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brancaccio and aisher

first published on oilzine.com
(written in collaboration with viesha tews)

The year 2000 saw the release of Luke Brancaccio & Bruce Aisher’s first single as a production team on their own label, ‘Player One’. Since then, ‘Player One’ has gone on to establish itself in dance music as a prime mover in progressive house, its rise mirroring that of Brancaccio & Aisher’s artistic reputation.

Through the wonders of modern technology (i.e. a mobile phone), Viesha, our intrepid music reporter, got the chance to quiz Luke & Bruce on such subjects as their forthcoming single “It’s Gonna Be… (A Lovely Day)” [released 4th March], the state of the NHS, supermarkets, Neil Sedaka, and Swedish drinking songs.

Hmmmmm, intriguing…

(Unfortunately, due to the limitations of mobile technology Viesha could only speak to them one at a time. Well, beggars can’t be choosers, except that one our editor once met in Amsterdam who wanted Pounds Sterling and not Euros, the cheeky get.)

Viesha: I hope you realise that this isn’t going to be your usual type of interview with questions about your ‘musical direction’, ‘past musical projects’, and that sort of thing. Hopefully it’ll be a little more lively than that.
Luke Brancaccio: Ah, well that’s good.

V: All right, first question.
LB: I’m gonna have to say these questions to Bruce as well, OK? Bear with me, sweetheart.

V: Ok. You cite one of your influences as ‘Hip Hop’. If you were to have a hip operation, would you go private or NHS?
LB: [Laughs + relays to Bruce] [Little discussion] Bruce has got Columbia medical coverage so he’d use that, and, erm, I’d go on NHS for the pain. No pain, no gain.

V: No seriously, you describe your music as “forward thinking dance music”.
LB: Hopefully

V: Can you elaborate on that?
LB: [Laughs] Not much... Basically, we try and just touch as many genres as we can. I mean a lot of people haven’t heard our other stuff, but even our dance stuff is just … [Bruce says something in the background]... Bruce said that you’ve got to listen to everything and take your influences from everywhere, and move things forward. You know, I just think our production isn’t really conventional and we’re trying to be cutting edge with that.

V: Did you actually get to work in the studio with Bini & Martini and John Digweed for the “It’s Gonna Be…(A Lovely Day)” release? Or was it a case of sending it to them, and them working on it remotely?
LB: No, like, we didn’t work with Bini & Martini or John Digweed. For remixes, generally, they’re sent to the artist. We have a close working relationship, obviously, with John Digweed. The only relationship we have with Bini & Martini is that I’m Italian, and we both eat lots of pasta [laughs]. But, erm, no, John Digweed looked after us a lot and helped us along our way. But we haven’t yet worked with them other than DJing with Digweed.

V: Another of your influences that you’ve mentioned before is Jim Morrison...
LB: Yeah.

V: Have ever been to Morrison’s supermarket in Ripon?
LB: [Laughs]

V: 'Cos Stephen, our editor, his dad designed it.
LB: Really? [Laughs] that’s really cool… Where is it?

V: Ripon
LB: [Relays to Bruce]... Bruce has been to Morrison’s in Grantham and in, erm, Manchester. Yeah, we’re frequent visitors to Morrison’s, they’ve got quite good spam.

V: Nice one. But what is it, really, about Morrison that you like so much?
LB: Well obviously his music, but just the whole thing, 'cos he was a proper fucking rock star…

V: The whole package…
LB: Yeah, and he done it all very well... and he died young in a bath… Quite cool… with big hair. Big hair is cool.

V: OK, so what are you up to at the moment, do you have any new projects on the go?
LB: We’ve got a lot of stuff happening at the moment. Getting records ready for Miami… And we’re starting up a little record label called ‘Suicide Sports Club’. We’ve already got a record label called ‘Player One’, which is, like, dance music, but this will be a more band-orientated one…

V: I understand that you, like ourselves, watch a lot of crap TV when possible, do you have any particular favourite programmes?
LB: [Laughs, then talks to Bruce] I like Judge Judy, man, she’s quite cool. Family Affairs is good on a Sunday, 'cos it’s like 4 hours or something… 8 episodes of Family Affairs.

V: What about Bargain Hunt?
LB: Yeah, Bargain Hunt is quite cool… I’ll tell you what programme really upsets me, and just really makes me want to cry is Trisha. 'Cos I feel so sorry for everybody including her.

V: Now we’ve got a final few quick-fire questions. Our Sma.Shits questions if you like:
LB: Shall I pass you to Bruce? Get a bit of variety, OK?.... All right bye, then.

V: Bye

Bruce Aisher: Hi, how are you?

V: Alright thanks, how are you?
BA: Cool.

V: Good. Right, back to it. Alice Tinker from BBC’s ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ once asked the question “If you could be any character from history, which Womble would it be?” So basically, who was your favourite Womble?
BA: Our favourite Womble?...[Luke shouts in distance ‘Uncle Bulgaria’] Luke says Uncle Bulgaria, but I’d have to say Orinoco, 'cos it’s quite a cool name [Luke shouts in distance ‘No, Orinoco’] [Laughs] …You can hear him in the back? Getting excited you see: TV.

V: If you had no option, what 4 items would you take to a Neil Sedaka concert?
BA: Erm… I’d take a microphone, a minidisk recorder, and I’d do my own bootleg… and I’d take a mini disk, so that’s three. And, erm, also a pair of earmuffs. So I could bootleg it, but I wouldn’t actually have to hear it.

V: Where do you see yourself, personally and with Bruce, in 10 years?
BA: [Laughs] With Bruce? I am Bruce, you mean Luke.

V: Oh yeah sorry, sorry… (All my questions are written down and in the excitement I’ve forgotten they’ve changed over) … I’ve just gone in to my blind spot in my brain.
BA: [Laughs] No, that’s alright. Where do we see ourselves in how long?

V: In 10 years.
BA: In 10 years… Probably relaxing with my large family in an unknown location, probably some sort of tax haven. [Talks to Luke] Luke would be in a casino in Vegas, but unfortunately, he’d be working there. [Laughs] No, realistically, we’re still gonna be doing good music.

V: What clubs did you used to go to as a fan of dance music, rather than as a DJ?
BA: Well I was in Manchester 10 years ago, as a student, so I used to hang out in places there, like Hacienda. The obvious one really, there was a place called Conspiracy… and Man Alive. These were all places that were quite cool for house music. So in terms of formative years then that was it really.

V: And who have been your major influences?
BA: To begin with, the whole idea of house music was just great, that was inspiring enough. Then you had people coming along like Dave Morales, particularly in the early days, someone who did great mixes, great tunes, and the production was really good. You really couldn’t fault it and it still sounds good today. So things like that. And really all the people in the old days like Todd Terry, and everybody had an influence in some way. All types of music, you’ve just got to listen to everything: Rock music, Classical, Siberian nose-flute orchestras…

V: Fisherman songs?
BA: …Well, not fisherman songs, I’m not too keen on fisherman songs… only Swedish fisherman songs… [Luke shouts something] Swedish drinking songs are Luke’s favourite, and also Neapolitan light opera, I think.

V: Tell us something unusual about yourself. Something that we won’t have read or heard anywhere else.
BA: Erm… [Laughs] I’m obviously so interesting that there’s too many things to mention… erm, [Talks to Luke] Luke says he wears women’s underwear, but half the population do anyway… erm, and I wear Luke’s underwear, erm, no. There must be something that’s not completely ridiculous… [Talks to Luke] Luke was arrested in Compton, LA… And I worked with Dido, I played on the album, but maybe most people know that.

V: Bill Withers did the original of “Lovely Day”…
BA: Well, the original original. Bill Withers wrote the song, C&C Music Factory did a cover of his tune although it was hardly the same, and we used the vocal from the C&C tune, but just the vocal… But if you look on the credits it does look like we co-wrote it with Bill Withers, and strictly publishing-wise, that is what happened.

V: Finally, to finish off, peas or beans, and why?
BA: [Relays to Luke] Petit pois, you know, the both of us. They’re class, I like those with a nice little bit of butter.

V: Well that rounds us off. Thanks ever so much. Good luck with everything.
BA: Thanks very much. Cool. Seeya. Bye.

V: Bye.

Brancaccio & Aisher - "It's Gonna Be... (A Lovely Day)" is released on 4th March 2001 on Credence.

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