L.A. dance music duo Cardiknox are composed of Lonnie Angle and Thomas Dutton. The two have already made a big splash with catchy songs like "On My Way" and "Doors," which rapper Daye Jack remixed. They have toured with Betty Who, Bleachers, and just played with Carly Rae Jepsen.
The two are signed to Warner Bros. with a new album called Portrait that comes out March 16. The record is produced by John Shanks, who worked with Stevie Nicks and Alanis Morissette in the past.
Windy City Times spoke with them at sound check before their show in Chicago opening for The Knocks.
Windy City Times: Welcome to Lincoln Hall. Have you been to Chicago before?
Lonnie Angle: Yes, we were here two years ago. We were in this very room.
Thomas Dutton: We played a Lollapalooza after party here with Bleachers.
WCT: I love Jack Antonoff, the singer for that band. He's a big gay supporter.
LA: Yes, he is.
WCT: Where did the band name Cardiknox come from?
LA: It is a play on a family name, which was Cardinaux and is French. American kids have pronounced the silent X, Cardiknox. We just thought it sounded cool.
Some people think it is Cardioknox like a work out regime!
WCT: You are originally from Seattle?
LA: We are.
WCT: How did you meet?
LA: We met in Seattle. Thomas had written a musical with his old band. It was a rock musical that was big, sweeping and dramatic. He was looking to turn it into a legit musical. My background is in musical theater. He and I started working together and I was writing the libretto. We started working with the Public Theater in New York. We moved there to spend a couple of years developing it. We spent a couple of years at Joe's Pub using Broadway musical theater actors singing the parts.
TD: We were burned out and needed a change of pace after that. In the midst of all of that we had been writing pop songs together. We decided to switch gears and focus on that instead. We haven't looked back since.
WCT: Maybe more musicals in the future?
LA: When we make it big we are going to fund a Broadway musical with all of the Cardiknox winnings.
WCT: Like Cyndi Lauper and Gloria Estefan...
WCT: Talk about the singles you have released so far.
LA: We have three singles that are out. They will be on our debut full length album, which is called Portrait. The first one we released was called "Doors." We put out "On My Way" a month ago and just released "Into the Night" with a pre-order of the album.
WCT: You had some big choreography in the video for "On My Way."
LA: We did. It was a labor of love.
TD: One of my good friends that I grew up with is a professional dancer in LA. She happens to be one of Justin Timberlake's dancers. So she is incredible. We have always wanted to work together on something. We brought her in to choreograph the whole thing.
We are not professional dancers by any means but we wanted to start from a place of things we were doing naturally and onstage. The moves still took a lot of rehearsal for us but we didn't want it to look like it was out of our comfort zone.
We wanted it to be one long take so we rehearsed for a month ahead of time. We got, like, 10 cracks at it the day of the shoot. We ended up using the ninth take.
WCT: That sounds intense.
LA: It was intense because the sun shifted at the point where we did take nine so suddenly we had to reroute which way I went when I went outside of the bar so I had to change the choreography. We had to do it and it worked, thank god!
WCT: How is the tour going so far?
LA: Awesome. It is so much fun. This is our sixth stop. We were in Canada recently in Toronto and Montreal. We have hit DC, Philly, and New York. The crowds have been amazing and so ready to have a good time.
TD: Many of the shows have been sold out. The Knocks guys are the nicest people so it has been great.
WCT: You have opened for a lot of great acts.
TD: Betty Who we played with here, too.
WCT: And Carly Rae Jepsen. Do you love her album?
LA: Yes, and she is a sweetheart. We did three nights in Vegas with her over New Years Eve at The Venetian. It was wild. Five days in Vegas I don't recommend but she and her team were great.
WCT: She is going to be in Grease.
LA: That is my favorite.
WCT: Grease is your favorite?
LA: Well, nobut it is up there.
TD: It is a classic.
WCT: Have you played at the gay bars yet?
LA: No, but we need to do that. Can you make that happen?
WCT: My people will call your people. When are you coming back to Chicago?
LA: We have a big tour coming up after this one so we will be back!
Cardiknox will be performing with Carly Rae Jepsen at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., on Saturday, March 12. Visit www.cardiknox.com for more on this up-and-coming group.