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Meet the DJs remixing your favourite rock groups with infectious dance beats


Photograph: 'DJs Roxanne Roll and Smooth Sailing', LA Launch Party, Sympathy for the Disco. Photo by Mekeal Dawson.

DJ duo Fleetmac Wood will be pleased to meet you at London's Moth Club later this month when they switch up their dance remixes of Fleetwood Mac to offer their own eccentric take on the music of The Rolling Stones.

Fleetmac Wood call themselves "a remix project and party dedicated to one of the greatest bands of our time." Rethinking and editing Mac's greatest hits and pepping them up with a fresh dancefloor feel, their cerebral live sets are as innovative as the dreamlike songs penned by Stevie Nicks herself.

But now the duo, DJs Roxanne Roll and Smooth Sailing (incredibly, their real names...) have lifted the songbook of the Stones for a new night at east London’s Moth Club; with its glittery, sparkly interior it is every bit as glamorous as one of Mick's jackets.

Expect trembling disco basslines and surges of electro-pop drum beats.

The music of other "like-minded cats" from the Stones era will also be twisted and spun into new formations on the night, so prep up to hear some of rock's most familiar sounds distorted in the most beguiling new ways.

Run Riot caught up with Roxanne Roll behind the mayhem to hear more about their sonic inspiration for mashing up music's most-loved hits, ahead of their Moth Club premiere on June 1st. (Disclaimer: we were only kidding about those being their actual names...)

Adam Bloodworth: You're known for playing the songs of another famous band (We can't think who...). What made you switch from Fleetwood Mac to The Rolling Stones?
Roxanne Roll:
I am a huge Rolling Stones fan and the idea came years ago. We did do a Stones-only DJ set at Glastonbury's The Beat Hotel the year they played at the festival, but it’s only recently that we had a moment to work on that sound more. Our Fleetmac Wood party is more for the head and the heart: it’s dreamy, emotional. In contrast, Sympathy for the Disco (in the words of Keith Richards) “is for the neck down”.

Adam: What is the enduring appeal of the Stones?
Roxanne:
They are rebellious, loose, sexy, unafraid and unique. They channeled the American blues artists like Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, who were largely ignored by mainstream America, added their idiosyncratic British sound and shined a light on America’s own cultural wealth. Sometimes it takes an outsider to make people listen. The enduring appeal is the music and the anti-establishment rock 'n' roll spirit that they have kept alight.


Photograph: ‘Dancer’ at the LA Launch Party, Sympathy for the Disco. Photo by Mekeal Dawson.

Adam: Will Keith Richards outlive us all?
Roxanne:
Legends never die.

Adam: If you could only listen to one of the bands again and you had to discard the other, would you keep Mac or Stones in your life?
Roxanne:
That’s a bit like the old Beatles vs Stones question. Being a music fan is not like being a football fan: loving one band leads you to another. It’s all connected by sounds and influences.

Adam: You reinterpret Mac for a new generation in an entirely different way. How important is it for bands to be reimagined and modernised if they are to stay being heard?
Roxanne:
A younger generation really love the original tracks and we are not pretending that we are improving them, but how you experience the music is important. We love to play the music loud in a club environment so people can really let loose.

We think dancing to music is the best way to keep the music alive and to connect people to the true spirit of the recordings. I don’t want to hear Honky Tonk Woman whilst eating chicken wings or The Chain whilst in a supermarket - I sort of do, but part of me is sad that something is lost when great music becomes background.

I want to be in a dark space with a great sound system with people shaking their bodies. Remixing and editing the music allows us to create a better DJ set to keep people in the moment. It’s also fun creatively to add elements and your own personality.

Adam: Are you expecting all ages of Stones fan to rock up?
Roxanne:
We’re totally open to that. No one should ever feel too old or too young to dance. Feel free to bring your parents. Sometimes we see that our gigs and it’s so cool to see people having a shared experience in a club with their parents.


Photograph: ‘More cowbell!’ Expected at the London Launch, Sympathy for the Disco, Moth Club, 1 June 2018. Photo by Jolanta Valeniece.

Adam: How do you prepare for your club nights, is the running order quite structured or do you roll with the punches?
Roxanne:
We definitely worked it out on-the-fly at our launch party in LA. We had about 12 hours of music that we thought was in the right area but we needed to work with the energy of the room and see how it rolled. The tracks from The Rolling Stones sound so great loud and really get the party going like nothing else - that was the main thing we learned from the first party.

Adam: Is there enough to do in London late at night? And which city is the best in the world for nightlife?
Roxanne:
For variety and fun, London is probably the best scene we’ve encountered. It’s always in flux and people are creatively working with the challenges of putting on parties. Some cities are cultural dead-zones due to venue closures and too many limitations.

Adam: You live in LA in a house near one Mick Fleetwood owned. Was that a conscious choice?
Roxanne:
My mother turned me onto Joni Mitchell from a young age, so I was intrigued to visit Laurel Canyon and I guess the music led me to check out the area. It’s a lovely place to live - really leafy and close to the action of LA. The Rolling Stones also spent time here at one point.

Adam: How much of being an icon is about looking absolutely superb?
Roxanne:
The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac both have a strong visual aesthetic and incredible personal style. There’s romance and performance. Pirates and princesses, devils and angels, ruffians and courtesans. It’s less about fashion and more about performance and opening a portal to a more romantic world.

Adam: How exactly will you 'bend' the Stones sound to give it that newness you're famous for giving Fleetwood Mac?
Roxanne:
Mostly it’s a case of beefing up the drums and bass and elongating sections and adding effects that add drama on the dance floor. Sometimes we like to change the mood or add new parts so you hear it in a new way. Every song is different but our main aim is to get people dancing.

soundcloud.com/roxanneroll
soundcloud.com/smoothsailing


soundcloud.com/sympathyforthedisco
@SympathyDisco

London Launch: Sympathy for the Disco
From the founders of Fleetmac Wood
21:00 - 01:00, Friday, June 1, 2018
Moth Club
Valette Street
London E9 6NU
mothclub.co.uk
Tickets


 

Tour Dates: Fleetmac Wood
May 10th: William Street Common, Philly - bit.ly/fmwrrphillyratix
May 11th: Port City Music Hall, Portland ME - bit.ly/fmwrrportmeratix
May 12th: Higher Ground, Burlington - bit.ly/fmwrrburratix
May 17th: Wild Buffalo, Bellingham - bit.ly/fmwsisbellratix
May 18th: Chop Suey, Seattle - bit.ly/fmwsissratix
May 19th: Larimer Lounge, Denver - bit.ly/fmwsisdenratix
May 26th: Dreamland, Margate - bit.ly/fmwrrmartix
July 29th: Standon Calling, Standon UK - bit.ly/fmwstantix

fleetmacwood.com
@fleetmacwood