If you haven't heard of SOFI TUKKER, you've probably already heard one of their records “Best Friend” (featuring Nervo, The Knocks and Alisa Ueno) that made it to Apple's iPhone X ads. Since their massive success both in the studio and on road, this year in particular was the very first time the duo has released an album. “Treehouse” paints a creative soundscape of Sofi Tukker's musical collection, ranging from pop-friendly to a more personal touch. Not only have they dropped a ton of new music, but they're also been busy on the road as well -- headlining bus tours and even performed at Lolapalooza in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We got a chance to catch up with them before their performance at The Fox Theater in Oakland where Sofi Tukker discusses the inspiration for their debut album, ideas behind their recent music videos and what the band is up to next.
How has this year been so far?
Tukker: It's been pretty great so far. It's been hectic. We've been working really hard and just been traveling and touring but it's been amazing. It's been really crazy this year actually. We've had our first headlining bus tour in Europe. It was incredible. We had an amazing tour in South America. Now we're on the last leg of our North American tour.
Sofi: Also the first bus tour we have ever done in the U.S.The transition from the minibus to the tour van has been a big one. Because it's a little less painful.
Tukker: You can sleep more. I don't have to drive for shows for 7 hours.
What was your most favorite show?
Sofi: Oh, you can't do that to us!
Tukker: Lolapalooza in Sao Paulo, Brazil was crazy.
Sofi: I would say one of my favorite shows was when we played in Paris, France. It was really wild and my parents were there. I've had shows before where my parents were there and I get kind of shy. They're the only people that I get shy in front of. This one I actually went batsh*t on. So I broke the spell and I feel good about it.
Tukker:That was a great one. We had so many good ones.
Talk to us about album “Treehouse”.
Tukker: It's our first album ever. It's really exciting and it was a cool experience to produce. We've never put out a work of music where [like that] it could really show a bunch of different sides of us. It's not just singles. It's songs that we wouldn't release otherwise besides being on an album. It's been really exciting and I think it's been cool to see people singing along to these personal songs that we've written and now get to play every night. There's still plenty of spectrum that hasn't been heard yet, a lot of new songs coming that we're pretty psyched about.
Sofi: We put it out a month ago.
What’s the story behind the music video for “Baby I’m A Queen”?
Tukker: The idea from the director that we worked with. Usually we come up with the ideas but with this one he sort of had this idea and we were like this is awesome. It's a guy named Philip Lopez and he's a great director. We filmed it in Miami. It was so fun working with the kids. We had a lot of fun with it.
Sofi: I mean hanging out with kids covered in paint really is an ideal situation.
What’s the story behind the music video for “Batshit”?
Sofi: Tukker came up with the idea while he was in the shower.
Tukker: It was like 4:00 AM and it was after a late show. It might have after an after party but I was just like so tired I couldn't even stand so I sat down in the shower. Then I thought of something and I was like how funny would this be?!
Sofi: Then eventually it turned into the water balloons. We knew we were going to do something like a prank in the desert. As soon as I turned into water balloons it came a little bit more absurd.
Tukker: Because the water balloons are like balls.
Sofi: And I really love "crying makeup". Just having a face that looks as if I just cried is a face I wear very frequently because I cry a lot.So I was excited to wear that in the video.The styling was great. It was snowing while we were filming.
Tukker: The desert was snowing and we were not wearing that many clothes.
How did you meet Charlie Barker?
Sofi: We met Charlie through a friend.
Tukker: During one of our fist tours ever, I wanted to sublet my room in New York. A friend of ours, Gibbs, who was one of the lead singers of my favorite old band, Cobra Starship, he was like oh I have a friend who is this amazing artist. She's coming to stay in New York. She's doing modeling stuff. She needs a place to stay. She ended up staying at house and when we got off tour I got back to my apartment and she was still there. We instantly became best friends and she stayed for like 3 weeks and we just liked lived together. Then she became really close to Sofi. She ended up coming on tour with us for that full month.
Sofi: We didn't want to say goodbye.
Tukker: So we kind of ended up taking her to a bunch of places and we all just became best friends. She also does some artwork for us. She has a band that we helped produce a music for. It's a big family thing.
We love your mixtapes “Animal Talk”. Can we expect a Vol. 3 or other mixtapes?
Tukker: For sure. I think I kind of want to do like an annual thing for the mixtapes. I don't want to do them too frequent because I really like to collect the right group of songs before it's ready. So I don't want to try to do some every month or something and have it not be as special. We do edits on a lot of the songs, so they're exclusive songs on it. It's kind of fun to do it more infrequently. But yes, there will be more.
Do you have any upcoming records you can share with us about?
Sofi: Yeah, we're going to perform 2 of them tonight. We have a new song called “Fantasy” and another one called “Swing”. We love playing them and they fit really well. We're really excited to be able to share them with the world but for now we share them city-by-city.
The whole theme of animals, jungles, safaris, etc. where exactly did that inspiration come from?
Sofi: When we started talking about what we cared about and what we like to both hear, feel and see, we realized that that was common ground. It's just grown from there. We like color, we like sun. We're very excitable and cheerful.
Tukker: More specifically, she was so obsessed with Brazil and I didn't really know what Brazil was like but I've always been obsessed with tropical climate, palm trees and deep oceans. We had that sort of aesthetic in common but I didn't know what Brazil looks like until we actually went because I've never been there before we went as a band. When we got there I was like everything makes sense. I was like wait this is full Sofi Tukker's aesthetic and this is what Brazil looks like! And she was like duh. I was like this has always been my dream and I didn't even know it existed. It's totally common ground of where our music takes us and where we want to be.
What is one thing you wish to accomplish this year?
Tukker: I want to stay healthy. So we don't have to miss any shows, tours or anything. Also, keep loving what we do as much as we do. Always.
Sofi: Yeah, I definitely have those same goals. Probably the top priority is continuing loving what we're doing.
5/22: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
5/23-5/28: Bradley, CA @ Lightning in a Bottle Festival
5/26 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
5/27: San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park*
6/7: Tel Aviv, Israel @ Hangar 11
6/8-6/9: Kaltenberg, Germany @ PULS Open Air
6/29: St. Gallen, Switzerland @ OpenAir Festival
7/11-7/14: Bern, Switzerland @ Gurtenfestival
7/13: Madrid, Spain @ Mad Cool Festival
7/21 - Lisbon, Portugal @ Super Bock Super Rock
7/27: Moscow, Russia @ Park Live Festival
8/11: Budapest, Hungary @Sziget Festival
8/11-8/12: Buftea, Romania @ Summerwell Festival
8/17: Kiewet, Belgium @ Pukkelpop Festival
8/17-8/19: Biddinghuizen, Netherlands @ Lowlands Festival
9/8: Berlin, Germany @ Lollapalooza
9/21-9/22: Ithaca, NY @ Cayuga Sound Festival
Tickets for the tour are available here.