Meet the Venezuelan duo of Sergio Muñoz and Israel Sunshine otherwise known as Fur Coat. If you have a passion for Latin, funk, soul, salsa and electronic influences like Giorgio Morodor, Larry Levan and Moodymann then you share a mutual appreciation with these two rising stars. Recently snatched up by Crosstown Rebels el jefe Damian Lazarus, the duo is primed to go from South American obscurity to global recognition.
“Our music is mostly for the dancefloor” say the pair of their output so far. “We consider ourselves to be making some sort of Space Funk. Our main influences are house and techno, but we add our own twist so though stuff works on the dancefloor, it’s also deep, funky, trippy and hopefully delivers some sort of story to the listener.”
Fur Coat’s first album for Crosstown Rebels, Mind Over Matter will be released on September 17. Also be on the lookout for a Fur Coat remix of "Sex Robot" by Jonny Cruz featuring Cali Lanauze via My Favorite Robot Records sometime in Oct.
“Mind Over Matter is a way of thinking that we have. We believe if you think what you want and you visualize it you can get it, and with the power of mind you can overcome any obstacle. Our inspiration is life itself, traveling, eating, knowing new places, new countries, meeting people, our girls (my girlfriend & Israel wife), art, cultures,” says Sergio Muñoz.
As a teenager I started to go to a lot of parties…but instead of be dancing or partying I spent the night watching the DJ and all the magic that he was making with the vinyl.
We tossed out a few questions to the two…enjoy.
What percentage of your skills were you born with? How did you go about acquiring additional skills?
Sergio Muñoz: The skill that I was born with is that I learn very fast by trying things and not by reading or being taught. I’m a visual person, I need to see things and try them. I have a good photographic memory. I can learn things when I see a person do it; that is my first step to know where to begin, but my real skill comes when I start trying and being self-taught. For me this has developed my patience, it’s a specific factor that you need in life when you want to learn something.
Israel Sunshine: I don't know if I was born with this but I’m very patience and focused in my goals. Since I was a kid I’ve been working no matter how hard to get the things I want or deserve, of course reasonable things like a bike, a car, a girlfriend, a Mayor degree. When I decided to choose the electronic music as my career I did it knowing the possibilities of what could or should I go with this. I knew that making my own music I could go forward so I had to learn by myself how to use Ableton, being everyday trying and trying, reading magazines, forums, watching YouTube until create something that made me happy with.
I’ve been in a constant challenge trying to reach higher levels. I believe that everybody can make dreams come true working for it with patience, constancy, humble and respect.
Favor us with a moment in life that changed the course of, or defined, your sonic aesthetic.
Respect. It's not what you are expecting but 3 years ago I was with my wife and Sergio going to the beach for the weekend and unfortunately we had a terrible accident, we all could die that night but incredibly nothing happened to none of us…. A few days later I realized that life was keeping us great things for the future so we had to try harder. From that day my life has been better and better and I’m just not talking about music…
Discuss a musician or an era, which has influenced you.
SM: For me it’s all about the R&B, funk and disco era, an example is Kool and the Gang. That whole era shows the essence of the music that moves me, the basslines, the synths, the melodies and the vibe. I grew up with this music, thanks to my parents. This music can be sexy, relaxing or dancefloor material and that’s why I try to transmit when I create music.
IS: I’ve been listening music all my life, my parents used to have great parties at home when I was a kid and I grew up with a bunch of rhythms and melodies. As a teenager I started to go to a lot of parties as every kid but instead of be dancing or partying I spent the night watching the DJ and all the magic that was making with the vinyl, I became a super fan of all this movement until I had the opportunity to try…. then I knew it I was in my zone.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
IS: Making him feel our melodic bass waves with a smile and wearing black pants, shirt and sunglasses….
If you were starting out now, would you do anything differently?
IS: Sure, start earlier and not skip music classes when kid.
I don’t know when to shut my mouth or if what I’m saying might have bad consequences…Sometimes this is good and sometimes this get’s me in trouble.
What’s the secret to your success?
We haven't succeeded yet, we are in a time where electronic music is changing the world once again and we are blessed to be part of the process!
What was your favorite toy as a child and when/why did you stop playing with it?
SM: My favorite toys were The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I played a lot with Leonardo—it was my favorite character. I guess my favorite weapons were the swords. But I really stop playing with them at 8 years old cause I got bored and changed them for a skateboard.
Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
FC: We think society have all this beliefs to make people aware of what’s wrong and right. In the end with all the taboos in the society, the final decision is in each human being and how they want to live their life. The examples such as global warming, drugs are bad and education is important, are true in some way. We can say this are society values, that in the end if you follow the wrong way, most of the times you will end in the wrong road, with consequences that will affect your life.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?
SM: Having patience and thinking before saying things. I think I’m still working on this. I don’t know when to shut my mouth or if what I’m saying might have bad consequences. I just speak with the truth that I feel, and most of the time I don’t think the consequences that my words have. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this get’s me in trouble, I guess this is what life is about, learning lessons.
The movement from CD to MP3 is seen as the most recent paradigm shift in the music business. Look ahead for us, into the future. What will be/cause the next big shake up?
FC: MP3 is just part of the evolution. It’s a step like going from vinyl to cassette and then to CD. In some way for artists with the computers and Internet revolution, make dreams comes true. You can send demos to a record label from any country you like, and climb into the spotlight. For labels and artists that can shine from being in the darkness, with all the piracy and leaking, is ruining the industry profit wise. Sells have dropped, records get leaked months before their release, and there is always a way piracy gets away with their hands clean. We don’t know what the next big shake up will be and we are definitely not prepared. This is something that will happen and people will just have to adjust to the situation as we did with MP3, and the technology.
Do you have a pet?
IS: I got a Labrador retriever and she is my loyal partner when I’m in the studio. Really likes electronic music, when there’s other kind of music at the radio, TV or wherever she start to get uncomfortable and mad, barking a lot until you switch for electronic again... she is crazy! And addicted to Pig Ears Dog Chews…
Travel probably takes more of your time than it does the average person. Do you have any tales of extreme excitement or extreme boredom that the average person might enjoy reading?
FC: Traveling is boring, especially airports and long flights after gigs. Its just part of our job, complaining about it will be just nonsense. A tale of extreme excitement or better-said, extreme adrenaline, was riding on a LANCIA compact car, on the highway from Turin to Milan, over 160 KPH, raining and passing through cars. We almost made it to the flight, and the guys driving had to pull the breaks to avoid crashing another car. Plus the car had like a gas leak or something that had a heavy smell, we were literally high with the smell. It sounds like a funny story now, but in the moment we thought we wouldn’t make it to the airport or maybe we wouldn’t make it alive. Things that happen during tours we guess.
Can you walk us through your various musical phases?
SM: My influences music wise come basically of what my parents heard while I was growing up. They liked a lot Disco Music, R&B, Funk, Soul and Dance Music. All this background, plus the other music that I listened while growing up like Hip Hop, Rock, 80´s Synth Pop, Salsa and Electronic Music, define the whole ideas that run through my mind. Electronic wise I come from House Music. I started producing house, but in the beginnings I was not feeling complete with that, so I felt very attracted on the things happening with Minimal and Techno. That was the way my alias Delete was born. It was a new start from me: new sounds, new visions, and new horizons. After improving my production skills, investigating on the music that I liked, and having the quest for the right balance of what I wanted to produce, I joined forces with Israel to create Fur Coat. Israel has been my friend for many years, and we have shared the same musical background, so we had in mind the sound we wanted to put out there. All this musical phases have changed my fashion taste, art and culture. I’m a big fan of designers like Rick Owens and Yoji Yamamoto. I’m a big fan of Pop Art like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. At the same time I consider my self-eclectic, cause into interior design I like minimalistic things. I know traveling, eating, cultures, people and music influences me directly on my tastes, and make me evolve day by day.
If you could send advice via a fortune cookie to up-and-comers, it would read:
FC: The future is not written on a fortune cookie, you are the only one that can write your own story. Believe and succeed.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
FC: There are so many good and memorable nights, but one for us that we will never forget is our debut on DC-10 on Jamie Jones party Paradise. What more can we ask?
It’s one of our dream venues, with a perfect crowd and being part of Jamie’s party, plus we had the honor to play at the peak time. Just a magical moment that we lived this summer.
Tell us about a specific event or period in your life that is linked in your mind to a song/album.
SM: Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. This album reminds me the beginning period when I started dating my actual girlfriend.
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
FC: Definitely the smoky, low-lit club. The vibe in this kind of clubs in the best. You forget about all the props…just a good sound, a good crowd and good music. Generally this clubs are small, so you get really connected with the crowd. We think the most especial things come out of the most basic or simple experiences. Plus this low-lit clubs let people connect more with the music and free themselves. We guess the darkness make the freaks come out.
What value do you place on environment as a creative springboard?
FC: Our most important requirement is some good studio monitors. I think there is no place like our studios that we feel most comfortable to produce. It’s really where things flow. For us is not easy to produce on an airplane or a hotel room. The real magic of the creative springboard happens with all our gadgets available.
Mind Over Matter Tour Dates:
Sept 15th- EDC, San Juan,Puerto Rico
Sept 21st- Treehouse, Miami, USA
Sept 22nd- Skyline Sessions, Orlando, USA
Sept 28th- Stereo, Montreal, Canada
Sept 29th- Rebel Rave, New York City, USA
Oct 4th- Gallo Loco, Guadalajara, Mexico
Oct 5th- TBA, DF, Mexico
Oct 6th- TBA, Mexicali, Mexico
Oct 7th- TBA, San Diego, USA
Oct 12th- Sixx, Athens, Greece
Oct 13th- Sankeys, Manchester, UK
Oct 20th- Showcase, Paris, France
Oct 21st- ADE / TBA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 26th- New Speak, Istanbul, Turkey
Nov 16th- TBA, Caracas, Venezuela
Nov 23rd- TBA, Guatemala
Nov 24th- Expocentro, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Nov 30th- Troupe, London, UK
Dec 8th- Magna Carta, London, UK
Dec 15th- Rebel Rave, The Warehouse Project, Manchester, UK