December 21, 2011

Interview #13: Swanky Tunes

Read on to discover the career of one of the world's fastest rising production trios, Swanky Tunes.

Although they've been around since 1989, it is only recently that they have taken the electronic dance music scene by storm. Originating from Russia,
 Swanky Tunes is a production trio composed of Dmitry Burykin, Vadim Shpak, and Stanislav Zaytsev. At first, they focused on techno sounds mixed with vintage synthesizers. Then the group moved into a distinctly big-beat influenced sound. These days, hints of the techno, electro-80's, and the contemporary progressive house movements are all finding their way into the mix. Swanky Tunes are the creative masterminds behind big productions such as "Across The Light", "Phantom", and the sensational "Sendin' My Love". They have remixed world class DJs such as Dada Life, Tiesto and Kaskade, infusing every production with their signature big-room synths and bass-pounding drops. Receiving huge support from artists such as the Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, David Guetta and Sander Van Doorn, Swanky Tunes have demonstranted that the sky is their limit.

Names: Dmitry Burykin, Vadim Shpak, Stanislav Zaytsev
Genres: House music
Years as DJs: 5

Forward Musiq: What motivated you to come together as Swanky Tunes? What influenced you to choose the name?  
Swanky Tunes: First of all, that was a desire to make music. Only then we thought how to meet our music and an audience. We had a funny story with our name. In the beginning of 1998 we used other name consisted of two Russian words, but half of a year later we decided to turn it onto few English words. We took and opened American slang dictionary and picked up the word “Swanky”, after somebody shouted "Tunes" and the name “Swanky Tunes” was appeared.

FM: It’s been a long time since you formed back in 1998. How have things changed since then?
ST: The only one thing we want to say – it has been changed too much. Our sound based on many styles and ideas. We began from the old Techno and Electro 80th movements. Then were added sounds from Big Beat vs. Funk style, later it was moved into House music, covering all its kinds. And now it can be described like something on the edge of commercial and underground music.
FM: Do you remember your first gig? How was it?
ST: Of course it won’t be ever forgotten. Performing on a small stage at a local club and playing music for those who we will never remember, cause we were focusing on our synthesizers’ knobs thinking about music only under flashing lights. Yeah! Was impressed!

 How about your favorite one?
ST: For this year, it was Tomorrowland at Belgium.

FM: What is your standard procedure for producing music? Does each one of you separately work on a part of the song, or do all of you three work together?
ST: We make music all together. Three heads are better than one! Standard procedures are just “switch on studio Mac”, “open Logic” and create! 

FM: You’ve recently collaborated with R3hab on “Sendin' My Love” and the remix for Tiesto’s “Maximal Crazy ….some great productions indeed! How did you team up? What can we see from you four in the future?
ST: We teamed up really easy. Fadil (R3hab) asked us to make some cool stuff with vocal parts. He brought the vocal part and we all together put the music into “I’m Sendin’ My Love…”.
Fadil works really quickly and has the same point of view, like we do. It helped us to produce remix for Maximal Crazy by Tiesto. Also we’ve already produced remix for Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso track - “Calling”. It will be released soon on Refune Records. For future we have some plans. Think a big single comes.

FM: About how long does it take you to make a track?
ST: It takes just three-five days. Maximum five. You know, the main part of this work is an idea. To born an idea takes a lot of time.  After you need just to bring it out and test at the dance floor.  

FM: You’re characterized for your massive big-room drops and your hard hitting synths. Even so, how would you describe your sound at the moment of producing?
ST: It’s difficult to describe. We put a lot of different synths and create new sound every time. Early we used only analog synths, now we use mostly software, but anyway we are keen of analog sound and gonna bring more cool old stuff at our studio again. Think it’s needed to do.

 Which artists have served you as musical pillars of inspiration?
ST: It comes from Iggy Pop, James Brown, Moby, Green Velvet, Daft Punk, Air, Chemical Brothers, etc. to all current artists who make music sound bigger and bigger.

FM: What is the best thing about being a DJ? How about the worst?
ST: It’s a travelling and a meetings and conversation with different people. Regarding the worst…hmmm. Hangover. We have been playing like djs for 5 years. It’s not too long, but it’s a great experience in our life. You can get an understanding how your music works and you get really cool feeling playing like a dj at the same time!

 When performing, what is something you always carry with you?
ST: SD cards with music, headphones and ear proof.

FM: In your opinion, what is the best track to get the crowd going?
ST: It’s difficult to say, cause too many good tracks are working perfect at the dance floor right now. We could name some tracks like “Alesso – Raise Your Head” or new one (unreleased yet) from Hard Rock Sofa is called “Quasar”. Of course we have new things from Swanky Tunes as well, but it’s a bit early to talk about them. Gonna share it very-very soon or just come to our gigs to listen to.

FM: Production-wise, what has so far been the best track of 2011?
ST: Swedish House Mafia vs Knife Party – Antidote. And of course we love so much our «Sendin' My Love»

FM: Of all the tracks you’ve made, which is your favorite one? Why?
ST: We don’t have the favorite one. Just imagine, you have a lot of children and you have to choose which one is the best one! It’s impossible. Better say, we like ideas in tracks and every time trying and combine them into different ways to get something new!

FM: Which are the three best tracks to get the crowd going?
ST: To be honest, it’s R3hab &Swanky Tunes – Sendin My Love and we are really proud of this track!

FM: If you could collaborate on a track and spend one day with any DJ/Producer, who would it be? Why?
ST: It could be Nervo, Arty, Deniz Coyu. But why…hmm??? We’re def sure that these guys are really on fire and have ideas we want to work on as well.

FM: Where do you think you will be 10 years from now? How about electronic dance music as a whole?
ST: May be we’ll get found our own company or something like that, but anyway we’d like to make our fans happy by our music. In regards to a future of EDM, hope, there will many interesting guys who bring fresh sound and make their job well.

FM: Are there any goals you want to accomplish in what is left of this year? How about 2012?
ST: We are on the way to discuss our plans for next year, cause now they depend on many things, like management, labels, booking, etc. We have to work a lot to make Swanky Tunes raise up. But for this year we’ve done almost everything we wanted, just some releases left.

FM: Are there any other things you enjoy apart from producing music?
ST: Music isn’t only a producing. Music is more than it. Here come gigs, a lot of meetings, negotiations, planning, etc. You need to take care of everything around. 

FM: What was your childhood dream? Did it have anything to do with where you are now?
ST: Anyway not to be djs or producers. For example, to be an astronauts. Everyone can reaches stars by different ways, you know.

 Where do you stand regarding music piracy? Are you in favor of it, or against it?
People are different. We can’t say that piracy destroys the market, no. But for now nobody has got an idea, how to turn it to a legal way. Who will make it first that one is a revolutionist. 

FM: Thank you very much for your time guys; it has been a complete pleasure! I’m a big fan myself! Any lasts words of advice towards your Puerto Rican fans? Ever thought about coming to visit the island?
ST: Thx all guys who read it. Make your lives larger and listen to good music only!
See you soon at Puerto Rico.

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