So, about a month ago I had the chance to interview Aeroplane, it was just after the ‘break-up’ of the band and during the entire walk to the interview I spent alot of time debating with myself whether it would be chill to bring it up. Not only that, but, I was totally late and stuff…
No jokes. After the introduction, I did this…. Haha.
What about the breakup with Stephen, you said you had been together for eight years. What’s the story behind this?
It’s funny; I read a story on a blog about Erol Alkan being to blame for the split. Apparently, he wanted me to make more ‘techno’ sounding music and that is why we broke up. It’s seriously not true and I don’t like it. We’ve been together for eight years before Aeroplane with other projects.
Touring, studio, flights, seeing each other every day… we needed a break from each other. We wanted to carry on the Aeroplane name and it was decided it should be me. I’m still friends with Stephan and I may help out on his new project in the future.
(Throughout the interview Vito refers to Aeroplane as ‘we’ or ‘us’. I can seriously say, either he’s an amazing actor or there really is no drama. Sorry to disappoint!)
You just talked of other projects you had done together, what were these?
Hahahahaha! We’ve done a few together, first it was Javelo, it was like Aeroplane but with a more pumping sound for the clubs. Then we did a… hahahhaha… rockabilly electro project. I won’t tell you the name. Hahaha. Check discogs!
Download - Javelo – Spleen (Original Mix)
Aeroplane caught the attention of many through their remix work, where did it all start?
We started remixing a band called Coyote, then we did Low Motion Disco for Eskimo and quickly after that Friendly Fires came in.
I wanted to ask you about that, what is interesting about the mix, is that the vocals are different from the original. The Au Reviour Simone vocals are used heavily. Did you request these?
No they were actually in the stems we were given. I was playing that keyboard, those chords (Vito makes the sounds of their Freindly Fires mix) and the original vocal was (Vito does a funny impression of the Friendly Fires bro… hahaha). We decided to go with the female vocals, we only discovered who they were late on. We wanted to make somthing quite sexual and their vocals fitted in better.
Do you ever get sick of playing the remix?
(Vito pulls a face to suggest yes). I just did an update with the Flight Facilities track. I play that instead now. I know at some point, I will have to play it, that’s why I made the update. If I was DJ’ing for myself, I wouldn’t play it anymore. Naturally, being a DJ isn’t about playing year and half old remixes and more about playing upfront stuff. But I keep on playing Paris, Sebastian Tellier remix and now I’m playing the older remixes now like the ‘Love, Love, Love’ one. But it’s alright. The Rolling Stones have to keep on playing ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ and this is mix I’m known for. So I can’t complain.
Do you hope in five years time you won’t have to play it?
I’m sure in five years time it will be forgotten. What with the album and other remixes in the future. I want to do less and less remixes over time. Last year we did 15 remixes, which is ridiculous.
Does remixing sap your creativity? Do you have wish you hadn’t used an idea on a remix?
Hmmm… well … no. You don’t wake up in the morning and say “today I am going to be creative”. It doesn’t work like that. If you have a really great idea and you have to give it away to someone, it can be like “fuck!” like the Paris remix, it has nothing to do with the original. I could have taken out the vocals and released it how it was. It’s sort of upsetting, in a way, but again, Paris made us big.
Apart from Paris, were there any other occasions where you wished you kept an idea for yourself?
Um, the Love Love Love remix is one. That keyboard part at the end, I really love it. I could have kept that for us too. Now, it inspires me, I now want to overtake, its motivation. I want to constantly improve and make better originals.
Download - Low Motion Disco – Love Love Love (Aeroplane Remix)
What is the weirdest remix request you have gotten?
Um. Robbie Williams was really weird. We were like, “should we do it, blah blah”. Then we got the stems and there was a lot of stuff we could use. It had a really weird time signature and we saw it as a chance to ‘fix’ the song and make it more normal. I just got George Michael in… haha.
Will you do it?
Ah. Not sure, also, Vampire Weekend came in. I should have finished a remix today too. Hahaha.
Do you do any of the remixing on the road, on your laptop?
Um.. not really. I like my sounds to be real, I can do drums and stuff on the Laptop. But that’s it really. Maybe ‘mystery artist’ can do it. Hahahaha. But I can’t. The remixes get completed in the studio.
I’ll leave that bit out. Hahaha.
(it was very funny, but I’m not saying who it was EVER!)
I want to talk about the mixchart. Are you surprised how influential it’s become?
Yeah. It’s weird! But it’s good. It’s kinda put a bit of pressure on it. Me and Stephan actually never did one together. I did one and then he did one. It was about us collecting the best new tracks we liked. Then I noticed how many downloads it was getting and was “shit! That’s alot of people”.
I actually spend a lot of time listening to the stuff I get sent. I listen to fucking everything, the weirdest label/artist that nobody has heard of. Then you mix it in some chart and everybody is like “woah this is an amazing track”.
Actually, what’s interesting is that Flight Facilities track. We wanted to put that in the chart and they were scared of it leaking because of the chart. It actually did leak and they were quite happy about it, it went on Perez Hilton blog etc. It was fucking crazy. The bit that was on Perez Hilton is out of our mix. Haha. Like, Yelle ripped it and tweeted it, he saw it on the twitter on posted it on his site. But, I really love that song.
It’s really interesting that you say you listen to everything; some of the artists are on really small labels.
I’m not interested in labels or ‘big’ artists. If it’s a good track, I’ll use it in the mix-chart or play it out. That’s just the way it is. I check out lots of sites, where you can stream music and if I like I just buy. Obviously I get alot of promos but I still like searching for stuff too.
Has the popularity of the mix-chart effected some of the things you are allowed to include?
Yes, the last mix-chart I put a Tiga remix of Jamie Liddell. I had to ask, when 300 people downloaded it was fine. Now 15,000 download it, I have to be careful.
Are you annoyed about that?
I have to think about it, I don’t want to get people in trouble, so I ask now and make sure everything is ok. Music leaks all the time though…
How do you feel about your own music leaking? Like “We Can’t Fly” (single) leaked way before release…
The leaking I don’t like is where somebody gets a promo, burns it and puts it online no words, no effort. I don’t like this. Sometimes I know this will happen. When we did the essential mix we put the new single in there on purpose, knowing that it would be ripped. This was the start of the promotional campaign for this single.
Were you careful then, with the part of the track you played in the mix?
No we knew there would crowd noise on the track, it wasn’t something you could listen to on your ipod or play out. It was like giving the song, but not really. What was really funny was people posting this ‘exclusive’ nine minute version of the track, which was the set-rip and the track we played after it. Are we really that good? That nobody could tell when our track finished and when the next one started?! Haha. That’s was funny.
Aeroplane – We Can’t Fly (Extended Drums Edit) by Mr. TMS
I’m happy to talk about stuff leaking actually. When we did the Grace Jones remix, it was initially rejected, it leaked and she hadn’t really heard it herself. It got on one blog and then it was all over the internet, she then heard it and it became unrejected. Then she called us to tell us the remix was amazing.
Did you feel happy about that? Were you satisified?
Yeah, because that was a weird story. The remix request didn’t come from Grace Jones. It came from another guy who offered it to us. We were too busy and we said no. Then next day when I went to the studio I thought to myself “Did I just say no, to Grace Jones?!?!” I then got back to the guy and told him I have a day off tomorrow. I’m going to cancel everything and I’m going to do that remix.
(It’s really clear from his face throughout this bit of the interview, he fucking LOVES Grace Jones, he looks like a child who got the best present ever when he mentions her name!)
I got the parts, did it in one day. It got rejected and I felt sad. Then it all changed and I got a call from Grace Jones, so it was worth it.
(Next 10 minutes we talk about awful remixes. I’ve cut the names because even though it’s funny…. It’s probably not a good idea. Here are the highlights. I totally wasted time ‘bro’ing’ with Vito. Sorry!)
Just because you get a big money remix, doesn’t mean you can be lazy and make it shit.
Some A&R people are lazy, who’s the biggest artist? Boom! We’ll get them then.
I don’t have a preset for remixes. It’s boring if you re-use the same parts, some artists don’t seem to mind though. It’s disappointing. Especially when it’s guys who I know who can do better.
I would never remix something I just for money if I couldn’t deliever something good.
PR GUY ENTERS. HURRY UP!
We haven’t talked about the album yet!!
So, we should talk about the album? Haha!
Yeah! Do you have a copy?
Um.. No. I am evil blogger!
That makes perfect sense. I understand. Haha.
It’s half vocaled, half instrumental. I have the vocalist from Poni Hoax, Merry Clayton the singer from the Rolling Stones ‘Gimme Shelter’, that’s pretty cool. Also Sky Ferrera does vocals, I think her album will be big. I do vocals on a track called ‘Superstar’. There is no ‘Paris’ on this album and it’s more of a pop album. I think people will be surprised. But it’s hard talk about it as you haven’t heard. I’m sorry about that.
Told to wind up the interview by the PR guy who walks in for the second time. Haha. I did get a promo when I left though!! Merci Vito!!
‘We Can’t Fly’ (album) is out September 6th on Wall Of Sound.