With Love From Russia: Swanky Tunes Preps to Drop Its Sounds on Scottsdale
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 14:02
You may not know them by name, but you have definitely heard Swanky Tunes. The Russian trio; Vadim Shpak, Dmitry Burykin and Stanislav Zaytsev, have been blowing up the EDM scene across the world and have recently started to tap into the U.S. market with more vigor.
The group's music is backed by the likes of Tiesto, David Guetta and The Swedish House Mafia and their big hit, "Together" featuring Mr. V.I. was also featured on Laidback Lukes's Essential Mix for Radio.
But the boys are far from new to the scene. Swanky Tunes formed in 1998 after the three longtime friends decided that they wanted to play their music for the world, says group member Stanislav Zaytsev. Since then, they have become an international household name, and this year they are hitting the US hard.
Swanky Tunes has embarked on their US and Canada tour for the month of February. On February 11, the boys from way back East will hit up Wild Knight in Scottsdale for a night of high-energy dancing.
College Timesrecently chatted with Zaytsev from Swanky Tunes to learn the latest.
College Times: Since you guys formed as a group, your musical style has gone through a lot of changes. How do you compare your sound then to the way it is today?
Stanislav Zaytsev: We used to use all kinds of styles in our music, from pure techno to house and big-beat wave. We tried to combine elements from different styles to make one sound and set us apart. But now after so many years, we are mainly house. Still, you can hear a lot of [influences] from other styles in our music.
As producers and music lovers, what have been some of your biggest musical influences?
We have a lot of influences from the ‘90s, like Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim. Also, we can name such guys like James Brown or Iggy Pop. We have a lot of groups and musicians that we listen to. From the pop music to the punk music to the electro-house music, we like everything.
Speaking of Iggy Pop, you guys did a solid electronic cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with your boys from Hard Rock Sofa. What made you want to cover this song?
[Laughing] Because I love it. This song is really crazy! Sometimes it's really difficult to understand why a track has caught your attention, but I guess … this track is really amazing. It has a good beat, the guitar riff is really amazing, the lyrics are really amazing and everything about this track is amazing. Also, before Swanky Tunes and Hard Rock Sofa, we had never heard a good cover of this track before. There were a lot of versions, but not an electronic-dance one. That's why we decided to make a good one — from our point of view of course — and I think we did it.
You guys work really closely with the guys from Hard Rock Sofa.
They are like our younger brothers. Actually, one of them is the younger cousin of Vadim.
You have several tracks with them and you work with them frequently in live shows. Why do you guys turn to them so often?
It's a pleasure to work with these guys because they understand what we want to do and we understand their ideas and their minds. We don't need to explain [anything] to each other, there is hardly anything we don't agree on. It's fun and really simple to work with them.
How does touring in Russia compare to touring in the US?
Ah, sometimes it's more different than others but I would like to say that US crowds are really crazy right now. I don't know why exactly, but we're really happy to play for them. In Russia, it's also good but [it seems] like people do not understand new music and US crowds are really wide open to trying new things like when we experiment with our music. I don't want to say anything bad about my native country, but it is a difference I've noticed.
Wild Knight, 4405 N Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale, 480.213.9500, Saturday, February 11, 10 p.m., $10