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Friday 06th, November 2009
Filo & Peri - The 'Nightplay' Interview

With US trance-sters Filo & Peri’s debut album ‘Nightplay’ touching down today, Trance.nu thought we’d collar them for a timely chat about its production process. It’s fair to say that what we didn’t expect to get back was a story that makes it (unfortunately quite literally!) the most combusting album of the decade. Talk about surmounting challenges and going over the hurdles…! Read on to get the full spec on the set-backs and health scares that made it one of the most difficult dance album productions of recent years.

Trance.nu: Thanks for joining us chaps! So ‘Nightplay’ is out today. We're guessing its been a long-standing ambition of yours to write an album?

F&P: It sure has! However, an album is not something any artist should rush. We wanted to wait until the time was right. People know who we are now and are anxiously anticipating our work - with such huge support from Paul, VANDIT, and our management it made sense to do it.

Trance.nu: How quickly did it come together?

Bo: It was a winding journey full of obstacles to overcome. We were almost done with the first version of 'Nightplay' a year and half ago. During the final stages our entire studio burnt to the ground and we lost pretty much all of our work - it was devastating.

Domenick: We were out of commission for three months until things could be rebuilt. During this I was diagnosed with a rare tumor on my voice box that had to be surgically removed. The case was published in many medical journals but thankfully everything went ok!

Trance.nu: That’s pretty extraordinary. A real-life triumph against adversity! It must have been spirit-crushing to lose a nearly finished album. But to then have a diagnosis like that on top of it, well, we’re somewhat amazed it made it to the finishing post!

Bo: We had to stay positive and work our way back - day in and day out. Everything happens for a reason and this twist of fate motivated us to create another even better album. We think there's something on it for everyone; from mainstream listeners to the hardcore clubbers – that’s the aim at least.

Trance.nu: Once you started on V2, how quickly (or otherwise) did that come together?

Domenick: Writing is always full of variables. Sometimes a track will come together in 10 minutes while other times we spent week after week putting together. This album was no different - some songs came quick, and some didn't! That's life but we are extremely pleased with the results!

Trance.nu: What were the first tracks to be finished and what were the ones that took longer to nail?

F&P: ‘Off the Hook’ was one of the first and it was the only song we managed to save from the original version of the album. Some of the vocals like ‘Soul and the Sun’ and ‘Back into Our Lives’ took a bit longer. Since Eric lives on the West Coast and we are in New York, a lot of traveling was required and we had to plan our studio sessions accordingly.

Trance.nu: What do you think are going to be the big tracks that people are going to pick up on first on ‘Nightplay’?

F&P: It's hard to say because there's something there for everyone. As far as vocals go, ‘Soul and the Sun’, ‘Back into Our Lives’ and ‘You’ are our favourites. We’re very proud of them and after collaborating with so many great singers it’s hard to narrow it down to just one favorite. As far as instrumentals go, ‘Far From Reach’ and ‘Amp’d Up’ are sure to catch the ears of instrumental lovers, as well as rock some clubs!

Trance.nu: Is there any form of a delegation of duties or skills between the two of you? Does one of you maybe have more input at say the engineering, writing, producing, DJing etc?

F&P: It’s pretty even. There’s one or two tracks on the album produced separately but at the end of the day its still ‘Filo & Peri’. As far as engineering, writing, producing, DJing, we have the same skill-sets. Sometimes our taste differs because of our musical background, but that's a key element in shaping our sound!

Trance.nu: The album, and indeed your output thus far shows a reasonable strong vocal bias. Do you think less of producers that have to the greatest degree an instrumental or dub bias?

F&P: Let me preface this by stating that one of our main goals with our music is to draw as many new listeners into the genre as possible and help the scene grow as a whole. Vocals tend to do this effectively since the everyday person listening to music tends to sing along and remember lyrics. In this respect, I would say we have a strong vocal bias. However, once people are drawn in they tend to get more into the instrumentals. For this reason, we worked hard to keep an even balance of vocals and instrumentals on ‘Nightplay. We brought in a new face, Nick Stufano - a long time friend of mine, and my roommate! He’s classically trained and decided to try his hand in dance music! Bo and I were glad to let him help out on two songs.

Trance.nu: You’ve also got a cracking collaboration with Mike Saint-Jules on ‘Nightplay’ too. How did that come about?

F&P: Mike was one of the first supporters of Filo & Peri and being from the same area, we became friends over time. He wasn't even producing when we first met him! After finding out about our album he showed us a melodic idea that we all liked and decided to finish it together in our studio. It's really fun when the three of us are in there! We have high hopes for Mike as a producer and DJ. He watched our career grow from the start and it's great because now we get to watch him grow as an artist. His sound has come a great way in such a short time and the future will bring great things. we're sure of it.

Trance.nu: Which other producer working in electronic dance music do you rate most highly… in the following categories?

[B]F&Pdracula teeth/B]

Melody writing: Giuseppe Ottaviani, Daniel Kandi, Andy Moor
Originality: Orjan Nilsen, Sander van Doorn, Markus Schossow
Production polish: Andy Duguid, Andy Moor, Gareth Emery

Trance.nu: There are a fair number of your countrymen and women singing and co-producing on Nightplay (Eric Lumiere, Aruna and Fisher among them). Was this a geographical, preferential or just a happenstance thing!?

F&P: We collaborated with artists we knew we would work well with. Aruna is a new addition to our team and I think the track ‘Ashley’ will be a great success. The feedback has been great so far so there could be some future tracks with her!

Trance.nu: Eric has become quite a fixture on F&P material (5 tracks and counting, including of course ‘Anthem’). Is he something of muse for you do you think?

F&P: Eric’s talent is irreplaceable. He is a very diverse song writer and comes up with lots of unique material. It also helps that he is a great friend! I think there will always be Filo & Peri / Eric Lumiere collaborations in the future.

Trance.nu: How did yours and Eric’s paths first cross?

Bo: I met Eric at University. He was aware of what I had going on in the dance world and we all agreed that it would be mutually beneficial to work together! Haven't looked back since!

Trance.nu: Obviously ‘Anthem’ was a big career-injector for you. From the horse’s mouth, sum up for us in one sentence what you see the message of the track as being?

F&P: The ups and downs of life conveyed in a way anyone from any generation or gender can relate to.

Trance.nu: Is there a pressure on your shoulders to replicate the success of ‘Anthem’? Given how big a track it was, do you in fact think perhaps that is even possible?

F&P: There will always be pressure on an artist after a big hit and there are many ways to approach it. In our case we try not to set any expectations and just do music for the right reasons (because we love it). Whatever happens happens. If you start thinking about those things too much you stop thinking about the music itself. Then you will never have another big hit! That being said we are confident in our work and have many songs on our album that we feel can be extremely successful, so to answer your question, yes we think it’s possible!

Trance.nu: ‘Anthem’ to one side, which other track do you think has pushed things along the most?

F&P: No other one track in particular to be honest. It's funny because our fans always come up to us and say ‘X’ song is my favorite, and the songs are always different! I'm glad that's the case because it tells us our fans like all of our music equally! All of our releases up to this day, when looked at collectively have shaped our album. ‘Nightplay’ will push things along the most from here and that's where our head is at now.

Trance.nu: Well, many thanks for joining us chaps! A very illuminating interview indeed and we certainly wish you the very best of luck with the album and future endeavors!

More info on Filo & Peri can be obtained through the links below.


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