You might say Flight Facilities “took off.” Yes that’s a bad joke, but a good laugh couldn’t hurt you. Just ask Flight Facilities pilots, Hugo and Jimmy, who’ve cracked more than a few bad jokes during recent interview. (Like telling journalists they’re Calvin Harris or that they’re from Trinidad and Tobago even though they’re actually from Australia). But what better way to ward off the growing pressure surrounding a band who’s success has well, skyrocketed (oops, there I go again). Two years ago their single, “Crave You” was released and now several million Youtube views later, the group is touring internationally. Catch is, they only have one other single. Don’t worry though, as you’ll read from our conversation with Hugo, they’re keeping their humor and intend on picking up their creative output to at least a song every three months!
SFC: How did “Crave You” surface?
Hugo: We got placed on Aeroplane’s mix tape, they put it on about three months before it came out, and we really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, but then people seemed to like it way more than we realized. I suppose two years later we didn’t think we would be in San Francisco at a pool.
SFC: Well the pool sounds nice, I mean San Francisco is cool too, but the pool is where it’s at.
Hugo: Yeah it is, we went for a walk around, went to Maggie’s — apparently you have to do that because that’s a San Francisco thing to do.
SFC: Yeah, I could tell you a number of San Francisco things you “have” to do.
Hugo: Were you about to say “acid” or something like that? Oh man, I think South Park’s given me the wrong impression of every single city in he world.
SFC: Wait, this isn’t your first time in the States is it?
Hugo: I went to Florida once in a weekend.
SFC: Oh, I saw an interview where you said you were in Florida and saw people wearing Hawaiian shirts and assumed all Americans wear Hawaiian shirts.
Hugo: That was my cultural knowledge to take home. I also saw a guy dressed in an entirely red suit, dancing and he smelt like a urinal cake.
SFC: See, you’re now in the most bizarre capital for [pause] outward expression, you might say. You should go to the Castro.
Hugo: We tried. We’re from Sydney, so it’s kind of interesting – it’s all about the gay community I think.
“If you ever see us taking ourselves too seriously it probably means we’ve probably had a bad day. We’re usually laughing and taking the piss out of everything we see. I think if you see us you’ll realize why: one of us looks like a clown.”
SFC: Wait, you’re from Sydney? First I heard you were from Trinidad and Tobago. Then I heard you were from Hong Kong…
Hugo: Oh yeah, that’s right, we’re from Trinidad and Tobago, we should have kept that one up shouldn’t we?
SFC: Well, I thought it was Hong Kong this time?
Hugo: I need to keep lying, where can I be from today? I think I’ll choose New York. I seemed to have enjoyed that so I’ll say I’m from New York from now on.
SF: Okay, that’s fine with me I’ll run with that one. So on your Facebook page there’s 4 names in the band listed. There’s (silly names) and Fred. Who’s Fred and why can’t he have a more creative name?
Hugo: Well you know, I think I was having one of those days where I was like “I’m going to create some really over the top names.” I think I was also inspired by…did you watch the soccer world cup? I think it was the Brazilian team where every players’ name ended in a vowel. It was weird. There’s like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, everyone has an ‘O’ at the end of their name, and then there’s one dude with just “Fred.” I was like, man, I need to have a Fred on my team.
SFC: So what’s with all the fibs?
Hugo: Oh, I don’t know, it’s just kind of…we were just trying to avoid taking ourselves too seriously.
SFC: Is that a self-defense?
Hugo: It is, I think that’ll be our defense for now…if you ever see us taking ourselves too seriously it probably means we’ve probably had a bad day. We’re usually laughing and taking the piss out of everything we see. I think if you see us you’ll realize why: one of us looks like a clown.
SFC: What were you guys doing before you were making music?
Hugo: I was a pizza boy and Jimmy was just DJing. Then I started DJing so I was a DJ slash pizza boy.
SFC: That’s like a double combo there.
Hugo: I know it’s the person you least want to talk to at a party.
SFC: Well it’s the person you for sure want at your party. He brings the pizza and the music.
Hugo: There’s no pride being one as soon as I got there, they’re like, okay you have to leave now. It’s also the plot for like 90% of the porn movies made.
SFC: So that’s who Fred is! Now is this true, I read your favorite website is Reddit?
Hugo: (Laughter) Yeah.
SFC: Why do you laugh?
Hugo: I’m guilty for being on it the entire time crawling the website for everything. Some of the stuff I look it is uh, borderline having my IP traced. I dunno, it always keeps me entertained. Plus when you’re on tour you get pretty bored at nighttime, and before you know it the sun’s coming up and I’m still reading Reddit.
SFC: Let’s give a shout out to the Reddit community, what are the top 3 subreddits you visit?
Hugo: It’s troubling, I’ll probably get a bit of a groan from people, but the Ron Paul subreddit – I’m pretty adamant about following his political campaign. American politics is whole another world to Australian. I like reading about how it’s going, and he’s got some pretty good ideas…otherwise I usually stick to GIFs, pics and videos…I’ll go through pages and pages and see stuff I’ve seen years before, which is a bit of a sad feeling when you come up to the same thing on the internet again.
SFC: What about any embarrassing subreddits, like r/mylittlepony?
Hugo: I will admit…do you use Reddit?
SFC: Yes, I’m very familiar with it.
Hugo: Have you seen spacedicks?
SFC: That’s hilarious – I didn’t throw it out there but it’s on my question list.
Hugo: I’ve seen spacedicks, and admittedly it was a bit of a toss. The first time I was like, Jesus Christ! But the second time I was like, okay, I need to see what all the fuss is about again.
SFC: Yeah. 10 billion spacewhores…I mean subscribers. I hope that’s not real.
Hugo: We can only pray. If that’s the status of the Internet, I think we’re in trouble.
“We did one recording where we got her to sing in a cupboard with a little vocal booth around it. It was the most horrible half-made thing ever and the vocals sounded awful until we got a friend to record them properly.”
SFC: So in terms of uh, you know, your writing process…I’m sorry, there’s no good way to segue out of spacedicks. So it took you 6 months to write “Crave You,” how long did it take for “Foreign Language?”
Hugo: Oh man, a similar amount of time. “Crave You” took so long because we found the chords, then wrote the instrumental around it, then we met Giselle and gave it to her. There were days where we’d sit in different people’s cars, listening to how it sounded. Then we’d go to different people’s speakers. Then we had to re-record the vocal. We did one recording where we got her to sing in a cupboard with a little vocal booth around it. It was the most horrible half-made thing ever and the vocals sounded awful until we got a friend to record them properly.
The thing with “Foreign Language,” we’d written two songs before we wrote that, and we had that just as a demo on the side. We really decided to go at it after declining two other songs. The night we started it must have been the winter of 2010, and I think it was done by about autumn of 2011.
SFC: So at this rate we can expect your album in, what, 2015? 2017?
Hugo: By the time no one cares and we’re in wheelchairs, I think something like that! We’ve actually got the next song coming out in about a month from today. It’s called “With You.” That’ll be coming out at the end of April.
SFC: From the outsider’s perspective, you have a couple mixes and such, two songs to your name, and yet you’re working with people like Hot Chip, getting remixed by Aeroplane and all this great stuff. Is this as exciting and strange and new as it is for the outsider? What happened? Is there a player we’re not aware of that helped make these strange connections?
Hugo: We have no idea how this happened. Pretty much what you said, there’s a whole bunch of great artists that we’re allowed to stand in the same room with, and we’re just waiting for one of the to shine a torch and look up at us and, “Wait a minute, how the hell did you guys get in here?”