Remix Artist Collective was created back in January 2007 by André Allen Anjos, a group that reinterpret rock/electronica/dance remixes for musical artists.
Now just shortened to RAC, the group strives to maintain their style of remixing from the “club mix” archetype of other artists and has recently been creating original tracks of their own.
Since I would be catching their show in DC at the Rock N Roll Hotel, I caught up with André and talked about their tour, their latest “Don’t Talk To” EP and the progression of their sound over at RAC.
How’s the tour been so far? How did the idea of putting on a tour come to fruition?
It’s been awesome. I had played in plenty of bands before but it’s been a while since I’ve done that. I’ve been DJing for about four years so it’s a nice change of pace. We didn’t really know how people were going to react.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect because it’s new territory
The first show of the tour was awesome and the people reacted really well and we’re having a lot of fun. We were obviously a little nervous the first venue but [chuckle] no, we’re slowly starting to get the hang of it.
2 years ago when you released your debut single, “Hollywood” featuring Penguin Prison, it was a huge surprise for me that you produced something like that. I loved it and it wasn’t the typical dance sound I’ve been used to.
Well when I started writing some of the original material, it just wasn’t like dance music. It wasn’t coming out that way. I think I was trying to but it just wasn’t flowing out naturally.
All the music ended up being a lot more on the more poppy side and sort of mid-tempo. At that point, you realize that you can’t really DJ with that stuff so that is where we get the idea to band together and start working it that way.
Well let’s talk about 2008. You released a Nintendo & Sega Remix. It kinda gave me the impression that RAC was originally more of an experiment and you were trying to just have fun while finding RAC‘s sound. Now fast forward 5 years, has RAC‘s jounrey consisted a lot of trial and error?
Haha! Yeah, of course. Especially with remixing, you can go any direction. You can always try new things. I always try to do what’s appropriate for the song. That’s just always been something that’s pretty important. And on a musical level, like trying out new ideas and things, I think it helps you overall.
You end up becoming a better musician by trying new things, and sometimes failing at it, but it’s definitely a trial and error thing. It always has been…
You composed the soundtrack for the film, Holy Rollers, starring Zombieland’s Jesse Eisenberg, it was very inspiring seeing that progression happen for you and RAC. I feel like that gig put a lot of growth for RAC and helped place your sound, especially since you composed the soundtrack using analog synthesizers as compared to digital.
For a musician that’s the best possible situation. If you get stuck doing the same, you get pigeonholed into one genre or one specific thing. That’s why it was pretty fun to compose Holy Rollers. That job was wilder than anything else.
At the same time I’d been doing some TV work, for Entourage on HBO.
They had the same music supervisors as Holy Rollers so I just happened to be working on this film and he goes like, “Hey, you want to try this?” I was like, All right. Cool!
But I was trying to keep it true to that time using analog synth, that era or whatever, the late 90′s. I just had a lot of fun with it, writing music that I hadn’t really tried before. It was new territory for me. I feel like, I’ve remixed it since then. I’ve tried out more of those types of sound but that movie was definitely the first time that I really had an opportunity to try something like that.
It wasn’t like some crazy story or anything. It was just somebody that I had worked with in the past came through and offered an opportunity. It was a lot of fun.
Well your first major artist remix was with The Shins. Can you claim that moment as a snow-ball effect for you and RAC?
It had a complete snowball effect, especially in the very beginning. I had reached out to everybody to do a remix, like everyone and then The Shins was the only one that really came through. After that it was like hey, I just got lucky…
Then after that feeling passed I was like, Oh, hey, I did The Shins!
It got a little bit easier after that, people start responding. Over the years you just keep on building by building to where it is now, I guess.
Have you ever felt star-struck with any projects you’ve worked on or with any particular artist?
Oh, of course, especially with The Shins. I ended up meeting them a couple months later, and they were just excited to meet me.
Like, what? That was just the weirdest, it was surreal. So it was pretty cool of them to give me that kind of opportunity. I was just a college kid at the time [chuckle].
Chapter One is a compilation with previous remixes. It’s basically a ‘best of’ album.
The most popular remixes that I’ve done would be put into Chapter One where it could also live on Spotify and on iTunes. The goal was to create something that you could very easily show your friends and be like, all right, this is what it’s all about.
The EP is sort of a collection of a couple of songs off of the record that’s coming. I’m really excited about it.
Then with the EP, that was really the beginning of actually writing and releasing original music as RAC. I released Hollywood maybe a year ago and was the first original release. It was very well received. At least considerably more than the remixes had been.
So how is your tour going to pan out for you and the band? Will you be Djing and playing originals?
Actually, it’s all fully live. It’s a mix of the original material and remixes. When I started thinking about the tour– the goal was to eventually play more original stuff. Most people know the remixes though so it just makes sense to play some of that stuff as well. It’s a fully live set with a four piece rock band. We have a light show, a visual show with it as well. We’re nearly four days into it and we’re all having a blast.
It’s very different than DJing.
Now you’re remixes off of Chapter One and “Don’t Talk To” EP has been getting a lot of airtime recently, too. What does it feel like hearing anything you’ve worked on out in the wild?
That’s a good question!
I’m not sure. Every once in a while, you’ll hear something in like a clothing store. That is always very strange to me. I remember one time I got into a rental car, turned on Sirius XM, a couple songs in and my remix to Two Door Cinema Club, “Something Good Can Work” came on.
Then I was like “Wow, that’s weird…”
It feels strange because I basically, sat in my room and made that but it’s now playing.
It’s a cool experience but it’s very strange.
So when should we expect a full original record from RAC?
The EP is just a couple tracks off of the full length record. We’re still figuring out the release date, but it should be pretty soon.
I’m really excited about that coming out.