Known to dance music fans everywhere as Hook N Sling, Anthony Maniscalco is the Australian sensation making waves since 2006. His hit remix of Sarah McLeod’s “He Doesn’t Love You,” (register & login to view link)put him on the map and he has not slowed down since. An ARIA nominee, Pete Tong favorite and countless big league remixer, he has come a long way since his days spinning at a local bar in Sydney. Recently he teamed up with EDM’s favorite blondes, NERVO, on the surefire hit, “Reason,” (register & login to view link)dropping on Spinnin Records August 13th.
Coming off a 10 day run, I had a chance to sit down with Anthony at NYC’s inaugural Catalpa festival, which unfortunately was a major fail for those hoping to hear some EDM. I did not get to see him perform due to management not having the proper equipment, so we were told. Luckily, for those fans that were left sorely disappointed, he will be returning to NYC on August 9th to play at Lavo.
Till then, check out my conversation with Anthony, better known as Hook N’ Sling, as he gives us an in-depth look at what’s he’s been up to and his career as a DJ.
FromDJs4DJs: Tell us a bit about you’ve been working lately as far as productions and notable shows you’ve played at.
Anthony: Lately, this is my 7th show in a run of 10 days. So this like the end of my little run of gigs. Studio-wise, a couple of new remixes, a new single with Nervo, previewed this week. Basically just new singles and being on the road a hell of a lot.
FromDJs4DJs: Which show this summer has been your favorite thus far?
Anthony: That’s a tough one. I think the LED Party down at Wavehouse in San Diego was my favorite one so far. It kind of reminded me of Sydney and I’ve been a bit homesick lately. So that kind of gave me a fix.
FromDJs4DJs: Tell me about the new NERVO collaboration, how do you guys link up?
Anthony: I have known those girls for a couple years now. I did a remix officially for them last year for that “We’re All No One” single. Which they did through Astralwerks and from there we clicked musically – their sound and my beats. It just seemed to work really well. When they came back to Australia last Christmas for a tour, we said “Let’s get in the studio together” and that’s how we did “Reason.” It was like a two day studio session, lock down. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, kind of thing. And when you’ve only got 48 hours with someone you just like go for it. And that was it and then we kind of worked over correspondence. Which is kind of how it works now.
FromDJs4DJs: If you weren’t producing music what could we find you doing?
Anthony: I’d be a graphic designer. If I failed as a graphic designer I’d be a dish pig because that is what I was doing before. (laughs)
FromDJs4DJs: What do you think is the main key in making a good track?
Anthony: Not caring about how it’s going to sound in the end.
FromDJs4DJs: How do you think electronic music will evolve in the next year or two?
Anthony: That’s a hard one. I think it’s going to diversify. At the moment there is house music, there’s Dubstep, there’s only about 3 or 4 kind of big genres. I think it’s going to become much more. I think it’s going to split up, like go into 8 different genres. People are going to become a bit more discerning about what they like.
FromDJs4DJs: You have been living in Los Angeles for 2 months now, what made you make the move?
Anthony: I was over here for 2 tours already, since the start of this year. I did Miami and before that I did a run of 7 or 8, maybe even 10 shows in February. I was just thinking I’m just sick of traveling 15 hours to get to LA. So I was having an honest conversation with my girlfriend and I’m like “let’s just go, I know there is nothing tying us down.” So we just packed up and left.
FromDJs4DJs: Is there a particular production of yours that you’re most proud of or even stands out amongst the rest?
Anthony: That’s a hard one too. You should have warned me about these questions (laughs) I am going to say “Reason.” I think the new thing with NERVO, I am extremely proud of. I mean I’ve never had this reaction with a record without people knowing it. If that makes sense? I mean I play it out, first time people have heard it and they go crazy.
FromDJs4DJs: Speaking of crazy, what’s the craziest thing that has happened at a show?
Anthony: Umm… Someone spat on me once. This is ages ago. This was when I was DJing a bar before I started producing. This chick came to the bar, it was a real quite night and no one was there. She’s like I want to hear some “Kylie, I want to hear some Kylie!” and I’m like “You know I don’t play Kylie.” She was staying in the hotel and went up stairs to her room and brought down some Kylie CDs and said “now you have Kylie and you can’t say you don’t have any Kylie” I’m like no I’m still not playing it. So she brought all her friends over to the booth and it also turned out the she got out of jail that weekend. So I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, until she spat on me and tried to climb over the decks. Imagine this going down in a club where there was no one.
FromDJs4DJs: How has your family received your career and what do they think about you being a huge DJ/producer?
Anthony: I used to be a graphic designer and work with my dad. So it was kind of hard to break it to him. We had a little family business together and I was just starting out designing at the same time I was just getting into music. Until I got a residency and it started paying the bills he didn’t really like it. But they came around to it. Now my mom, she’s like my second manager. She’s telling people where I am. Where I’m playing, when my new remixes are coming out. She’s on twitter too, she’s all up in my face. It’s embarrassing.
FromDJs4DJs: What sort of advice would you give to any DJ/producer now?
Anthony: Going to the days where you can release 3 records a year and you can be a success. I’m not saying you can’t, but you have to be prepared to work hard the whole year round and have a high output. Be visible. Which means you got to work you ass off basically. So be prepared for that.
FromDJs4DJs: What’s one piece of equipment or software you can’t live without?
Anthony: Skype. (laughs)
FromDJs4DJs: How has your family received your career and what do they think about you being a huge DJ/producer?Anthony: I used to be a graphic designer and work with my dad. So it was kind of hard to break it to him. We had a little family business together and I was just starting out designing and at the same time I was just getting into music. Until I got a residency and it started paying the bills he didn’t really like it. But they came around to it. Now my mom, she’s like my second manager. She’s telling people where I am. Where I’m playing, when my new remixes are coming out. She’s on twitter too; she’s all up in my face. It’s embarrassing.
FromDJs4DJs: Club or festival?
FromDJs4DJs: Indoor or outdoor?
FromDJs4DJs: Vodka or Whiskey?
Anthony: Whiskey for sure
FromDJs4DJs: Lastly, Can you tell us one things your fans may not know about you?
Anthony: (Laughs) Well there’s a reason I haven’t shared those things. Ok this a good one. I used to sing in a choir. I used to be a choirboy when I was in school and not many people know about that. But, I’m sure a lot of people will now.