This week, the Golden Scissors crew was given an opportunity to talk to Michael David and Tyler Blake, also known as the Los Angeles based DJ duo Classixx! Formerly known as the group Young Americans, these childhood friends have gone onto produce some our favorite tracks like “I’ll Get You” and “Into the Valley.” And with official remixes of Phoenix, Holy Ghost, Major Lazer, Beni, and Active Child under their belt, Classixx have now set out to release their first debut album fairly soon! Although they were extremely busy, the producers were kind enough to answer some of our questions about their future, the resurgence of disco music in recent times, and a few of their musical influences. If you want to know how they responded to these questions and more, check out the interview below!
GS: We understand you guys like everything from Paul Simon to Kraftwerk to Talking Heads. Who would you say is most responsible for the type of sound you guys produce? And what current artists do you guys look to for inspiration?
Classixx: The list is too long to answer either of those questions properly. But to name a couple Quincy Jones, Stuart Price, and Jellybean Benitez are pretty big for us. Chicago house and New York disco. Currently, we’re inspired by a lot of our friends’ music. Holy Ghost!, Cosmic Kids, Poolside, Cut Copy, Tensnake, Azari and III, Hot Chip, etc.
GS: How would you guys explain the resurrection of disco-music in the late 20th and early 21st century? Why do you think so many producers, such as yourselves, have become infatuated with re-inventing this particular genre of music?
Classixx: I guess disco got a bad wrap after the Disco Sucks movement. Some disco really does suck but a lot of really great stuff got lumped into that genre and became taboo. It’s taken a while but people have finally gone back to find that there is some very good music in that category to draw on for inspiration.
GS: You guys have previously described your musical-process as “slow?” Can you elaborate on that? And does this change when you’re working on remixes or originals?
Classixx: Yeah, for example its taken us forever to finish our first album. I guess we are kind of perfectionists. We don’t wanna put something out until we are confident that we won’t hate it later. We have done that a couple times in our past and its a drag. But yeah… it takes time.
GS: In an interview last year, you guys said you decided to slow down on doing remixes because you want to concentrate on producing your own music. We understand that every artist wants to make their own tracks, but with the growing prominence of “the remix” in pop culture, it seems that musicians can be just as successful and popular without making originals. Were you guys ever tempted to solely stick to remixing?
Classixx: I think you’re right but we don’t really make music to be successful and popular we do what we like. With that said, we’ll always make remixes I think. In fact, we just finished one for the first time in about a year and we’re already working on another for The Gossip right now. We just needed to take a break from it so we could finish that goddamned album that we’d been working on for so long. Its done now though.
GS: In the past couple of years or so, it appears the line between producer and DJ has become merged. Are you guys okay with that? And what are some of your favorite and least favorite aspects of doing both?
Classixx: The reason for that is that if you put out some popular tracks people want to book you to DJ. We only learned how to DJ a few years ago as soon as we realized that. Some good sides to that is that its a fun way to do what you like (music) and make decent money. Also its great to experience new parts of the world and eat awesome food but the downside to it is that traveling so much can be pretty exhausting.
GS: We hear that you guys have worked with the likes of Drop the Lime, Mayer Hawthorne, Major Lazer, Phoenix, Holy Ghost!, YACHT, The Ting Tings, Shiny Toy Guns, and the Sounds. Who has been your favorite group or artist you’ve worked with and why?
Classixx: We’ve had a good experience with all those artists. With the exception of a few, those artists are mainly our friends so of course its been fun. Phoenix was a special treat for us because we have been massive fans of theirs since they first started releasing music about 13 years ago.
GS: What has been your favorite experience as artists?
Classixx: Its hard to say. I think just the fact that we’ve made it possible to do what we love for our job is pretty cool. Sometimes I get to the studio and have to remind myself , “I just got to work. Fuck, this is awesome!”
GS: What’s next for Classixx in terms of upcoming releases? We heard your new track “Holding On” in the Magician’s Magic Tape and are anxious to know what you guys will be coming out with next.
Classixx: “Holding On” will be next. That’s the first single from our upcoming record which we plan to release this summer. “Holding On” should be out soon though. We’re pretty excited.
GS: As bloggers, we come across several upcoming, young producers who try and follow in the footsteps of artists such as yourselves. We were wondering if you had any sage words of advice for those who are just getting into the game.
Classixx: I’d say to practice a lot. Don’t put out something until you have shown some of your friends and they think it kicks ass. Also don’t make certain kind of music just to fit into a certain trend. Make what you like and what you’re best at.
Website: http://Classixx.la *** Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/classixx *** Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CLASSIXXOfficial *** General Manager: Matt@Deckstar.com *** Booking Agent: Kris@BondMusicGroup.com