We had an interesting chat with the super popular and amazing Above and Beyond on their music, shows in India, what to look forward to in the future and more.
What is Above & Beyond working on right now? What can we expect from you in 2017?
Paavo: We’re currently writing songs for our new electronic album that we’re hoping to finish this year. So it’ll be an interesting year for us, starting to test drive a lot of new material, while taking regular breaks from touring to ensure we have enough energy to get stuff done at our studios too.
How did you end calling yourselves Above & Beyond?
Paavo: “Above and Beyond” was a slogan used by an inspirational American speaker who, believe it or not, was also named Jono Grant.
You have been regular visitors to India. Could you tell us which Indian show has been your most memorable?
Paavo: Definitely when we came to Bangalore to change our radio show name and to start Group Therapy radio. That night at Jayamahal Palace was something I’ll never forget!
What do you do outside of music that contributes to your musical output? Do you have a hobby that you turn to rejuvenate yourself?
Paavo: I love photography, taking pictures – especially when you take out some time and you see pictures from some years ago, there’s something magical about it all.
What drew you to music in the first place?
Paavo: I come from a musical family and everyone around me was playing an instrument. My dad was singing in choirs and my granddad was writing poems. I grew up thinking I need a ‘real job’ but realised music was and always would be my true love when I went to a music high school.
The internet has changed the way people make and consume music. Is there effect that you aren’t too fond of? Do you think social media has brought you closer to fans but also made you more susceptible to trolls?
Tony: Thanks to Paavo’s tech skills we had a vibrant web forum right from the start, where we encouraged our fans to communicate and connect, and even criticize. So we were in front of the social media explosion. Over the years that forum-based community has ported over to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, but essentially nothing has changed for us. We’ve always been about three-way communication, us to our fans, them to us and them to each other. Now our “Anjunafamily” runs into millions, but our relationship with them is the same as it was with a few hundred back in 2002.
Are there any Indian artists that you’d like to collaborate with?
Tony: We have collaborated with a band from Bangalore called Lagori who’ve recorded Indian version of our songs “Sun & Moon” and “We’re All We Need” which you can watch on You Tube. They re-wrote the verses in both cases but used the choruses from the English versions.
Who is Above & Beyond listening to? Can you recommend some new artists for us to check out?
Paavo: I’m a big Lana del Rey fan – and if you haven’t yet heard Yotto’s music – definitely check him out.
A message for your Indian fans.
Tony: I find the people of India inspirational. Conversations with Indian people are always calm, considered and thought-provoking, which is how discussions should always be. Guru is an Indian word, after all! For us in the UK, India feels a lot closer than it is geographically because so many lovely Indian people have made their home in the UK and have given us our national dish, chicken tikka masala! Add to that our links to Anjuna and we felt strong bonds with your country long before we ever went there as a band. But since 2007 (our Indian debut in Goa) we’ve been experiencing the love first hand and it was an easy decision to pick Bangalore to launch our Group Therapy Radio show four years ago. So, I’d like to say thanks for the love, thanks for being such an example to the world of how to live in a diverse country with respect and love and thanks for all you have taught us and given us since we started.