If you were fortunate enough to be at Festival One earlier this year, and you were looking for the most enthusiastic dance party, you would’ve found it during Airports' set at the Music Box stage. By DAN BRUNSKILL.
The Australian duo, Aaron Lee and Nathan Moss, make electronic-pop dance music, but have never spent much more than a week in the same city as each other. The internet is their best friend, and they spend an abnormal amount of time going in and out of various airports. They are part of Parachute Music’s development program. I caught up with them while they were in Auckland playing a showcase.
Where are you two from?
Aaron: We’re from Australia. I’m from Sydney.
Nathan: And I’m from Brisbane
Is living in different cities a challenge?
A: Yeah, different states! We just write and send each other things.
N: The internet becomes your best friend.
A: Then if we learn the songs separately, before we play a show we will just jam out through headphones in someone's kitchen, or hotel room, or garage or something. This is actually the longest we’ve been together in the same city working, playing gigs and stuff.
You’ve been here for one week?
N: Yeah, we flew in last Thursday. So yeah, about a week.
So what is a standard song-writing process for you?
A: Come up with ideas, bounce them back, collaborate on them production-wise, let it build.
So how did Airports come to exist?
N: Because we live in different states, every time we play a show, one of us has to go through an airport. And it just worked well as a name.
A: Yeah, we met through playing for some different friends in Brisbane, four or five years ago. Then at one point I had another act and I needed a bassist and I saw Mossy (Nathan) playing bass. I was like, 'bro, fly down to the show, you’re good' and we kept working together until the other musicians parted and we thought 'let’s start an act together'. So that’s how it was birthed and it has been great so far – we’re two years into Airports.
How would you describe your sound?
A: Definitely electronically-based party music. It is all upbeat and fun. Like our set as Festival One – everyone just kept dancing, it was fun. We are influenced by so many things. I grew up in punk bands, Moss grew up in rock’n’roll bands, my dad is a country musician, I was in a hip hop group, I’m a DJ producer, we have a common love of funk music. It is kind of everything.
N: We have a lot of little splashes that come through in our music.
What are you working on at the moment?
N: Currently we are working on some new tracks. We’ve been in the studio this week, working on a couple. I guess we are just going to keep working on them until we are happy. Not sure if we will put them towards an EP or a full release. Yet to be decided.
A: Yeah, we’re in development with Parachute, so I am sure they will help us out with the way to release it all and all that. But at the moment we are just trying to get better, new content.
Who have you been working with in the studio?
A: Just ourselves.
N: Generally, when we can we try to keep it just the two of us.
A: Because we don’t get a lot of time together. Where ideas can obviously get put down quicker.
N: Once we get these ideas we call someone in and play them the ideas.
A: We are pretty self-sufficient studio-wise. I’m a producer and engineer as well, so . . .
N: Yeah, we basically just get in and work. Get it done as quickly as we can.
How have you found NZ and how does it compare to Australia?
N: Awesome. You guys are so friendly here.
A: Also your Subways have cookie pies. You put on a couple of kilos just eating, but man they are good!