Interview: Flight Facilities

Not many artists manage to be consistent with making hits, especially when they release only one single a year. However, that’s obviously a winning formula for the Australian based production duo Flight Facilities. There is no chance that you missed “Crave You” or “Foreign Language”, right?

The electronic dance outfit just released their latest single “With You”. That’s why we thought that this is the perfect moment to ask these guys about the new song, some side stuff and what’s-to-come. Our flight was joined by Maria Daskalova, a friend of Nite Versions, who carefully prepared the questions for the conversation with the boys.

Enjoy the trip and stream the latest tune while reading the interview.

“Crave You” and “Foreign Language” took you quite a long time to produce. How long did you work on “With You”?

We had the chords for “With You” before we even finished Foreign Language (the chord melody came from a harmony attempt at the Foreign Language chorus vocal). We played with it for a day and had most of the sounds we needed. We sent it to Grovesnor to get a feel for how the vocal would work with the track. When he sent it back, we adjusted the structure and we were pretty happy with it. Then like most of our songs, we got tired of it and felt like it needed something more. So we played with the bridge section so it wasn’t so repetitive. Essentially the song only took about 2-3 weeks work. We then spent another week with Jono “Jagwa” Ma doing the mixdown. Definitely our shortest amount of work to date but it was spread out over several months while touring and working on other things.

Did you expect that “Crave You” would become so successful?

Never. We made it in a bedroom for fun. The hardest part is trying to maintain the consistency since “Crave You”. It became a looming shadow over us. Our fans have been really kind to us. We’re so aware of the tall poppy syndrome that exists and we thought we would have been subjected to more of it by now. Perhaps people are becoming friendlier with that kind of attitude.

Why cheat on female vocals with your new single?

We’ll be back to females in no time. We wanted to try a male vocalist though. Grovesnor has a very unique voice. There aren’t too many male vocalists that can be so distinct with their sound. It’s never so much about trying to maintain a male-to-female balance, but about finding the right person to fit the right instrumental.

What expectations do you have for “With You”?

No more than we did for any of our previous releases. We certainly didn’t expect the amount of hits on our YouTube video in such a short space of time. Perhaps we thought Australia would have had a bigger reaction but it’s been almost entirely overseas. It hasn’t been very long, though. Maybe home will be last to catch on this time.

Your songs are always about impossible love stories. Why?

We put that down to the vocalists. They’re responsible for a big part of the content (sometimes all). It’s a common subject to write about but it’s never intentional. It helps that it’s a universal subject. We have one or two songs coming up in the future about other subjects – but in saying that we have a few more love stories too. We think we might be hopelessly drawn to love-struck vocalists.

Something that probably most of our readers would like to know: is there an album in the works?

Not yet. We’ve been working on a lot of singles, and perhaps we have the amount of content to fill up an album, but by the time we finish them all off and package it up, there’s a chance that some of what we’ve made may not have the same relevance. We’d rather release singles and put the same time and effort into each one as we would with an album. It means we can consistently release content without disappearing for too long.

You work where others have fun. What’s your way to have fun?

We usually have fun while we’re at ‘work’ but sometimes, all we want to do at the end of a tour is avoid music, clubs or the studio. It’s nice to get home and watch movies, hang out with our friends or even just appreciate the silence.

Are we going to see you live on any summer festivals this year?

We’re in talks with a few festivals in Australia, but we’ll probably miss the European run. We’re going to be finishing as much content as we can to stay ahead of ourselves. Releasing one song per year doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

For some, being behind the decks is one of the sexiest jobs in the world. Regarding this, can you tell us any interesting story?

We’ve had a few notes thrown to us in the DJ booth before. The odd bra or pair of knickers. One time a guy threw his jocks. Occasionally girls will try to wave us over but it’s not exactly good DJ etiquette to leave the booth while we’re playing. Perhaps we’ll have some good on-stage stories in a few more years. Maybe it’s a little too soon in our career.

Interview: Flight Facilities

Is there a thing you hate about being DJs?

The lack of understanding for what is taking place onstage. Or the generalisation about what we do. DJs use a variety of different mediums while playing live now. Ableton, Tractor, Scratch, USB, CDJ, Vinyl. We’re USB DJs now. It’s basically the same as using CDJs, but it maintains some crowd interaction and saves us having to burn CD’s constantly. We still collect vinyl and we’ll press our work onto vinyl as long as we’re making music. We’re glad there are still DJs and people who play and collect records. We’re pretty heavily against the whole laptop DJing. It looks like people are checking their email on stage. That probably comes down to us not understanding how it all works. Maybe we’re bitter about the technology. There is a sense of irony in using a laptop when you’re called a ‘disc’ jockey. That probably applies to USBs too. There are definitely more advantages than disadvantages so we can’t complain. It’s a pretty fun lifestyle.

Do you listen to your own music during your flight?

Sometimes our own mixtapes if we haven’t heard them in a while, but rarely our own music unless it’s an unreleased demo.

An artist/band you’re ashamed you like?

Madonna. We love her for her old music. We’re ashamed to like her for her current antics.

What if Rihanna wants to make a song with you? Would you accept?

Sure. But it’s unlikely that we’d attach the Flight Facilities name to it. Perhaps we’d just ghostwrite to maintain the anonymity. Rihanna is an unreal singer with a really powerful voice. We’re unsure of her writing ability though. There a probably a bunch of guys that wear white leather jackets and Oakley’s from 1997 that are responsible for her vocal content. That may have made her money, but it’s probably ruined her credibility from that side of things. Check her twitter though. She seems pretty cool. It’s just so hard to know if these huge pop artists are capable of writing their own songs or if they’re just a voice.

What would you wear to a Masquerade Ball?

Plain clothes. We wear costumes to every other party. Ironically, no hats or goggles would probably be a more effective Masquerade.

Is music something you’ve always wanted to do?

Not necessarily. We enjoy other things like art, film or even things to do with fashion. It just so happened that we paired up in music. Luckily that seems to be going pretty well for now.

How do you imagine your songs after 30 years?

We make our music with that in mind. We hope it’s just as listenable then as it is now. That’s why it’s dangerous to be sucked into the hype genre. We try to imagine playing our music to 6 year old’s and 60 year old’s while making it. We think it maintains some longevity. Musicians should respect where music came from and use that to paint some sort of future. Being the loudest and most offensive will get you attention, but it will be short lived.

What’s next for Flight Facilities?

A song with a girl from New York. Slower, longer and more ambient. We’re not so concerned about any form of backlash for what people may expect. We made the next song entirely for us. It should be a good reflection of the other kind of music we appreciate. After that, we’ll be releasing more singles that sound a little more like our past work. We hope we’ll have 2 more singles out this year.