Above & Beyond captivate audiences worldwide through mesmerizing trance beats laced with smart lyrics. From upbeat dance tracks designed for nightclubs, to chill rhythms fit for an ultra-lounge experience, Above & Beyond continue to evolve their sound while touring the globe and feeding the people what they want.
Comprised of three unique talents, Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki, Above & Beyond stand apart for their acute attention to detail, from the intimate song-making process, to the dynamic live performance before thousands of screaming fans. Leading the industry since 2000, Above & Beyond are currently ranked fifth in the DJ Magazine annual poll, which makes them the highest placed Brits in the game.
Above & Beyond return to San Diego for a two-day British invasion at FLUXX. The party starts on Wednesday, Jan. 18 with an 18+ show, and picks back up with EDM on Thursday, Jan. 19 for the 21+ crowd.
We chatted with Jono Grant for an update on all things Above & Beyond.
Explain your signature sound. Industry misconceptions?
Our signature sound changes, stemming from sentiment of the songs and what we are influenced by at the time. However, I think there is always a core of influences that we all have that you can hear in the music, and it's largely the style of production that changes over the years.
The biggest misconception about the industry is that it's all a lot of fun the whole time. There's a lot of fun involved, but there is also a lot of work involved getting to the fun bits! I wouldn't change it for the world, though. Well maybe a little more sleep would be nice!
As a trio, how do you best work together? Individual strengths and quirks?
Tony is a very good lyricist and good at thinking outside the box. I'm really into the music, harmony, production and kind of how the lyrics sound rather than what they actually say. Paavo is also very much into the music like me. Sometimes we find it's great to get back to basics - having so many options in the studio can be intimidating, so writing at the acoustic piano often makes sense before heading to the studio.
Three things we don’t know about you – the men behind the music?
Tony is very funny quick-witted much of the time, I can be pretty blunt, absolute and determined about things to the point of obsessiveness, and although you might not expect it, Paavo is probably the toughest one of us in terms of being stubborn! It must be the Finnish genes. Overall we manage to make it work somehow, though I've no idea as we can all be quite challenging people at times!
Favorite Above & Beyond tracks and remixes?
Hmmm, that's a bit self-indulgent but my favourite is probably Air For Life.
What do you love most about the nightclub scene in San Diego?
San Diego seems very laid back to me, and the people are very relaxed too. I love that about a lot of California - it's a very sunny place to us Brits!
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done during a live performance?
Last time I was in San Diego, during our set I signed a guy's arm, and the next day he tweeted a picture of a tattoo of the signature. That kind of stuff is pretty mad, and I feel a sense of responsibility, but people will do what they will do I suppose.
What new projects are you working on in 2012?
At the moment we are remixing many of our own tracks from Group Therapy ourselves in the studio.
On Scene: View our photo gallery of Above & Beyond at FLUXX in 2010