An Informal Talk With Feenixpawl
The Artist Mansion at TomorrowWorld was a go-to destination for all the who’s who at the festival. Artists, managers, writers, photographers, and crew members alike could rub elbows and have a free drink. While waiting for a scheduled interview with another artist, this gal got a chance to meet Australian producers Feenixpawl and get to know them and ask a few questions. Of course, with all impromptu interviews, the questions were on the spot, the subjects were informal, and the overall demeanor of everyone involved was a little unprofessional. However, it seems that informal and random chats are often the best ones. Somehow, the interview started with us comparing how many drinks we’ve had so far that day. I was only “halfway there and catching up to us” according to the boys, then the conversation really kicked off.
I’m from Wisconsin, and those guys really know how to drink.
Well we’re from Australia.
I feel like people from Wisconsin and people from Australia are about in the same boat when it comes to drinking. I’ve known a couple people who have gone to Australia and come back raging alcoholics.
Yes, that happens.
But we don’t condone that kind of behavior. We enjoy it, but we don’t condone it.
It’s all about drinking responsibly, doesn’t necessarily mean don’t drink, just drink as long as you can still handle yourself.
A lot of people don’t know what their limit is.
True. And it’s all relative. But we’ll get off that subject and talk more about you guys. How did you come up with your name?
His middle name is actually Phoenix, and my middle name is Paul, so that’s the long and the short of it. We used to tell people different stories that were just completely whack.
And we couldn’t continue that charade forever. Every time we did an interview, we couldn’t come up with a new story, so we just started telling the truth.
Yeah, we told the truth. And now the truth is out. No one gives a shit.
At this moment, their agent stepped in to say something, but quickly realized we were still doing the interview. She seemed extremely apologetic (she just wanted to snag some cookies from the table we were sitting), but I assured her that she had never been to my type of interview and all sort of professionalism was far out the window. So, we decided to add her into the mix. Her name is Stephanie and she is a beautiful bombshell. Later, after the interview, she engaged in an arm wrestling match with electro god Tommy Trash. She gave a valiant effort but unfortunately fell short of a victory.
Now back to the questions:
So what do you think is the best part about working in the music industry?
I think for me it’s freedom. When we were younger, people were always asking “When are you going to get a real job?” Sort of like, well this is a real job. For us now, we decide where we want to take our direction, when we want to work, how hard we want to work. Now, we work really hard, but we have freedom to do what we want and travel when we want. I don’t want to be locked in to a 9 to 5, stuck in traffic every day. That’s one thing that I really love about it.
I’m exactly the same, we don’t have to sit behind a desk. Sometimes we do when we’re making music, but it’s not the same as some of my friends back home in Australia who are lawyers and doctors, and some of them love it but some of them hate it, and we get to do what we love and that’s what we appreciate about this whole business. It’s given us that opportunity to be ourselves and that’s all that matters.
So then what is the worst thing about being in the music industry?
It’s kind of like the best and worst thing is the travel. We get to see all these amazing places we would ever see, but at the same time we’re always away from our family and our friends and it can be really lonely. We still appreciate what we do, we still love what we do but it’s kind of like “I wish I was back home with my girlfriend,” and you see your friends posting photos of your friend’s birthday on Facebook and you’re the only one that’s not there…it can be hard in that way, but you take the good with the bad.
Last night was the Australian football grand final, and our two teams were playing against each other and we used to go every year and now we can’t go. And that’s a frustrating thing, but you take the good with the bad. I miss being at home, but I love what we’re doing and it’s an absolute blessing to be at TomorrowWorld.
What’s the best place you’ve visited so far?
Mykonos. We go to Mykonos every year, the first time we went was in 2011, and we fell in love with that place and we’ve been back every year since.
So for us, we were sort of struggling DJs I’d like to say from Australia and we went to Mykonos and met up with a buddy of ours named Ivan Gough and we DJ’d there and he loved what we played, and he’s like “Let’s go home and make some music,” and we made a track called “In My Mind,” which did really well. So Mykonos for us was sort of a game changer, and we go back there, we play there every year and we love going back there and we always have fond memories of that place.
What do you think of TomorrowWorld so far?
It’s amazing. I didn’t actually expect it to be this big, it’s such a vast space. We were traveling from our stage to the compound and it took forever, and now we’re back here and you can see the main stage, its kind of in the distance. Most extravagant festival I’ve ever been to, I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.
Yeah, that’s the good and the bad.The good thing is its so big and so amazing, but at the same time I’m looking at the main stage like “Man, now I’ve got to go all the way the fuck over there! I want to go over there but I’m tired.” But it’s actually ridiculous the scope of this festival. They’re doing something unique here that no one’s done before. They just need more golf carts.
What are you most excited to see? Are you guys here all weekend?
No, we’re here for just today, then we go back to L.A. we’ve got the Groove Cruise coming up which is terrifying in a good way. It’s hard work, that’s 96 hours of non-stop music and drinking.
Well, we choose that. We choose to be on the boat for 96 hours…
Then, up walks Tommy Trash.
Guys like us, we came up DJing with guys like Tommy and Dirty South, The Stafford Brothers we all sort of came up together. We were the younger ones, the last ones to leave the nest, so we only moved to L.A. about a year ago.
Australians are so well traveled, all they want to do is get out. There’s nothing in Australia, we’re on an island so everyone leaves. And we sort of got to a point where we felt like we’d done Australia and we needed to leave and do the next step. You don’t want to be a big fish in a small pond, I’d rather be a small fish in a big pond. So we left, packed up and it was hard work but obviously we don’t regret it, we’re here.
I think you succeeded in doing that, being that small fish. So who are you going to see tonight?
Tommy! We’re going to see Tommy and I don’t think we’ve really stayed and watch [Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike] before, and the thing is we’ve gotten into the habit of playing at a festival and staying for two or three hours and leaving and doing something else. Tonight I think we’re going to stay until the end. We’ll see how it goes. High hopes. Go hard or go home.
Next week , next Monday, our new single is coming out on Axtone … This is me doing promo. It’s coming out on Axtone next Monday, it’s with DubVision, its called “Destination.”
What’s the best thing about “Destination?”
We haven’t had a track out on Axtone since “In My Mind,” and it reminds us of how much fun that whole experience was, and it’s probably going to be the biggest thing we’ve done since.
But for us, we’ve been playing it, DubVision has been playing it, Axwell‘s been playing it, for the past year, and no one knew who it was, who made the track. There’s a lot of hype about it so we’re proud of it and hopefully people enjoy it when it comes out.
So what makes you guys stand out among all the other DJ’s that are out there?
I can’t really say, but all we can say about ourselves is that we love what we do, we’ve always done this kind of music, we haven’t really followed the fads and gone up and down with the new genres that are popular, we’ve always done it. We make our own music, we worked really hard in our craft, we’re not someone who will pay someone else to make the tracks for us, we do it all on our own. And I think we’ve got to where we are now, we’re not exactly at the top but we did everything on our own. This is all us, every song that you hear that’s ours, that’s us in the studio, that’s us on our laptops. We’ve making it ourselves and we’re proud of where we are, I don’t know if that sets us apart from anyone else.
I think we’re a testament to the fact that if you love dance music and you love producing then you can go somewhere just by working hard. It look us a long time.
When did you start making music?
12 years ago.
A long time. Not everyone can be an amazing producer straightaway. Not everyone can be Alesso and Avicii right away. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bad, it just means it takes you a while to create your craft. We did the hard yards very early, we played all the early sets, all the warm up DJing, we were making tracks that no one heard, we did all that and it turned into something good. So, it shows you can’t give up because you can still get inspiration. That’s the inspirational message, we’ll get a cat, and we’ll make a meme and that’ll be the message.
“Never give up” “I hate Mondays”
We’ll get on that, we’ll make a bunch of T-shirts, and that’ll be your next marketing campaign. Do you want the cat to be fat?
I want the cat to be clinging onto life just like a little bit. Out on the clothesline.
He’s holding on dearly, but he’s never giving up! He’s hanging on,
The cat is near death and he’s trying to make music.
A cat trying to do a pull-up, basically. We’ll work on that.
“I hate Mondays, but never give up!”
Feenixpawl is a group that reflects what it truly means to be a musician. They are approachable, fun, and have a true passion for what they do. They stand out by being true producers and their hard work has clearly paid off. Stick to Sensible Reason for any updates on the group, and check out the new video for their single, “Destination” below.