by Cormack O'Connor in New Music on Saturday 10 November 2012

Sydney’s electronic kings FISHING are set to reel in punters during their set at Sydney’s OutsideIn festival today, where they will join the likes of Africa Hitech, Flume and HTRK. We caught up with FISHING’s Russell Fitzgibbon before their set to talk about sampling, rapping and remixing.

LAEM: How did FISHING form?
R: We met around the end of high school and played each other lots of music and eventually started a band. Then we kind of talked each other into making some electronic type stuff, just ridiculous things at first, but gradually it became real life and we decided to show people. We still don’t really know what we’re about, it’s the most open ended project we’ve ever worked on.

LAEM: Where did the name come from?
R: I think I just really wanted to go fishing at the time (a common situation), so its a reflection of deep spiritual desire, no jokes.

LAEM: What inspires your music?
R: Everyone being amazing and creative in Sydney, all the music that people are yelling in their bedroom one minute and showing to the world the next. I think every song is inspired by a particular vibe or place, or even just how one type of sound or texture makes you feel. That’s why sampling old stuff is a big part of what we do.

LAEM: I saw you guys play at the Metro. The rap went off! Where did that come from?
R: That’s a remix we’ve done of a Monster Rally & Rumtum track that was pretty minimal in the stems so Doug decided to rap over it. It’s on a little mixtape that will be a free download with the new 7” and should be streamable soon!

LAEM: How do you write music?
R: It usually begins with just undirected fiddling with samples and sounds and instruments, just playing around until something tweaks an idea. Then from the first loop or melody or beat, a bigger picture tends to form and we come together to build it mainly under its own steam.

LAEM: What is your aim when you remix a song?
R: We like to make something new out of the track, not just change it. Hopefully it ends up with something that is inspired by the sounds of the original but is a song in its own right. Also, sometimes we like to think of the remix as if the original band could still be playing it, if they had just been in a different mood that day.

LAEM: What does it mean to be on the OutsideIn bill?
R:It feels like Sydney’s coming out gala. Astral People and Yes Please have done so well to bring all these amazing Sydney artists to the public, and having them together with such great international producers is totally what Sydney deserves, I think. We just consider ourselves lucky to be playing with all these people we admire.

LAEM: Can you tell me about your live shows?
R: Preparing for the live show is mostly just taking the parts of a track and just breaking it up into discrete bits that we can trigger on samplers. We try to set it up so we can play as much as possible as one-shot samples or drum hits or actually out on a keyboard because it’s so much better for the audience (and our own enjoyment) if a finger punching a pad can be seen to make something come out of the speakers. Some stuff is longer loops triggered on a grid controller throughout the songs and actually there’s a few tracks which just came from jamming so they’re completely played out on pads. Whenever we have time we try and figure it out so we’re playing more stuff, the main thing is to keep it at a point where we can always make mistakes and end up with a different result every time.

LAEM: What song of yours is your favourite to play live?
R: Probably Pee Green Bote because it’s all little bits of rhythm on pads so the groove is really malleable. Also, the song with the rap you mentioned is always ridiculous, whether it goes off or people are just confused.

LAEM: When can we expect some more physical releases?
R: Early next year! We’re just finishing off our first album right now, which is scary.

FISHING are playing OutsideIn festival at Sydney’s Factory Theatre today. Check out their other tour dates if you’re not in Sydney.