Feenixpawl talk about their latest single, “First Lights”, being nominated for the Grammys and more.
Aditya – Hey guys, Glad to have you for the interview. How was the first half of this year for you?
Josh – Thanks for having us! It’s been an amazing first half. We’re putting out a tonne of music, we’re lucky enough to have been able to travel a bit. Just enjoying life and seeing the world get back to being somewhat normal has been a blessing.
Aden – Yes thanks for having us! We really spent a lot of time at the end of 2021 getting music ready for this year, so much of this year has really been about releasing it all.
Aditya – Your latest track with Crooked Bangs, ‘First Lights’ sounds mellifluous! What’s your creative process behind this track?
Aden – To be honest, we had the vocal demo of the track for a really long time. Like, 2-3 years. We made so many different versions but felt none of them lived up to the potential of the vocal. We took some time away from it and came back with fresh ears, which is how the final version came out. We generally don’t work like that, so it was a bit of a different experience.
Josh – Yeah this is definitely a funny one because we did have this vocal for a very long time. Usually, when we love a vocal as much as this one, it’s a relatively smooth process, but for some reason, this track went through so many different iterations, none of which felt right to us. But we’re so happy with how it ended up and it was worth the time.
Aditya – With regards to the production of this track, how did you achieve such a sweet balance between the vocals and rest?
Josh – Well that was the key issue I think as to why we spent so long with this vocal. It is very “poppy”, and we wanted to balance that out with a deeper sound, but still have some sort of uplifting feel to it.
Aden – One thing that was apparent with earlier versions was that the vocal is so nice and happy, writing something equally nice and happy just didn’t work. We felt the production needed to be slightly darker in order to contrast the vocal. Using more midrange, darker texture sounds made it possible for the vocal to stick out in the mix more as well, so we think it worked.
Aditya – You’ve been nominated for the Grammys, how do you feel about that?
Josh – Great! Haha. Who can complain about that? It’s our dream one day to win one, so fingers crossed.
Aden – It’s amazing. I think we were at the airport when we found out and weren’t sure if it was real or not. It’s still pretty surreal but at the same time, shows what is possible when you work hard and stick to your guns
Aditya – Who are your influences and why?
Aden – Personally, Swedish House Mafia and Avicii had the biggest influence on music for me. Listening to dance music in 2009-2010 really shaped the sound I wanted to go for. It was amazing only a couple years later they were both playing our music.
Josh – This is a loaded question haha. In terms of electronic music, obviously Axwell, he’s done so much for us. Daft Punk has also been such a big part of our lives. But outside of dance music, growing up I would listen to a lot of Michael Jackson and Elvis, and these days I listen to so much Jazz. And then in LIFE I would say my Dad has been my biggest influence. He’s my hero.
Aditya – You’ve performed extensively across the globe, which is your favorite venue to play and why?
Josh – I’ve always said for me that Paradise Club in Mykonos was and always will be my favourite place to play, just because we have such a special connection to that place. The former owners Thomas and Mario, they gave us a shot to play there when we were absolute nobodies, and it changed our lives. We met Ivan Gough there that night, and we ended up writing ‘In My Mind’ shortly after that. So we owe a lot to the club. Plus, obviously the vibe there is just magnificent.
Aden – There’s been some amazing venues, unfortunately some don’t exist anymore. Pacha New York was like a second home to us but it’s gone now. Paradise Club Mykonos definitely. Ministry of Sound London and Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne are probably up there as well.
Aditya – What’s your studio setup like?
Aden – Currently I’m in between studios due to moving house, but normally it’s a pretty standard set up in a spare room at home. We also do a lot of production on the road in headphones, so having good studio headphones is a must.
Josh – I literally just moved house as well, so at the moment it’s non-existent, just working on my laptop with headphones!
Aditya – Is there any production gear/plugin which you cannot work without?
Aden – Sennheiser HD 600 headphones are an absolute must for us. It’s great knowing no matter where we are, we can get studio quality sound on the go. That and VPS Avenger, which we use a lot for our sounds at the moment.
Aditya – Any tips for the beginners out there?
Josh – In terms of production, just make music you love. Lots of tutorials and asking the right questions. In terms of “making it”, network, network, network, BUT don’t be annoying. It’s about making friends, don’t ask for things until you’ve built relationships. Prove you can hang, that you have the talent and you’ll be given opportunities.
Aden – Don’t give up! We were on the verge of giving up many times but stuck with it, and every time we gave our careers an extra push, something big happened. It’s important to stick at it if you truly believe in yourself, and you will make things happen. Just make sure you’re perfecting your craft and working harder than the other person out there.
Aditya – Lastly, who’s your favorite Spiderman?
Josh – I’m a big Andrew Garfield fan. I feel like his movies didn’t do his talent justice, and he needs another go at it. Having said that, I think No Way Home was redeeming for his character.
Aden – Whatever Josh said!