In every edition of Audiul Visio we take a look at the relationship between music, art and design. From editorials to artist interviews to galleries, it’s your guide to visual perspectives on all things music.
For our first edition, we asked new group Fight Clvb some questions about their image, bringing disparate brands together, generating conversation, and the art of film.
SYD: Hi guys! So, the new group combines three very different personalities into one entity and a big live show. How hard is it to combine separate established musicians and artists into a new project?
SAV: It’s challenging to adapt to each other’s sensibilities as artists but as people we understand and read each other very well. The decision to form this group was not overnight. We put a lot of thought and time into nurturing our aesthetic. We want the project to reflect the three of us equally without compromising anyone’s vision.
MYSTEREO: The key is having all of the involved artists understanding the bigger picture and the greater cause, which is the group. This isn’t about any one of us individually. This is about FIGHT CLVB as a whole, as a group. SAV, myself, and our incredibly awesome partner, Carly M. Burns all understand that. The three of us have our own distinct personalities, and the way that we mesh together, (which is evident in our live shows, skits, promos, etc.) is part of our overall charm. Obviously, SAV and myself have pre-existing brands together from “Sazon Booya” to our “SAV” project. There are certain character traits, ideas, themes that we established in those brands that are too much a part of who we are to just drop. So there will be some of those elements that show up in FIGHT CLVB. However, this brand is not about rehashing old ideas and staying complacent, we’re all about taking it to the next level, expanding on ideas, creating new ones, and always staying fresh.
CARLY: It is at times a little intimidating working with SAV and Mystereo because they have so much experience in the industry, but they have valuable advice and they make the work process an adventure. SAV and I have a completely different approach to composition and production. I started playing violin and piano at a young age, classically trained, I try to follow certain structures and chord progression, whilst Stephen’s approach is more experimental. His teachers have been some great and varied producers which makes for an interesting process. It can be frustrating at times when our methods clash, but the end result is always beautiful and different to me. It’s great when we can mesh the two and I hope to eventually incorporate some organic and classical instruments into our sound. I look forward to the future.
SYD: Does the brand and group identity ever influence or inspire your music and vice versa?
CARLY: I think in our own way we each represent what FIGHT CLVB is all about. Personally I’m from a family of lawyers and doctors, so choosing music as a career was a big risk. Something my Dad is not completely pleased with, but my parents are extremely supportive. I don’t like rules, Mystereo and SAV are definitely that way as well. I hope our music conveys that message. Lyrically and musically I’m drawn to darker material. With tracks like ‘Blood Is Beautiful’ and ‘ILLUMINATI’ you can expect dark lyrics, interesting chord progression and big drops with solid drums. Something you might expect to see in a movie at a club for an underground society.
SAV: I would say they influence each other. Sometimes Carly is in a cheery mood and sometimes she’s not, the results ultimately become songs that eventually become full fledged tracks/cuts. The same can be said in regards to Mystereo, his attitude and persona reflect our behavior and direction musically. Mystereo is not just our hype man; he’s our partner and creative consultant. We feed off his energy and so do the club goers. If our music is lacking something Mystereo will address it.
MYSTEREO: For me, I let everything happen organically. You can’t force creativity. Personally, I’m just living it. I wear my face–mask– whatever you want to call it, everywhere I go and with everything I do. Its not a gimmick, its an image, I live it. There is no better way to make great art than to simply live it, and always be about that life. If you are truly about that life, people can recognize that in your art, and it makes them wanna fuck with you, in the good sense.
SYD: To you, how important is ‘building a brand’ to modern day music?
SAV: Building a proper brand is almost as essential as making quality music. If you study some of the most popular artists in the industry today, you’ll find that their brand has catapulted their music in many instances. I pride myself in developing the brand with the music and having the two grow organically and symmetrically.
MYSTEREO: I think its safe to say that the overall visual of the brand just feels big. SAV has incredible presence, a dope haircut, and awesome skills on the decks. Carly M. Burns is a gorgeous blonde girl who makes kick ass “rockin’ out” type facial expressions and hand gestures– Oh, and a smile that puts Julia Roberts to shame–And then there’s me. The hype man with the unconventional “face” that everyone refers to as a mask. From the moment that music hits, I have one mission, rage my face off, engage the crowd, and have them rage their faces off, alongside me. My point is there is certainly something “Big” about the way the three of us look and handle ourselves, and I think that compliments the epicness of the Big Room house music that we play and make. That being said, as much as our look stands out; we never want that to overshadow or undermine the music. The music always has to be on point.
CARLY: Branding is absolutely key to selling any type of product whether it be merchandise, a beauty product, or a group. Luckily Stephen is no stranger to successful branding as well as a film and music video director. FIGHT CLVB is supposed to represent the urban, against the grain glamour of a big, cosmopolitan city. The visuals are very grainy, city shots, cryptic, and raw, but very beautiful. I also look forward to what Stephen comes up with developing the brand! We’re also putting out a mini documentary featuring Mystereo and Skerrit Bwoy, Major Lazer’s former hype man which will definitely be one to look out for. We want to use all types of media and experiment with techniques other artists may not be using.
SYD: Tell us more about the teaser videos you released before the official announcement of Fight Clvb.
MYSTEREO: The teaser videos we released prior to announcing the group were simply made to generate as much buzz as we could for it without actually giving up who we were or what it meant. If you go back and watch those videos, however, it wasn’t all just random images. It all meant something, and there were clear hints in there as to who and what we were all about. For instance, there are images of Marilyn Monroe, indicative of a female singer (Carly m. Burns), and an image of a Luchador, indicative of this guy right here! That’s all I’m gonna say though. You can go back and find the rest of the hints yourself, haha!
SAV: We are all fans of the “less is more” approach. We wanted to come out the gates giving people just enough to wonder what we were up to but not enough for them to figure it out entirely on their own. The point was never to reveal who we were or that we were becoming a group, it was always to spawn conversation and fluster those who always need to be in the know. Its difficult to keep things from the internet but we managed to keep it a secret amongst ourselves to make the ultimate revelation special.
CARLY: I really wanted to put out something cryptic, that you could go back and watch once you knew what FIGHT CLVB was and understand the random images. SAV told me “you know no one will understand what the hell this is…” I said I knew but that was the fun of it. The few people that knew posted the first teaser on Facebook and it was really fun to read peoples reactions on social media and their complete bewilderment and confusion. By the third video they were annoyed because it was like an inside joke. It’s amazing to have someone who both produces music and is a filmmaker. Instead of going through videographers, we get things done a lot faster because Stephen understands the brand and what is most effective.
SYD: Stephen, you’re a filmmaker as well as a musician. Is there any insight you gain from one career that influences the other?
SAV: It took several attempts to finally mesh my filmmaker sensibilities with my musical endeavours. The film world is just as competitive (if not moreso) than the music industry. From a business sense they are both very similar. I find that there is a stronger sense of solidarity amongst musicians than there is amongst filmmakers, which is a shame, given that making films has become more accessible due to technological advances. Ten years ago it was practically impossible to shoot quality projects without breaking the bank. I remember purchasing a DV camera for over $1200, now its considered an antique. Its discouraging but I really hope one day filmmakers can come together to collaborate future projects.
When I finished the Electro Wars documentary I knew I wanted to delve further into the rabbit hole. When I envisioned Sazon Booya I fulfilled that void and became a different artist, a hybrid cross over between filmmaker and performer. With FIGHT CLVB I feel I have finally found my footing. I want to incorporate as many visually cryptic elements into our live shows without disorienting the crowd. Every image and transition will carry meaning and will always tie back to us and our ideologies as people. Future music videos will also pay homage to auteurs that I am very fond of.
Syd: Thanks for your time, guys!
You can buy their new single, Shout That, on Beatport.
Fight Clvb on: