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16 December 2010

Myon & Shane 54 Interview

Myon & Shane 54 Interview

Being voted at number 62 into the 2010 DJ Mag Top 100, this Hungarian duo continuous to reach a growing success among the elite producers in Dance music today. Over the past two years, they've seen their own productions, remixes and collaborations into the record cases of the world's top DJ's like Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, Paul van Dyk, and Above & Beyond, just to name a few. Hi guys, how are you and where in the world do we find you right now?

Myon: We're at home (in Hungary) right now, as we took a little break from touring in order to finish a couple of new songs and remixes.

Shane 54: Yeah, it is weird not to go anywhere on a weekend, but it's good for a change. And because of this we also sleep a lot more these days. :) How did you both meet and come together?

Shane 54: We know each other for a long time, and were solo artist before we started making music in early 2008. Myon made a remix for a Hungarian single of mine in 2006…

Myon: …then we've made a remix together for [Dutch Label] Black Hole, and it worked out so well, we decided to join forces. Our musical taste is very similar, and we think about music making exactly the same way, which makes it super easy to do tunes together. You recently released your first album on Armada a few months ago. How does it feel having your first album released?

Myon: Of course it is a great feeling, but it wasn't a regular album, more like a collection of songs we've made in the previous 2 years. There were stuff that's never been released or very hard to get, and we got bugged by our fans a lot about those, so we collected and released them.

Shane 54: It's like some sort of "best of" album, including our own songs and remixes. We plan to do a second edition sometime later, but first we have to finish the new album. We already have 7-8 tracks finished completely, and the rest is in embryonic form, so we more or less know how it is going to be. You played at Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 450 party. What was that like?

Shane 54: 9500 enthusiastic people could be REALLY loud, and they can tear the roof off easily when having a good time.

Myon: As we noticed, they did have a good time while we were playing. It was surely the best gig of the year for us. How does it go when you are in the studio? Who does exactly what?

Myon: We're both capable of doing practically all kinds of production work (our combined discography consists more than 300 releases), so it all depends on the actual song we're working on.

Shane 54: Since we both coming from a pop background, songwriting is the most important thing for us, which means most of the time we don't start the proper production work until we have a song in our hands. Then we can build the arrangement around it. How long does it take you normally to finish a production or a remix?

Shane 54: Ah, it's always different. With remixes of course it is a much faster process, but an original song could take ages. Literally…

Myon: Yeah, "Helpless" was the longest one of them all: it took about 12 weeks and several versions till we found the one we both were satisfied with. On the other hand some remixes were finished within a couple of hours, and a new track we did recently was completed in 302 minutes from start to finish. (Dinner break included) We had a stopwatch to see how long did it take. :) But it was a rare thing. What kind of equipment can we find in your studio?

Myon: We have a few hardware synths, like the (Roland) JP-8080, or the (Quasimidi) Technox, got several drum machines like the Simmons SDS-V, but of course we use a lot of plugins, especially the weird ones, that mostly freeware or made by our programmer friends exclusively for us.

Shane 54: We provide them some ideas what we'd like a plugin to do and they program it for us. It is big fun, and sometimes gives us those happy accidents that we're glad to build into the songs. Some stuff would never happen without us experimenting a lot with strange equipment. How would you describe your own sound?

Shane 54: Most of the time people think of us as trance artists, but we consider ourselves more as a pop act instead. And that is a big difference in my opinion (not that being a trance act would be a bad thing) but our aim is to be more than dance artists, whose tracks only live for a short period of time, like most dance recordings of today. We do believe in songs instead of tunes. And we do a lot of mashing up, which we're well known for.

Myon: The mashups we do helps us stand out from the same breed of djs, and we like that. Some songs are overplayed, some are just don't make it for us, so we do crazy stuff with them, and sometimes they work better than the original versions. Like Above & Beyond's "On A Good Day", which in our version became a much bigger hit all over the world than the original, but at first Gareth Emery (whose completely reworked "Metropolis" provided the musical backing) hated it, and said it will never work. Luckily he wasn't right, but in the end his label was the one who insisted we can't get a credit on it, so our name is not on the single. It was a hard thing to swallow, but at least it is our first officially released mashup. Your International Departures Reality TV Show is really fun to watch. It captures what your life on the road is like. How much work goes into making each episode?

Shane 54: It depends on the amount of footage we've got, or if we have an idea about what we wanna do with them. The first episode of the second season took forever to make, but there was another one that come together pretty quickly in 3 days. I have a lot of experience in television, my first ever TV appearance was when I was 5 in a kids' show.

Myon: We hate when it's too dark in clubs, it makes it impossible to get good shots of the audience. But filming is great fun, and in ten years' time it will be even better to watch our younger selves. Funny how people react to these films everywhere we go, they seem to know them all. Do you have any other hobbies besides music?

Myon: Not really. Everything we do is in connection with our music. Either it is sound design, drum programming for fun or simply sampling stuff, it's all Myon & Shane 54. But we can safely say it's our hobby too.

Shane 54: Not to mention the fact that sometimes we can't even have a proper sleep for a long time, due to the sheer amount of work we're facing. But hey, we wanted it, we got it, you won't hear us moaning about these things, just do what we need to. At the end of the day, we could have a much worse job than this… :) Do you have any tips/advice for the young and upcoming producers?

Shane 54: We don't think we can give advices like big hotshot producers, but one thing is for sure: If you work your ass off, it will get you further.

Myon: Believe in yourself, and don't care about bad criticism. You know what you want to achieve, go and make it happen. No one else will do it for you. What can the world expect from Myon and Shane 54 heading into 2011?

Myon: Loads of touring, a new artist album, and of course more touring afterwards.

Shane 54: We love playing. The immediate feedback from our fans is priceless, we're very thankful for being able to do what we love and get paid for it. We're feel privileged for all this. Thanks for your time guys!

Myon & Shane 54: We thank you!

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