Monday, May 30, 2011

Exclusive B&S Interview with Aeroplane (Vito de Luca)

After an amazing show on May 25th at U Street Music Hall in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to sit down with Belgian music outfit Vito de Luca, otherwise known as Aeroplane. With a slew of fantastic remixes and one full length ablum, We Can't Fly, under his belt, Vito continues to top charts and play his music around the world. Even getting a chance to create the 500th Essential Mix for BBC1 Radio, Vito is recognized internationally by famous DJ's and fans alike. His style takes many influences from 80's style pop and disco music and has a unique feel that is sure to get you on your feet and dancing. Here's what the man had to say:

Aeroplane May 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] How do you feel about playing in the US versus playing in Europe and other places around the world?

Vito: The thing about the US is that I love playing here. The crowds are really open… There is so much music here and the people love to have a good time. But I really do not like this country as a place to be in. It is just so much different from Belgium and Europe, but the crowds are always amazing. I’m in New York tomorrow, LA the day after, Miami… Even people that haven’t ever heard of Aeroplane are just there to drink and have a good time and dance.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So how did you get into DJing and producing?

Vito: Well I was trained as a classical musician for 10 years or more. Then I got into rock bands and we were all making music influenced by other rock bands like Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. One of my friends, somebody gave her a Homework record (Daft Punk) for her birthday, and she was like: I don’t want this so you can have it. When I played Daft Punk for the first time I was just like… Whoa, there’s something going on here… That’s really when I started getting into production.

[Bright & Shiny Music] I’m a classically trained musician as well and I find that sometimes my musical training, especially in music theory, can be a bit stifling due to all of the conventions that I’ve learned. Do you find that your training can sometimes inhibit your creativity?

Vito: There are so many artists that I love so much like James Jones and others, and at some point their music crosses a line that I cannot cross because of all of the theory that I’ve learned.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Yeah I have the same problem. I have a hard time breaking all of the rules that I’ve learned.

Vito: You can’t break them. It’s like gravity. You always go back to the rules. You have to stick with them. But sometimes when artists go a little outside of the box, that’s where you find a lot of musical genius.

[Bright & Shiny Music] What are your upcoming plans? Are you back in the studio soon?

Vito: I’m working right now on a compilation… and I have a lot of remixes that I’m working on. At the end of September I'm hoping that I can start on the new album that should be ready for February of next year.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So are you able to work on new material while touring or do you have to be settled down in the studio?

Vito: The problem with being a touring musician is that if I don’t have a piano or a guitar or a bass, it’s pretty hard to put little squares in little boxes on a computer screen and expect it to sound like real music. I have to have the actual instruments.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So what are your favorite instruments to record with? How much of your music is recorded from real instruments and how much of it is synthesized?

Vito: I mainly play bass and guitar on the tracks. I used to program a lot, like all the synths used to be midi programmed. I stopped doing that. I just play everything live now. There is a human feel to it. It is much more fun even. Trying to program some piano chords… to make it sound natural, it’s going to take you ages. It’s actually going to you less time to sit down at an actual piano to write a chord progression.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So most of your album was recorded at slower tempos like 105 bpm, which is much slower than standard dance/house/club music. Can you explain why you choose to compose at these slower tempos?

Vito: It is just the tempo that I prefer. It is a tempo that gives me the most, I don’t know… I hate the word groove, but I don’t know any other word for it than groove. I’m not quite sure how to explain it. When you play an instrument at that bpm, it can be really straight, loose…it just works all around. It’s the bpm of all of my favorite songs like Miss You by the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So a lot of artists have remixed your work, do you have a couple favorites?

Vito: Well my favorite remix of my work is probably the next one coming up that you wouldn’t have heard of yet… And I can’t tell you who it is. I have to say the Rex the Dog remix of My Enemy is pretty big. I really struggled to get the remixes for that single. And I had to really push these two choices that I played: Green Velvet and Rex the Dog. And it’s funny because both of those remixes were exactly what I was expecting from those artists. The Rex the Dog remix is perfect Rex the Dog stuff and Green Velvet is perfect, stupid, repetitive Green Velvet stuff… but so great that it could go on for 12 minutes and you'd still love it. Perfect for people on drugs haha.

11. Aeroplane - My Enemy by eskimorecordings

Aeroplane 'My Enemy' Rex The Dog remix by rexthedog1980

Aeroplane - My Enemy (Green Velvet `Love My Enemy` Remix) by Wall of Sound

[Bright & Shiny Music] What is your favorite country in Europe to play in?

Vito: I’d have to say Belgium is pretty good. I played in Ghent last week with Moby, which was pretty random. It was the opening of a gallery and afterwards there was a party where Moby and I played. I have to say it was pretty much the best gig this year. I really love Belgium… It’s like a bit of the UK, a bit of the US… everybody is drunk but they know how to drink so they know how to party. We have a lot of dance music culture in Belgium. A lot of dance music was actually born in Belgium. But it’s always pretty great to play there.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Speaking of Moby, I saw both of you last September at Electric Zoo in NYC. How was playing that festival for you?

Vito: Umm… It was actually fucking awesome.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Will you be going back this year?

Vito: No, I’m not going back this year. It was kind of a nightmare situation before the gig actually. My plane was delayed, I landed late. Once I was finally ready to leave the airport the girl picking me up wasn’t picking me up… then she was. And then we had traffic jams, and I arrived half an hour into my set so I only got to play for one hour. So it was pretty shitty to fly in and out of New York for one gig.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Do you have a preference to playing at a big music festival like Electric Zoo as opposed to a club setting?

Vito: Electric Zoo was great. But I definitely prefer a crowd of about 150 to 200 people in a club. I love when you can’t hear the club and you can just hear the music. I hate when the bass drum resonates in the room and you can hear the sound of the club more than the music. If it’s a smaller club then I feel like the bass really hits the people and it’s a great feeling.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So what is your most memorable gig? Not necessarily the best, just something that stood out.

Vito: A lot of them are really memorable for reasons that I cannot really expose in an interview haha… So I’d have to say this one gig I played in Belgium for the anniversary of this really big club. It was total anarchy. People were going nuts. I could have played anything, and I mean ANYthing. Everybody was just partying and screaming and throwing champagne. There was a naked guy walking around… but then I found out that he is there every weekend and is always naked haha. That was one of my biggest gigs of all time.

One of our first gigs in Glasgow, we played in a room in a school. It was a math club… for people who love math and do math together, something I will never understand. So we get there and there are about 80 people and it was really quiet. They told us we were on, so I put on my first record and they asked us to crank the volume. All of a sudden it was like animals coming out of trees… the whole dance floor was nuts, I can’t explain. Girls were taking their tops off. I remember when one person asked for the Soulwax remix of MGMT. That was the first time we ever played it and I really thought the whole place was going to collapse. People were hitting the walls, throwing shit… I’m telling you girls were taking their clothes off haha. Some guys even started taking their pants off. People pouring out from everywhere… All in the math club.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So Aeroplane used to be a duo… How do you think your sound has evolved and matured over time since the breakup?

Vito: Ah dude that’s a big question for 2 am. Well since we’ve been working separately, you can definitely tell who was bringing what to our music. The way the sound has evolved now has not been because I’ve been trying to do something differently, it’s just that I’ve learned and experimented. For instance the Friendly Fires remix that I did was mainly luck. I just messed around for a while. The first time I played it in a club they had to stop the music because there was this weird bass frequency playing just below the track. It was like 15 or 20 Hz. I don’t even know how we did that. It was like we just put one single sine wave throughout the track haha. But yeah… I have no idea how or why my sound has evolved.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So you’re not really conscious per se of how your sound has changed?

Vito: No, you can’t really be conscious about it. You just wake up in the morning and you have something in your head and you just try and replicate what you’re imagining. Most of my inspiration comes from classical pop music like Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd. My only goal is perfection because these guys were sounding perfect. I am not really sure if I attained my goal with the album, but I can only hope that other people enjoy what I make. But yeah… it’s been about two and half years since I recorded the album. There are actually some tracks on it that I don’t really like.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Which ones are you referring to?

Vito: There are some tracks that I’m disappointed with what they are versus what they could have been. Like for instance Fish in The Sky… It’s there, but it’s not exactly where I wanted to take it. And it’s sort of upsetting because I have to listen to it for the rest of my life and not necessarily feel satisfied with it.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Do you feel that way about a lot of the stuff you’ve done in the past?

Vito: Well I don’t think it’s a natural feeling of an artist to not be happy with their work, because when I do something I like, I know it. It’s really difficult because I’m a composer and a “sound engineer”. Sound wise it’s hard to get to the point I want to be at… because I’m writing all the harmonies and arrangements and creating the sounds.

We Cant Fly by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] So is listening to the album now a totally different experience than when you first recorded it?

Vito: I don’t listen to the album anymore. I’ve listened to that fucking album for three years… I think I’m done with it. You listen to any album for three years and you’ll get sick of it.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Yeah I’m sure you get sick of playing ‘I Crave Paris’ at every gig.

Vito: Yeah I did this thing on twitter where I was like, are you guys ok if I stop playing ‘I Crave Paris’? And I had people hating me and freaking out. It is like my own version of ‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones. I have noticed though that in Europe it goes down not as well as it did last year. So that's good.

I Crave Paris by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] Haha maybe it’s on the outs.

Vito: I would love that actually haha. It’s not that I don’t like the track, I’m just over it. Most of the tracks that I play in my DJ sets last for a month and a half, two months max... Then they are replaced by something else. Paris is the only track that lasted for like…four fucking years. I’ve gotten to a point like Kurt Cobain where he couldn’t handle playing Smells Like Teen Spirit anymore.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Alright well we have to get going now but thanks a lot for talking to us and giving us the opportunity to interview you.

Vito: Thanks for talking to me, take care guys.

Bonus mixes (free downloads):

Aeroplane April 2011 MIx by Aeroplane (Official)

Aeroplane March 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

Aeroplane February 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

Be sure to follow Vito via... everything, for news and updates about Aeroplane:

Love, Patrick

No comments:

Post a Comment