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Skylark Interview

Skylark are Nic Fanciulli and Andy Chatterley – the talented electronic house duo who've got dance music running through their veins.

Fanciulli is of course known as a stellar DJ in his own right, and as part of One+One with James Zabiela; Chatterley meanwhile, has been engineering some of the biggest dancefloor smashers of late, including the likes of Paolo Mojo's 'Nightlaw'. Together, they also go under the pseudonym Buick Project, and run the Saved Records label.

After a digital release late last year, their debut album as Skylark 'I-Panik' is released physically this June with an extra disc of sterling remixes. DJmag.com took to the skies to find out more…

So first of all, why the name Skylark?

NIC FANCIULLI:"Years ago when I first went to San Francisco, and I was really into my West Coast house, I went to this bar called The Skylark."

Is it still a big influence on you today, that kind of sound?

N: "I was a fan of people like Halo and Hipp-E, Onionz… Back in the day, the era when progressive house was really boring, the West Coast sort of stuff was a real inspiration. Stuff that people like Charles Webster were making. I wasn't playing main room sets at that time, I was playing warm up sets, and the West Coast sound had that really nice sort of Joeski vibe, that's what I was influenced by at the time."

How did your collaboration with Nic first come about?

ANDY CHATTERLEY:"We started working together on music about 10 years ago, and we've working on and off since that time. In 2003 we started Skylark, Buick Project, and Nic Fanciulli's solo stuff."

In terms of your sound, is it a pretty even split in terms of your influences and what you like to hear, dance music wise?

A:"Yeah definitely, we've worked with each other for quite a long time so we know what each other's into. It's weird making music, I think it doesn't really matter what you intend to do, I think you just get something anyway. I know that may sound a bit esoteric, but in terms of the creative process, you get into the studio and work, and it ends up as something. Of course, you're going in there to make house music, but you don't necessarily know what kind of house music you're gonna make. You set about it and a song develops."

How did the album come about?

N:"People had always been saying, you've got to do an album, you've got to do the live thing. There was so much pressure, and we'd been working together for all that time, I remember doing the album and not even telling people we were doing it, we were in the studio between mixes, writing new material, over six to eight months, working on 'I-Panik'. We went back to the management and they said, 'oh right,' what are we going to do with it? We said we wanted to put it on the net straight away – not have to worry about press deadlines. It's literally a house album, for the DJs, for the clubs. We gave it out to about 20 people and then it went online. The next idea was to get people to remix it, get everyone in on the package that we really wanted."

The new version of the album has an extra disc of remixes. Any particular favourites among them?

N:"Funk D'Void's always been a big influence on me, Joel Mull's remix of 'Blocked In', it was a great touch getting him on the album. Massi DL, all of them really, Joris Voorn, the last album he did was fantastic, a big influence on what me and Zabiela were doing on our 'One+One' tour."

What's next with Skylark – any new productions in the pipeline?

A:"We released the new single last week, and we're working on our live shows. We're gonna play live, some of the tracks from the album are gonna be reworked. We're fairly fluid, knowing that we can move and change it while we're playing, so it's quite lifelike. I'm really looking forward to it, it should be quite challenging, should be cool!"

Andy, you've also been working with Paolo Mojo – are there any other artists you're collaborating with, and when can we expect some more music from you?

A:"I've made so many tracks over the years but it's always been under a pseudonym, it's only recently that I've started to put my name to stuff. The first release is coming out soon, at the end of June on Saved Records, the first Andy Chatterley EP, which is quite interesting. It's bizarre 'cos I've worked with so many people. The Paolo Mojo thing, whom I'm working with as an engineer, is slightly different to what I've done before. I'm also working with Yousef, and various other people."

What else is new with your Saved Records label?

N:"I was on tour a lot last year with James and managed to let the label slide a bit, but we've come up trumps again and signed Joel Mull, his first single which is great. We've signed up Matt Nordstrom, Dubfire's engineer for a single which is amazing, and Mark Broom has mixed it. Andy's got a new single on the label, and we're going along like that really, pushing it and pushing it, trying to do Saved Sessions parties at every show that we do."

Are you working on new music as Nic Fanciulli?

N:"I am at the moment. I've just done a new single. It's tough when you're touring, but when I've got summer out of the way I'm going to try to start some new music around September, October."