Talking New Music, Mykonos Residencies, and Sydney’s Lockouts with Sneaky Sound System

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Talking New Music, Mykonos Residencies, and Sydney’s Lockouts with Sneaky Sound System

Everyone Australian knows exactly who Sneaky Sound System are.

From an absolute huge rise to fame off the back of their 2006 single I Love It, the band, now consisting of Black Angus (Angus McDonald) and Connie Mitchell on vocals, have just released their newest single, I Ain’t Over You. With some upbeat, funky house vibes, this track is sure to continue them on their path of fame. Stoney Roads were lucky enough to be able to have a word to them about all things music recently, which you can read below.

Henry (HR): Tell us about your newest release, ‘I Ain’t Over You’.

Sneaky Sound System (SS): It’s the first ‘proper’ release from us in nearly five years, apart from a couple of clubbier tunes we put out on limited release to ease our way back in. It’s a pretty uplifting tune I guess, almost sounds like Connie is singing from the mountain tops. It’s a tune about moving on… something we’re big fans of.

HR: I saw you guys had a residency in Mykonos over the Summer. What was that like? Any crazy stories in particular? Any specific highlights?

SS: Yes and we’re about to do our second season, which is exciting. We’d done Ibiza since 2008 but the vibe on the island really changed when EDM come about and we didn’t feel like we fitted in as much. The guys who ran Paradise Club in Mykonos, where we had played for years, were opening this new beach club called Scorpios and wanted our Sneaky Sundays club night to be part of the line-up. When we eventually saw how amazing the place was we jumped at it. It’s truly incredible – breathtaking in fact. We had a pretty major hiccup a week after we arrived though, a little thing called the Greek Financial Crisis. We had to cancel all our guests – Duke Dumont, MK, Todd Terry, Mark Ronson blah blah blah…it was a mess. Thankfully everyone was very understanding but it was stressful. The silver lining was that we were able to build our night on our own and it was such a buzz to have 2000 or so people dancing under the skies watching the sunset every Sunday. It was magical. We won’t talk about the motorbike accidents.

HR: You guys have obviously changed your style a bit since hits like ‘Pictures’ and ‘UFO’, what would you describe your musical direction as at the moment?

SS: Our club night has always been a big part of who we are, so the glorious sound of house music is well and truly running through our veins right now. We have a lot of new material coming out – some of it is definitely party, and up, like ‘I Ain’t Over You’, while others are deeper and groovier. All will be revealed soon enough!

HR: What are your biggest inspirations at the moment for making music?

SS: We’re always trying to bridge the gap between song & track and classic & modern. While we’re heavily into many of the techno and house records coming out at the moment – there’s so much quality stuff if you dig deep enough – we’re also suckers for melodies and we always head back to the glory years of the mid 70s and 80s for inspiration.

HR: I see you guys are very vocal against the Sydney lockout laws, as we are too here at Stoney. Can you tell me your perspective on the issue?

SS: Any sane person would agree something has to change – the current culture of aggression, steroids and anti-social behaviour is unacceptable – but it should have been on the table so all stakeholders could have contributed to the solution. The community deserved a better thought-out policy than this knee jerk reaction. The current status quo doesn’t resolve the problem – it has killed the night economy and damaged Sydney’s reputation as an international city. The government is handling this very badly. Let’s hope common sense prevails.

HR: What are your studio must-haves?

SS: Focal Twin 6 monitors, Yamaha NS-10s, Jupiter 8, Korg M1, Neumann U-47 mic with Telefunken pre-amp, Waves plug ins, UAD sound card, Maschine, Ableton, my laptop, Lacie hard drives…and I am happy.

HR: In your extensive music industry experience, how have you seen the music scene change (if at all) since you first started making music?

SS: The digitisation of the music industry has turned it upside down and inside out. Production costs have plummeted and access to amazingly powerful software (often stolen), sample packs and gear has skyrocketed. It’s steal, steal, steal out there – anyone can make a track these days (doesn’t mean it will be good though). Everyone and anyone is a DJ these days – all you need is a USB stick with your mate’s mp3s and presto. We’ve gone from $30 a CD to free streaming in less than 10 years – that is huge! In the past ten years we’ve also seen the explosion of festivals and in turn their capitulation – unfortunately most of the clubs they wiped out have failed to resurface. I mean that is a lot of change – and I’m only touching the surface.

Fortunately, a great song still remains a great song, house music is as strong as ever, and the new digital world has spawned some wonderful new talent and hotbeds of creativity – Australia being one. The never-ending cycle of music continues unabated…bring it on.

HR: While you guys obviously make electronic music, where do both your roots lie in terms of music?

SS: Connie is the child prodigy-type – singing concerts at five and she also plays drums, piano, guitar, violin and cello. An annoying person basically – I mean she is such a natural talent it’s beautiful to watch. I’m from more humble beginnings – the 13 year-old singer songwriter type – slowly working through the Bob Dylan and Neil Young songbooks. We both, however, grew up on 80s pop and electronica – The Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Duran Duran etc….

HR: What’s next in store for Sneaky?

SS: First of all, releasing lots of new music on our new label Thembi Records! Touring-wise we head to Europe for the Northern summer and we’re planning some proper Australian tour dates in the 2016/17 summer.

Stream Sneaky Sound System’s newest single below, via their Soundcloud.


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