A Sit Down With DJ Hook N Sling

Sydney-born DJ and producer Hook N Sling, aka Anthony Maniscalco is recognized as one of the most exciting genre-blending house producers to come on the scene in recent years, a title which has lead him to places most only dream about.

 

“I don’t wanna be some chair or some shit. I wanna be like in the thick of things, I wanna see what`s going on.”

 

 

Throughout your career you’ve garnered an impressive list of remixes for the likes of Calvin Harris, Fedde Le Grand, Miike Snow, NERVO, Wolfgang Gartner, and more. Is there a specific remix you enjoyed making the most and are there any records that you plan on remixing in the future? 

The one I enjoyed the most, that’s a hard question, but the one I’m probably the happiest with was the one I did for an Australia band called Miami Horror. Also the mix I did for the NERVO girls which was of ‘We’re All No One’.  That kind of put us in the studio together, every now and then there is something I’m really proud of. For the time being I have no plans to remix anything in the future, I’m doing all original music at the moment.

You have a new track out, what was the inspiration and process behind ‘Arms Around Me’?

I didn’t write the vocals to be honest with you, it was Digital Farm Animals who I collaborated it.  Hearing the vocals, I just put my own twist on it. It was around the time I was working on ‘Love On Me’, sent it to Galantis and there’s where it all took off. ‘Arms Around Me’ was kind of the same process except this came about as more of a collaboration. So, I suppose I wanted to give it a feel good, festival vibe. That`s a hard one, but i like Progressive / Melodic  on the heavy side… I’m also not afraid to mix up tempos and genres.

Do you prefer working in the studio or doing live shows?

At the moment I really enjoy being in the studio. I’m working on these new songs I’m really happy with and I’m excited. I feel like I’m in a place right now where I’m onto something new that I really like. Kind of finishing records a lot quicker, I’ve got a clearer vision for my music right now. There have been times in the last couple of years where my head has been too cloudy and I don’t know how to finish a record, I don’t know what I want it to sound like. “Is it good enough? Is it too deep? Is it too loud?” It fucks up your radar… like a self-analytical kind of radar. The thing is, that’s the worst thing you can be when you’re a musician– you can never make the right decision, because if you do make the right decision, you think you haven’t. It’s really important to be confident in what you’re making.

When collaborating with more than one person, like the Galantis duo, how does that impact the production process? Is it more or less difficult having multiple cooks in the kitchen?

To be honest, I think it makes it easier. It depends on the personalities involved. Like if you’re a very controlling kind of person, and you send over your parts to the other collaborator, and you’re like, “By the way, don’t touch this, don’t touch that, don’t touch that…” if that’s the kind of person you are, then you’re never going to be a good collaborator. I remember talking to Christian on the phone about this record, and he was like “I think this is the best way to do this,” and my response to him was like, “Do what you think sounds good. I totally trust what you want to do.” Then obviously there are a few changes right at the end like back and forth, coming together on the final version, but you just have to trust the other person otherwise you just do it yourself.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I really want to check out more of Europe. I have not done much of Europe yet, I would really like to do Ibiza again. I haven’t been there in a while and I would just want to experience that again. I would also really like to play in Japan, I am curious to see what the scene is like out there. Plus I can go snowboarding! It’s like a paid holiday.

How do the festival and club scenes differ in the States compared to Australia?

The festivals are quite similar, but when it comes to clubbing there’s a different sound happening for sure. You’ve heard of the Melbourne Bound sound? Guys like What So Not, Flume, Peking Duck – they’re pushing a new sound that’s really amazing. It’s steppy, bass music with broken beats. The production is quite pitch, and you sometimes have the warped vocals. What So Not just did the Mothership Tour with Skrillex, so that sound is starting to cross over here as well.

What do you predict the next big trend in dance music is going to be?

I don’t know. Making these predictions, I could say like jam tempo or deep house is going to be the next big thing but no one really knows until some of these producers take inspiration from these new movements that are coming through and they create a new sound; because the inspiration is obviously coming from one of these new movements that are coming through, like house music or even bass music, and I think once that funnels into a big room sound, which is the kind of stuff I play, then what is going to be up next…I have a feeling it’s going to be a very mix mashed kind of sound. Like it’s not going to be a progressive sound or it’s not going to be a deep sound because we’re at a stage now where I think every one is taking a lot of inspiration from a lot of the genres.

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