Earlier, Jono from Above & Beyond opened up to Reddit in an AMA on r/aboveandbeyond. We couldn’t add everything to this article, so here are the top ten things that stood out to us!
- Before this, what was your last job? And when all of this started with Paavo, did you ever envision yourself how large this will all get?
My first and last part-time job (just before I went to university) was working at a supermarket pushing trolleys! On a Friday night when it was quiet, I used to sneak off and listen to Pete Tong & Judge Jules on Radio 1 in the car when the management weren’t looking! In terms of Anjunabeats – I didn’t envision it getting this big, but Paavo did say when he met me “I’m going to make you very rich”, to which I thought “yeah whatever…. I just want to make some music I love/am proud of”. It felt like an odd comment at the time and certainly wasn’t where my head was at. I was very much living in the moment, doing all the usual things at university that students do, and had no idea where it would all take us.
- How did the COVID crisis impact you guys mentally?
It has certainly impacted me mentally, but maybe not in the way people expect. In some ways, I am very happy to have a forced break from touring (although canceling Acoustic 3 was frustrating of course), as touring is addictive and it’s somehow hard for me actively to decide to stop performing shows. In terms of the music industry crashing and burning, I’m less worried for myself than for those artists who maybe just started to have success or performed that first successful show. I count my own blessings for the fact that I must have had at least 1000 great gigs by now, and if it all ended forever, it was a crazy fun ride! I’m also concerned for all the crew, riggers, and other people that make the shows happen.
- Are there any producers out there that scare you with their ability?
Ha, I love this question because I love nothing more (and hate at the same time!) than having a record or producer come along that makes me go “damn this is just too good”. In answer to your question, I definitely had this feeling when Mat Zo first came along. I think he was only 16 or something, and I can remember thinking “how is it possible he’s this good at his age”. That’s inspiring and I’m always looking for the producer/song/artist that elicits this feeling.
- Do you ever go to other shows/festivals and dance in the crowds (pre-covid), if so – which ones?
Yes, sometimes. I think the last one I went to was Smashing Pumpkins. I like to check out stuff that isn’t dance more often than not, though I did check Eric Prydz at Tomorrowland.
- What would you say are your top three favorite tracks that have come out recently (Anjuna or not)?
Top 3 tracks – always struggle with these, but loving Marsh’s stuff, Jody, 16BL/Cubicolor, Oliver Smith, etc. But I’ll have missed artists off there… Oh, and CRi – he’s amazing.
- Who’s the voice on the podcast, the one who would say “Trance around the world” or “Group therapy 100, 200, etc”?
For TATW it was my ex-girlfriend who had a lovely voice.
- Speaking about fresh things from the kitchen: what is your favorite food?
Where to begin. I love cooking. I’ve also been known to bake… Cuisine wise it would have to be Italian for the simple reason I could eat that every day. Plus I adore Italy for many reasons. I also love other food though – French, Japanese… You name it, I’ll probably eat it. Just no Oysters etc, please.
- Where does the future of club-oriented music lie in a world where clubs are closed for the foreseeable future?
I find it hard to accept we won’t end up back in a room together ever again. Then it becomes a question of when, and how big it will be going forward. People like to be around people ultimately though….. Club music-wise, I think there is going to be a lot less of it what with less clubs (for now!).
- How are you dealing with home/studio isolation as a band and in general as a whole Anjuna brand? Any tips that you can share that increased your productivity in those unsure times?
I’m really enjoying being in the studio loads, to be honest. In terms of tips, personally, I’m trying to jot down an idea most days, and also trying to learn a tip or something new each day so that I keep evolving as a producer. 9/10 tips I may not use, but one will stick.
- I am curious to know if the Anjuna world plans on going towards more techno or dark sound? It would be phenomenal with Cristoph, Jerome Isma-ae, etc to name a few!
We never plan anything in terms of where we are going, but with that said, sometimes if things get a bit samey one of us will chat with Gareth & Neil and discuss label direction and we all work together to try and find certain types of artists that we feel are missing from the label. I love a bit of techno in trance or progressive, but I don’t sit down and listen to pure techno much. I admire the grooves etc, and love the artists you mention above, but wouldn’t call Jerome techno necessarily. Though there’s certainly some of that in there isn’t there!