Above & Beyond Riff On Collabs and Festivals As Inspiration
Above & Beyond have been hopping across the main stages of huge EDM events like Ultra for ages, but Lollapalooza is one of their favorite fests to play because it doesn't only have electronic music on its agenda.
"I actually prefer doing a festival like this where you're in amongst other bands, because it's not so much of the same thing," Above & Beyond's Jono Grant tells Fuse. "It's really nice to stand out against other styles of music. I have to be honest: I don't really understand the idea of wanting to go see twenty DJs, personally. For me, I like things that are eclectic. Even within our set, we try not to just play the sound of now, or stick to one narrowcast idea of what dance music should be right now. It's a bit boring, really."
Adds Tony McGuinness, "I think what this festival represents—which maybe a lot of dance festivals don't—is that people do like different kinds of music."
Their collaboration with Alex Vargas, "Blue Sky Action," is one that capitalizes on the trend of DJs working with megawatt vocal talents (think Calvin Harris and Rihanna, Avicii and Aloe Blacc, etc.). "I think a lot of DJs will sort of pick someone who's had a hit before, and we kind of try to actively not do that, just because we want our own identity, really," says Grant. "It's very easy to end up sounding like everyone else if you do that. We look for people who are unique and maybe haven't worked with so many people. That's what we look for, some individuality."
Press play to hear what Above & Beyond love about festivals, collaborating with up-and-coming talent and more in this Fuse exclusive, and stay tuned for more chats from backstage at Lollapalooza.