Last month, Hamburg-based producers, Kilian&Finn, made their first Stoney Roads debut in our weekly playlist series, “13Tracks.” One week later, we had the honor of premiering their “Whip,” EP and today, we interview them. All cards are on the table from industry politics, to the blogosphere. We caught them during their Parisian lunch break to avoid waking up at 3am for the interview… we’re committed… but not that committed. This is how it went down:
*Finn and I had been chatting and organizing while we waited on Kilian to join the fold*
SR: Nice to e-meet you! Not sure if Finn has filled you in….
K: Yes, he did in short form.
SR: Great! Let get started then. When did you boys start the EP?
F: We officially started KILIAN&FINN this January, and wouldn’t have thought this might happen so fast. Actually, the first two tracks we made together are on the EP. We were running Exposure Music (our label) for about a 1.5 years and then decided to team up, and also to produce music together. We started experimenting and tried to find our style (we are still pretty eclectic in terms of genre… I guess we just want to make music that we both like :D)
SR: I guess by delving into different genres, you appeal to more audiences that way. How is it working with family?
F: Working together is pretty awesome. We are completely different in terms of background. Kilian has been an audio engineer and musician for all his life, and I’ve been pretty much into music my whole life too… but in completely different genres. I’m very much into hiphop/rap, etc…. we feel that we complement each other pretty well and we can also fight well with each other.
S.R: Love – hate relationship, huh! What style are you, Kilian?
K: I started in punk rock and hardcore
S:R: Hardcore, what? There’s hardcore trance, hardcore techno, hardcore rap…
K: Hardcore – the guitar, shouting heavy rock stuff
S.R: That’s a great mindset. Kind of the way Flume has a his own unique sound that before his time, couldn’t be pinned to a genre. Similarly, the way Skrillex started out – he has essentially made Dubstep a commercially recognized genre. Perhaps you guys could be next! I see you did a remix of Taches, too! Is he a big influence?
F: Yeah, we love his stuff
K: He did stuff that makes me think differently about the genre, “HOUSE.”
S.R: Agreed! I think ZHU is similar, don’t you?
F: I’ve been very impressed by the massive blog exposure ZHU was able to get .
S.R: Agreed. Do you think it’s suspicious? Hah
F: Well, haven’t thought about it like this but I’m just very impressed in how well some artists are able to create their own buzz without using traditional ways of promoting (such as labels). L C A W is a pretty similar example for that.
S:R: It’s apparent that blogs have changed the whole industry –it could be argued that it either enables quality unknown talent, or conversely, provides a platform for great marketing teams to promote average money-making talent. Care to comment?
F: Yeah, I think blogs are pretty powerful these days…if you do it right and cater to their taste, you can get a lot of exposure but sometimes I’d wish for a little more diversity in terms of genres
S.R: Being label owners, it must hugely impact the efficiency of the release process. How else does it benefit you?
K: That is why we started it in the first place . We also wanted to get rid of the fact that label owners always say, “cooool” BUT can you do something like….”blabla”
S.R: So true, you’ve taken away the politics by being your own label! Killian, to what extent do you think mastering is the difference between a good and great track.
K: If the track is flat in the low end, people go home early. I f the heights are too sharp, or the mids are overcompressed , or if it is too silent, then nobody will buy it. It’s a sensitive area: you’ve got to keep the right balance between sounding state of the art in terms of loudness and at the same time making sure you’re keeping the dynamic of the song.
S.R: Great, thanks! When you originally sat down to begin writing the EP, was there any creative concept behind it all? Any meaning? No pressure if there wasn’t! Sometimes just beautiful sounding music is enough…
K: Good question to be honest, there was no real concept behind it…we just started spending a lot of time together in the studio, jamming, bouncing off ideas
F: and when we both had the feeling like “f*ck yeah, I wanna dance to his,” than we kept on working on it
K: I want to produce the fattest kick ever heard.
F: Yeah I’m pretty happy there’s no surveillance cam in the studio, us
Jumping up and down must have looked ridiculous sometimes
K: You think there is none . I’m going to sell the tapes later on to Dancing with the Stars
S.R: Finn your brother is black mailing you!!
F: like always
S.R: hah, I see who wears the pants! What are you short and long term goals for Exposure music, and for Killian&Finn?
K: So short term, create a big buzz for us and our artists
F: Well, we’re working quite hard to grow Exposure at the moment. There’s nothing official to be said yet, but we’ve got some nice collaborations coming up and we want things to become more “real.” We’ve started a monthly label night in a club in Hamburg this January, and we want to build on that .
F: long… same thing we do every night….and for Kilian&Finn… well, it would be really awesome to have more people listening to our music and to be able to tour internationally. The success of “Free,” overwhelmed us, so that we have to balance things out a little but both projects are definitely equally important
S.R: If you were to give advice to someone trying to start a label, what would it be?
K: I think the question you have to ask yourself is, “why” do you want to do a label. For us, it was to have a politic free zone for our music and to promote artists that we think have to be heard
S.R: Do any small uneathed talents come to mind that you can recommend Stoney Road listeners?
K: All of our guys, specially BE//LA the newest in our family , and our new friends from Black Loops .
S.R: Thanks so much for spending your lunch time chatting! I look forward to the EP release on May 16th.
F: It’s definitely amazing to experience all of this. Of course we’re still quiet small, but we are already getting to know people all around the world that listen to our music and sometimes even like it and make the time to interviews with us,