We Are All We Need

Not only was Above and Be­yond’s Jono Grant on hand to de­liver an ace NYE set at Eden this year, he also had time to sit down with In­fu­sion’s Matt Za­harias to talk trance, group favourites and new al­bum We Are All We Need...

Infusion Magazine - - LOOKING FORWARD -

Dubai is a clas­sic kind of tran­sient au­di­ence,

so you’ve got a lot of peo­ple com­ing in on hol­i­day, a lot of ex­pats, a lot of peo­ple check­ing out what all the fuss is about, so you ob­vi­ously do get a lo­cal au­di­ence as well, but I think there’s a big tran­sient au­di­ence that come through ev­ery week, so you’ll catch peo­ple who have seen you in other coun­tries a lot.

I think we set out to make an al­bum that was slightly less clubby than Group Ther­apy

and more song led, and then when I played it to some­one, they said it was more clubby than Group Ther­apy. So maybe we didn’t achieve our goal in that sense, but I don’t know (what to ex­pect) re­ally – it’s an al­bum that’s got six­teen tracks on it, mainly songs, a few in­stru­men­tals on there as well.

I think ev­ery mem­ber of the band ata ches dif­fer­ent mean­ings to that We Are All We Need,

for me it’s cer­tainly not in a nar­cis­sis­tic sense…”We’re all we need, Above and Be­yond is all we need” – it’s cer­tainly not meant that way! It’s more like, we’re all we need as in terms of com­mu­nity, fam­ily friends and also you know, do you need to look for some­thing else, when you have right in front of you all you need to change the world. It’s sort of an em­pow­er­ing thing in my view, you know.

Tech­nol­ogy in the stu­dio changes a lot, the writ­ing process doesn’t change so much.

It’s still the same way we work, we did try new things out here and there, but we write a lot of stuff on the pi­ano or gui­tar, a few sim­ple sounds, and then get the singers in and write stuff over the top. But the tech­nol­ogy’s changed a lot, stu­dio stuff is get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter at em­u­lat­ing old ana­logue stu­dio equip­ment, which is re­ally nice for get­ting a good sound, so that’s ex­cit­ing. But ob­vi­ously the pro­duc­tion style changes over the years as well, and you’re in­flu­enced by other artists, and other mu­sic, so that changes too…

Trance… trance is like, well, I see a lot of trance artists say­ing “trance is go­ing to come back”

– my an­swer is “has it ever gone away?”. It’s al­ways there, you know, the trance fans are the most loyal fans you could pos­si­bly have, it’s like heavy metal, it’s the same thing but a dif­fer­ent genre. Heavy metal fans, they get the tat­toos, buy all the

mer­chan­dise, get re­ally into it, and trance is the same, but you might not see heavy metal fans in the street, or rec­og­nize them… well, you might with the tat­toos some­times, but what I’m say­ing is, you put Iron Maiden on at a fes­ti­val, sud­denly fiftyt­hou­sand peo­ple turn up from nowhere and it’s the same with trance mu­sic.

In a sense, I’m not so in­ter­ested in what Trance is, I just like good mu­sic…

for me, the genre thing… if I hear like… what we’re hear­ing right now in the back­ground, what is this, ‘Body Lan­guage’? That’s a great record, but what is it, techno, I don’t know what it is, but it’s a great record, and that’s what I lis­ten for when we get sent records and want to add stuff to our set, it’s not a case of “does it fit above and be­yond’s genre” – I don’t re­ally care!

The best ad­vice I can give is ‘be yours elf’.

Make sure you fol­low your heart with your sound. You’ll find you’ll be pulled in a lot of di­rec­tions in terms of so­cial me­dia and stuff like that th­ese days, and if you lis­ten to too many peo­ple, you’ll ac­tu­ally end up los­ing the core of what you do. If you’re not sure if some­thing you do is good, that’s ok too. But if you be­lieve that some­thing you are do­ing is re­ally re­ally good, stick with it. Just be­cause you’re not get­ting trac­tion straight away doesn’t mean what you’re do­ing is not very good.

The big­gest pro­duc­tion tip is get on on Youtube,

look at some of the videos of other pro­duc­ers be­cause you’ll learn a lot from them. I still do that now, and I still watch as much stuff as I can on Youtube from other pro­duc­ers, pro­grams like Pen­sado’s Place is a great stu­dio pro­gram, and watch all those, ab­sorb all the in­for­ma­tion from the guys who’ve been do­ing it for years. You can never stop learn­ing

and that’s why I keep do­ing it, be­cause it’s still in­ter­est­ing.

We don’t re­ally hang out as friends be­cause we’re al­ways on the road to gether.

I think we’d be beat­ing each other up if we were! I couldn’t pick a favourite, I love them both. But you know, if you spend too much time with Paavo then you want to be with Tony for a bit, and I’m sure they’re the same with me. So you know, they’re both great – they’re both great peo­ple to tour with.

Sell­ing out Madi­son Square Gar­dens was great

, but what I would say is it’s not about the size of the gig, you can have a great gig with 400 peo­ple in a dark club, just as you can in MSG, so I think the im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber, and I al­ways say it to the other guys, is we can’t al­ways get big­ger and big­ger and big­ger, you’ve got to go side­ways or do some­thing dif­fer­ent some­times. So that’s my take on that – you don’t top it, you do some­thing dif­fer­ent. And don’t al­ways try and grow - the myth of eter­nal growth is a cap­i­tal­ist ideal that doesn’t re­ally ex­ist in my opin­ion.

The chalenge is still there for me,

and as long as the chal­lenge stays to make mu­sic and you know, ev­ery record is a chal­lenge, it’s like a painful ex­pe­ri­ence some­times, be­cause you want to try and make it per­fect and as long as that stays there, I think I’ll keep do­ing it. I’ll cer­tainly be do­ing mu­sic of some kind in five years, hope­fully still dance mu­sic, and hope­fully still DJing, but you never know what to­mor­row brings, so we’ll take each day as it comes.

Above and Be­yond, We Are All We Need is out now above­and­be­yond.nu

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