In 2008, four dance music rebels came together to shake things up in the industry with a unique sound meant to translate the your soul's most complicated emotions into smooth vocals and techno beats. The result? Azari & III, a house music quartet who's tracks have captured the essence of dance music's roots back when it lurked in the dark underground nightspots. Already, high-profile individuals have started to take notice of their bold vision and sound, including fashion powerhouse Christian Dior (they just performed at the Dior Homme fashion show last week), and Dim Mak's Steve Aoki, who signed the band to his ever-growing label.
So far, it has been a busy year for the group with a full performance schedule in Europe, as well as a new EP coming out through Dim Mak titled "Indigo (Remixes)".Alphonse Alixander Lanza III had time to talk to VIBE about his group's recent success, showbiz gossip and summer plans at a few of our favorite festivals.
VIBE: Describe your sound in a sentence or two.
Alphonse Alixander Lanza III: In two words - F*ck house!
How'd you came to meet?
It's a long story that involves a lot of extraterrestrial spermatozoa, but in reality, we are just a group of fun to be around guys from Parkdale, GTA, where we met amongst the ne'er do wells who haunt such parts.
You all recently performed at Paris Fashion Week in Dior Homme’s Fall/Winter show. What was it like performing at a fashion event versus one of your own concerts?
It's like a regular thing with Christian these days. He's been ringing more often lately and I think that stems from his desire to get back out and tear it up like we used to...and our lingering sentiment of stark and bridled chaos seems to have charmed him.
There’s also a picture of you guys sitting a couple of seats down from Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld in the front row of the show. Any juicy gossip or stories you might have overheard from your seats?
Yes, we heard the guy from Azari & III is sporting quite a sportmans' package, you know the one. He was spotted by the C&D fitters and tailors at the office earlier...
Describe your personal style. Favorite fashion designers?
Of course C&D, Phillip Stark, Jeremy Laing, Missoni - always and forever - Hoi Bo on the woman's bags and Krane on the men's.
Back to music, who were some musical influences you grew up with?
The Reid brothers, MBV, DM, Ministry and Skinny Puppy, also, like, Telescopes, Pastels, Cocteau Twins, Pale Saints, back in grade 6 NWA, PE, all that rap sh*t, R&B like Jodeci and of course classic Whitney. Even Mariah, Brandy...
Who today would be part your ideal collaboration? (One dance music artist, one rap/hip-hop artist)
Richie Hawtin and Kendrick Lamar.
What are your thoughts on Dim Mak label founder/owner Steve Aoki?
He's awesome, he signed us.
Explain the new single “Indigo” that you have dropping on the label. What is the message behind this track?
It's that words cannot always adequately express the depth of the human condition, and when it all comes flooding in on you.
What’s your goal as artists - what statement are you trying to make through your music?
Stay from the heart, stay freaky, challenging ourselves and others, rewarding ourselves and others, keeping it unreal while making a bottom dollar.
So far the year 2013 has been very good to you. What are your plans for the rest of the year? Will you be making any appearances in U.S. this year, possibly at any of the spring/summer festivals?
We will be touring this Spring in the U.S., including an appearance at SXSW and Winter Music Conference. Many other shows in most cities over the summer. Europe has been great but we're North Americans and getting to know our home continent better is a high priority of ours.