Airports

By Ben Doy

Consisting of Aaron Lee and Nathan Moss, the Australian electronic/pop/rock duo Airports are currently riding high with the success of their latest single 'Distance'

The pair were in Auckland recently where I had the chance to sit down over a coffee with lads and chat about all things Airports. 

How did Airports form?

Aaron: Mossy (Nathan) and I were playing music together just though different projects, before we started Airports. We met through some mutual friends at studio sessions. We started our own project about three years ago which was Airports. It seemed a bit hard at first because we lived in different States. And that’s part of the name. 

And the first single is called Distance, is that tied in with your name as well?

Aaron: Actually that has nothing to do with it. That’s kind of funny though, we didn’t think about that.

How tricky is it living between the two cities? 

Nathan:  It’s got its pros and cons… like everything. The pros are you get your chance to write creatively. The cons are you aren't in the same studio space or environment all the time. But you make the most of it when you're in the same area. 

So no plans for either to relocate? 

Aaron: We've both got our own things going on in each city. Like I've got a production team that I work with, and I'm doing a lot of other artist development and producing a lot in Sydney. And Mossy's got his place up in Brisbane. In the future we'll see what happens but at the moment it seems to be working. 

How would you describe your sound? 

Aaron: It's kind of like if you get someone who grew up with rock, then put them with another one who grew up with punk bands... but one of them was a DJ, and one of them was a session musician... then put them in a blender, add a lot of burrito... a lot of influence from pop, urban and EDM music, then you have Airports. 

Nathan: On a recent plane trip we were flying to Tamworth in Australia, and it's the country music capital. And on the flight a little old lady sitting next to me said "So are you a country band or bluegrass?". Those were like to only two options, like it couldn't be anything else. 

Does that make it tricky getting played on radio stations? 

Aaron: No it's worked fine. I guess right now we really fit into the pop market; we've got a current sound and we've got a bit of urban and you can still hear a bit of a punky tone in my voice .

So who were your early influences growing up? 

Aaron: My biggest influences growing up were Michael Jackson, Blink 182,... a whole bunch of different rap and urban acts... and then a whole of of different EDM, as I was a DJ for a lot of years. 

Nathan: For me it was bands like Green Day, Nirvana... Blink would be in there as well; all those pop punk bands.  And as I got older I got into more funky kind of stuff like so bands like Flight Facilities,  Chromeo,... when I'm at home I'm listening to funk stuff. 

Aaron: But our influences now, because we're in this digital era, it's hard to pinpoint a favourite artist because you have access to so many great songs. 

How's the current music scene in Australia? 

Aaron: It's interesting. Australia is pretty different to New Zealand. Over here you seem a lot more open and accepting of different music, where as in Australia you kind of have to fit. There's a big Australian radio station called Triple J. And they're great, they're like a really strong platform for unsigned Australian talent, but it's kind of like if you don't fit that you don't have as many opportunities. If you fit it's great, but if you don't it can be restricting. 

And you're working on your debut album now, is now that right? 

Aaron: We're working on a body of music. 

Nathan: We're not sure if it'll be an EP or an album or what. To be honest I don't think either of us expected Distance to go as well as it has. It's been like "Wow, this is insane".  It's funny when things like that happen and plans kind of change a bit. So I guess we're just going to wait and see. But we never stop writing. 

Where did you record Distance? 

Aaron: We did it at home. I produce from home and sometimes work in various studios in Sydney, and same with Mossy in Brisbane. And we've been out here recording some of our other music at Parachute, so we kind of do it just anywhere. and it all comes together. 

You've played a lot of festivals in Australia and New Zealand, do you have a stand out thus far? 

Aaron: The festival we did in Hamilton for sure. Because Kiwis are like the nicest people ever. You all love music and it's non-political. It's really pure here. 

What other plans do you have for 2016? 

Aaron: We just want to see how far we can go with Distance, and see if we can come back to New Zealand. 

Nathan: We love playing over here

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