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Champagne Fever is an excellent D.C. two-piece. If you like Pleasure Curses, another excellent D.C. two-piece we’ve been championing for the last 15 months, you will enjoy Champagne Fever. Champagne Fever is opening for Sales tonight at DC9. The two bands are similar in that there’s an electronic element, both are two-pieces (theme!) and better-than-usual lyrics, but Sales is a tad more minimal. We had Champagne Fever interview Sales (Jordan Shih and Lauren Morgan) before tonight’s show.

Champagne Fever: One of the prominent things that sticks out to me about your EP is how minimal the arrangements are. I wanted to ask about the motivation or inspiration for the minimal approach?

Lauren Morgan: We have a minimal setup, so I think that adds to the minimal approach. And there are just two of us…

Jordan Shih: Yeah. When it comes to a song, I personally, and I think Lauren feels similar. We just like to capture the good parts.

Lauren Morgan: Keep it simple!

Jordan Shih: We like to make sure that there’s highlights, you know. Sometimes all you need are a drum track, vocal, and guitar.

Champagne Fever: I’ve always kinda wanted to make more slow, minimal, emotional, expressive music like that, but the live performance setting would be so stressful and intimidating for me. Do you ever feel pressured to be more dancey – to push the tempo or the drums forward? Does it stress you out at all when the audience is standing still?

Lauren Morgan: It stresses me out. Every time we play a show I feel stressed out, but particularly with SXSW, like, we’re just not a band that can play a house party. It’s hard coming to terms with that. We can’t just go to a room full of drunk people with a bad sound system. We’ll just sound bad. So yeah I feel a lot of pressure in the live setting like maybe it should be different. Maybe we should bump it up a little more. But we’ve continued to work on our live sound. It’s really minimal. It works better in an intimate setting. Though we have played crazy rooms and it sounded good too. We’re still in a trial and error phase. Though it is really… what’s the word when you feel naked? Vulnerable!

Jordan Shih: Yeah we’ve played after bands that are more upbeat and electronic, when it’s hard to match the energy. But we’ve also played with softer bands. It really depends on how you present it.

Lauren Morgan: I think we’ve committed ourselves to having a different sound and energy live. It just depends on who’s listening and if they want to go there, I guess

Champagne Fever: Seems like you’d have to take the crowd with you…

Jordan Shih: Yeah. it’s like holding hands with the crowd.

Lauren Morgan: Dude, y’all want to hold hands? ‘Cause it’s not gonna work if you don’t.

Jordan Shih: Right. Help people realize that this is the music and it’s not a dance party. You can dance! But it’s not a dance party.

Champagne Fever: Going back to the recording process, it sounds like there’s a chair creak in the guitar loop on your track “Renee”?

Lauren Morgan: That’s totally right, damn!

Jordan Shih: Good fucking ears. Yeah that was recorded in Lauren’s room. Window open with crickets. Condenser microphone capturing the classical guitar. It captured a lot. The chair Lauren was sitting in was pretty squeaky. Those are the little non-intentional flourishes that, after the fact, we appreciate. I feel like lots of recordings these days are so polished… so extremely clean, that they lose the personality that should exist in a good creation.

Champagne Fever: Do you intend to continue the minimal lo-fi approach?

Jordan Shih: I like recording at home. Though I also like high-fidelity.

Lauren Morgan: Some day we might have a bat cave studio.

Jordan Shih: Right. We like to make use of what we have. Someday we’d like a studio set up of our own, but it costs money. Actually there is this new studio in the library in Orlando.

Lauren Morgan: All you need is a library card!

Champagne Fever: Wow. Funny. Last question. Who is “Renee” (title to single from the Sales EP)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqZbiZED3vg

Lauren Morgan: So Renee is this wild woman. An amazing… muse, i guess you could say? That we met at a bar. She told us she was a stripper and a nutritionist at a prison also. She just sat down with us because there weren’t any other seats. And she just took us on the ride of our lives. Two days after we were tracking this song and I was like, “Let’s call it “Renee””.

Jordan Shih: And I was like, “Don’t do that. That’s weird.” But it turned out to be a great decision.

Lauren Morgan: Right so it’s a title that functions as a missed connection add. We’re kinda on the look out for Renee.

Jordan Shih: So that’s the joke now…

Lauren Morgan: We’ll know we’re big when we find Renee.

Jordan Shih: She’ll find us again.

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