[MUSIC: Interview] The Ashton Shuffle
It’s been a pretty momentous year for Canberra electro duo The Aston Shuffle, what with the release of their debut album, Seventeen Past Midnight, and the launch of their regular Friday Night Shuffle show on triple j. For the guys themselves, though, the most significant achievement in recent times has been getting their live show out on the road. “At a certain point, we decided we had to make the transition from being fun-loving, carefree party dudes to putting on a really big, complicated live show with a bunch of equipment,” producer Mikah Freeman tells me. “It’s a pretty big statement to make, and we certainly put our careers and reputations on the chopping block, but people have really stayed with us. I guess the key thing is the sincerity, which is still there in everything we do – it’s there in the productions, and it’s there in the live show as well.”
As we speak, The Aston Shuffle are all set to embark on a national tour in support of their brand new single, ‘Can’t Stop Now’. The first taste of their upcoming second album, the track has a dreamier and more melodic sound than anything that has come before, and Freeman says it’s a possible indication of where their music might be heading from here. “It’s hard to describe what you’re doing with your music and how it comes out, but I guess that song is a good indication of where our heads are right now,” he says. “For us, it’s all about making really good hooks that translate across radio and festivals and clubs, but that also have that emotive pop sensibility. We like to cover all those bases, but yeah – the new songs are sounding a lot more rich and a lot more textured, so that’s kind of where this new album is headed.”
Freeman tells me the second Shuffle album is in its final stages, and will likely see a release in the early part of next year. “It’s getting close, and there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. The writing’s been done, the music’s pretty much there; it just needs to be produced and finished.” The duo have drafted in a series off guest vocalists for the release, although as of now, they don’t want to say who. “There are some really strong Australian artists, and a couple of overseas artists as well. It’s sounding really good. In the back of your mind, when you’re making tracks, I guess you tend to think about how a crowd might react to them, and I think people will be really into this new stuff. The new album is Aston Shuffle, but taken up a few notches. It feels like one big party.”
After spending so much time in the studio, The Aston Shuffle are definitely excited to be on tour once again, hitting the road with their revamped live show. “We’re going to play three or four brand new songs that nobody’s heard before,” he says. “We road tested them just recently and they did really well, so it instilled a lot of confidence to keep us moving forward on them.
“For the first part of a tour you’re really quite nervous; you don’t want anything to go wrong, so you don’t really relax into it until about halfway through,” he says. “At that point, if something breaks down you’re not freaking out about it anymore, you’re just moving on to the next thing. At a show of ours recently, all these girls rushed the stage and it turned into chaos – but it felt really good just to embrace that.”
What: ‘Can’t Stop Now’ is out now through EMI
Where: The Standard
When: Saturday October 20
More: Playing Harbour Party NYE alongside Ricki-Lee, Marvin Priest, Luciana and more, held on New Year’s Eve at Luna Park
Posted: October 19th, 2012 under Brag 484, Music, Music - Interview, New.
Tags: Alasdair Duncan, Can’t Stop Now, EMI, Luciana, Luna Park, Marvin Priest, Mikah Freeman, New Year’s Eve, Playing Harbour Party NYE, Ricki-Lee, The Ashton Shuffle, The Standard, Triple J