Independent synthpop group Tesla Boy has been making waves in Russia since 2008, with their unique 80's influenced sound that is credited with beginning the decade's revival trend that is so currently seen in the modern electronic based music scene. One of the top Russian and a symbol of the changing music scene there Tesla Boy has made a surprising -and unsurprising- impact in the US with the likes of Lady Gaga's producer Martin Kierzenbaum and Jared Leto as fans.
I had the privilege of catching up with them shortly before their performance at NYC event Escape Music Festival on Governor's Island. Due to their appearances in Interview, InStyle, and Rolling Stone I couldn't help but comment on their fashion icon status and ask about that leather jacket obsession – commentary on their Universe Made of Darkness (Night Version) remix album and future tour plans included of course!
EM: So Tesla Boy was formed in 2008 as a new wave and synth pop project, do you think that you were a little ahead of the current 80’s trends in music that we’re seeing so much now?
AS: Truthfully, its kind of a difficult question to answer. We try not to think about trends much. In music it is very important to find something precious for yourself. And a good song always stays a good song. It doesn’t matter what style it is.
EM: How do you feel about the success of The Universe Made Of Darkness and subsequent Night Version remix album?
AS: With this record we have traveled halfway around the world. And many people started to learn about us. But we walked by one popular French duo, they were called Daft Punk. In fact, there is a dynamic. I suppose that the next album will attract an even greater number of fans.
EM: Anything that you want to say about what inspired the remix album?
AS: I always wanted to make an album, which people will listen to in whatever way they want.
We thought and decided that, let it be 2 versions of album and let people decide themselves what they want to listen to.
EM: You stated in a recent interview with MTV that some of your early musical influences included jazz artists. How do you feel that has shapedTesla Boy?
AS: I think that jazz gives us the keys for all music. This may not be heard in a straight line.
EM: How small (or large) do you feel the gap between jazz and club music is? What are some of the overlapping origins that you’ve seen?
AS: Well, let’s begin with that jazz was originally dance music. In the era of swing people came to dance to Glenn Miller. Here is a parallel. Now jazz is a classical frozen art, and viewed almost as science.
EM: So you performed on a TV show similar to The Voice as a teenager, do you think that effected what you have gone on to do in the industry?
AS: In general, I was a child and of course I experienced all of it as one. I can say that it was really exiting for me and I was really interested in it. But this experience has nothing to do with what I was doing after that. After that I never thought to go to a such shows.
EM: What's next for Tesla Boy after this stop at Escape Festival in the US?
AS: I'm staying in NYC to work on new material. We have a tour in Russia in November and are preparing the release of our new single.
EM: Last but not least, how many leather jackets do you own? You always have a fantastic new one in every photo.
AS: Haha! I do have a lot of them! But the fact is if I don't wear something for a long time I forget it. I think I have between twenty or thirty actually.