy about it, but we didn’t go to an Apple store and leave an Apple or a wreath there; we just gave our own personal tributes. What did affect us was worrying about what the next generations of Macs are going to be like, because it is our livelihood and everyone knows that Steve Jobs was the major brain behind everything that went into the Macs we use today.

Being called “Brazil’s Daft Punk”, is that a blessing or a curse?
It is very flattering, and if we can emulate their success in any way then it will be a job well done. I wouldn’t say it has been a blessing as such and thus far it certainly hasn’t been a curse.

You both love Radiohead! Your favourite song would be…

You’re touring and the airport has misplaced your luggage that carries your clothes and all your equipment for tonight’s show. What will you do for your set then?
Ummm…cry – a lot! We’ll desperately find some more equipment!

If that really happens, you should try one of them 24-hour Apple Stores… What is one question that you wish The Twelves were asked that has never been asked before?
“You go to a cinema to wind down while on tour. There are only two seats left in the whole venue (phew); but what happens with the middle armrest between the two seats?”

Lastly, could you please answer the question you just asked yourselves?
We would opt for a time share strategy. The armrest should be half an hour on, half an hour off.

Thank you! We’ll be looking forward to seeing you guys down in KL!
Thanks, we can’t wait!

Be sure to get your comfy shoes down to Zouk KL on 10 November 2011. Check out their remixes at