By Justin Lyons
Prior to this week’s Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, I was able to interview Curt Heiny from the electronic duo, Archnemesis (which also features Justin Aubuchon). If you’re going to Hangout, be sure to catch Archnemesis perform on Saturday at 11:30am at the XBox stage. Their first full length album People’s Radio is available for free download. Follow Atlanta Music Guide on Twitter for Hangout Music Festival coverage all weekend.
Where did the Archnemisis name come from?
There is no real meaning behind it. Its just a name that Justin and I were throwing around and kind of liked how it looked on paper and the cadence of it. We had some other ideas going into the project as far as the Archnemesis logo, sort of a package deal before the project really even started. We were just hoping that it was going to pop off and that the ideas that we had, we would be able to use. There’s no real deep seeded explanation behind the name.
People’s Radio is the first full album for you, whats been the response from fans so far? The response has been good. We put out Diamonds and Glass, the EP, and in the liner notes we said it was “an exploration into the sound that we were trying to come up with.” Each track had a different theme, so there were thematic threads that linked the EP together. With People’s Radio we went more towards what we thought to be the Archnemesis sound and to start building on that. The two are different, but as you listen to People’s Radio the growth in the music is pretty apparent and just the overall coming into our own sound I think is really apparent. Its been received really well. We’ve had an amazing amount of downloads, and like I said its free. Just a really good response playing the tracks live and I think thats the most important.
Much of your sound is based in samples, some horns, hip-hop and electronica, do you often get compared to acts like Pretty Lights and Big Gigantic?
Not so much Big G, although they’re friends of ours. More so Pretty Lights, just because of the use of some similar style of samples, the horns and female vocals. I think we’re a little bit more of the hip-hop sound. More like Derek (of Pretty Lights) versus Dom and Jeremy (of Big Gigantic) who are doing more of dub-step sound. Their both friends of ours and its and honor to be compared to either of them. I feel like we do have our own sound and even more so now with the new tracks we’re writing. Playing live, I think its becoming even more and more apparent.
So you guys just got back from a Spring tour and it sounds like you were mixing new tracks with old on the road. How was the tour overall?
It was the best tour we’ve had by far. It was about 8 weeks, the longest tour we’ve done. The response is amazing with starting to mix some of the new stuff into the sets and some unreleased stuff. Its fun to do it live though, because someone might think “this is the way it should go” and then we’ll play it live and something won’t work in a live setting. Like “that should have gone longer” or “that was too long,” and we’ll make the appropriate changes based upon crowd response. How they go over live…ends of being the structure of what goes on the actual album. We do a lot of live changes for the live show as well. The new material has received the best response of any of the stuff we’ve put out so far. Although people do know the older tracks and recognize them, but the new stuff is getting an amazing response.
Have you been approached to work on remixes for other artists?
We’ve done a couple on our own that are available for free download on the website. We are in the process of doing one for Lotus. We did one for this group called Dubskin, which is the old drummer for Pretty Lights, Corey. That is his reggae project, he’s doing a big remix album. We’ve been hit up by a couple other friends. I just saw how BG did their thing with Adventure Club. As far as a collaborative effort, we haven’t really done much of those.
Now lets talk about Hangout, looks like you have an early set, what can people expect at Hangout?
It is an early set, 11:30 on Saturday morning, but we’re gonna come into to throwdown either way. Early or not, it doesn’t matter. The music will speak for itself regardless of what time or day or night it is. We’re planning on going in and destroying it.
With performances in a tent, I think that people know what to expect when they walk in.
Yeah, two years ago we played at Camp Bisco and did a 2:30 in the afternoon set and played in a tent which is similar to what we will be doing at Hangout. There were probably 3,000 people there and it didn’t matter what time it was, it went over really really well. Then, Mimosa played the same tent, maybe two slots after us at 5:00 and middle of the day he crushed it. I think people are into it no matter what time it is.
Electronic music is bigger than it has been the past two years at Hangout. There has always been an EDM element, but I feel like electronic music has exploded at festivals across the country. What do you think that can be attributed to?
Skrillex? (laughs) Winning 3 Grammy’s is huge for the EDM scene. Bassnectar is another who has done a really good job of creating community and building a scene over time. I feel like even more mainstream stuff too has hints of electronic music in it. Even in Britney Spears songs you hear some of the same sounds that we’re using and Derek is using or Skrillex is using. Rusko helped produced that song with Britney Spears. In a lot of popular music, the people overseeing that are smart enough to see whats going on. Even creating pop songs with electronic elements in it. If anything, I would say its the last form of music that hadn’t really become mainstream and exploded the way that rock, country, pop and metal and all these genres that have had their phases in time. Over the course of musical history, I feel like the electronic scene hasn’t really achieved the level of notoriety of all these other genres have. I just think its time. There have been people that have been grinding it out for awhile. Bassnectar’s been doing it for fifteen years, but is only in the last 3 or 4 that he’s really got to where he is. Derek came out of nowhere. Skrillex came out of nowhere. There are a lot of Euro acts, like Tiesto, that have been doing it. Overall, I think in America the dubstep thing has pushed it. It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m looking forward to the next few years to see what comes of it.
How were you guys approached to perform at Hangout?
Through our management and our agent. They just wanted us to come play and made us and offer.
Are you going to actually enjoy the beach and festival at all?
No, we’re actually coming in on Friday night and see our agent and management. We’ll come in Friday night, play early Saturday and then we have to leave immediately after and drive. We’re playing another show that night in Valdosta, GA and then we have a show on Sun in Tallahassee, FL.
I saw you were also booked for Atlanta’s Counter.Point Festival this fall. Are you excited for that? It seems very EDM focused.
Yeah, that going to be a really good one. Thats our management, MCP Presents in conjunction with C3 so we’ve known about that for awhile. Yeah, we’re really excited for it. Its pretty much the epitome of whats going on with in the electronic scene with all in one festival. I have no doubt that it will sell out. It’ll be good for Atlanta, for people that dont know us yet.
It sounds like you’re touring People’s Radio and some new material. Are there plans for another EP or album soon?
Actually, this week we just set up a release date for September 1st. Staying on course with the past two years, with releasing a year to the day. We haven’t decided if it will be an EP or a full length album. Being on the road so much, its tough to record on the road. We’ll tour in the fall to support that.