The three-member English progressive trance group, Above & Beyond performed in Mumbai at a Holi event. Comprising Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki, the band has been ranked in the top 100 by DJ Magazine. With songs such as ‘No one on earth’ and ‘We’re all we need’, the outfit has established themselves on the international music scene. Talking to HT Café, Siljamäki and McGuinness give us their take on Indian culture, food and their inspiration, among other things.
How does it feel to come back to India? What is different about performing in India?
Siljamäki: We’ve been fascinated by India’s culture, people, food, music and parties ever since we started our label Anjunabeats in 1999. The Indian electronic music scene, especially in the last five years, has been growing rapidly. There’s always so much enthusiasm and energy in the parties that happen in the country. We can’t get enough of them.
What has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to making music?
McGuinness: It can be almost anything –– a book that we’ve read, a film we’ve seen or something that sparks a train of thought and needs a musical or lyrical solution. And, noodling on an instrument be it a guitar or a piano or a synth is a fruitful route as well.
Do you follow Bollywood? Can your Indian fans expect collaboration with Indian artiste in the future?
McGuinness: We have collaborated with the Bangalore-based band Lagori. They have recorded the Indian versions of our songs ‘Sun & moon’ and ‘We’re all we need’. They rewrote the verses in both the cases but used the choruses from the English versions.
Watch the official video of ‘Sun & moon’ here:
How has trance music changed over the years?
McGuinness: Trance has permeated into various genres of EDM. In 1998, you could see a gaping gap between trance, house, electro, and techno with tumbleweeds rolling through them. You can’t make similar distinctions today. Arguably, what Swedish House Mafia became famous for playing is more in tune with old fashion trance music from 1998 than with house music from the same year.