Allan Shotter and Giada Zerbo found each other in 2009 when both of them were seeking out new musical ventures. Allan was working on solo electronic music in London after being in indie rock bands previously, while Giada had made the brave step of moving from Italy to London to make a career in music. When the two met, they discovered they shared similar tastes and a creative bond together, which has produced two full-length records Acht (2014) and Greed (2015).

On recent EP, Entangled (2017), their songs are assertively experimental and showcase a captivating dynamic. The duo, who now live in Berlin, having recently signed a publishing deal with BMG Records, in which they are about to start writing their first album with “people counting on us”. Andrew Darley asked the band about their beginnings, where they are now and upcoming gigs this summer.

Your latest EP, Entangled, is about the frustration of being in a relationship with someone who cannot see their own potential. Is music something you turn to in order to process your thoughts?

Giada: It’s more than processing thoughts, I would say it helps escape from them for a bit. I believe we can’t really get rid of the constant flow of thoughts that crowd our mind, however, if we can find a way to pause them we can learn how to control them so they don’t control us.

Allan: Making music is actually the only time I stop thinking, my subconscious kicks in and I’m flying auto-pilot. I generally feel as ‘in the moment’ as I ever do. I’m constantly trying to get back to that feeling when making music. I don’t think I make music to process precise thoughts, it just somehow naturally balances me out in every other aspect of my life.

Can you tell me about how you write songs together?

Allan: Generally, I sketch lots of ideas and pass them onto Giada and she works with them in her studio. After filtering the good ones, we ping-pong the sketches back and forth until they start taking the form of a song. Usually the songs that come together quickest end up being the best. We are always trying to refine how we work together; it can be tricky because we are both fiery characters but this EP was written in the most organic way.

You met back in 2009 through an online advertisement, when Allan was looking for a vocalist to work with. Was there anything, in particular, you were looking for when you had the auditions?

Allan: I had been making music with computers for a while and I always felt that electronic music was a boys’ club and I didn’t want to belong to it. My music style and production has always been quite aggressive and I wanted to counterbalance this with something delicate and fragile. Also, what was appealing about Giada was her nationality; firstly for having a different sounding voice and secondly moving to another country is a challenge to be admired, as well as trying to make a living out of music is equally a challenge. Giada had the persistence and ambition to make it work.

What was it like when you met on the first day? How were you both feeling?

Allan: We met in Starbucks at Tottenham Court Road in London which is horrible and I think we spoke more about our equal obsession for Michael Jackson than anything else!

Giada: I was very excited. All I wanted to do at that time was to start working on music in a foreign country and enrich my musical knowledge and experience. The idea of being able to work with a fine musician that also had real goals was very exciting.

Had either of you been in bands before? If so, did this feel different?

Giada: Back in Italy, I was in a few bands. It felt different every time considering that I played different genres. Starting from the good old ’90s, I played pop, jazz and eventually got into experimental and avant-garde stuff. I had never really explored the electronic world before, but I was very curious.

Allan: I had a played in a few bands but nothing serious, traditionally I played guitar and was in indie rock style bands. I was always frustrated and felt the ground was so well-trodden. Turning to computers and four tracks was a revelation and my mind was blown.

What was the first song that you worked on that knew you had something special together?

Giada: If I remember correctly it was ‘Oak’ from the Kissing Cousins EP. This was the first song that we wrote together and it really gave us an idea of how our music could eventually develop.

Would you say that you’re a band that pays close attention to details?

Allan: Yes and no – we are definitely perfectionists but equally like gritty sounding, de-tuned and slightly out-of-time music. We actually work hard at making the music sound live and not programmed using a computer. It’s a weird kind of perfection that takes years of practice. We use quite a lot of sounds in our songs and to get them sitting together in the right way, you have to be able to pay close attention to details.

Can creating as a duo be intense or is that intimacy something you thrive on?

Giada: Creating as a duo is challenging and intimate at the same time. There are so many emotions in one idea that has to be shared with the other person and sometimes explained in order to be comprehended. It’s not always automatically understood. It’s a tiny creation that will have to be moulded many more times in order to become perfect to both ears. How could that be an easy process? I guess that’s also why it’s particularly charming.

You’re playing Berlin and London soon. What is it like for you bringing music to the live stage?

Allan: Super exciting! I think any musician loves to hear their music really loud on great speakers. Since we use a lot of sub-bass, when we play venues with great systems you can get the room to shake. It is great to meet our audience and see how they react to our performances. The kind of music we make is generally acceptable as headphone listening and we want to get away from that. I think we want to inject energy into our music and bring that to the stage and get people moving with us too.

Giada: When I’m on stage I feel comfortable and in need of expressing the feelings that are somehow trapped in each song. The live show is for me a moment in which these emotions can finally come out and be shared with the audience. It’s a completely different experience from working in the studio. I think it’s a great opportunity to become somehow one with the listener and part of the audience.

You recently signed a publishing deal with BMG. What will this mean for you?

Allan: We are not really sure yet as it’s literally just happened, as far as I’m aware they can help us with connecting with people and possibilities of getting our music licensed for media. BMG were actually great in saying that we should just artistically do what we want, initially we felt a little uneasy as our music is a little ‘out there’ for them but they seem to be enjoying it and so far have encouraged us to pursue what we are currently doing.

In terms of the future, is there another LP in the works?

Giada: We are always working on new material. The LP is definitely one of our next goals amongst many.

Allan: This is actually the first LP where we have people counting on us.

Vittoria Fleet’s Entangled EP is out now. For more information and tickets to their upcoming shows click here.