You may be familiar with the names Filip “Turbotito” Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise, but together they are Poolside, the LA-based duo dedicated to making fun disco jams to accompany you (where else?) by the pool. With love from the likes of Aeroplane and The Magician and their debut single available today on Beatport, we caught up with them over the weekend to find out about how it all began.
Gotta Dance Dirty: First, I’d like to thank you both for taking a minute of studio time to chat, I understand it’s been a rough night. It’s a tradition here at Gotta Dance Dirty™ that if the first drinks are on us, then what’ll it be?
Filip Nikolic: Hmmm…mescal is our favorite drink. Do you have some?
GDD: It depends, with or without the worm?
FN: No-worm mezcal Vida by Del Maguey.
GDD: Got it. So tell us about your “Do You Believe” single debuting tomorrow.
FN: We are kinda bedaffled, we just made the song while drinking mezcal and wine, no big ambitions, just fun and now it’s like woah! People really like this?
Jeffrey Paradise: Yeah we put it up on soundcould as a public track, only because we didn’t want to spend the $50 or so that it costs to have a private account. The next day, we woke up and had 500 plays, and two bloggers posting it and that momentum has just kept rolling. Really crazy!
GDD: The kind of momentum that gets you featured on mixtapes from both Aeroplane and The Magician and top spot on NME’s The Buzz chart. I’m sure that was exciting for you both.
JP: Yes its kinda crazy, especially about the NME thing. When I was in high school and first started playing in bands, it was like a dream of mine to be in NME. All my favorite bands were in there and I would read it religiously. It’s funny now that we are just doing this project for fun, it’s like BAM! You’re in NME.
FN: I was in NME once before but I was really drunk with Junior Senior.
JP: And the mix tapes from Aeroplane and Magician that was like a crazy weird coincidence, how they both used it as like the first song and they came out 24 hours apart. It was like…holy shit, this is amazing, we had no idea that people would respond to the track so positively. To be honest, we were almost mad how well it’s done, like we’ve both done so much music and this is the project we’ve taken so “unseriously” and it’s gotten such an amazing response. We’re not mad anymore [laughs] but at the time it felt really weird.
FN: I have found out that mezcal is the secret recipe to sweet songs. I did a track with Beni drinking mezcal, it took three hours and it’s gonna be his first single. Mezcal for life!
GDD: Safe to say that a number of readers, myself included, are going to have to give mezcal a try this weekend. The introduction on your website cites Poolside as a “studio project form Los Angeles-based musician-producer-DJ-friends.” How did you two meet and decide to start making some sweet “day time disco” together?
JP: I met Filip in 2003 at the Arrow Bar in San Francisco. Junior Senior was touring and they were the guest deejays at my party Frisco Disco. They brought the whole band to the club and Filip was playing bass in Junior Senior at the time. That night he and I talked about music a lot and deejaying and all this stuff. He was still living in Denmark at the time so obviously we had no idea if our paths would ever cross again, but yes we really hit it off musically.
Later that night, we went to an afterparty where there was a beer-drinking contest and Filip entered and he totally was the fastest beer drinker of all my crazy drunk friends haha so I knew he was really cool at that point. Anyway, we sort of kept in touch and he wound up moving to LA and when I would come to DJ, he and I would always just jam and make little disco tunes. We kept doing it for years and it eventually became Poolside.
Our first Poolside song is technically written in 2005. We have about eight tracks that we’ve been working on since then, all disco, slow, groovy, laid back vibe. We never really thought it would fit into any sort of place like any musical genre, so we are just stoked about how well its being recieved. Also, Filip’s studio is right next to a pool, literally about five feet, he turned a poolhouse in Los Feliz into a recording studio, so the name is actually quite literal.
GDD: In the Poolside studio, what’s your setup like? I’m imagining a solid combination of both analog and digital gear.
FN: Gear fanatics! The main poolside synth is actually digital secret weapon Casio CZ-1000. Run that through a tube preamp and it beats anything analog. We have way too many analog synths too though but the CZ is our “sound.” Also, we use Cubase and Pro Tools. Anyway, gear is all bollocks. If you use your ears you can make anything with a laptop. I think outboard gear is strictly emotional but I guess that’s important too? Live percussion is a must though!
GDD: Can we expect a live mini-tour from Poolside in the future? Maybe a DJ set with some live instrumentation, Fred Falke-style?
JP: Not 100 percent sure yet. We’re playing a couple of pool parties at Coachella this year and they’ll be our debut performances. There’s talk about an Australian tour and other stuff in Europe, not sure really just yet.
FN: We actually promised ourselves that we wouldn’t play after sunset and that we only play daytime pool parties, but it’s kinda tough now ’cause all of a sudden there’s this demand and a pool party tour is kinda unusual. This guy wants to arrange a W Hotel tour in the US though, so maybe we can pull it off?
JP: Yes, we only play pool parties or daytime-style parties but most of the offers we get are for nightclubs and so we turn them all down.
GDD: Your website also describes the process of “honing their many musical passions down to a few simple yet innovative concepts.” Would you mind sharing some of those musical passions with us? Who has been the most influential to this project?
JP: What we’re referring to is that we both love music, lots and lots of music, all over the map, and sometimes that gets hard to write music when you are drawing influence from too many sources. Sometimes that gets hard to write music when you are drawing influence from too many sources, so we came up with an idea to filter all our diverse musical tastes so the music has a cohesion to it, not just like a mixtape by some crazy music lover, but like a solid sound. It’s hard to explain because we still use all our influences, but now we sorta funnel them through the “daytime disco” concept and then we test all the songs out in the pool, to make sure they are actually good for poolside listening.
FN: For our influences, it’s so hard to say that there is one influence, we are just taking the “daytime disco” concepts from everything we like and making music that we would want to listen to ourselves.
GDD: Jeff, I know you’ve been commuting quite a bit between LA and San Francisco to make some poolside-ready tunes and keep your Blow Up SF party rocking, anything you miss about living in San Francisco full-time?
JP: Yes for sure, San Francisco is my favorite city in the world. It’s such a beautiful place, you can walk around anywhere and get great food. I do have to say, it’s been good traveling a lot and I’m super excited to be down in LA working on Poolside. I don’t think I could make a “poolside” record in SF, the weather isn’t right [laughs].
GDD: Anything else you want to mention, anybody you want to shout to?
JP: Just want to thank everyone for supporting our record.
FN: Thanks to all our LA friends, so much music, so much fun! Dirty Dave, Anne Lee, Classixx, Cosmic Kids, Rhonda, Alexis, and so many more! Oh by the way, our good friends Mike B and Nate (DJ Morsecode) started a new band in the same week as we started Poolside, they’re called Pools and they’re also all about making poolside jams.
JP: Okay yes, I can’t open up my Thank You Pandora’s box right now, too many to name. I wanna thank Tron Jeremy!
GDD: And speaking of Classixx, I want to make sure everyone reading this goes to see a Classixx DJ set the next time they come to your town. I think my mates would boot me off for not finishing my interview with this question, but whether you’re sipping mezcal by the pool or on the dancefloor, do both of you dance dirty?
FN: I don’t dance, I want to though, but I don’t get it.
JP: I like everything dirty, including dancing.
Stream the Jacques Renault remix of “Do You Believe” and download the free 320 of the Vin Sol and Charles McCloud remix, a Gotta Dance Dirty premiere, below. Be sure to take it easy on the mezcal this weekend.