They met at a biker bar in Toronto, fell hard over Marvin Gaye and live in a street peeled fresh off The Cosby Show set. Sarah Ruba and Adam Pavao are New Look – the super-pop electro synth duo about to announce a Big Deal record signing, slated for this year’s South by Southwest, and NYC’s answer to all that is wrong with the world.
Adam Pavao: It was in 2004 we first met. I was playing an old music project of mine – we would just play any show – and we were playing at a biker bar. It was really weird, all these biker dudes…
Sarah Ruba: I don’t know how I ended up there.
AP: A mutual friend of ours …
SR: … dragged me.
AP: That was the first time we met. We didn’t see each other for a year after that until 2005. And when we met that time, everything just went in super speed …
SR: Fast motion.
AP: We started nerding out on music, kind of messing around in the studio and fell in love all at the same time.
SR: Adam showed me a lot of music that I had never heard before. I was only like 19 and I had been playing in jazz and funk bands. Like New Order and Kraftwerk and other stuff too though. We bonded – we bonded? That sounds so cheesy! – over Marvin Gaye.
AP: We discovered this album I Want You. It was just a couple months after we’d met (again) and I ended up meeting Leon Ware who produced and wrote that whole album. He was the first writer and producer in history to ever do a full album for Motown; before that, a producer or writer would do just, like, one song on an artist’s album. Anyway, I ended up somehow being in the same room as Leon: we were just hanging out – I didn’t even know who he was until an hour after that – and he told me and I was, like, ohhhh freaking out after he told me. Sarah was in New York at the time so I asked him to give her a call – I knew Sarah would freak out – so he called Sarah and singing the lyrics to I Want You over the phone to her.
SR: I hate, hate, hate the word serendipitous, but it was … serendipitous. We lived in Brooklyn for three years; we came down because I was modelling and then we moved to Berlin to record and then we moved to Canada and bought a house and moved in and everything and had our studio set up and we realised, ‘shit, we have to be in New York because there’s nothing to do in Canada’. There’s no connections, there’s just nothing going on.
AP: We’re Canadian too … but there’s nothing like New York anywhere in Canada.
SR: So we moved down here in November, but we’re trying to spend some time in Canada at our house where all our nice stuff is.
AP: So now we just have an apartment pretty much with just our studio…
SR: … and a bed.
AP: So we live in a studio. But it’s good, it’s really nice. It’s good to be back in New York, the energy is, like, totally perfect for us right now, like where our headspace is at.
SR: We’re working it. I think the only stuff that we are actually, like, attached to right here is our studio. It’s all gear, it’s very nerdy. I LOVE MY CASIO.