You could say it was bromance at first sight when Simon Haehnel and Tobias Müller first met at the final round of a sausage-eating competition in Germany, knee deep in Sauerkraut. Both producers and DJs, the two soon formed the cheeky German duo Andhim, creating their own subgenre of house they dubbed “Super House.” They’ve been rocking dance floors and festivals around the world ever since.
When the two aren’t taking post-set bubble baths, walking around in hot dog suits, or creating hilarious YouTube videos about sausages, they are busy touring and performing surprise pop-up shows at random spots in New York City. Since the duo obviously has a thing for good food (and beer), I sat down with Andhim at San Diego’s CRSSD Festival and had them rank its festival food. Yes — almost all of it.
Meeting me with filled steins and huge post-set appetites, Andhim talked Oktoberfest, tour life — and yes, Justin Bieber’s penis mishap — while dining on everything from tacos to festival sushi.
COURSE ONE: SPICY TUNA ROLLS, CALIFORNIA ROLLS AND TUNA TARTAR
I hope you guys are hungry.
Tobias: This is just what we needed.
Speaking of large appetites, I know you guys met at a sausage-eating competition. I can’t believe how German that sounds.
Simon: We were in our mid twenties, and for Tobias it was a dream come true for him to meet me. He saw me, and then started liking all my pictures on MySpace.
You obviously have a really close relationship. Do you guys ever butt heads when it comes to producing?
Simon: We actually have a ghost producer! [laughing]
Tobias: No, no.
Simon: That’s not true. But we never argue, no, because I’m much stronger.
Yeah, who would win in a fight?
Simon: When I want to say something, he’s like “shhh.”
So what did you guys think about this sushi?
Tobias: I’d say it’s very good. I liked the spicy tuna more than the California roll.
Simon: For festival sushi, it was really good.
Tobias: I just don’t like the fake sushi one, but the tuna was so good.
Your social media is hilarious to scroll through. What’s your favorite outlet to use?
Simon: Twitter is like…the least for us. We like Instagram a lot and Facebook, too.
No Snapchat? That seems like something that’d be up Andhim’s alley.
Simon: We do all of our social media ourselves, so it’s too much if you have so many. And we have a Twitter but it isn’t big in Germany…it just isn’t that sexy.
I’m going to tell Twitter you said that.
Simon: I’m going to tweet that right now. “Twitter, you’re not that sexy. We like Instagram.” Actually, I just read on Twitter about “Bieber dick.” I was like, “fuck, what is that?” And Bieber dick was everywhere! I was like, “fuck no.” And then of course I had to look at the Bieber Dick and I was zooming in and out for 20 minutes. It’s not something I’m proud of. But now that’s Twitter to me.
COURSE TWO: FRENCH FRIES COVERED IN SPICY CHEESE
So now we’re back to American cuisine with fries covered in cheese. Oh and of course, you always should eat french fries with chop sticks.
Tobias: I already know I’m going to like this one. This is great when you’re drunk.
See, I don’t know about eating sushi when you’re drunk.
Simon: I thought the same, but apparently I can!
House music is huge in Europe and has been for a long time, and now it’s exploding in the U.S. What has that been like coming here and playing for bigger and bigger crowds?
Simon: It’s amazing. We came here like two years ago for the first time, and we could tell there was a huge development in sound and a huge difference compared to two years ago. The U.S. scene is developing so fast, it’s getting so good.
Tobias: There’s always been techno and house music here.
But a festival dedicated to just house music, like CRSSD, didn’t exist five years ago.
Tobias: Yeah for sure, it used to just be more EDM but now there’s more techno and deep house.
Your sound is super unique. Growing up, what artists influenced your sound today?
Tobias: Ah there’s so many…so many to name. But we were really influenced by hip hop stuff and sampling. French house and all the hip-hop stuff we listened to. Anything can influence you though — like things you heard in your childhood or teenager times. There are so many great techno and house producers out there, too, so it’s hard to name just a few.
Speaking of hip-hop, what are some artists today you guys are really into?
Simon: Mostly German hip hop, like LGoony. The American hip-hop scene I don’t know. It was very good in the ‘90s. Tobias: Guys like MF Doom and Ghostface Killah. I just bought an older MF Doom album. Simon: Now hip-hop is super lame. Tobias: But I like Drake’s voice. Simon: Also Tyler the Creator’s great.
COURSE THREE: CHICKEN, PORK AND VEGETARIAN DUMPLINGS WITH POPCORN CHICKEN
Can you guys explain to me what exactly the ‘Super House’ genre means, and how you guys developed your unique sound?
Simon: It’s the music for the poor and weak. We try to give those people a language, you know? [laughing]
Tobias: It’s hard to pinpoint….
Simon: It’s so much easier just to listen to our music than to try and describe it.
Tobias: There’s so many genres now so we don’t want to just call it techno, house or deep house — we just have our own genre.
Simon: We have our own fingerprint, which no one can characterize.
Yes, it’s the first thing I noticed during your performance at CRSSD.
Simon: When we came up with the genre ‘Super House’, we wanted to describe our sound to the people because it can be very versatile. It can be deep, hard, slow, happy, fast…whatever. But I think you can always tell it’s us and that’s the ‘super’ part about it. Oh, and so are these dumplings — they are super as well.
Tobias: I like vegetarian food, but I thought the vegetarian one was a bit boring compared to the others, but it was good.
COURSE FOUR: HAWAIIAN BBQ WITH RICE AND MACARONI SALAD
Okay, what course is winning so far?
Tobias: Spicy tuna roll.
Simon: It’s so different…but so far everything is so good.
I know you guys are world travelers because of your tours, so what is it like now going back home to Germany and playing a show?
Simon: The cool thing is that our fans in Germany grew up with us and they really are proud of us that we are now playing throughout the whole world. When we come back they are super stoked, and the shows in Germany are always crazy.
A lot of people don’t understand what it takes to become a producer or DJ. For you guys, what’s one of the most annoying stereotypes?
Tobias: Probably that it’s no work and it’s just fun all the time. And I mean it is fun, but it takes a lot of time and effort to do it. It’s not always a shit load of money and that you’re just partying all day. No one mentions the crazy traveling and hard work.
Simon: People only see the photos from the beach or from the party…
What was the first thing you guys did with your first big pay check?
Simon: We are like super easy…we don’t spend money on anything.
So you put it all back into your music.
Tobias: Well, we like eating a lot.
Simon: Yes we do like going to restaurants a lot. We both have no car, we have no status symbols….maybe we are stupid because all the money is in the bank [laughing]. We’re really chill.
COURSE FIVE: TACOS
Alright, so let’s move on to the rather sad and very unimpressive-looking chicken tacos.
Simon: They look very boring.
Which is very disappointing, considering we’re in California.
Tobias: And California has the best Mexican food.
Simon: There’s so many good taco places in LA and this is…. Tobias: Basic.
Alright, so chicken tacos are low on the list now.
What do the next couple months look like for you guys? Can you tell me about this new “Playces” tour you’re doing?
Simon: We’re playing in interesting cities all around the world, but only at very special places, places beyond the club scene and places that represent the city and the people who are living in the city. For instance, we did Berlin and played in a chicken restaurant at 8 a.m. in the morning, when people are going to work. And where the bums are on the street and the fucked up people. We played a set for one hour in this chicken place, and it was amazing. And then we did it last week in D.C. at a burrito place.
Tobias: It’s like a one-hour podcast thing, and we don’t tell many people in the beginning it’s just about us playing. Simon: It’s about the city and the place — and the story the place and the people can tell. So people who don’t really know the city can hear this set and feel the vibes.
COURSE SIX: WATERMELON
And now some watermelon to cleanse your palate from the sub-par tacos made with El Paso salsa. So, what’s the verdict on the food?
Simon: I like the fries! And the sushi. The sushi first. Tobias: I like the spicy tuna. And I liked the meat from Hawaiian BBQ, but it was too dry and cold.
Simon: Tuna tartar was very good as well. For a festival, congratulations CRRSD, you did an amazing job. Normally it’s like a pizza slice…
Tobias: A cheap burger…
Simon: And then maybe horrible Asian food.
Can you guys tell me about your first experience with Playboy?
Tobias: Mine was The Simpsons. Simon: I think our generation grew up with more than just the magazines…but like, pictures. And then finally porn movies on the Internet.
Tobias: But Playboy is more than the porn.
Simon: Oh of course it is! It’s for the articles! But for the people in the ‘80s it was the only erotic content they could really get. Tobias: But I would like to go to the Playboy Mansion.
Simon: Seriously! Hugh Hefner is a legend. Playboy is definitely cool and it was always a dream to be interviewed.
He is a legend. I’m a bit disappointed in you guys — you haven’t finished your beer.
Tobias: We’ve had three of these today already.
Look at you guys with your steins, playing into that German “Oktoberfest” stereotype very well.
Tobias: It’s funny, in West Germany we drink out of much smaller glasses than these.
Simon: He has never been to Oktoberfest, and I’ve only been once. It’s not like every German goes to Oktoberfest.
Tobias: It’s a Bavarian thing, even though it’s world-famous.
Simon: If you like to start drinking at 10 in the morning, getting wasted in 30 minutes…
Tobias: Eating tons of heavy food.
Simon: And singing a lot of stupid German folk songs, then you’re totally right for Oktoberfest.