Adam Smith & Marcus Lyall are the London based creative duo behind The Chemical Brothers’ live shows and music videos, combining digital methods with real-life performers to build unique theatrical narratives.
“It’s almost like taking play very seriously,” says Lyall, nodding to The Chemical Brothers’ giant on-stage robots and the Japanese sci-fi influences in the 2019 Eve of Destruction video. “What makes the shows is the use of performers,” says Smith. “You haven't got a lead singer or front man necessarily, so having some other human connection through the visuals has been something very important.”
Although the pandemic led to a domino of cancellations for The Chemical Brothers tour in 2020, the duo were able to see some of their work displayed at the Design Museum’s Electronic exhibition. “Because of where we’re at, it became a very significant moment and quite emotional,” says Smith, explaining that a lot of the archived material on display formed part of their own history. “You don't quite realise the significance of it when it's happening,” says Lyall. “And then suddenly you find yourself in a museum and being part of something that is celebrated.”
“Now we use the lighting like a piece of animation and insert visuals to interact with the lights,” says Smith. “It's a very different thing from three slide projectors and a couple of strobe lights, which is what the first Chemical Brothers gig was.”