Max Vangeli and QULINEZ have a lot to celebrate at the moment. Not only are they wrapping up a successful North American SIZE tour – but both have singles on the Billboard Dance charts: Max Vangeli at #12 with Last Night Changed It All and QULINEZ at #25 with Rising Like the Sun.
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I got the chance to catch up with the SIZE crew before their last three North American shows to chat about their audiences around the world, their shared love for Prodigy, how the smash remix for The Island came to be and the SIZE family.
What’s it been like on the road?
Max Vangeli: It’s been really great. Since AN21 and I have been doing really great in America, we’ve decided to split up our team and take on different shows. I’ve been doing a lot of shows with the QULINEZ guys and all the shows have been amazing.
QULINEZ: It was good.
MV: I’m going to be doing most of the talking for these guys. [laughs]
What do you find is different in your shows when you are playing in various countries?
MV: It’s a completely, completely different atmosphere everywhere. North American audiences are so excited to be jumping into this whole movement right now. You can just see the energy. The UK though, they’ve been doing this for years. Amazing crowds – but you have to work it a little more. They know the genre and they’ve known it for years. I’ve done some of my first shows in India this year and it’s just great to see how music evolves around the world and see how music is constantly evolving. I just hope that it keeps going the way it’s going!
Q: We agree!
How does that influence the way you play a show?
MV: You have to adapt to what’s happening in front of you. You always try and keep it organic – but you have to make certain tweaks to the market, and even do a bit of research. Like, you can play a Rage Against the Machine bootleg in India and they’ll be like “What?” and here it’s like “DID YOU JUST HEAR WHAT HE PLAYED?” It’s really a balance of things.
What’s going through your head when you’re DJing?
MV: I always question my abilities a lot of the time. When people come up and they’re like, “Oh my god, you’re such a legend.” I think to myself, “No I’m not a legend.” I haven’t worked enough to be a legend. Steve Angello is a legend. I definitely appreciate it when girls come up and they go “Oh my god I just touched Vangeli.” I’m like “It’s OK I touch myself all the time!” [laughs]
Q: For us, it’s a little bit different. We had girls before… but not now! [laughs] The cool thing is when you look back and remember not too long ago you were in a bedroom studio and now here we are… It’s insane for us. We don’t even really understand it yet.
(To QULINEZ) What has the move to SIZE been like for you?
Q: Steve (Angello) is the best mentor! Everything is does is just so good. SIZE is just a family. Steve is a tastemaker.
What is your favorite album of all time?
MV: Prodigy – The Fat of the Land. When you listen to that album, you’re like “How did you come up with that in the 90s?” That’s what I look up to. I hope before I die I can make at least one record like the album they had because it was just incredible.
Q: Well we were going to say Abba [laughs] but Prodigy was definitely one of the first that got us into this type of music.
When you’re in the studio, what’s the thought process like?
Q: We’re definitely thinking in the moment. Sometimes when you have an idea and you start to build a track, after that you realize the end result isn’t what you had in your head.
MV: I had this period of time where I was like “Max, we need a hit, we need a hit, we need a hit.” You cannot make a hit by going in the studio thinking you’re going to make a hit. For me now, I just go in and make records.
Q: You get an idea and you grab it. You need to feel the track inside you.
MV: I have never been right about a single record in my career. For example, it just happened with the Pendulum The Island remix we did with Steve (Angello). It became one of the biggest underground hits. We did that in one day. We started at 9 PM, we didn’t sleep, put on our headphones, then… BOOM. A smash. We didn’t even have a studio.
Max, tell us a bit about Last Night Changed It All.
MV: It’s one of those surprise records. I wasn’t sold on that record. I worked on it very hard, but it’s very difficult to make a good vocal record. It’s about the connection. It’s a group effort so I’m very happy with the news from Billboard.
When was the first moment when you had to pinch yourself and say – this is happening?
MV: Can you pinch me now? [laughs] It hasn’t hit me at all! I still get shocked when fans recognize me.
Any sneak peek for what summer holds for you guys?
MV: Well we just signed a residency in Ibiza with Gatecrasher so we’re going to do that for four months. And the festivals – Tomorrowland, SIZE Matters stage at Creamfields and more SIZE in the Park shows – Sweden, New York and hopefully LA! But I’ll definitely be back for XIV! Those are good parties!
Check out the video for Max Vangeli’s latest single Last Night Changed It All:
And check out the video for QULINEZ’s Rising Like the Sun
Photo credit: Sharon Kim www.sykphotos.com