Electric Swing Circus
Electro Swing is so much fun! We wanted to be the band that we wanted to see!
The Electric Swing Circus is a 6 piece Electro Swing troupe that fuses cool 20′s swing with fiery electro beats in a dazzling live show. They just released their first L.P on Ragtime Records and it is freaking awsome ! You can find it on bandcamp. Ladies and Gentlemen, get your glad rags on. The circus is coming to town…
Interview by: Don Mescal Date: 2013-07-25
Complete the sentence
Once upon a time, The Electric Swing Circus…. acquired a sky ship!
Can you describe yourself ? Who is The Electric Swing Circus ?
There are 6 of us in the Electric Swing Circus, and we are one big family, all of us working really hard to make smoking hot electro swing just the way we like it. We have two lead vocalists- Ellie and Laura, Pat on the Bass, Chandra on drums and keys, Rashad on synth and samples and myself (Tom) on guitar. We all write our music collectively and we are old friends too, so we do have a lot of fun
When did you start to make music? What is your musical adventure ?
We formed in the summer of 2011, and played our first gig that September at Electro Swing Club London. Everything happened very quickly, one moment we were jamming in a bedroom, and the next we had a video on youtube with 100,000 views and we were playing shows every weekend.
What drove you in to Electro Swing ?
Electro Swing is so much fun! We wanted to be the band that we wanted to see, the sort of band that puts of a show and Electro Swing really just worked for us. Its really up beat, and doesn’t just appeal to just one group of people, we have fans that are great grandparents, as well as little ones under 6 who love the music. I really like how at our shows we get a real mix of people, young and old, from all sorts of backgrounds – its a really good genre to be involved with.
What is Electro Swing for you ?
For me, Electro Swing is synonymous with vintage remix, in fact I would start using vintage remix as the name for the genre, but Electro Swing has a better ring to it. For me it is anything that combines sounds and influences pre 1950s (ish) with modern production techniques. Keeping the music diverse helps keep the genre vibrant and gives it scope for change too. Electro Swing also comes with the idea of escapism, dressing up, vintage debauchery and a lot of fun. I do like the lifestyle aspect of the genre and I think it can add a lot to the music/atmosphere too.
What did your parents listen too when you was young ?
When I was a kid my parents listened to classical music, but we all grew up listening to different things. I think that is part of the reason that we have quite a diverse sound, as we have so many influences.
You are sampling a lot of jazz and swing music. What kind of jazz fan are you ? who is your jazz favorite artist ?
Fletcher Henderson and Jimmie Lunceford – check out the track For Dancers only, it has so much groove to it! Of course there are the names like Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt that we are really into, but theres a lot that came out in the 20s particularly from the New York area that has such a toe tapping groove to it!
What’s in your studio ? How do you make music ? You are big band so how you compose your music ?
All our songs are written by all 6 of us, without exception. We have a great working relationship, and by all getting involved with the writing process we make sure that the tracks are as good as they can be.We rehearse once or twice a week depending on gig commitments and we will just jam out ideas until we find that killer groove or hook.
In the Electro Swing scene, we don’t see so many bands for now, andmost of the time artists just release single, it is pretty unique to see a full L.P. Could you tell us more about your first L.P ? What is the right balance between dancefloor tracks and more chill tracks ?
Our Debut Album is all about showing people who the Electric Swing Circus are. We wanted to represent us and our music, particularly for fans who lived abroad and couldn’t see us play. Being called the Electric Swing Circus, we want our live performances an recorded music to have that element of a circus show, with different styles temps, and sounds. It was important to us that we got that album to be a really diverse and to explore as far as we could, while still keeping everything linked by our own unique sound. Have a listen and we would love to hear what you think. You can message us at email@example.com.
Who would you love to work with one day?
Well of course there is Parov and Caravan Palace, but I think working with someone like Square Pusher could be really fantastic. We would be particularly interested in working with people from outside of the Electro Swing scene, and see where we might be able to take the genre
Could you tell us something about each members of the bands ?
Laura grew up in New Zealand, she is also an accomplished Gypsy Jazz guitarist and plays in a duo called Follie a Deux Ellie is an early riser, she has often got up, had a swim and a shower and got back before the rest of us wake up! She plays ukele and piano, and loves spending time outdoors Rashad is really into alternative electronic music, artists like Moderat and Ratatat, and got into syths and samplers after he installed a load of crazy equipment into a briefcase which he took around to jams with friends our basist or big daddy P is the first band member to be endorsed by a musical instrument manufacturer. He can normally be found wearing shorts and sunglasses and is never to far from the bar. Chandra (or Chan as we call him) simply loves to play music, and has a real skill for finding pianos wherever they might be hidden. Chan is a sociable chap and makes friends wherever he goes, especially on festival sites where he can talk about musical influences with other musicians. And myself (Tom) I do a lot of the business side of the band, the programming for our events and I really love electro swing. I run the ragtime records label, and also helped set up the Swing Rebellion website, growing the scene/supporting other artists is a big priority for me.
You and C@ in the H@ create your own label ? Could you tell us why and how you see the future of your label ?
Ragtime Records was set up as a platform to release our music, but the label has received so much support we are going to be releasing remixes EP and some original works from other artists too. I think that is important for any genre to have a group of label working together to push things forwards, so I hope that Ragtime Records will help the electro swing scene as a whole, in the UK and abroad.
What is your next project for 2013?
Well we are touring, and that just doesn’t stop! Festivals every weekend through till October, then we take two weeks to recover, and its off on our winter club tour which includes EU dates too.
For the end, Do you have one specific memory of your artistic career you would want to share with us?
I think it would have to be playing Glastonbury, looking out and seeing so many people dancing, then looking round and seeing the smiles to everyone’s faces. It was such an amazing show to play and is definitely one of the highlights, but also the little things – band meetings a Nozstock festival at 5am in the morning, getting in the tour van with the guys and shouting ‘on tour!’ its those moments that mean the most for us and are what keeps us going on this crazy journey.