Almost 450 shows, thousands of fans, number eight on this year’s Top 100 DJ Poll by DJ Magazine, and over a 100 hit singles — introducing the hugely popular UK trance group Above & Beyond, comprising Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamaki. The trio is coming to India for the 450th edition of their weekly radio show, Trance Around the World (TATW), as part of the Submerge festival.
Siljamaki tells us about their unique sound and more.
Your musical inspirations.
We’re all inspired by pretty different artistes, but all mostly from the early 80s, like the Pet Shop Boys. I think for me, especially, I’m often inspired by tracks from film scores. And people might be surprised to know I listen to a lot of rock, especially indie-rock.
Why India for the 450th show of TATW?
The level of enthusiasm for trance in a few cities from India (like Bengaluru) is something that is really amazing. We’ve seen it change over the last few years, so I think this is the right time to put up a show like this in the city. And since ours is a radio show, it’s also about showing the world that Bengaluru is an EDM hub. I’m just happy that we’re introducing this side of India to the world.
How has the scene changed?
Well, we were there for the first edition of Sunburn (2007) and back then, we had to really sell the product to people in India, it was very new. Now, there’s a generation of people who are into this kind of music. The internet also has had a huge role to play.
An act you think the world should look out for.
Andrew Bayer (who will incidentally be playing with them at TATW 450). He is incredibly talented and I can actually see him having a long, flourishing career.
Your reply to sceptics saying all trance music sounds the same.
I would tell them to listen to our albums! (laughs). Each song has a different musical direction. And people who say that have, most often, not listened to a lot of trance themselves.
A song you would love t o remix.
Who Wants to Live Forever, by Queen.
How do you unwind offstage?
Photography, yoga and meditation. They take my mind off things and in a way, they’ve changed the way I see the world.
One gig that had a great impact on you.
In July, we were supposed to play at Red Rocks, Denver, about three days after the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. And then the shooting took place (At a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado), so we were wondering whether to have the show at all. But then we did and it was such a positive experience. People really came together and I think that was, in the true sense of the term, Group Therapy (the group’s most recently-released studio album).
Above & Beyond will be in Bengaluru on November 10. Fans can log on to bookmyshow.com for the passes.