Big things in the EDM realm have been churning out of Russia for the past several years, and our friends Swanky Tunes are in part to thank for that. Since their inception as a group, these three friends have put together some of the most versatile, chart topping songs in EDM history.
Their rampid style and vivacious sounds allow their music to be utilized in most sets by major DJ’s and producers. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to chat with the guys as they mixed the latest edition of PB&J™ Radio. We talk to them about their plans for the summer, their upcoming collaboration with Kaskade (YUP!), and they even let us in on some of the Russian producers they’re really into at the moment.
Download: PB&J Radio 009 (Mixed by Swanky Tunes)
First off, can you guys introduce yourselves for our fans? How did you all meet and form the group? And where did the name Swanky Tunes come from?
Hello! Thx for having us here! We are Swanky Tunes. There are 3 guys in our band Dima, Vadim and Stas. We met each other too long ago. Two of us have known each other even since our childhood.
We got “Swanky Tunes” name in 1999, but before we had had other name in Russian. One day we sat in Vadim’s bedroom discussing new names for our band. We took American slang dictionary and opened it at the page with the word “swanky”. Suddenly someone in the room shouted “tu-‐u-‐u-‐u-‐nes”. Everybody laughed, but we decided to take this one.
Any major plans for the summer?
Yes, we have a lot of gigs scheduled, to name a few: Tomorrowland (Belgium), Creamfields (UK), Ibiza with Tiesto, Veld Festival (Canada), 2 tours in USA and many other gigs in Europe (Palais and Amnesia in France). Full schedule will be announced soon on our Facebook fun page and official web site.
You guys seem to get constant support from Laidback Luke, Axwell, Afrojack Tiesto, and many others EDM heavy hitters. How does it feel to get a lot of praise from some of the biggest names in house music and their record labels?
It feels like you’re on the right way! We just do our music and would like to say: “Thank you, guys, for huge support! It means so much for us!”
Since you guys have been making house music together since 1998, how have you seen the EDM scene change in Russia? How is Russia’s EDM scene unique and how has it inspired your sound?
Russia’s EDM scene is really an interesting thing. At the beginning of 2000s you could find here a lot of underground artists, but not mainstream. To be honest, we are one of the first groups who has been producing electronic dance music in Russia since the end of 90th. We always tried to be on the edge of commercial and underground music. Unfortunately, there were no producers at Russian scene to follow or collaborate with. So we took our inspiration from foreign artists of 70th, 80th and 90th.
Now the situation has changed. You know well such artists as Arty, Hard Rock Sofa, Matisse & Sadko. We always take a look to find new producers and already know some young guys who are really keen of electronic dance music and make good stuff. Be sure, in future you’ll see more upcommers from Russia.
You guys often collaborate with, Hard Rock Sofa –where did this working friendship begin?
We had known Dan and Alex before they founded Hard Rock Sofa. Dan is our old friend and Alex is a cousin of Vadim. When Alex was a student he spent all his free time at our studio and Dan got in as well. They saw how we worked on and decided to team up for Hard Rock Sofa then. We helped them a lot in the beginning. Now their production is so pretty! We have same tastes and it’s really easy to work with the guys together. Sometimes, of course, we have different points of view and argue a lot, but it makes our friendship and music better.
Some of the PB&J team got to catch your New Year’s Eve show at Pier 94 with Avicii, Cazzette and Arty. How was it to be part of such a major show in NYC with other great artists?
New York is one of our favorite cities to play. That New Year’s Eve party at Pier 94 was so huge! More than 10000 of people were dancing and screaming while artists were playing cool tracks. So what else could we say? Just unforgettable and unbelievable show!
We know you have some massive releases coming this year like ‘The Edge’ with Hard Rock Sofa, but what kind of collaborations can we expect from you all this year?
Now we have many collabs in plans. Forty-‐eight hours instead twenty-‐four per each day is our dream, but no doubt we already have some tracks to show you! Our next collaboration with Hard Rock Sofa is called “Here We Go” and will be released at Axwell’s label imprint Axtone. It was played first time by Swedish House Mafia at Coachella and got huge feedback from the crowd!
Guess you want to know more secrets? We’ve just finished new song with Kaskade and Lights (singer from Canada). Keep your patience! it’s gonna to be announced soon.
And don’t forget, our recent work “Edge” has just been issued at Wall Recordings by Afrojack.
Your Showland podcast has truly taken off, where did the inspiration to start compiling these sets come from?
Difficult to answer! You know, we travel a lot, see and meet many people in different parts of the world. They love music so much and you can’t believe, but only this love gives the inspiration to us, nothing else!
You guys started off making techno –what inspired these early productions and how did you transition to the more eclectic styles that you have now?
We listened to a lot of different music -‐ from punk to funk, but first electronic dance music we’d ever heard was techno and acid house. Such producers like Derrick May, Green Velvet, Joey Beltram, etc inspired us. We tried to create something like these kinds of music and put a piece of us there. That was good for the beginning. Later with big-‐beat movement we found out sampling. We took a lot of old vinyl samples and did tracks with them. We even tried to produce drum’n’bass tracks, but this tempo was too fast for us. Then we put our hands onto french house music and synth pop of 80th. This music taught us to create melodies in our tracks. All this experience and skills let us now do our music. Don’t want to give any description of our style. Just call it house music!
Just for fun: if we sent you guys some PB&J T-‐shirts and tank tops, would you wear them?
Then don’t forget to invite us to your own party, where we can put it on…: )
You’re often featured on many top EDM record labels, but do you guys have any plans to start your own label imprint?
It’s already on the way and called “SHOWLAND”. We’ve got the team of professionals to work on this project. So just keep your eyes open, guys, to see what we’re gonna give you soon!