Interview: Go Periscope

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Go Periscope, consisting of Florin Merano (vocalist/keyboardist) and Joshua Frazier (guitarist/vocalist),  is the electro-pop duo whom rose to fame following successful social media campaigns and appearances on MTV, Rolling Stone and Alternative Press.

The American duo have, recently, released their second album, ‘Wasted Youth’, which follows on from their remix album, mixtape covers and the acclaimed self-titled début release. The duo continue to occupy the social media with fans tweeting their latest free single release, ‘Make Believers’. Check it out below:

 

Fortitude Magazine had the opportunity to talk Joshua in order to discuss a little more about the guys, their social media success and the future for the duo. This is what he had to say:

Hey, thanks for spending the time to speak to us, how are you guys?

Yeah, of course. Doing very well, thank you.

Do you mind explaining to our readers, how you came to form?

Florin and I both have been making music since high school. Florin focused on producing instrumental, electronic tracks, while I wrote songs mostly on guitar. A few years back, I heard one of Florin’s songs and I really liked it and was like “Whoa, let me put some guitar on that!” And that’s pretty much how it started.

He got me into more electronic and EDM music, and I got him into more alternative bands. From that we just demoed a bunch of stuff out until we found a sound we really wanted to pursue, and then created Go Periscope.

You started out with a 15-track, self-titled, début album. Were you surprised at the response you received? (NOTE: We started out with a 15-track album, but only 5 of those songs are still available for download).

Absolutely. Even when we were making music individually, we never were releasing anything. So our first album really was our first experience with seeing whether people would like our style of music or not.

The response was definitely uplifting. We had a few songs get picked up on radio stations across the U.S. which was shocking considering it was self-produced and released and we had no fan base when the album came out. It just sort of spread, and all of a sudden we were getting messages to play shows at different venues and colleges. It certainly opened up a lot of doors and gave us that confidence to really start honing in our sound and skill set as producers, songwriters and performers.

It was your free mixtape that caught our attention, with your remixes of Drake, Daft Punk, Taio Cruz; what encouraged you to produce a remix album?

Florin and I both have pretty eclectic taste in music. We had several bootleg remixes of artists like Hellogoodbye, Notorious B.I.G, Copeland, and Kid Cudi already that were getting positive feedback. When our first album started gaining some traction we realized that it would be cool for people to see a different side of our music in the form of a whole record (that we’d release for free).

We did the whole mixtape in about 2 weeks, and it was a really fun experience because we didn’t over think anything, we would just get ideas and start laying them down. Plus, we love all of the artists that we incorporated into that record, so it made it that much more rewarding to put our spin on some of their songs.

Social media is a huge platform for bands to distribute their music internationally, with over 35,000 Facebook fans and 8,000 Twitter followers; what is your secret to social media success?

Social media has been incredibly valuable to us as a band. We’ve been blessed with amazing fans that not only listen to our music, but passionately share it with their friends. We are completely independent and do everything ourselves, and I think that helps because there’s never someone else updating our pages or writing our songs. Everything is either Florin and I, and so when people post on one of our pages or send us a message on Twitter it goes directly to us.

It’s a very cool experience because when we release a new song, we just put it out there and are able to hear directly back from fans instantly. Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s just nice to connect with different people who have an interest in your music. It’s all very genuine and that’s what we love about it.

You’ve now released your self-produced album, ‘Wasted Youth’, but what are people missing out by not checking it out?

I think with most bands, the first record is sort of the “sum of all of the band’s influences” stuffed into one LP; and for our first release, there was no exception. But for our new record, Wasted Youth, we had such a stronger grasp of what we wanted to do with our sound. Not to mention, having the experience as musicians and producers to make the record we wanted without having to make compromises was a big milestone.

Our first record was us finding ourselves, but Wasted Youth is a clear representation of who Go Periscope is. We had the opportunity to go and record this one with a few different studios, but when we really talked about what we wanted to do with the record we realized that us working as producers is just as important to our sound as the songwriting and musicianship.

For people who have never heard of us, if they are fans of bands like Foster The People, M83 Lights, Morgan Page, Digitalism or Passion Pit, I think they will find something for them on ‘Wasted Youth’.

With appearances on MTV Music, Alternative Press and Rolling Stone, do you still find it bizarre witnessing yourselves gathering national media coverage?

It really is surprising considering how organic everything is happening. We don’t have a label out there pushing our music, or a management agency setting us up with coverage; so when these opportunities come along it just means that much more to us.

What lies next in store for Go Periscope? Are we being optimistic hoping to see a few DJ or live performances in the UK in the near future?

We have been busy, and plan to keep it that way. We just wrapped up writing and producing a bunch of different tracks for an assortment of major label and independent artists, which will start getting released in 2013; which we’re really excited about.

Right now, we are working on a few collaborations that will be released in the coming months and then, of course, there is our next slate of live shows and DJ sets coming up. As far as the UK, it’s definitely on the horizon, our fingers are crossed that it comes sooner rather than later.

Our final question; other than yourself, what act would you advise Fortitude Magazine and the readers check out?

For electronic-music fans, we’d strongly suggest you check out the Chicago-based artist, Goldhouse. We are currently collaborating on a hybrid electro-house/indie-rock track that we’re all really looking forward to releasing. (It should be out in the next month or so.)

Also, there’s our jack-of-all-trades friend and live drummer, Seth Bolin who makes some incredible ambient-electronica under the name Oh Osiris; and our good friend, Semaj Foreman (Hip-Hop/R&B/Electronica), who is featured on our album, providing the rap on ‘Black Light Masquerade’.

You can exclusively get ‘Make Believers’ for FREE by simply sharing the record, do so here: http://bit.ly/gp-make-believers

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