Exclusive Interview with Clemens Rehbein of Milky Chance

Led by the irresistibly catchy, danceable track “Stolen Dance” – which has already hit #1 in 15 countries and amassed over 50 million views on YouTube – German duo Milky Chance are now poised for greatness in the states as well.

Made up of guitarist/vocalist Clemens Rehbein and DJ Philipp Dausch, the duo weaves elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars, along with lilting, lush vocals. It’s a unique sound that is unequivocally their own.

"Think of it as the singer-songwriter spirit mixed with electronic beats,” says guitarist/vocalist Rehbein. “You can dance to most of it too!”

Below, we sit down with Rehbein to discuss the band’s rise to fame.

Until their debut full length is released in the fall, you check out their current release, the Stolen Dance EP, and find out more at www.milkychanceofficial.com.

How did you and Philipp meet and form your musical relationship?

We met in high school, in the 11th grade. That was four years ago now. We both attended the same music class. The first day of class, you know, we just recognized that we were kind of the same.

We starting hanging around together, jamming and making music. We had a five-piece band at school where I played bass and Philipp played guitar. We did a lot of old jazz tunes and soul –– we were really into old music. It was really uncommon to play that music, so everyone would ask us, “how come you play those old songs?” We just liked them –– Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, stuff like that.

So when we finished school a few years ago, the band split. But I had always done songs on my own. I started writing when I was 13, so I a bunch of songs already finished. So Philipp and I decided to record them, and perform them live together.

You guys became popular in Europe really fast. What has that been like?

It’s hard to describe. It’s crazy. You know, we never expected anything like this. I just uploaded the songs up on YouTube for fun, to see how people would react to them. They just became bigger and bigger. We didn’t do any promotion or anything. It was really fast, and you have to try hard to realize what’s happening.

Milky Chance has this unique sound that blends electronic music with a folk/songwriter influence. How did you develop your style?

The special thing about me and Philipp is that we love to listen to music in general. We both had a very good education in music, so we’ve had the opportunity to get to know many different kinds. We have a lot of friends who are great players too. So I think the album is like a melting pot of everything we like to listen to.

Watch the video for “Stolen Dance”:

What guitars are you playing these days?I have two electric guitars that I play live, one is a Framus Mayfield Custom, and the other is a very old guitar –– a Guild. It’s my favorite. I think it was built in ‘65. My acoustic guitar is a Baton Rouge. When are you guys touring in the US?We should be there in October for some promotion and small gigs –– we’re going to be doing a lot of touring next year. We’re looking forward to coming there!

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to Parade.com, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.