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late night alumni
Late Night Alumni have been the unsung heroes of the chill side of electronic music, working with Kaskade to create a sound that broadens the horizons of the typical EDM listener. Check our interview with Becky & John, where they discuss their new album and what it was like working together in the studio for the first time.
Late Night Alumni - The World Spins 'Round (Original Mix) [Ultra]
LessThan3: You guys recently went on tour for the first time. Tell us about that experience.
Becky: It went really well. I was actually a little worried about it when I found out I was pregnant, but we managed to pull it off anyway!
John: That was one of the biggest changes we’ve ever had–to start doing live shows. 2012 was the first time we ever performed. We saw so many fans around the world that we wouldn’t have known about. We’re looking forward to doing it again.
LessThan3: Are there any artists that you would love to tour with?
John: It would be fun to do a tour with artists totally opposite of us, like Die Antwoord. That would be a total shock experience. It would also be good to work with someone who makes chill stuff, like Zero Seven. Who knows; we’re open to suggestions.
LessThan3: Where did the name “Late Night Alumni” come from?
Becky: John and I weren’t around when the name was decided upon, but we understood that Ryan (Kaskade) really liked the name “alumni.” He also wanted a word that referenced nightlife, so “Late Night” was added.
LessThan3: How did you originally get involved with Ryan?
Becky: Tim and Ryan were working together already, then I believe they met John through the music circles they were in. They heard me sing on a Christmas compilation and approached me to try my vocals over a song, and everything just went from there.
John: It started out as just him making songs and then he decided to make it a band. It was very organic; just friends working together. A lot of it happened in Utah when were all living here.
LessThan3: Would you say Ryan being part of the group helped get your music out there?
Becky: Oh, for sure.
John: Definitely. There’s no downside to having a rockstar in your band.
Becky: We also got a lot of followers from Michelle Fawn. She’s a YouTube makeup guru with a million followers who does tutorials, and she started using our songs in the background of her videos.
LessThan3: You’re loved by both fans of electronic music and live instruments. Do you think these two realms have come closer together in recent years?
John: We like to play instruments, so we’re making our live shows lean more in that direction. It’s fun to see more things like that happen, and we hope to be a part of that evolution.
LessThan3: During the recording process of 2011’s Haunted album, your group worked together in the same room rather than remotely. Was it a similar process for The Beat Becomes A Sound, and has it helped your group creatively?
John: We had a couple of weeks together where it was all four of us. It’s been tough to do that with how much Kaskade has been touring in recent years; I don’t think it was until Haunted that we had all four of us in a room together. We’re trying to do a lot more in-person meetings now because the value is obvious.
LessThan3: When you were brainstorming for The Beat Becomes A Sound, was there a common theme or message you were building your tracks around?
Becky: We would just make the track and then figure out what the theme was. Sometimes we would say that we wanted to do something different, but we just end up staying true to what we’ve done in the past.
John: We considered making this new album more “thumpy” or in another style. However, we struggled with that because we naturally come to the table with very different-sounding tracks. What really ties everything together is Becky’s voice. Having an acoustic guitar playing with Becky singing over it, that’s Late Night Alumni. Sounds like that let us experiment with live orchestras and similar “unorthodox” ideas knowing that Becky’s voice will bring it together.
LessThan3: Where does the inspiration come from for the lyrics in your songs?
Becky: It relates to what I’m dealing with at the time as well as past experiences that I’ve learned from. A lot of the songs just deal with life, change, and relationships.
LessThan3: If you had to sum up The Beat Becomes A Sound’s message in one sentence, what would it be?
Becky: I think the album title sums it up well. We all have these words, melodies, or different elements of music that are inside of us and when they are combined, they become actual sound and are there for people to hear and experience.
LessThan3: What would you say is the biggest change between this album and previous ones?
John: A lot of fans have responded and said that we’re staying true to our original sound, which is interesting because that isn’t even a conscious effort. We do have a few tracks that are a little more–I hate the word heavy, but ones that are a bit more club-worthy at moments. In general though, it’s still a very diverse Late Night Alumni album. We’re growing musically, experimenting more, and finding out what really works for us.
LessThan3: Creating a new album is a huge investment of time and effort. What do you all do to relax and clear your minds?
John: I have kids.
Becky: We both have kids. Maybe a better question is, if we could relax, what would we do?
John: I live in Utah, so skiing is a good one.
Becky: I would probably read more and bake more.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
John: Mercy Street by Peter Gabriel.
Becky: If I were going to try and make those last three minutes lighthearted, I would play that REM song End Of The World As We Know It. Even though it’s not one of my favorite songs, it would be appropriate.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Becky & John: Ethereal Chill House.