Swedish duo Cazzette are known for three things – their hit song "Beam Me Up," their hit song "Weapon," and their helmet masks (huge cassette tapes), which they wear onstage sometimes.
I recently chatted with them in a hotel suite immediately after their plane landed in Las Vegas. They were exhausted from traveling. But they were cheerful and preparing to play a show on the Strip. (On Monday, they DJ again at Wynn club XS.)
During the previous 26 hours, the brunette, Seb Furrer, had slept only three hours, and the blond, Alex Bjorklund, had slept just 30 minutes.
"I don’t even know where I am right now," Bjorklund said, eyes glazed. "There’s going to be some serious party napping going on here."
Furrer was missing his pet, a dwarf hamster.
"She’s back home," he said, forlornly.
Cazzette had a great 2012, releasing the album "Eject" and racking up big numbers on YouTube, music service Spotify, and Billboard dance charts – for creating their own songs, and for remixing tunes by Avicii and Kanye West.
Bjorklund and Furrer grew up on electronic music and East Coast hip-hop, so blending those two disparate genres has been easy and fun.
"It’s different tempos. It’s different rhythms. It’s unexpected. That’s what speaks to me," Bjorklund said.
"When we did the Lil Wayne bootleg – ‘Look at Me Now’ and especially ‘Part Two’ – it was really interesting. The rap comes in as a kind of first refrain. It’s unique."
Other producers churn out Top 40 pop singles combining hip-hop and electronic, but Bjorklund doesn’t think it always works.
"I’m going to get in a lot of trouble for saying this, but that’s not real hip-hop," he said.
These Cazzette kids are young. An older DJ, Rob "Fergie" Guson, told me he met Cazzette on tour in Korea, where Fergie told the Cazzette kids that the first DJ concert he saw was by Carl Cox in Belfast in 1991.
Bjorklund was flabbergasted and told Fergie he wasn’t even born until 1993, which made Fergie laugh and wonder if he is old now at age 32.
I reminded Bjorklund and Furrer of their Korean encounter with Fergie, and they laughed at their own youth.
"People have been around this music for so long, and I’ve been around for only five years!" Bjorklund said.
"That puts you in perspective," Furrer said.
We talked about other things, and then Cazzette had to get their power naps.
I bid them farewell and told Furrer he should have snuck his pet on the plane.
He said it would have been hard to explain a hamster in his pants – but then he changed his mind:
"It’s a perfect pickup line!"
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.