We first had a chance to speak with Liv and Mim Nervo at last summer IDentity Festival, but had been wanting to get in a more formal interview. Our schedule didn’t match up at Ultra Music Festival but we locked down some time this week to have a chat with Liv about producing, touring, modeling, and even dating.
Independent Philly: You got your start as models when you were much younger, but then you quickly transitioned into music. Was it important to you to show that you were more than just a couple of pretty faces?
Liv Nervo: To set the record straight, I guess we were part of a (modeling) agency but we never did any campaigns or any runway or anything really like that. When we were sixteen, an agency in Australia, in Melbourne where we lived, showed some interest in us. We were twins, and we looked the same, and back then we had the same haircut, so it was more of, I think, a marketing thing for them. Music was always the focus, we have some positive experiences from our modeling days but I don’t really feel worthy of being called a model. Music was always there and we just naturally gravitated more towards, I guess a pop world, and in that pop world more of an electronic world. We were always kind of clubbers and always loved music, and the evolution just felt really natural to get us to where we are now.
IP: You’ve produced tracks for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Many have gone on to top the charts and even win Grammys. Who is an artist that you’ve love to produce a track for that you haven’t had a chance to work with?
LN: We haven’t worked directly with Rihanna yet. We’ve worked for her, through her record label but we’ve never been in a room with her and Mim and I have massive girl-crushes on Rihanna and just think that she’s so hot, and fab, and incredible with fashion…and talented. We also like how she commands her artistry. She’s not afraid to do songs that might be out of her comfort zone a little bit. I think it could be a really great creative process in the pop world. In the dance world, I mean there’s so many. We’re massive Deadmau5 fans so we’d love to work with him. Again we’ve worked for him, but not actually with him in the studio. It’s hard with everybody touring these days to actually get in the room with people. It can be really difficult, so that’s why we tend to do a lot of work on our own and then just hope that stars align and that these artists like our songs and production.
IP: With all that you have going on between producing and performing, how do you find the time to have a personal life?
LN: (laughs) In a way, we invite friends to come to our gigs all the time, and cause we’re bouncing around the world, we do get to check in with friends quite often. We have good friends in New York that we get to check in with maybe four or five times a year, and we have good friends in L.A., same thing, so we’re constantly checking in with everybody. Our friends are so supportive, and just work really hard and a lot of them, especially our close ones, are so happy with where we are right now that they don’t really put much pressure on us to see us. They know we’re really busy and at the end of the day we all try to do a holiday a couple times a year together and that works. Also Skype is really good for keeping in touch, especially with our family, and Skype is basically responsible for that.
IP: Are either you or Mim currently in a serious relationship, or are either one of you single?
LN: I’ve just met someone; I met a boy in Vegas, even though they say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. So I’m just recently, taken I guess, wow… and Mim is single…single, and what do they say? Footloose and fancy free.
IP: If you were forced to choose between producing and performing which one would you go with?
LN: Oooooo, I think they both really help each other. You know when you we’re really sick of being in the studio, when we’ve been in the studio for like two weeks on end and they’re really long days normally, then we’re just itching to get out on the road and play in front of some clubbers. And then similarly when we’ve just finished a tour, where it’s a new city everyday and you’re lacking sleep, I think we’re just ready to get into the studio and dive into the creative side of things. They really do help each other. We’re constantly creating while we’re on the road, you know, little small ideas. Not as much as we’d like to do these days because the touring is just getting crazier and crazier, but we never stop, you know, we love what we do, and we’re constantly starting new ideas.
IP: We know that you just wrapped up performance at both Ultra Music Festival and a Dayglow event in St. Louis. What was the craziest thing you saw at those shows?
LN: Ultra was one of the highlights of this year. We turned up to the stage and there was nobody there. We were there 25 minutes before our set and it was a small stage and normally the smaller stages at festivals, I mean, sometimes the vibe there can be the best. So, we were a little bit concerned that it was going to be a quiet set, and we were up against Laidback Luke. Some days you just expect there to be smaller people, and sure enough, literally five minutes before our set, we just saw all these people, fans, flocking to the zone where we were playing. And by the time we stepped up to the decks, it was full of screaming fans, all putting their hands in love, you know heart-shapes. And I have to say it was a power-hour set and the vibe was just off the hook, and you know, it just makes our job so enjoyable; it’s hardly a job when you think about it, and we just felt all of the love from the crowd. A gig like that is enough to keep you going for like two years. We felt really flattered.
Then we went to St. Louis and did our first Dayglow. I’ve heard a lot about Dayglow just because our friend plays them a lot, “R3hab” really loves Dayglow glow parties, and so I was always kind of curious to see what it was like. Nothing could prepare us for it. We got there and there was just kids ready for it. And they’re spraying paint in the faces of these kids and they were just loving everything. It got shutdown early actually which is a little bit annoying but the vibe was amazing and we were just really, really happy. I think in America, I think everywhere, but we’ve been on this American tour and the gigs just keep getting better and better. Even when we think “How could they get any better?”, they do. It’s just a real, buzz.
IP: What else is on tap for Nervo in 2012?
LN: We’re gearing up right now to have our next release through EMI. Our first release we did with Afrojack and Aoki. The second release is called “You’re going to love again” and we’re singing on it again, we wrote and produced it, and we’re really excited about it. We just got the artwork in, we’re shooting the video in two weeks, and hopefully we’ll have it all ready in the next month. And it’s going to be out, so that’s really exciting. And then we’ve got a few other little pop releases. One is called “Army” and it features Omarion as the vocalist. We wrote and produced it with Ned Sheppard. We’re really excited about it. We’re really happy with a lot of the music we’ve got coming up.
IP: Can you tell us about the next big DJ or pop-star that people may not have heard of yet?
LN: Yeah, Pixel T, who is a Polish producer. I really feel like he is on the rise. He’s going to be the next Alesso or someone like that. He’s very, very talented. He’s so young. There’s a lot of really great ones, young kids coming through. It’s just great to see. You know kids can get their hands on computers and computer programs. When we started it was really, really expensive to buy a Logic or anything. Now it’s great to see all of these 15 years old kids all buying at a very young age and getting very creative. It’s really cool.
IP: Last, but not least, can you tell us something about yourself that would surprise, or even shock our readers…
LN: Do you know what? I’ve got this answer prepared because I get asked this all the time and I always have a brain freeze and never know what to say. So, something you don’t know about us is, we really enjoy coconut water, but we enjoy it at room temperature, not cold. I think that’s kind of quirky.
[To Mim]: Mim, what was the thing we came up with the other day when we thought “Oh, that would be a good answer”?
[Mim]: You cut my hair.
Oh, I am Mim’s hair dresser. I cut her hair, I shave her head, I even dye it these days because we’re on the road so much. So we double up as a hair dresser act as well (laughs).