Well folks, we’re halfway through another week. But why wait until the weekend to start partying? Tonight, the remix mastermind RAC will be presenting his live band in Denver for the first time ever. Well, technically he’ll be throwing down in Englewood, but let’s just go with Denver for the sake of sounding cool. This Portland-based producer, who was actually born and raised in Portugal, has spent almost the last decade creating an arsenal of nationally acclaimed remixes, and some equally as impressive original work. After having a killer summer, playing at renown festivals such as Lollapalooza and Electric Forest, RAC (aka Andre Allen Anjos) is currently on a full blown tour, debuting the release of his first full-length album “Strangers,” a brand new visual display, his full-fledged live band, and supporting performances by Penguin Prison and The Knocks. Andre is a creatively gifted indie-electro-pop connoisseur, who was so kind as to answer a handful of questions regarding his work. You can still grab tickets here so be sure to get ’em while you can.

 

So you’re just over halfway through a pretty ambitious “Something Classic” tour, how’s it been going so far?

It’s awesome – we’ve been having a lot of fun. This is the first time we’ve used a fully live vocal and instrumental band, very different from what we’ve been doing in the past. We’re touring with these guys The Knocks, and we’ve been friends with them for a while so this was a good excuse to hop on a bus, hit the road, and just start playing shows.

Any new favorite venues or cities you have had a chance to visit this time around?

Well we’ve DJ’d in many of these places before, but this time around we’re playing live in a bunch of these cities for the first time. Denver, of course being one of them.  It’s been really fun seeing people’s reaction to the live band. I’ve been trying to emphasize the concept of the live show to the venues we play at, but we still get a handful of people who show up expecting a DJ set, or kind of like a club environment or something like that. My hope is that those people are pleasantly surprised. Its kind of like having two different worlds colliding you know? There’s people who wouldn’t normally go to a DJ set, or you know – going out to a club setting just isn’t their kind of thing. This has been a chance for us to bring out more of those people and to show them how real our music is – and the reactions so far have been super positive.

Tell us a little bit about how the tour came together. We were excited to see that you and The Knocks would be hitting the road together, do you have any history with those guys?

We were friends with them first and foremost. During the DJ years we ended playing a bunch of shows together. I feel like we play similar music in some ways so, inevitably we would end up on the same bill or the same festival lineup. We don’t really have any mutual friends; we just had a pattern of ending up in the same places. Overtime we started talking about going on a tour together, for about 3 or 4 years actually.  All the sudden, this tour began to form and we really needed a strong opener so The Knocks were kind of a no brainer. This has been bound to happen for quite sometime and I feel super fortunate to have them on the road with us.

Recently you’ve been putting out some remixes like the one for Classic and Odesza’s Say My Name, that are such far cries from the original track that they almost sound like an original themselves. What about your process let’s you create this type of remix?

I think it stems a lot from my past work. I grew up playing in different bands and I was always very interested in the song writing craft.  When I’m writing a remix, I approach it in a kind of way that brings new light, a new context to the original. With those songs specifically, they’re both very strong tracks at the core. My job was actually kind of easy, all I try to do is let that core element be what it is, and kind of just work around it and give it my own flavor.  Talking about music is complicated because it can sound really vague; it’s a very abstract thing you know? It’s just sound.  But after working with remixes for such a long time, I’ve started taking certain risks – maybe risks isn’t the right word – certain steps that most people usually wouldn’t normally take while producing a remix, and getting away with it. For many years, this whole function of remixing was to transform a pop song, into a dance song.  After a while I realized I do not want to have that kind of mindset anymore because now the way I see it is, there’s so much you can do with a song you know? The possibilities are almost endless. So I actually consider this question as a compliment because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do is bring my own light into these tracks.

Speaking of remixes Cheap Sunglasses has received a ton of rerub love from producers across the spectrum, how’s it feel to hear your work taken in so many directions?

It’s a huge pleasure. I really put a lot of effort into what I do, with the remixing and what not. So to be on the other end of that and to have that reciprocated support from other producers whom I admire so much is really cool.

 On the flip-side you’ve really been celebrated for your original work now, the whole SIA team loved the Strangers release. How does that differ from your remixing process?

You know, it’s not really all that different. I fully understand that it is perceived differently, because its not based on another song.  But the actual act of making music, no matter what kind of music you create, whether you’re using a drum machine or guitar, or even using an Ipad on an airplane, the overall goal is usually the same. You have this idea in your head, and you’re trying to translate it to the real world. Whether I’m working on a remix or an original track, I always feel creatively fulfilled by both. Producing originals is a little more intimidating because if the song sucks, its all on you, its your fault. Whereas a bad remix – you can try and get away with blaming the original (hehehe). That being said, I definitely enjoy the attention that playing original music gets as opposed to remixing, as far as like the creative aspect is concerned.

Not many electronic artists are opting to put out full-length releases right now. What motivated you to go for it?

 When I first started working on it, I had no intention of doing a full-length album – I just wanted to release dance singles. It just kind of naturally morphed into a full-length ordeal. Something that I really cherished when I was younger was sitting down and listening to a full-length album. So I stopped fighting it and kind of realized that the timing of it all seemed right and that is was important for me as an artist to go ahead and take that next step. From a business standpoint it might have been better to go with the singles, but for whatever reason it just didn’t feel appropriate and I wanted to go with what felt right to me at the time. As long as the album in its entirety is a positive listening experience for the listener – that’s enough for me.

If you were to be trapped in an elevator with any Top 40 Artist, who would you choose?

 Top 40? Hmm. Probably Katy Perry. I’ve always actually really liked her work. I think she’s a pretty fascinating person. If I was to be stuck in an elevator I would want to be with someone interesting and Katy Perry definitely seems like she’d have a unique personality.

Now that you’re so well known for quality originals have you thought about changing the Remix Artist Collective moniker?

 Haha. Yeah, that’s kind of been the bane of my existence lately. When I started this whole thing, I didn’t really have any idea of where it was headed. It was just something I was doing on the side for fun. Even when this started it was just me, so since the beginning, the idea of a collective didn’t really make any sense. For the last couple years I’ve just been rolling with the name RAC and trying not to focus too much on the meaning behind it. I’ve been trying to be pretty upfront about it because this is just the name that has stuck you know? I’ve spent 8 years of my life building this one name – it’d be kind of stupid to start over. So, I think I’ll probably just let it be and choose to not worry about it.

 

So if you feel like changing up the mid-week slump and having a great time tonight, put on your dancing shoes and head to The Gothic Theater for what’s sure to be one epic evening. A live band version of electronic dance remixes? Sign me up please! get your tickets here and definitely take the time to check out Andre’s Soundcloud where all of his addictive and wondrous tunes await you.

 

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