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The Do - Do The Do

Author: Nina Bertok
Monday, 9 March 2009

French duo The Do (pronounced ‘dough’) are one of the more interesting acts on this year’s V Festival line-up, with a sound that’s fallen into a pit of film scores, folk, indie and experimental and emerged renewed. 3D’s Nina Bertok learns a thing or two about them.

It’s a scary prospect being relatively unknown and having to perform alongside famous acts like The Killers and Snow Patrol in a country you’ve never visited, to crowds mostly unfamiliar with your music. But if you’re French indie/soul duo The Do, you take on the challenge and just do what you do – simple.

“I have to be honest and admit that I don’t really care much for Duffy’s music but it is pretty exciting to be able to play with The Kaiser Chiefs,” one-half of the duo, Olivia Merilahti, claims. “Oh, and The Killers will probably be very interesting, but other than that I am not really aware of the rest of the bands on the line-up just yet.”

It’s safe to say The Do’s confidence stems from plenty of practice the band received while constantly touring around Europe in 2008.

“Last year we spent the whole year just touring all the time, mostly in France and Europe, including Scandinavia and countries near by,” Merilahti says. “It has been really great to have that chance to play gigs because when we began as a band we found it pretty hard to start playing gigs when we had no recording yet. So right now it’s very exciting to know that we will be playing all the way in Australia. We know that it can be difficult to play when you have no audience.”

All that changed in 2008 with the release of The Do’s debut album A Mouthful – a record Merilahti describes as “a little bit old, a little bit new in its sound”.

“It was such a spontaneous album, which we recorded out of desire,” she says. “We try to make a point of not having any kind of plan or direction but rather make songs as passionately as we can without over-thinking things or wondering if it will be a hit. At the moment we are in the studio recording our second album, which we started about a month ago, and we wanted to keep things the same, open way. It’s a pretty crazy time for us right now because while we’re trying to record it, we’re also rehearsing for the festival in Australia.”

And although Merilahti insists she and second half of the duo Dan Levy prefer spontaneity as opposed to careful planning when it comes to their music, the singer also says it’s important to take baby steps.

“After Australia we would love to explore America too but we don’t want to rush things. We know that we need to be very cautious of how we get the word out about The Do because we do everything by ourselves, from playing, recording, writing, mixing, arrangement and even the visual pictures. Dan and I are very protective of our project so we don’t want to rush into anything.”

Whether The Dø make the trek to America or not, it’s fair to say that in Australia their blend of classic and modern musings will go down quite a treat.

“We try to make music that reflects our vision of what art is,” Merilahti offers. “We try to capture the way we think, which is not something conscious at all, it just comes out. We are not a hundred percent modern or completely old school. We try to bring in something primary and something high-tech at the same time. The primary state of things is something that has always interested Dan and I, the very first. If you can capture that in music, it’s like discovering an innocence in a way.”

WHO: The Do
WHAT: Play V Festival, Centennial Parklands
WHEN: Saturday 28 March
MORE: vfestival.com.au

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