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A Chat With Rising Stars Feenixpawl Backstage At The Yost Theater in Santa Ana, California

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This past Friday night I had the great honor of meeting and interviewing the two Aussies that gave life (and wings) to Feenixpawl. Now, for those of you who do not in fact know or are just in need of a fresh reminder, Feenixpawl is made up of one Aden Forte and one Josh Soon. The two Aussie’s started working together in 2003, but you’ll all remember that it was their bootleg of Adele’s "Rolling in the Deep" in 2011 that initially caught the spotlight’s attention. It also, as it were, caught Kaskade’s attention in the process. After dropping the song at the illustrious Pacha NYC, Kaskade made it a permanent resident in his playlist.

Everything fell right into place at the tail end of 2011 when Feenixpawl, one half of the legendary Australian house duo TV Rock, Ivan Gough and the singer/songwriter Georgi Kay collaborated to produce the now widely known and wildly loved "In My Mind." If you don't know it right off the bat, try and think back to any EDM moment that stood out, that felt like magic to you. And if that doesn't work, check out most event recap videos that have been made since 2011. Ring the memory bell? Yep, that song that seems to crystalize the best EDM moments of your life is in fact "In My Mind." The song spread with the strength and speed of fire, and the ease of water. It was a blink before Swedish DJ/producer Axwell heard it, one more before he secured it for release on his label Axtone, and one more before Feenixpawl very suddenly became internationally known. And so the two announced their first ever US tour on October 15th, 2012 that started November 7th in Seattle, Washington and ended this past Sunday November 18th in San Diego, California. I caught up with them at their third to last stop at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana, California.

I’d heard great things about the duo, and a little birdy informed me Friday night that the two were already at it having a little party backstage involving some old Halloween decorations. I figured if that didn’t signify fun, nothing did. Sure enough, when I was led backstage and the initial introductions were done and over with, the two led me to the couch where two exceptional Halloween props were waiting. And when everyone was situated, boy and monster alike, we started the interview:

Feenixpawl at the Yost Theater

Ok, first question: What did you guys do before coming here?

Soon: Straight away? Like right before here? We had dinner.

What did you have for dinner?

Soon: Ok we had—really? Like is that the actual question?

Yes I’m interested

Forte: Well that’s easy.
Soon: Alright then that’s a good question! We had Mexican food for dinner with our agent and her boyfriend and our manager and Aden’s brother. And then we jumped in the car and came here.
Forte: No we didn’t though, we went to the AMA’s.
Soon: Ah yes, we went to the AMA’s.
Forte: Yes, so the American Music Awards, which was interesting. It was just the pre-party.

When you have the number one DJ in America supporting your music... what else do you need?

Nice nice, so did you just stop by?

Soon: It was like a Nokia-EDM pre-party because I think the AMA’s are going to start nominating a category for dance music, so they were celebrating that. So we popped in and it was great, it was good. They had a lot of those, those blue-tinis.
Forte: The worst.
Soon: They were these blue cocktails and they’re really sweet.

Ooh yes, they’re definitely the worst

Forte: They’re terrible, I’m glad you agree with us.

That was my first drink actually

Forte: Like, ever?
Soon: Oh really?
Forte: So you must hate them!

Haha Ooh yes, definitely. Ok so tomorrow night you’re playing at the Marquee with Kaskade, are you pretty excited?

Both: Yes, really excited.
Forte: We’ve had some good shows, like some very good shows and tonight’s not going to be an exception but I think that show is the one we’ve been looking forward to.
Soon: Yeah the Marquee is such a great nightclub, you know it’s famous, it’s the Marquee so we’ve always wanted to play there and you know we’ve worked with Kaskade, we did a remix for him called Room For Happiness and to finally be able to DJ with him is a treat.
Forte: There’s a Marquee in Sydney in Australia, we play there sometimes and the guy that runs that used to work at the Marquee Vegas and he always talked about how good the club is, he’s always talking about it so...
Soon: Yeah he always talks about it so we’re really looking forward to going there.

I saw in a previous interview that you guys were really excited about DJing with Kaskade, and thinking about how you remixed a song for him and everything, that must be awesome to play with one of your idols.

Soon: Yeah definitely, we’ve always looked up to Kaskade and he’s really been a hero.
Forte: He has, he’s been one of our supporters from the start. I mean, and when you have the number one DJ in America supporting your music I mean, what else do you need?
Soon: We finally got a chance to meet him this year in WMC in Miami , so that was really great and yeah, we’re really looking forward to playing with him.
Forte: And he’s such a nice guy; he’s like one of the genuine nice guys in the industry.
Soon: Yeah he sent us an e-mail the other day going, you know before our show we should go and get some tacos.
Forte: So we shouldn’t have had tacos tonight but we did…
Soon: Yeah so now we’ll have tacos twice in a row…that’s alright.
Forte: It’s hard to play without tacos.

Right so you can ask him tomorrow and get some tacos after your set; some celebratory tacos.

Forte: Haha yes, yes definitely.

But it has to be on the strip, you know like one of those holes in the walls to make it perfect

Soon: Exactly, they’re the best places.
Forte: I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been there.
Soon: But anywhere in the world. Yeah this is his first time in Vegas tomorrow, so we’re going to show him a good time.
Forte: I bet you are.

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Anything specific you’re looking forward to?

Forte: Well I was going to gamble but I’m the worst gambler so I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.
Soon: I’m Asian so whenever I gamble I loose.
Forte: Yeah, he’s half Asian so he just looses. But he’ll loose in style, he’ll just go bang bang bang then that’s it I’m out. See I’m the sort of person who just sits there with my hand and I just go…oy…why’d I even bother DJing when I just lost the whole wage? So I don’t know if I really want to gamble but, we’ll see. Also we’re excited for the gig too, by the way.

Yeah you know, a little bit right?

Forte: Obviously right?

Ok so anything specific other than gambling that you’re looking forward to in Las Vegas?

Soon: We’re just going to spend the day shopping I think. We’re just going to walk up and down the strip and you know see the iconic places like Caesar’s Palace and um...
Forte: Those water fountains I want to see.
Soon: Yes the Bellagio fountains.
Forte: Oceans Eleven?
Soon: Yeah!
Forte: Yeah.
(Both laughing)
Soon: You could be George Clooney.
Forte: Thanks.
Soon: No worries.

I know you’re going back to Stereosonic after you’re done here, and you’re playing on the main stage there. How’s that going to feel?

Soon: It’s amazing, I mean, when the festival first came about, about five or six years ago and we first got a gig when it started and it sort of dissipated from there and then this year we got a main stage opportunity and we’re so excited and I couldn’t believe it. And we’re playing the whole tour, so to be able to play with guys like Tiesto and Avicii and Calvin Harris and Tommy Trash and all those big artists is a dream. So we can’t wait to get back home and the weather’s going to be nice because we’ve been in New York and Chicago and its been freezing cold.

Right so you go home and get all of the warm weather!

Soon: Yeah well we were in Chicago for the blizzards and it was snowing; I haven’t seen snow in years. But it's going to be really great to go back home and play on the mains stage there definitely.

Speaking of snow, you said you haven’t seen snow in years. I have to ask, did you make a snow angel?

Soon: No I didn’t but I threw a snowball at him because I thought I had to.
Forte: It wasn’t funny.
Soon: Haha I didn’t hit you though.
Forte: Yeah, because you throw like a girl.
Soon: Because I have a terrible throw, haha yeah because I throw like a girl right, ok.
Forte: In Australia it’s called the custard arm because it’s weak and floppy.
Soon: Well she knows what custard is.
Forte: Yeah well the custard arm, I’m explaining it.

Well I appreciate it.

Forte: I gotchya.

Alright, one last question: I know it must be crazy when you get in front of everybody and everyone is singing your songs, everyone knows your music. Other than the fact that that’s an amazing feeling, what’s your favorite part about that whole thing?

Soon: I don’t know…I think my favorite part for me personally is when you can touch someone, touch someone’s lives from a distance you know and they just like, you could affect someone’s life. That they appreciate the song so much that they get into it and it means something to them.
Forte: We’ve seen a few people with the lyrics tattooed on them which is ridiculous, like it's crazy for us to see and it's like it shows that in your life you’ve done something that means something to someone else. So, that means so much to us.
Soon: So on some weird level you share the same experience because the song means something to us and it means something to them, and that’s great so when we travel the world, people experience our track and sing it and we see them sing it. It’s surreal; you pinch yourself every time.

I definitely believe it

Forte: Yeah, it’s great.
I know typed-out words never do the actual experience justice, but Aden Forte and Josh Soon are two very talented people who bring a lot to the table in both personality and music. Feenixpawl will release their newest track "Universe"featuring Quilla late this Nobvember. Check out the preview here plus video of them dropping "In My Mind" at the Yost Theater. And be sure to keep an eye out for them, because we have a funny feeling we’ll be seeing them again quite soon. Until then, carry on…

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