Chatting with Gnarls Barkley


What most people probably presumed was a one-off collaboration has produced a second album and appears to be going strong. What is it about your personalities and abilities that has made this jell so well?

Cee-Lo: I enjoy working with Danger quite a bit. He’s very charming; he’s funny and very talented. We get along pretty good. And obviously, we have a creative chemistry as well. We enjoy that common ground, that kindred spirit and that kinetic energy.

Danger Mouse: I feel the same way. (Cee-Lo laughs.)

Cee-Lo, you were quoted having said there would be just one more Gnarls Barkley album and then the project would end. Serious plan or just something you felt that day?

CL: Probably just something I was thinking that day. Technically, we do have one album left to complete our agreement [with Downtown Records], but if it goes anything like what we have in mind, I’m sure somebody out there will want to make sure we do 10 or 20 more albums.

You guys had such a huge hit out of the chute with “Crazy” … has it been difficult to exist in that shadow or do you just look at that as a moment when the planets aligned a certain way and know you can’t try to replicate it?

DM: The latter of what you just said is the way it is … we just figured more people would be sensible enough to realize it. We can’t really sit and plan how to do stuff like that.

Brian [Burton, Danger Mouse], when you’re doing production for someone new, do you mainly sit back and wait for them to ask for your input or do you arrive on day one with a plan for how the music should sound?

DM: There’s no set way. Sometimes it’s more of a collaboration, sometimes it’s more just me trying to help out on a certain thing that’s already there. Like for The Black Keys, the first song we did, there was an organ in the room and I play a little organ, so I thought it’d be good for an organ part. And they were very encouraging for me to do whatever I thought would sound good. It wasn’t discussed; it all just kind of worked out. But it’s always really different. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of really great people and I try to learn from all of them. I try to take from them things that will make what I do better, and hopefully in the process, help them on the other side of it.

With Thievery Corporation, Seu Jorge. June 21, 7:45 p.m., $84.50. Mandalay Bay Beach, 632-7580.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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