It was a grand day when dance duo CLASSIXX decided to put their combined efforts into making a record. After a long time perfecting their tracks, we were given Hanging Gardens.
Known for their rad remixes, the duo, have made huge waves across the globe with their production skills and now CLASSIXX have been announced as one of the many fantastic acts to be gracing the stage at Listen Out Festival later on this year.
I had a chat with Mike from CLASSIXX, about the event, their awesome new album, and Australian coffee (which seems to be popping up in almost every interview I seem to be doing lately, is there something about our coffee that’s I’m missing?)
We all recently got treated to the music video for your track ‘All You’re Waiting For’ with Nancy Whang, how exciting was it shooting the video with her?
It was awesome, she was working all day she had like a million outfit changes and stuff; she was just doing wardrobe changes all day, but Tyler and I only had one change so we were just hanging out on the boat all day. The weather was actually so amazing that it looks like CGI’d if you watch the video because it doesn’t look real; there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky, it was kind of crazy.
I love Hanging Gardens it’s such a fun and energetic album, where did you both get your inspiration for it’s sound?
We recorded in Venice Beach and we tried to sort of get inspired by the surroundings and our daily life. So for example, there’s a track called ‘Rhythm Santa Clara’ and our studio is on Santa Clara Avenue. There’s little things like that, each track has it’s own symbolic representation.
You guys are extremely popular on the remix circuit, how do you go about making a really rad remix?
Usually we highlight the thing that we like most about the songs and see if we can re-contextualize them with a different chord structure. We just try to remove them from the context of the original track and then very slowly build the structure and at the end try to add something that would make the remix unique and stand on it’s own.
That’s kind of the process it’s pretty simple, we try not to repeat ourselves so there’s not like a grid or a set of drum sounds or something that we just go to. A really wild remix takes around a month usually.
I’ve been reading a couple of reviews to see what other people thought about Hanging Gardens, and I read a review from Pitchfork that applauds you on your songwriting skills and mentions how surprised they were by your talents. Why only release those talents now?
[laughs] That’s funny. The songwriting thing, that’s tough for us – I talk about this a lot with my friends – songwriting is sometimes lost on the dancefloor because things that work well in the club, or on the dancefloor, are typically kind of repetitive and then what makes a song interesting are changes and those kinds of things.
So it’s a pretty difficult balance and it took us a while to sort of bring those two elements together. It’s not such an easy thing to do because we wanted to make something that wasn’t a dance record from beginning to end because I think those will sometimes lack depth. But also we didn’t want to abandon the fun, dance groove so I think we tried to make a balance of those two, and it took us a while. I guess the finishing product is the record as it is today.
Now of course you’re venturing down to Australia though, have you been to Australia much in the past?
Yeah we’ve been to Australia a few times and we really, really love it. It feels almost like a second home for us.
Have you gotten the chance to meet any of the other acts that are playing the festival with you?
It’s weird, I feel like we should have met some of those people but, no not really. We’ll be meeting everyone for the first time so that should be pretty interesting.
Have you got a strict schedule for your visit or will you have some time to relax in Australia?
I plan on drinking a lot of coffee, coffee in Australia is really good .
I’ve heard so many people say that Australian coffee is the best..
Well the food in Australia is just pretty sweet too, so I’ll probably eat a lot you know, that kind of stuff.
And for the live show, what can everyone at Listen Out expect from Classixx?
You can expect to hear our good moments from our record but it will sound different because we’re doing it live, there’s only two of us and we didn’t want it to sound exactly like the record because that just wouldn’t feel very authentic. There are some tracks on there that are composed of over 100 different tracks, so we sort of stripped it down and made it feel a little more raw and live, and that is probably what you can expect at the festival from us.
What’s on the cards for you guys after Listen Out wraps up?
We’re doing two months of a tour with Toro Y Moi, he’s really good we’re really stoked and we’re going to be going around the United States with him.
Purchase CLASSIXX debut album ‘Hanging Gardens’ now via iTUNES.
Words By Lauren Payne