theaussieword.com catches up with New York retro pop group Fly By Midnight.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music?
Slavo: Justin and I were introduced to each other through a production team, that we still work with to this day, called TE Music group. I had moved to NY from FL for music and was looking for a project to become a part of. Justin was working on his solo career at the time and I started to work on some of his productions. One night we decided to get together and write a little jam called “Brooklyn”. Little did we know that our first co-write would organically turn into a killer friendship/duo – Fly By Midnight. As far as what got me into music, I remember I was at a Christmas party at a young age and a friend of mine had the whole rooms attention playing a simple song on the guitar. At that moment I knew I wanted to do music.
Justin: That’s my favorite part of Fly By Midnight. Everything we do, even the way the project was created, was never forced or manufactured. Just a couple of dudes who vibe really well as writers & performers. I’ve always loved music, but starting back in theater productions in middle school I loved the idea of captivating an audience. Fast forward to me in high school, new to singing pop music, embarrassingly baggy clothes, and an awkward haircut. Posted my first video on YouTube and it’s all kind of been uphill from there. *laughs*
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Slavo: The idea of getting better at my craft and being innovative in this industry is always something that keeps me motivated. We live in a world where technology is at an all time high and as artists it is exhilarating to imagine the potential creations that can result from all that we have access too.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Justin: As cliche as it sounds I think my goals are pretty humble for Fly By Midnight. I want to be able to release a record that’s loved by people all over the world enough for us to travel and perform live. We’ve been on a huge traveling kick lately so to bring our party vibes to every fan on the globe would be dope.
Slavo: My ultimate goal as an artist is to eat Cap n’ Crunch out of my very own Grammy. That and I’d love to be able to see the world and experience new culture through music.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Justin: Understanding that it takes time & development. Constantly outdo yourself & always been known amongst people as the hardest worker in the room. And of course enjoy the ride to the top.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Slavo: A lot of neat stuff has been happening lately so this is becoming a difficult question to answer. I would have to say opening for Third Eye Blind currently sits at number one on my list. I grew up listening to those dudes so it was an amazing feeling to know FBM was on the same bill.
Justin: Like Slavo said we’ve had such great opportunities kind of come up out of the blue. I think reflecting on everything we’ve accomplished so far, one of our biggest career highlights was being able to shoot our latest video for our new single “KARAOKE.” Having the support of Youtube Space behind our vision, watching it come to life & then being well perceived by our fans was amazing.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Justin: I think Matt Healy is an absolute rockstar. I think the industry needs more artists that aren’t afraid to offend anyone & just write music for the sake of expression. The 1975’s whole vibe is so organic which is exactly what we aim for with the Fly By Midnight project. We make music that makes us happy. We’re just grateful that people enjoy it so far.
Slavo: Not really sure he would consider himself a star, but I’m currently inspired by Jon Bellion. Dude’s single handedly proving all the standards of the music industry wrong, resulting in an interesting little shift in the way things are normally done. I also admire someone who’s got their hands fully in the project from production to stage performance to album artwork etc. We handle the FBM project very similarly so it’s nice to know it’s manageable at his level of success.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Justin: To make this answer short + simple, a few years is a long time for this project to grow to a whole different level. I see Fly By Midnight becoming the band people listen to all over the world because we write music that’s relatable, real, and most importantly fun.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Slavo: The music industry will continue to change, as everything does, the idea is to keep yourself 3 steps ahead. We’re always brainstorming innovative ways to reach our fans via social media and organically. At the end of the day we want everyone to feel as if they have a personal relationship with us.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Justin: First one that comes to mind would be 5 Seconds Of Summer. Their genre really pays tribute to a lot of bands I listened to growing up such as Green Day. Also “She Looks So Perfect” was an absolute smash. Had that track on repeat for an unhealthy amount of time *laughs*
Slavo: My personal fav, and I know Justin can agree, is Betty Who. Her sound and tone is something that fits seamlessly into the FBM aesthetic. Another for me would have to be Margot Robbie. I know she’s not necessarily an artist, but cmon’… she’s Margot Robbie.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Justin: A lot of exciting things in the works for the coming months. Due to recent international success with our most recent videos there are early talks of a full fledged overseas tour. Cross your fingers! We also have a few records we’re really excited about releasing. Definite plans to give the world more music as soon as possible. I think now it’s all about gaining new fans while keeping ones from the beginning. Growing with new content.
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
Slavo: Our latest record, “KARAOKE”, takes the listener on a journey into the life of a college student whose depiction of a sorority party is satisfied by a movie esque night of dorm room partying. The greatest part about this song is that it’s based off of a true experience that Justin made note of in his Blackberry.
Justin: Correction Droid X, not Blackberry (huge uncomfortable phone that I thought was so amazing at the time) *laughs* I woke up the morning after this dorm party with a page of notes typed in my phone and right at the top read “karaoke on your dorm room floor” .. from there the song’s story unraveled.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Justin: I’ll answer this one with a vague foreshadowing of the coming months.
Vinyl + Emotion
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Slavo: Thank you and we hope to find ourselves in Australia soon!
Justin: Appreciate the feature. We’re talkative dudes so any opportunity to chat about our craft we’re all about. Thanks!