Swanky Tunes have been making serious waves in the EDM scene since they released one of the most played dance floor tracks “Sending My Love,” with R3hab & Max C. We spoke to Russia’s EDM superstars about everything from their latest release, “Stop in my Mind,” to ghost producers to people getting naked at their gigs.
by Renee Koo
RK: How are you guys doing?
ST: Really good thank you.
RK : How did you guys first meet? How did you guys start off and then eventually become Swanky Tunes?
ST: It was too long ago, the two of us have known each other since we were kids and the other guy joined us maybe 10 years ago, so its a long long story. This year Swanky Tunes will be 15 years old. Nobody knows it maybe! Every year in our home city we have a big party in one club and its always packed. We prepare some shows and new stuff every year, so this year will be cool.
RK: Yeah that sounds pretty sick. Your latest release with Hard Rock Sofa “Stop in my Mind” is so sick, so dope, and unique sounding. How did that track come about?
ST: We were in the studio, its always in the studio (laughing) and we found this sample and tried to make something. Before it was a completely different track with another vocal and different music. We tried to find a sample for the other track and then we found this track. We tried to progress our work and we started thinking we need to create a new track not with this sample. So it was like “do you have something in your mind? Yeah, so lets stop it our minds! So stop in my mind!”
RK : Thats a really good way to come up with a track title. Now you guys have been touring all over the world. You played Ultra Miami main stage this year and Sensation in your home country, Russia. What has been your craziest gig? Have there been any fires or naked people, anything like that?
ST: (Laughing) I’ve seen naked people at our gigs just a few times!
RK: Guys or girls?
ST: Girls of course! Guys are always naked from the top! (Laughing) So its not so interesting for us! But, the craziest party we had was at Wall club in the W hotel in Miami during Miami Music Week this year. We had a huge party with our Russian friends Matisse & Sedko and Hard Rock Sofa. Arty was the special guest. Arno Cost & Aussie’s Peking Duk were also there. It was a really crazy party! At 5 am the club is usually closed because they don’t have any license to continue the party. But, this club was packed with around 500 people and the MC had to get on and tell everyone to go home!
RK: Go home your drunk!
ST: (Laughing) Yeah, so I would say that was our craziest party!
RK: Yeah that sounds really sick! You guys definitely have to top that next year.
ST: Yeah for sure!
RK: A lot of EDM bloggers are talking about this “EDM apocalypse” because of ghost producers and Paris Hilton already has a residency at Amnesia in Ibiza. What do you guys think about that?
ST: Its not our way! For example, in Russia we have such a case experience with a few soccer players that become DJs. But it looks so stupid when you see it! There was one guy, I don’t want to say his name, he was the goal keeper of a famous Russian team and he decided to become a DJ. So in his DJ photos in the background was a soccer goal (laughs). I think its all about selling tickets. If you already have a famous name, its easier to become a DJ. But I think you have to be a producer first. I don’t understand people who become a DJ like that just for fun.
RK: How do you guys feel about ghost producers? I mean its really happening, its not just rumors.
ST: Its a good way for working. Why not?!
RK: Its good for the economy.
ST: (Laughing) For us, for example, we created a lot of tracks and so many remixes a long time ago. So for us its like a ghost producer because nobody knows these tracks we did before. Its a different type of ghost producer by the way! (Laughing)
RK: Yeah I was saying you guys can be ghost producers!
ST: Yeah of course but we don’t want to do this. We’re tired of creating something and no one knows about it. We have a new definition of ghost producers.
RK: When you guys were growing up listening to music in Russia, who were your biggest influences and who inspires you now?
ST: Lets get back to the past.
ST: Flashback…Lets say Daft Punk, Air, Chemical Brothers, the Prodigy. So many guys who were big in the 90s. Right now I would say again Daft Punk.
RK: What do you think of the new Daft Punk record?
ST: Its really good! A lot of people expected something new from these guys but unfortunately no. But, the records they made are really cool. I’m really enjoying these records.
RK: They make really good music!
ST: Its still Daft Punk anyway. And for example the new stuff is coming from Avicii. I’m really pleased to hear his new song “You make me” Its really cool stuff! You know its all about a person doing completely different stuff that hasn’t been done before.
RK: Its so important to be unique and he’s trying something different.
ST: Its not about your brand and its not about you name. Its all about your feelings about what your doing right now, that’s it.
RK: Exactly. I always think when I’m making music that “House music is a feeling.”
ST: Yeah lets say it like this, of course.
RK: Your collaborations are pretty legendary from Tiesto to Kaskade to Hard Rock Sofa. Is there anyone who you haven’t hooked up with that you would like to. A collaboration wish list if you will.
ST: It could be anybody!
RK: I’d actually like to see a Swanky Tunes / Pharell hook up. I think that would be pretty sick.
(Everyone laughs at my pronunciation of Pharell)
ST: Who? Phar-ell or Pharell ?
RK: How do you pronounce it?
ST: His name is Pharell. You mean French? Pha-rell! Oh we are talking about the same person! (Joking)
RK: I used to live in Australia and Pharell Aussie slang means pretty gross. “Oh that’s Pharell!”
ST: (Laughing) Makes sense guys!
RK: So, I thought it would be nice to say Pha-rell.
ST: Yeah this guy is really good! Why not!? I really enjoy this guy. Maybe Kanye West. Why not?! (Laughing)
RK: That would be quite interesting with Kanye!
ST: It would be really hard, straight music. I don’t know how to translate this into English but its going to be really tough!
RK: Like it really hits you hard in the right places.
RK: What do you guys like to do in your free time, in your spare time, if you have any that is? What are your hobbies?
ST: If we had any free time, we would like spend it with our families. We love our families, so only with our families.
RK: Yes that’s good, so not on Facebook?
ST: (Laughing) Nooo!
RK: What advice do you have for future producers?
ST: Make something f@#*ing new please! I’m really tired of tracks that repeat each other. Its kind of a problem everywhere because somebody made a track and everyone is trying to repeat it, to repeat it. (Laughing) Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat. Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat. This is a really good song. Its something unusual right now!
RK: Alright, any final words?
ST: Thank you! That was Swanky Tunes here with you and Renee Koo! Pow!
Many thanks to Swanky Tunes! Be sure to check out their latest release with Hard Rock Sofa “Stop in my Mind” on Beatport. Keep up with the guys on their Facebook page, twitter, & instagram.