Steve Aoki x FUTURE BOYZ Special Interview

Interview by FUTURE BOYZ
Translated by thisisWAYNE (FUTURE BOYZ), Emi K Lynn
Supported by InterFM ‘Turnt Up Thurzday
Date: Oct. 2014 at Tokyo, JAPAN
iamSHUM: What’s up all the Turnt Up Thurzday listeners, we’re going to interview Steve Aoki!

Steve Aoki: Yeahhh, Hajime-mashite! (means “nice to meet you” in JAPAN)

FUTUREBOYZ (iamSHUM, thisisWAYNE): Hajime-mashite!

iamSHUM: How you been in Japan? (asking in JAPAN)

Steve Aoki: Iidesu! (means “good” in JAPAN)

thisisWAYNE: I know you visiting Japan often, how many in total?

Steve: This is my 3rd time in this year.

thisisWAYNE: wow, that’s a lot.

Steve: Yeah, I come at least once a year...sometimes twice a year. I’ve been coming since before I was DJ, as a band member, before that coming with my family.

thisisWAYNE: I see, It’s natural thing for you.

iamSHUM: This will be my 2nd time to see your DJ performance.

Steve: Oh yeah?

thisisWAYNE: 1st time at electrox 2014, and Music Circus at Kobe...right Shum?

iamSHUM: Yeah, back in May 2013, I think.

thisisWAYNE: Alright, Could you tell us from your perspective about “Japanese EDM” , and “Club Scene”?.

Steve: The crowd is one of my favorites in the world because they are so focused and attentive to the show. If you play other cities or maybe in a club, a lot of people are drunk or high. ”lol”

thisisWAYNE: hahaha, I see.

Steve: Yeah, but the Japanese crowd - I really feel like that they are not doing anything. They are just happy.

thisisWAYNE: Having fun and enjoying music?

Steve: Exactly, and I think that is a goal for a lot of people who perform – they want to see that and be part of that. If you ask which is better, playing at Makuhari Messe or clubs, Makuhari is so much better. Because you really get people that are there for the music. I love the Japanese electronic dance music scene and believe there needs to be more producers in the EDM space that are from Japan. You have the culture here, Satoshi Tomiie, Shinichi Osawa..many legends doing for +10 years. Obviously this music is universal and global, you don’t have to from LA or Europe or NY. You could be from Sendai or Yokohama and Tokyo. Anywhere is possible.

thisisWAYNE: “When did you start creating music, what was your trigger?”

Steve: I was tween (14-15yrs) when I start creating music. I picked up a guitar and started playing in bands until 22yrs old.

thisisWAYNE: That’s how iamSHUM start his career too.

Steve: Oh yeah?

iamSHUM: I was in a rock band back as a teenager, then started to dig into electro and dance music!

Steve: I see, I started guitar first, then bass in the band, start singing in the band and up until I was around 22. I start DJing around 23 in Los Angeles and at 26 I started producing electronic music.

thisisWAYNE: So you spend many years in your band, that’s interesting.

iamSHUM: For track making, what kind of sequencer do you use?

Steve: Ableton, but I am moving over to Logic now.

iamSHUM: What about MIDI keyboard?

Steve: Anything, it doesn’t matter, you can just draw it in too. When I am flying around I don’t actually bring my keyboard, I just paint in the notes.
4:40: Japanese

thisisWAYNE: That’s intuitive, You just dropped a new album “Neon Future Part 1” and I heard it was great. It was supposed to be 16-18 songs but you split it into two.
Steve: Yeah, there is “Neon Future 1 ” and “Neon Future 2” will coming up on next spring, and to me It doesn’t make sense these days to pile so many songs in 1 album, because people just don’t listen music like that anymore and every song is important so I don’t want to 1-4 songs to get “lost”.

thisisWAYNE: You mean skip the songs?

Steve: Exactly, I’d rather have perfect 8 songs that work together in 1 package, then release the next 8-10 songs later. However I’m still writing so there’s going to be more a lot more music coming out. Not just these 8 but I have more stuff coming out. This whole “Neon Future” project is started back in January 2013, so some of these songs are quite old, some of are 2 years old.

thisisWAYNE: For this album you collaborated with so many artist such as Fall Out Boy, Kid Ink, Waka Flocka – you guys went on tour together, and will.i.am, etc. Where do the concepts and inspiration come from? When you decide to make an album, have you already decided who you want to collaborate with, etc.?

Steve: Well, each one have own story, the majority of time they’re just my friends. I been working with will.i.am since my 1st single, “I’m In The House” back in 2008, he did 1 song with me for my last album (‘Wonderland’(2012)),
he’s like someone I working with for long time, However all the other guys like Waka Flocka, we went tour together and write the song together.
‘Boneless (‘Delirious (Boneless)’)’ is already popular song so we needed to find vocalist to help breaking into radio, and Kid Ink has great track record with American Radio, and he likes song a lot so we jumped into my studio in LA and cut some vocals there, I went to N.Y and cut some vocals and wrapped up the song together.
thisisWAYNE: So for your It’s very natural to working with your friends.

Steve: Yeah, that’s right.

thisisWAYNE: After I listened your album, I felt that you are trying break into the all the music categories and genres in order to create something beyond the normal.

Steve: Yeah, the concept of “Neon Future” is actually a bit academic, It’s a idea from utopian future and “Neon” is bright and colorful, a lot of endless possibilities. So all these different authors, writers, philosophers and scientists that I’ve been reading about it and make me excited about the future - I starting interviewing to them. I talked to Aubrey De Grey and Raymond Kurzweil. They are very well respected writers and scientists in their field. Raymond Kurzweil is the head of a department at Google, he wrote a book called “The Singularity Is Near”, It’s about human and technological integration and says you can’t explain what will happen when you combine technology and our humanity – for example ideas like “living forever”. You know science fiction ideas where you say, “well that will never happen!’ but might actually happen not in the distant future but in our lifetime, which is exciting. By the time we’re 70-80yrs old, we could get to the point that where the science fiction ideas are real concepts.
I read the book called “Ending Aging” by Aubrey De Grey, he’s doing research on white-cells and breakdown degenerate and degrade and how to reverse that. He’s speculating that might be able to bolster our cells to keep our body young and healthy, like replacing parts for an old house or old car so you can have it for 200 years.

thisisWAYNE: That’s very scientific and futuristic.

Steve: Yeah so I need to include them in the album, to have context that “This is a very real concept” The music is there and that’s why people follow me but my interests are in this world too.

thisisWAYNE: So Is this become challenge for you?

Steve: It’s “eye-opening”, I’m doing serious interview sessions called “Neon Future Sessions” , I’m interviewing all these people (Aubrey De Grey, Raymond Kurzweil) and putting on my YouTube channel.
They keep writing books and books, and only certain people going to read their books, right?
So I want to translate all kind of information from those books and be able to share with a younger audience, because these are very interesting concepts. You will amazed when you really understand them, “It’s super cool”.
These are science fiction ideas to a lot of people, think about 100 years ago people couldn’t believe transporting organs was possible, or people from 200 years ago wouldn’t believe that our average of life expectancy is 70 when back in the day it was 45…you know what I mean?
So I think we’re definitely going to very exciting curve toward to the future.

thisisWAYNE: In the end could you tell us about your further schedule and gigs?

Steve: I was very happy to play in Japan after dropped “Neon Future 1”, I was really happy to see fans sing along these songs that just came out. That’s what warmed my heart, that’s what made the Makuhari show on Sunday my favorite show - to see everyone so passionately singing these songs. And these are English songs you know so it’s great to see that. But I will be coming back. I’m doing Indonesia and Singapore and Australia and then circling back. So, I’ll be doing some more Asia dates.

thisisWAYNE: So can we see next year in Japan?

Steve: Yeah for sure, this is my favorite place in the world, I can’t miss Tokyo!
By all accounts, not just playing the show, not just the crowd - but food, technology, shopping, I’m big fan of Japanese fashion and follow a lot of designers too.

thisisWAYNE: I see, glad to hear that and see you soon then!

Steve: Yeah definitely!

thisisWAYNE: Thank you and have a great time in Japan!

Steve: I will, Thanks!
The new generation unit by thisisWAYNE and iamSHUM.
FUTURE BOYZ concept in "Send our music, no matter who you are”
Genre of mixing Electro and Dubstep.
FUTURE BOYZ means "The men who creates new music, sound, fashion, and culture".

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