How did you guys become a duo?
Justin: This is always a fun question for us. It was really organic & laid back. Through mutual studio homies we ended up being introduced. From there we stayed in touch and got in a writing room for the time. We didn’t know it yet, but the first song we co-wrote would end up being our first single and the reason Fly By Midnight started.
Slavo: For sure. After that Justin went in to go record it for his solo project he was working on at the time. I went in the booth to record a harmony for it & walked back into the control room to an offer to start a duo project.
Justin: Yeah .. Slavo definitely wasn’t expecting it *laughs* I had been wanting to start something fresh & new for awhile. From the get go we knew it was going to work. We’ve never had to think about who we were going to be as Fly By Midnight. We’ve stayed ourselves as artists & people and I think that’s what makes the project easiest to connect to.
Can you tell us a little bit about each of you?
Slavo: My story starts in Central Florida where I was born & raised. I picked up my first guitar to squeeze my way into my older brother’s band. Fast forward years later I found myself leaving home & college football to produce in a studio in the city.
Justin: I was born & raised in Staten Island New York. My best friend in high school had uploaded a cover on YouTube that was gaining a lot of local attention so naturally I had to follow suit. That kind of kicked off my whole YouTube adventure that ended up being the starting platform for Fly By Midnight.
How would you describe your musical style?
Slavo: We’re constantly evolving in our music. We’ve always identified our sound as “retro-pop” but as we’re continuing to create we see it taking on a more mature form.
Justin: I think 2018 will be an exciting one to see how fans identify and categorize our new music.
What artists do you look up to right now?
Slavo: Imagine Dragon’s had a great impact with their latest album “Evolve”. We really admired the productions.
Justin: Also Julia Michael EP was really left of center in the best way possible. We’re always fans of artists taking risks in their releases and giving listeners something new.
Can we expect any new music soon?
Justin: We’re stoked to announce first on Teen Music Insider that our next release is the last track off our mini-EP “The Boombox Series”.
Slavo: We wanted to end this fun project with one of our favorite throwback covers. Don’t want to give away which song yet, but I will say it’s an Avril Lavigne track!
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
Slavo: There is. We’ve been having a ton of meetings the past few months and are really close to being able to confirm a debut full length album.
Justin: It’s been something Slavo & I have been working towards since we started Fly By Midnight. We’re really proud of the songs we’ve released previously, but a lot of our new material feels .. different. I think new & old fans alike are really going to appreciate the direction.
What’s the process of writing one of your songs?
Justin: The writing process differs for each song, but a lot of the time it’s one of us coming in to the studio with an idea or word that feels special. From there we dive into the story & what it means to us.
Slavo: Sometimes it’s a really effortless process while other times we find ourselves needing more time to explore what we’re trying to convey.
Your latest release “Malibu” has gotten a great reaction from your supporters, How did the song get created?
Slavo: “Malibu” is a great example of a song that felt like it was written in an hour. We had come up with the title “Malibu” from a recent performance we flown out for in Shenzhen China in collaboration with the Chevrolet Malibu. Upon coming home I had started a production and titled it “Malibu”.
Justin: We had taken some time away from the production & months later pulled it up. The song unraveled into this nostalgic trip of being with someone you never thought you’d be with. No matter what the circumstances are. Whether it’s love or simply a late night high school adventure. We discussed some personal stories of ours also to make it feel as real & relatable as possible.
You guys also do a lot of cover songs as well. What’s the process of choosing a cover song for you to sing?
Justin: It’s pretty simple actually. We always choose songs that we personally like, but especially one that we can see room to take somewhere else.
What was your guys favorite cover song to record?
Slavo: I think our throwback cover of Michelle Branch’s “Everywhere” was a really good time. Reinterpreting an iconic song of the early 2000s with a completely different flair challenged us more than other covers have before.
Whats your guys favorite song to perform live?
Justin: Lately we’ve had a ton of fun performing our single “Vibe”. It has such an energy to it that spreads to our audience. It’s a really infectious moment in our set that we always look forward to.
What does it feel like to perform your own music live in front of your fans?
Slavo: Nothing like it. It’s really the reason we create the music we do.
Justin: Also meeting people at shows that have been following us for awhile is surreal.
Does your fanbase have a name?
Slavo: *laughs* We get tweets with different ones, but we just like to say if you’re a fan of Fly By Midnight you’re a homie of ours. Simple as that.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
Justin: From the beginning we’ve tried to create this grounded intimate connection with fans of us. We never want to come off unattainable & I think that’s what makes us stand out compared to other acts.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
Slavo: I remember once we went to the venue bathroom after soundcheck & met a fan from China who was there on a trip to NYC.
Justin: Thankfully he let us wash our hands before taking a photo!
What social media platform do you guys use most to stay connected to your fans?
Justin: I think lately Instagram Story has been an awesome tool to keep up with our daily life. Feels like a constant journal on everything Fly By Midnight.
You guys have also opened for some incredible artists including Daya, LEON, Third Eye Blind and The Score. Can you tell us a little bit about what those experiences were like?
Slavo: Being a support act is a total different game. We really take pride in getting the crowd’s energy going for the headliner.
Justin: We’ve been really grateful to gain a lot of fans taking on those opportunities as well.
What goals have you guys set out for yourselves in your career?
Justin: We constantly want to outdo ourselves. Work harder in our crafts & just continue to learn.
Slavo: We also want to travel the world more & meet new & old fans.
Do you guys have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Slavo: I know it comes off cliche, but we really are grateful every day for people listening to our music & watching our videos.
Justin: & We have a lot planned for 2018 & couldn’t be anymore stoked to have our fans on board to experience it.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us.
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