Having just released an ep, announcing album release dates and touring for the Vivid Festival we were able to borrow some words from main Azari & III man Alphonse for a brief and interesting phone interview.
Stealing him from the middle of a shave and over a bad phone line we touched on the origins of the band rooted in Canada having met in Toronto, although vocalists Fritz and Cedric come ‘.. from out of the country, Rwunda and Jamaica’ which explains the exotic flavour the band bring to the table.
Alphonse was happy to be in town playing for the Modular curated Vivid festival, especially at the Opera House and was hoping to grab some passes for The Cures extra special show although was shocked to hear single tickets were selling for upwards of $2500, although not too fussed about overhype kids OFWGKTA playing downstairs haha
Jokingly asked about a revival tour for his and Christians older bands Pan Con Queso and Pantiki Sound System he was adamant that that we would ever see them again although he was ‘still friends with his main partner in Pan Con Queso’ and was sure there were ‘thousands of vinyls sitting in a basement somewhere that never sold’.
The album takes a different path from the almost seemingly endless line of collaborations dropping on albums here, there and everywhere stating that the self titled album would have a few features on ‘a couple tracks with some other people that no ones heard before’ and that ‘there females too which is a nice break from the male dominance on the record’.
Mr Azari and I delved into the details of shuffling releases from Tigas Turbo label, to US based Scion A/V and their albums new home Modular and found that they ‘were the best choice’ and ‘as soon as it was announced a lot of doors were opened straight away’, which shows Modulars ever increasing praise globally.
Almost insulted that the band was commonly pigeon holed as ‘Chicago/House’ he thought it to be just ‘electronic music’ although the difference being it was ‘underground’ and ‘formulated to a pop sensibility’ noting that everyone from ‘kanye west and lady gaga are electronic’.
When asked about 2011 the band were excited for plenty of travel, seeing new countries and long plane flights including the one to australia that people had warned them so much about!
It was interesting to hear that when shopping around to release the album they were told to change a number of things ie making it more dj friendly and that the band wasn’t after ‘commercial success and fame’ as this wasn’t ‘their number one goal’ and that it was more about ‘getting our voice out there’.
With the album having taken so long Alphonse actually took a break from the production side of things and reverted back to older music setting up a player and vinyl listening to some ‘shoegaze stuff and stuff from my youth, like jesus and mary chain, t-rex, big star and just enjoying guitar music’.