written by Michael Rain
Jonathan "Jono" Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki have sure come along way since they first met at the University of Westminster. Since the group's debut in March 2006 with the smash release of their trance album "Tri-State" the group's sound has evolved into organic uplifting music that has set a standard for the electronic scene & DJ/Producers around the world. DJ Magazine described Above & Beyond's label Anjunabeats in 2008 as "the most consistent trance label in the world." It is only natural that in appreciation of their latest album they are showcasing a new live performance featuring many of the latest sequencing and technological advances in music production.
Our up close interview with Above & Beyond was held immediately before they went on stage at Club Vanguard in Hollywood CA.Above & Beyond constructed a DJ set that was as seductively sequenced and in your face melodic as it was addictive.
Michael Rain: Is there a certain city in the US that you enjoyed performing more than others on this tour or did you not really have a preference?
Above & Beyond: Yes we have a favorite. We had a Wednesday night gig in Sacramento that was remarkable. We very much enjoyed being able to see the commitment of so many of our fans coming out to see us mid-week on a Wednesday night.. We have great, committed fans. We were really touched. That was a great night!
In your opinion what has been the number one factor for your attendance being so strong on all of your US tour dates so far?
“When we play people come and sing along”. We take great pride in our tracks.
That’s great, are you recording with many vocalists or just a few?
We have very talented male and female vocalist who lay down the vocals on most of our newer material. We are honored to have Zoe Johnson from faithless and Richard Bedford on our team. They both you have amazing range in their abilities.
Can you share some insight on what equipment you used to produce your latest album? How would you classify your unique sound? And how are you keeping your sound at the forefront of the electronic industry?
Sure we can! For our latest album, and in anticipation of our US tour it was important for us to incorporate acoustic sounds, symphony sounds and new melodic effects in our productions to build a one of a kind organic melodies. We used the latest EQ URS plug-ins for compression vocals, and an LA2A recorder for laying down Justine’s vocals with an electronic Gemini microphone. We used a Classic neve style preamp from MKS that goes directly into a droma 1968 compressor record computer mixing system. We really tried to give an organic edge to our setup that we hope has reflected in our music. Was that helpful?
Yes very. What programs are you currently playing around with, and what programs will you incorporate into your future productions in the future?
We are currently producing a lot with Logic Pro 8. It is an instrumental tool to our latest sound. For this latest album, to create old-fashioned organic sounds, we utilized “Auto Toon” the meline Polyphonic version. We will be experimenting with some new programs including Prodigy, and some Native instruments plug ins. Write now we are using Mac’s so we generally stick to using programs that are Mac friendly.
What equipment will you be performing with tonight?
Tonight we will be performing with 3 Pioneer CDJ’s 1000’s, and an effects mixer.
You have quite a good turnout of fans tonight. I am looking forward to seeing your live performance, Thank you for your time.
Our pleasure Michael, cheers.