In MIAMI HORROR We Trust!
For us the miserable unfortunate souls who were babies during the 80s, we cling on precious treasures others-call-Junk in the post millennium in an attempt to re-live it or at least simulate a time gone by, that's why I'd rather watch the transformers on old dusty VHS than the re-mastered DVD, it's the glitches, static & un-harp image that makes the watching experience worth it all. I miss seeing those one inch badge covered denim jackets, I miss wearing those magnificent cheap looking colored plastic, rubber, & nylon Reebok shoes, I miss being fascinated by those neon colored special edition VHS tapes, I miss those losers get covered in slime & goo kids gameshows, I miss spending hours with my finger on the record button of my stickers covered made-in-china mono radio/tape-player waiting for my favorite songs to come up on the radio so I could record them on my mixtape that I've been waiting days to finish, I miss my stiff easily-breakable action figures, I miss those super heroes, movies, product advertising, vomit covered print & clashing doodles T-shirts, but most of all I miss every orgasm & seizure provoking bubblegum, ice-cream, lollipop, & bar of chocolate they stopped manufacturing since then.
DL: Miami Horror - Don't Be On With Her
DL: Faker - This Heart Attack (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: Grafton Primary - I Can Cook (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: The Dirty Secrets - 5 Feet of Snow (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: Midnight Juggernauts - Road to Recovery (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: Codebreaker - Exiled! (We Don't Need No) (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: Bloc Party - The Prayer (Miami Horror Remix)
DL: Soft Tigers - Mr Ice Cream (Miami Horror Kids Out On The Street Remix)
So, it only makes sense that we try to find some comfort and homage through whatever left or being made in the vein of that era, & that's where Miami Horror steps in for me, his music has equivalent joy authenticity to finding an original mixtape from the 80s in the middle of the road.
Miami Horror Official MySpace, Also try: Grafton Primary, Midnight Juggernauts, Futurecop!.
Interview: MIAMI HORROR
Hello your majesty! How's life in the royal palace?
Magical and Divine.
Tell us about yourself, the real person?
My real name is 'Benjamin Vanguarde', I'm 21yr old and I'm the main writer/producer for Miami Horror. I have been studying film for the last three years until now where music has taken over. Music is my life and many others, my music is all about creating lasting feeling for its listeners, I think of myself as a composer in which I can create something from anything I feel has a certain power, potential or emotion to it whether it is a chord progression/melody …etc played by me or not it is all about making something special and memorable.
Over this year I am taking on music full time, producing my album along with several tracks for and with other artists.
Ohh, a lot of people think 'Miami Horror' is a one man's project! How many other members are there, any of them that we know?
Nobody knows any of them yet however they may become more apparent when fully live performances arise and also when two man live shows occur around different countries.
The impression I get with Australia is that everyone's just looking for a good party to have fun at. The music isn't taking itself too seriously, and it's often downright fantastic, and everyone seems to respond really well to it.
Yeah that definitely plays a role in how we all make our music, electronic indie music written in Australia seems to be a lot more "fun" than around the rest of the world. I also think that could be attributed to the fact that everyone here is happy to do their own kind of thing and not just try to fit in.
Could it also be the fact that there are a lot of musical geniuses who emerge from that scene in AUS creating a competitive atmosphere & raising the bar so high for others to always try to boost their efforts… especially with a label like 'Modular' around?
I don't know why there would be a higher percentage of musical geniuses in Australia, however I have had that theory several times, we don't really compete here, everyone has their own sound really, there are some small time copy cats but that doesn't make much of a difference.
Tut tut... what happened to patriotism, Why not "Melbourne Horror" & why Horror (morbid much)?
Well there is a reason and a bit of a story behind Miami Horror that everyone will one day find out and understand but until then I can't say anymore except that Melbourne horror would be a pretty boring name.
Do you remember the first track you ever made? How was it?
It was very videogame like, not much like Crystal Castles but just raw synths, adventure and a bit of dirtiness. But besides that I was always trying to make 80's "Breakin" style tracks and loved old drum machines such as 707's, linn and the drum emulator.
What was your moment of truth, where you went "OMG my music is good enough for the masses"?
Is it? The first moment that made me take this a little more seriously was when Bigstereo & Discodust posted on me after Gorilla vs. Bear found Gameboy/Gamegirl by accident. Tranter from Gameboy/Gamegirl rang me and said "Dude guess what, you have got a massive post on bigstereo.." at that point I didn't ever expect anything like that to happen, it was a great surprise and made me start to lift my game a little.
Your friends say you're a pretty chilled out guy. How do you reconcile this with the synth crunch awesome loudness which is your 'Sound'?
People tend to misinterpret my personality all the time although I think everyone is going to get a bit of surprise when they hear the album as it's not that "crunchy" or hyped as some of my remixes, it shows more character also looking to the future and past where people were and will be listening to music for other reasons besides those that they currently are. There will be a point in the near future where everyone into the current bleepy cut up sound will be over it and anyone who can't write a melody will no longer be able to get their tracks listened to.
It actually kind of happening now, because it looks like nowadays any kid with no job & a lot of free time can put few beeps & bleeps together & forcefully try o spoon feed it to us! Don't you agree it's hard these days to spot the real good artists with all the new disposable ones emerging everyday?
Yes, because sometimes they actually sound quite similar but for you to pick out which is actually several steps, above you'd have to spend a lot of time listening to the tracks in full without skipping ahead and I don't think many people have the patience to do that with the amount of junk around. This is the reason Blogs should take this step for us, less posts, less shit.
Did you receive any label offers? Who would you like to be signed with?
I have several offers some which I can't really discuss. Until the release of my first EP I will not be signing anything. Originally really on before I had even given out any of my music I always looked up to the Australian label 'Modular' and wanted interest from them as they had several of my favorite bands it would have been amazing.
You've got a bold list of influences but honestly, are you more influenced by the pre or the post millennium ones?
Well there's a few of the pre millennium artist that have had a big impact on me since I was very young, e.g. Prince, Supertramp & Abba. I used to listen to my parents records and I'd say they play a big part in why I have a more synth & keys driven disco sound while at the same time some of the hardest electro tracks we have ever heard are being made, While the older artists influence the way I write the post millennium play a bigger role in the way/style I produce.
Your image is very vibrant & graphic-based without resorting to a "Persona" gimmick approach that seems to be common on the electro scene! Where did you come up with the whole 80s, Miami craziness thing? Who's responsible for your artwork?
At the moment everyone is trying to wear some sort of mask, create a persona or scribble out their face…etc, which in a way seems a bit try hard.
I believe an image should naturally blend with the sounds of the music. There are two sides to the Miami Horror story and at the moment people have only really seen the vibrant party like side, there is a darker side which I suppose would come across in a more minimal way. So far I have been responsible for all my graphics.
Many of your past remixes have been of other Australian bands like Grafton Primary, Midnight Juggernauts. Are these artists who you've spoken to, or did you just like their sound and thought "yeah, alright!"?
Well of course I like their sound, both Midnight Juggernauts and Grafton Pimary are in some ways creating similar music to mine and have also been an influence on me along with the whole Australian scene. When I first heard Juggernauts early 2006 they weren't that big and I begged them for "Shadows" to play out at the indie club I DJ'd at, next thing they were huge and I was begging them for a remix.
You've also remixed for a handful of international artists like, Datarock, Soft Tigers, Young & Restless, Five Feet of Snow, Codebreaker, Tegan & Sara, Stardust! Is there any remix that you feel particularly pleased with, or has a special meaning?
Well Stardust was my first one I was really happy with and has a great significance because of the original track was a big influence on my sound and something I was in love with growing up. Obviously as a child I never knew that its creators would turn out to be my two favorite musicians, that being Alan Braxe and Thomas Bangalter (1/2 Daft Punk).
So, Gameboy/Gamegirl. How's the experience been in the production side of things?
Yeah they are now some of my best friends although their lyrics and music style are not something I would have normally worked with, it has been very interesting to create beats for those also in a particular style I wouldn't normally create.
You said on your MySpace & I quote "I am also partly in a band with one friend making similar but more banging performable tracks, working on finishing a few songs now." Are you talking about your tag team project "Tigrtron" with "Curtis Vodka"?
Nope that project is with another friend from Melbourne it is more of a band setup with more of a natural live sound, but with a lot of synth work. It's something that has been waiting to happen for a while. We have some really good songs in there.
Does that band have a name & a MySpace page yet?
No its still secret and we are considering merging it together with Miami Horror, although the tracks are cool… they will break up the iconic and definitively retro feel of the Miami Horror tracks which I am personally not sure about, it would be as if Daft Punk were to merge their album with Cut Copy's, they are both similar and great but still very different.
What about "Tigrtorn"?
It was something Curtis Vodka came up with, we started with a few tracks but I became busy with things that had deadlines and we refused to release anything until we came up with a main single... It had a horror movie touch, with darker chords but was also a fun club playable 80s sound.
So, this means it's on hold for, now? But tell me has anyone heard any tracks from 'Tigrtron'… like have you secretly slipped any of it through your DJ sets?
Yeah, it is kind of on hold till all our personal projects are done. There was one small demo track for Tigrtron that Curtis was throwing around in a mix tape apparently, very horror movie like, covered in vocoded "Tigrtron" so it couldn't be ripped from the mix.
The all season epic 80s missionary disco soundtrack, your upcoming EP that is… Tell us about it, hints, approximate number of tracks? Describe the whole feeling of the EP?
Well first of all it will have both finished awaited tracks that most people may have heard, being the new 'Don't Be On With Her' (+ Vocals) and Summerfest, there will then be 2/3 other tracks. Each song of the EP has a different feeling to and isn't purposely made for a club... often being slower than most club music it is essentially made to be fun/euphoric or create a certain feeling within its listener.
You said it might be called "Bravado", that's a pretty strong title... is the music going to stand up to the name?
Hopefully the music is much stronger than the name.
Is it going to be sold physically or just through online download music stores?
It will be available physically as a CD and online, also possibly a 12" in some countries.
When do you expect to release it?
Because of all the remixes I have been doing it has been delayed for a long time. I have decided not to do anymore for a while to finally finish it all. SO around March at the latest hopefully!
Is there going to be a proper single? Any plans for a video?
Yes the video for 'Don't Be On With Her' is finally in the works with a local group called MOOP JAW, it has been something I have imagined for a long time. MOOP JAW is also responsible for Gameboy/Gamegirl's first Video too.
What are your thoughts on the internet as a way of disseminating your music? Is there a sense you're reaching a larger audience?
It is one of today's best tools, if your music is good enough you don't have to do much to get the ball rolling. It's a great way to contact the appropriate people you may otherwise not have a chance to speak to. The problem is a lot of people who can't yet make music to a reasonable level push too hard and the result is that there is a lot of disposable music out there.
Do you plan on doing any touring around Australia soon?
At the moment I am touring as a DJ doing DJ Sets that include my tracks etc.. Once the EP is released I will do a proper live tour around Australia and even internationally, which in some cases will include a full band. Little do people know there are actually several other members of Miami Horror all over the world.
Is there a DJ night you're keeping with at the moment?
There isn't much going around that I truly support besides one night which at the moment a Thursday night at a Melbourne club called 3rd Class. It is about to become more exclusive, more disco and ran mostly as an iPod party with two or so resident DJs.
What are you going to do today?
Finish off Gameboy/Gamegirl's long awaited party EP which has just been mastered!
Awesome, I'll leave you to it then… See Ya!