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Flying high, playing small rooms and the wonders of collaboration: we chat to intercity duo Airports

If the Hottest 100 proved anything, it was that produced electronic pop is in it’s heyday. Australia is neck-deep in a producer craze and Airports are one group feeling the love to the fullest.

They’re fresh off the release of their latest, Limbo featuring Sammi Constantine and they’re hitting the road to prove it’s chops. Before this intercity duo touch down in Sydney, we caught up for a quick chat.

airports sammi constantine australian tour limbo

Bright, booming and thrumming with eclectic energy, the festival-friendly sounds of Airports are an artisan’s take on electronic Aussie pop.

HAPPY: Limbo is a cracker of a tune, but it seems to have a sombre meaning. What’s the song about?

AARON: Limbo is a metaphor for that scary, grey area in some relationships where you just aren’t sure what’s going on. There’s no clarity on whether both parties are in or out. Are we something? Will we be something? Am I hanging on? Very emo, you know?

HAPPY: Do you find it easier to work creatively from that kind of emotional place?

AARON: Yeah, because the rawness is what makes a song genuine and cut above the noise. I prefer all songwriting to convey some sense of compelling emotion, whether from a positive or negative situation, because I want to provide listeners something to confide in when they experience parallel circumstances in their life.

HAPPY: How did the relationship with Sammi Constantine come about? How was it working together on the track?

AARON: I’m actually Sammi’s main producer and we’ve been working closely together for twi years now. She was a vital piece of the puzzle for my vision with Limbo, not just because of her fantastic voice that she contributed to the song, but she also put so much work into helping my vocal direction!

HAPPY: There’s long-distance collabs everywhere these days, but you two take it to the next level. What are the struggles of working from two different cities?

MOSSY: There are pros and cons to it. For us, we’ve just learnt to make it work. Both Aaron and I write and produce music so we’ll often just send ideas back and forwards until we’re happy. Then when we head out on tour we’ll usually meet up in a city and run the show a few times to make sure we’ve got everything working. It’s an unusual way of doing things, but we enjoy it!

HAPPY: Airports have a really festival-friendly sound. Do you prefer hitting up the festival stages or blowing the roofs off smaller gigs these days?

MOSSY: Both are great fun. I like big stages because I get to hit the drums a lot harder than I can in smaller venues but I’m always so far away from everyone. But at the same time when we play smaller shows I can actually see everyone a lot closer. Some of my most memorable shows have been these tiny venues we’ve played where we’ve packed the room out and just had a great time.

HAPPY: Is there a secret advantage to working apart that the rest of the world doesn’t know about?

MOSSY: Sometimes. I think the fact that Aaron and I are so different in our musical influences and tastes means that working apart allows us to add our own styles and flavours to the mix and what comes out in the end is something that we’re both very proud of. Not many people know but Aaron and I have been creating music in this way in projects for almost six going seven years now, (Airports turns four in March!) and we’ve just learnt to make it work.

HAPPY: How was the NZ leg of your tour?

MOSSY: New Zealand was incredible. It honestly feels like a second home to us now, I always say to Aaron that every time we leave it gets harder and harder. We played our first headlining festival slot in January and they’ve embraced our music and us as a band and we have to pinch ourselves every time we hear that our song is being played on other countries’ radio stations. It’s insane! However, we’ve got an issue with New Zealand now. They used to have these cookies at their Subways called Cookie Pies. And seriously, these things were life changing. Every time we’d travel there we’ll get off the plane, clear customs and find the nearest Subway to get some. But they’ve stopped making them. And it’s really sad (I actually snuck some Cookie Pies home through customs in my bag to share with my housemates back home once… probably shouldn’t have done that).

HAPPY: And how are you gonna change up the game for your Aussie shows?

AARON: We pride ourselves in our energy on stage, and aim to stand out on lineups because of it. We will show how much we’ve recently learned on the value of stage presence, interaction and having a big, ever-evolving sound that crosses the synergy of an arena rock band, the intensity of an underground rave and the satisfaction of singing your favourite pop artist’s choruses. Plus Mossy has a pretty good moustache.

 

Catch Airports live with Sammi Constantine at the Metro on Saturday April 8. All the details here. 

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February 23, 2017