A few weeks ago, dear friend and sometimes writer on this blog, Danny Allen told me to check out a group from Australia called Audego. Music is one of the top things I care about in life, so I'm pretty judgmental and I can sometimes be skeptical when people tell me who to check out. Fortunately, Danny is one of the few people who I have complete trust in when it comes to musical likes and dislikes, so I listened to him and gave Audego a shot. After a few songs in, I was sold. That same night I creeped their Twitter and asked them if I could interview them for a blog, and I was fortunate enough for them to actually accept this offer. Therefore, I am super pumped to bring you an interview with Carolyn 'Big Fella' Tariq, one half of Audego. She was kind enough to take some time out to answer some riveting (and some not so riveting) questions about Audego and music in general. Big Fella and her partner in crime Pasobionic have a new album that came out this past fall entitled 'Beneath the Static and the Low', so go check out that album and support these guys. They are certainly worth a listen.
1. What got you guys into music? Was there any band or singer that made you guys say "Yep. That's what I want to do"
I’ve always been doing music; singing since forever and playing various instruments through school. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were huge to me growing up, and then I fell in love with Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Fiona Apple. I don’t think there was a particular catalyst that got me involved in making music except that I always loved doing it. Public Enemy really inspired Paso to make music, but I think he already felt compelled toward it too. I think music ability is innate.
2. How did you guys meet up and decide that you could work well together and make some quality music?
We met through a remix that Paso did of one of my solo tracks from back in the day. He killed it. From there we formed Audego in 2010 and have been making tracks ever since.
3. How did you guys come up with the name 'Audego'? Does it symbolize anything or is there a story behind it?
Audego is a mash up of “audio” and “lego”. When we are writing, we usually chuck in little bits at a time to slowly build it. So it will either start with a basic vocal harmony repeating, or a basic beat structure, or the main vocal idea, and from there we fill in the gaps.
4. Your music video for 'Fight' is pretty amazing and even more trippy. How did you guys come up with that concept? It left me pretty mesmerized when I watched it. Made me think of the old videos they would play when MTV first came out where it seemed videos would try to just get as weird as possible.
We didn’t have much to do with the filmclip concept. Vidad Narayan and Bryce McCoy from Round3 Creative developed those ideas. They did such a good job. We told them we wanted something surreal, and they grew it out from there.
5. How would you describe your music? I'm at a loss on how to properly describe it besides just calling it awesome and intriguing.
Ah, thank you! That’s really nice to hear. We don’t really know what genre to say we are either, but generally we just call it electronic. We describe it as beatsy, crusty stuff with layers of dusty vocals. We used to call it future-noir electronic, but that seemed a bit wanky. We have influences from so many different genres it’s hard to pin down which genre we feel we belong to.
6. Today a lot of people discover new music through Spotify or iTunes under 'Similar Artists' or 'Related Music'. Do you think this is a good way to have your music discovered or do you kind of wish you could stand out on your own and maybe catch people off guard and hook them into checking out more of your stuff?
We would prefer to stand out on our own, but if being “similar” to another artist helps expand your audience then we’re grateful. At this point we’re just happy to have people hear our shit.
7. Are there any artists you consider yourself similar to? Or maybe some artists that you think you should be compared to?
I always get annoyed being compared to other bands but I know people like to box things in to help them understand. I do it all the time to other bands, but it stings a little when people compare us to other acts. We really don’t want to sound like anyone else. If something (in the arts) has been done, you shouldn’t do it again.
8. Is it true that all Australians can surf and enjoy some shrimp on the barby?
We do like to surf the Internet, and we do love little people, but not on barbecues. You shouldn’t call them shrimp either. It’s offensive.
9. What has been your biggest show to date and what were your feelings going into that show?
Ah, biggest show….Hmmm. We saw Lauryn Hill perform for a festival a couple of years ago, but she seemed over it. She only did a twenty-minute set and all her tracks were twice the speed that they normally are, so that was disappointing. I saw Tina Turner when I was ten. That was huge and awesome. She was working it hard, all sweaty and stuff. I touched her sweaty hand and didn’t shower for a few days afterward out of respect for her sweat. She’s the coolest.
10. Have any kickass pre-show rituals like rip some shots of whiskey or play a game of Jenga to calm you down before playing?
We’re both pathologically shy so it’s kinda weird that we are performers. I have to drink about 5 chamomile teas to rest my nerves and Paso will have a couple of pre-gig nervous cigarettes. We’re really wild.
11. What is your dream venue to play? Is there a certain place that if you play it, you'll know that you've made out to be pretty successful?
I would have liked to play on Jimmy Fallon’s show. He’s doing the Tonight Show now though, so now I want to play on the Tonight Show. I would also love to play on the Colbert Report.
12. Have you had a moment yet in your careers where you were left thinking "Holy shit, I can't believe this is real?"
I think when our filmclips were getting played on TV in Australia that was one of those moments. I grew up watching RAGE (Australia’s best music show), so when our clips were on there, that was weird, but so cool.
13. If you could open up for any band on a tour, who would it be?
Opening for the Black Keys would be cool. It would also be really cool to open for Outkast or Frank Ocean.
14. Are Big Fella and Pasobionic your real names?
Big Fella is my real name, I also go by my stage alias, Carolyn Tariq. Pasobionic was born Paso, but changed it to Pasobionic for pizzazz and moxy’s sake.
15. A lot of artists have a lot of demands on their tour 'rider' where they need certain things in their dressing room before a show. The Ramones always needed a bunch of cheese pizzas, Katy Perry needs a shit load of candles, and Van Halen demanded a bowl of M&M's with all the brown colored ones taken out. What would be on your tour rider/list of demands?
I think cheese pizza is an awesome idea. The Ramones knew what was up. I would want cheese pizza too. Why would you want fucking candles? What a waste of a wish.
16. Any artists you would love to collaborate with?
Andre 3000 or Frank Ocean.
17. What would you guys be doing if you weren't making music?
We’re both awkward at verbal conversation, so music is a way to communicate for us. Without it, we would be emotionally constipated; backed up and full of emotional turds. Or you know, if we weren’t making music, maybe we would have improved our people skills due to the lack a creative alternative and would be superior versions to what we are now.
-Big thank you to Carolyn for this interview. Pretty cool to do this with you, and I hope you and Pasobionic come over to Boston for a show so we can get some beers. Once again, everyone check out Audego and spread the good word!