EXCLUSIVE: We interviewed NAXXOS

By Alex Brown - 25.6.16

Naxxos started in Spring of 2013 with the release of "New Orleans", which reached just under 17 million plays in just a few months. Experimenting drum & bass melodies, but since then, they’ve expanded their knowledge and skill-set by extreme measures. Driven by countless influences, they try to combine blissful, smashing riffs with soulful and organic rhythms. Trying to cross as many borders as possible.

We caught up with Austrian duo and inseparable friends Max Meister and Chris Schlamadinger, better known as Naxxos to talk about their musical influences and plans for the near future.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hey we're fine! Thanks for having us.. well, we're actually sitting in a park enjoying great food at food festival in Vienna. So, a pretty chill day :)

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Well, we're in a transitional phase right now. Our past sound can be described as melodic (deep) house but we kinda grew tired of it. We spent the whole last year experimenting with old and new influences to express ourselves in a new way. We brought in influences from our past sound and spiced them up with a little bit of future bass and a general chill approach. People will put it in a box some kind of way, maybe ask us then! Haha

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Thats hard to tell because you can't pinpoint an influence to one entire album, or five for that matter. We rather draw inspiration from single tracks. But if we could list a few albums that we really enjoyed listening to over the last years..Those are the only 5 that came to our mind first:
Disclosure - Caracal
Flume - Skin
D'Angelo - Black Messiah
Kendrick Lamar - How to pimp a butterfly
Camo & Krooked - Zeitgeist

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Definitely Flume and Ramzoid, who are really talented when it comes to unique percussion and percussive elements plus their signature synth sounds really blow us away. They are simple and yet effective.
On the other hand there is FKJ and Bondax who have always inspired us with their very musical and funky approach to dance music. They are the perfect example that EDM can be very versatile in a sense of musical complexity. But we don't exclusively listen to electronic music but also to artists like Miles Davis or Gregory Porter. But it's really hard to tell as it switches from day to day.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
It's a rather classical approach, we have our instruments and recording gear in our home studios but when it comes to key pieces, we have to admit, it's our laptops. It gives us the opportunity to write down ideas and to produce anywhere at anytime.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
Well, the music business has become really short-lived. But it's hard to put this into relation because we're children of the digital revolution. Current challenges would include the slow death of soundcloud, which hits us right at home since we became known via Soundcloud. We think the most difficult challenge is not to get your music out there anymore, but not to get lost in the shuffle.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
That's really hard to tell because usually we just get struck by lightning and inspiration comes totally out of the blue. It's really hard to describe our creative process - we just take out our laptop or instruments and start writing.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
We begin with a standard song structure, a riff and a beat - all of which will change a lot during the process. Ninety percent of the time we don't work together but rather prefer a ping-pong/b2b approach by using a cloudsharing application. One of us uploads an Idea and the other one simply plays around with a little. This process goes on back and forth till we meet to finalize our tune.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
One of the greatest was definitely an open air party at the beach in Nice, France. That was really *nice* *chuckles* We always bring that stupid joke..

And the worst?
Never had any. Even played for just ten people and had the greatest time :)

If you weren't a musician what would you be?
Max: *laughs* well I'm currently finishing med school.. sooo. yeah
Chris: since I'm a sound engineer it would probably be the same field

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Burning Man ever since we saw it in Malcolm in the Middle series.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
The usual suspects like Bondax, Flume, FKJ and maybe Ramzoid but we'd also love to play alongside the Chemical Brothers or Jean Michel Jarre because of their huge set ups which would like to see close up once.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Yeah, sure! We've been hinting about our new style a lot lately and our latest release “On and On” (feat. Chrissy Quadros) is definitely just the tip of the iceberg. We've got quite a few tracks in the pipeline at the moment but we can't tell you more right now.. so maybe just subscribe to our social media.

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