ANDY VAN / MADISON AVENUE
‘WHO THE HELL ARE YOU 2017’
Interviewer – Yasmin Thus
Name a more iconic disco-pop duo from 2000 than Madison Avenue. Although the pair aren’t producing together anymore, the legacy carries on with Andy Van, with their most recent drop of 5 new remixes of their classic club hit “Who the Hell Are You?”. I got to have a chat with Andy to catch up on what’s new!
Y: Hey Andy, thanks for chatting with me today. First up, congrats on the new remix release. How is it bringing back a few new remixes?
A: It’s been great, always a lot of fun. I never really stopped producing myself but it was good to have this one for Madison Avenue. We hit number 3 on the charts with this one really quickly, so couldn’t be happier with its success.
Y: Its such a rad collection of remixes, it seems like its the hit that just keeps coming back. Like a few years back Just a Gent remixed it.
A: It is so good to hear some new blood coming through. Like I have been on the scene for a long time now and I’ve seen music, particularly electronic music go through so many stages. Like we had the disco-pop era around towards the end of the 90s and early parts of the 2000s but since then, we have seen a real change in the feeling of the music. The whole EDM genre, really changed to this not angry, but tougher sort of approach. It’s like a harder version, with a predominately, a male dominated DJ industry.
Y: Yes, totally agree. But do you think now its changing, like with the emergence of flume, even the opening of the new Ministry of Sound Club in Sydney. Do you think we are coming back round to a softer more pop vibe in electronic music?
A: We definitely are. Music comes in waves. Like EDM was so successful but I think people have had enough of that now and it’s time for something new. Which is why I think the disco vibe is back. Pioneers of the disco vibe like Calvin Harris and Disclosure have always kept it alive, but it is definitely making more of a come back.
Y: It’s almost like the whole electronic scene has taken to the Euro-electric vibe. I’m thinking like Ibiza, summery easy vibes.
A: Yes, it really easy. Also I think the disco vibe is meant to be a lot about female power. Like that was what Madison Avenue was about. Cheyne really brought that, she and I have always been about the power of the woman in our music. Which is what I think disco truly is about. Especially since it looks like music is stepping away from that harder, male-dominated EDM vibes, it is nice to see that coming back.
Y: It is definitely important that we keep that alive. Keeping that in mind, can we expect the two of you to do a tour together again? I am mean we are coming into summer now in Australia haha so it would make for an excellent time!
A: Hahah I would love to do some more. I personally haven’t stopped DJing. I feel like when you’re a DJ you just don’t ever stop being a DJ. I’m just lucky I still look young too haha. In terms of touring together, we aren’t a duo anymore. We are like brother and sister, we had our bickers but we are still very close but not producing music together anymore. Cheyne is quite different to me, like she isn’t on social media, isn’t into performing anymore and just keeps to her family for now which is totally fine. So, probably won’t be touring together any time soon.
Y: If you could though, perhaps may not with Cheyne, but do you have a dream person you could tour with?
A: That is a tough question. I don’t think anyone could ever match Cheyne, that was why she was so amazing. She brought so much in her performance with her girl power attitude. She has such a unique voice. It would have to be someone who bring that same power, perhaps Crystal Waters? She has such a unique voice too.
I am still doing some Madison Avenue gigs but just as myself, where it will be a big mix of the classics.
Y: What sort of crowds do those gigs bring in? Is there a real mix or just the crowd who was there when 2000 when you were at the top?
A: There is definitely a mix, like ranging from 18 years old to people in their 40s. It’s weird sometimes playing to a crowd like that because some of them would of been so young when we were big, I wasn’t sure they would know who we are. But then again, playing the classics is really in again, like everyone seems to know the classics these days. It is just how it is.
Y: Last off, I have to ask, I actually saw a Buzzfeed article the other day about the ARIAs (which are coming up), and that 2000 Madison Avenue performance at the ARIAs get a bit of a mention.
A: Yes, we aren’t bothered by it. It was just so unfortunate the way it all played out. Cheyne was so exhausted singing and dancing at the same time, it was hard for her. You seem so many performers that will only do one or the other. You think of Britney Spears, she generally will only lip sync when she dances, but when she sings she won’t dance. It is really hard to actually keep up doing both at once. Cheyne wasn’t on her best that day, and it was just a lot. I just don’t get why the camera man and director decided to stay in the position they were so that the glass was in the middle of the shot.
It is so funny the way the media works. So, I know that performance has gone down one of the worst in ARIA history. Honestly, just before it, we were the most played song according to Triple J, then one month after that performance we were the most hated. It’s just the way it goes with music, you can’t take it all to heart.
Y: Exactly, besides it has come full circle again with ‘Who the Hell are You’ back up on the charts again.
A: 100% that is just the industry, you can’t control it so just have to go with it and do what you do!