DJs and producers increasingly have to find a way to stand out that goes beyond their music. Dillion Francis is all about cats and tacos. Bassnectar's logo has become a world-wide emblem. Pretty Light's cats have 48,100 followers on Instagram, Deadmau5 wears a giant mickey-mouse like head. For the swedish duo Dada Life, bananas are the answer. Not stopping there, their official motto is "let's go bananas!" and they sell an official Dada Life banana costume on their website.
At their concert at the 1st Bank Center on Friday, giant blow up bananas and bubbly champagne (also a favorite) circled above the audience, replacing beach balls, and dancing fans in banana costumes could be seen bopping up and down in the crowd. The duo ceremoniously brought out actual bananas to eat, as well.
How did the ordinary fruit become a part of Dada Life's DJ platform? One popular but unconfirmed theory is that members Olle Cornéer and Stefan Engblom had a past life in children's entertainment before starting producing music. Rumors have it that they played B1 and B2 in the 90's Australian children show "Banana's in Pajamas" and were working on their DJ duo group for fifteen years before surfacing as their new identities in 2006. In numerous interviews, they have neither confirmed nor denied the claim: they told EDMTunes.com, for "We decided to say neither yes or no actually," and they ignored the question dozens of times on their Redditt AMA. They do, however give a very logical reason for where the bananas situation stated saying "it was on our rider from the beginning...bananas give you extra energy to make it all night!"
On its current tour, Dada Life is expanding its culinary horizons (and identity) by trying regional cuisines at each stop. The experiences are part of a series called "Feed the Dada." In Denver, Dada Life agreed to try out Rocky Mountain Oysters. Westword's Aaron Thackeray was on hand to document the event, and we talked to the duo before the show about what they were getting themselves into.
Westword: Have you had Rocky Mountain Oysters before?
Stefan Engblom: No, never. So maybe you tell me about them. Denver is not near an ocean at all.
Do you know what they are?
I have no idea.
It's kind of battered bull or pig testicles.
Oh! That's funny.
Why did you want to try them out?
When we go out we try new foods and when you travel around the world as we do you can try a lot of different stuff. And with management we try to figure out stuff that we can try, and we call the [ensuing video] Feed The Dada. We tried the chili challenge and now this one so it should be interesting.
Now that I've told you what Rocky Mountain Oysters are do you have any hesitations about eating them?
No, not at all. The opposite.
Why do you open up yourselves to have the fan have the meal with you?
We have a really close relationship with our fans. It's a way for us to show our appreciation. On one tour we were in a bus and we had a contest for a fan to come on the bus with us for the whole tour. We get those ideas and we just do it. When he arrived, we realized, shit, we didn't know anything about this guy. He could be a serial killer. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea. It turned out he was an amazing dude and we had so much fun. We try to engage our fans as much as possible because it's thanks to them that we can do what we do.
What's some of the more unusual stuff you've tried?
I don't want to say. You'll have to watch the episodes.
You guys are foodies. Why do you want to try all this stuff out?
We're in a unique situation where we travel the world and it's one of the [perks because] not everyone can do that. It's amazing that each day we can go to a different part of the world and on top of the shows we can try different foods and level up your food scale.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.