the insider: milky chance

meet the guys behind "stolen dance."

photo by david ulrich

If you're one of the nearly 46 million people who have seen Milky Chance's video for "Stolen Dance," then you're already well-acquainted with the ear-wormy breakout smash (and if you haven't, where have you been?!).

Thanks to an electro-pop backbone and an irresistible sing-along chorus, the band, which is comprised of German duo Clemens and Philipp), have become a massive hit seemingly overnight. But turns out these guys have actually been at it ever since 11th grade, when they first met in school and started making music together. Judging from their recent track off their Stolen Dance EP, "Down by the River" ( the video's at three million views) and an upcoming album, these guys are only getting started.

In the group's first-ever American interview, we got the exclusive lowdown from Clemens about the story behind "Stolen Dance" and the craziest thing that's happened since they blew up.

OK, so you have to tell us the story behind "Stolen Dance," because it's a massive hit now. Did you have any idea the song was going to explode like that?

No, not really. For me it was a surprise; everything happened so fast!

How did it come about?

Well, here's the thing about the song: I wrote the chorus two or three years ago, and then the verse a few years later. The whole song took a few years. I always have so many ideas in my head and so I'm always trying to find pieces to fit together and stick together. It's kind of puzzling, and that's the special thing about it. In general it takes a week or so to write a song, but sometimes you have ideas and don't know how to continue. Then you have to put them away and come back to them later, which is what I did. 

How did you and Philipp begin working together?

We met in school and have been friends for years now. From the first day we met in school, we started making music together. We spent some time doing our own things before joining again for this album. All the songs on our album are songs that I wrote on my own--and then after I had the songs finished, I called Philipp and asked him if we could record together. 

What's the craziest thing that's happened since "Stolen Dance" first came out?

I can't even tell you! There are too many to choose from. I'm just trying to stay on the ground and relax, even while all of these crazy things are happening. 

I have to ask: how did the band name come about?

There's no real story or meaning behind the name, actually. When I first started songwriting I created artist names just for fun, and it was one of those. When I wanted to upload a song to YouTube you had to enter a name, so I just picked that one because it was already there. I guess you could say the name was there before the band. [ Laughs]

Buy "Stolen Dance" here.