Australian duo The Aston Shuffle have set out on a mission in the early parts of 2017. Last year saw releases such as ‘Only 1’ alongside Nathaniel S Lewis as well as the start of their Only 100s mix series that, albeit only two episodes in, has already begun to pick up steam. This weekend, The Aston Shuffle sets off on a mini tour across the East Coast of the United States with well-known acts Matoma and Two Friends. Stops in Boston, Chicago, and New York City are on the bill, with each show proving to be a night of top notch music. Fortunately, we had the chance to chat with Vance, who is one half of The Aston Shuffle, ahead of their East Coast run this weekend regarding their influences, artists they’re digging, and plans for the year. So pop on the latest edition of Only 100s, give the interview a read, and let us know what you think! And if you’re in those select few cities, don’t miss the chance to catch a rare US performance from the duo. Enjoy ~
Thanks for chatting with us guys, how has your new year been so far?
I can’t believe it’s already a week into February! 2017 has been off to a flying start, getting things done!
Have you guys always called Australia home?
We’re both born & bread Aussies, although I’ve been living in New York for 2 years now, which has been amazing.
What is the music scene like there compared to the rest of the world?
On the one hand the scene in Australia is thriving in that the live music market in Australia is very strong and super dedicated and Australia produces a huge number of world-class acts. On the other hand, the political climate in Australia has become increasingly hostile towards live music venues, especially night clubs, over the last couple of years. So, the scene in Australia really has its challenges but I’m quite confident the political side of things will get better over time, with groups like Keep Sydney Open really advancing the cause of live music on the political level.
When did you guys first truly discover electronic music and subsequently production?
I discovered electronic music in 1997 – holy crap that’s 20 years ago! I was a kid in high school, and my best mate would bring his brother’s mixtapes to school and once I started listening to them, I was immediately obsessed.
What kind of musical background do you guys have? Or was it all self-taught?
I started playing piano when I was 3, classical training and all that, which was I guess why I was so obsessed with dance music when I first heard it – my main frame of reference for music was classical, so I couldn’t get over all these new sounds and I just wanted to know how it all worked and how you could make things sound like that.
Did you have any major musical influences growing up?
Other than all the classical music I was learning, my parents had a pretty limited musical taste but thankfully a lot of it was good – Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Roberta Flack. A lot of it was bad too, but on balance I think I emerged with a sense of what was good & what was bad, and what was kinda half-way between.
Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming artists at the moment?
We’re huge fans of Dombresky at the moment, he’s been putting out some really great tracks. Luxry is another guy we’re really feeling at the moment – he’s been away for a little while but he’s releasing some new stuff lately that we’re very excited about. And Icarus has done some cool stuff of late too, especially his remix of Martin Solveig which we’re playing heaps.
What’s a day in the studio like for you?
Coffee, get started on something, and then spend the rest of the day trying to fend off distractions – mostly emails & other internet stuff. It’s a constant battle, and one I’m losing fairly often. Every few months we’ll pencil in some time (as close to a week as we can manage) where we just hole ourselves up in a studio somewhere and forcibly remove the distractions so we can get some music done unimpeded.
Emails will certainly be the death of me! Do you guys have a preference between DJing and Producing?
They’re both expressions of the same thing really, and they both give you something that the other doesn’t. They both also get tired.
Do you have a favorite venue to play?
Chinese Laundry and the Met in Australia are always awesome and Audio in San Francisco is amazing. Nitsa in Barcelona last year was one of the best gigs of the last couple of years – really really love that club!
Are there any super crazy party stories that stick out that you’d like to share?
I’m afraid those records are sealed!
What kinds of goals do you have for the rest of the year?
Finish some more music, and get out there & play to our fans as much as we can!