Chain D.L.K.: Finesse & Runway is a particular name for a band/project. It make me think of two comic books guys. Is it referred to something in particular?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: My name is Runway (like in an airport). It’s gay slang, when one is pretending to be a supermodel. My friend used to always walk down the aisle at this restaurant saying: “Runway,Runway,Runway”. Yeah,its totally 2 characters.
Melba: My name is Finesse,the best a man can get. I like to swing my hair in slow motion.
Chain D.L.K.: Your first CD as Finesse & Runway differs a lot from the Dino’s solo records (even if in some way you can hear the same peculiar way of treating the sounds). What’s the creation process of the band’s sound?
Finesse & Runway: Melba: We like to party! We play “dress-up” to get into it. Some of our best songs are done in “dress-up” mode.
Dino: Well, with Finesse & Runway, its two people choosing sounds, sequencing, and coming up with ideas. We both do it all. And we go about it with a very different perspective than I do with my solo stuff.
Chain D.L.K.: Some tracks of the album (“Steam n’ suds”, “Sweaty beats”, “New materials” or “Disco rash”) are more electro oriented and might also work on alternative dancefloor nights while tracks like “Redwood”, “Out of phase 1”, “Smash your mirror” and “Shallow tunnels” are more experimental. In my opinion this is a good thing because your music sounds fresh and it is also useful to keep the audience’s attention high. Was it something you wanted to create or was it just the nature of the process?
Finesse & Runway: Melba: I was influenced by a lot of different styles of music/ darker music, like Skinny Puppy, was one of my favorites.
Dino: Yeaah,totally. All the songs are from different time periods, ranging from 2002 to 2004. We go through phases,but we like other styles mixed into the “pop” music collection. Kind of to surprise the listener, maybe open them up to our other styles listener, maybe open them up to our other styles. Sonic Youth’s “Goo” album is a good example of mixing accessable with non-accessable.
Chain D.L.K.: Going by the photos you sent me, your show seems to be a rave party for cyborgs. Can you tell me something more about that? Are the looks equally important as the music when you play live? What is the audience reaction?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: Ha! Well, we’re very much into the visual aspect of the show. They are equally important. We like to create an alternate space, using props, our outfits, party machines and meat. Interacting with the audience when it feels appropriate. The reaction is usually pleasing, sometimes violent.
Melba: It’s more of a performance and the costumes play a big role in it. It’s our alter ego’s.
Chain D.L.K.: Recently in the electro scene, the remix thing sometimes seems more important than the music itself. Is it something you do or like? Does it work as a way of linking together the different scenes over the world?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: I would’nt think remixing is more important than the music itself. We do remixes. Its like a challenge to make the “Finesse & Runway” sound out of Don Ho samples or whatever samples we’re given. We did a remix for Otto von Schirach, which will be released this year and one for fellow “&” mates Alder & Elius.
Melba: It’s a good escape from our own samples and sounds and can be exciting.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the label you respect more and what is the right attitude to produce good electro music in your opinion?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: Other than the one we’re on, I’m really into the german label Sonig and the french label Ski-pp. I think theyre both releasing truly unique,inventive music. I think “inventing” a type of “music” or “musical” “formula” is always good. Or making successful hybrids.
Chain D.L.K.: The ’80s are a big influence in your music but they are well mixed just to form electronic music which sounds fresh. What is the aspect you hate the most about that period/bands and what is the thing you like the most? What influenced you the most of that period?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: I hate and love the tackiness of that time period. The obvious lyrics. The “verse/ chorus/ verse/ chorus/ break/ chorus” pattern. It’s an extremely simplistic pop formula.just with alot of glitter. Thats what we wanted to suck out of that time.
Melba: I grew up listening to alot of freestyle on our local radio station Power 96. Also the old school MTV, when it was ruled by Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Talking Heads and Madonna. I’m into all that nasty sticky cheese, gimme some cheddar!
Chain D.L.K.: You wrote me that you and Melba have been playing since when you were 13 years old (I am not counting the 1996-2001 period, when you were separated). How did the interaction change over the years? How did your way of playing music change? Did you release something in the early days?
Finesse & Runway: Melba: We played in my backyard. I played the guitar with one finger But we still rocked it. We would play parties and fuck shit up. Back then was the stone ages, now it’s the future.
Dino: When we first jammed out, it was me on a snare drum and Melba with an untuned cheap guitar. Very different. We never released anything, nor did we have a way of recording our songs. We are more into the infinitive aspect of using computers to make our rythms and sounds. Our interactions are rare.
Chain D.L.K.: When thinking of Miami, electronic music isn’t the first thing that came up in my mind. Can you tell what kind of bands you’ve got over there? Do you collaborate with any of them?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: Harry Pussy was from here. Monotract used to live here. FKTRN lives here. There’s all sorts of bands. In the present, Phoenecia and Otto are living here. Yarlen too…. Thats all i can think of. I have made a song or two with Otto, but other than that no other collaborations have taken place.
Melba: Kreamy Lectric Santa is from here and Trick Daddy, yeah!
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next for Finesse & Runway? Are you preparing something new? What does it sound like?
Finesse & Runway: Melba: The new stuff is pretty crazy, we always try to morph.
Dino: We’re always working on new stuff. We have some new tracks. To describe, maybe even more glittery and more nightmarish.
Chain D.L.K.: Would you like to tell us something about your Dino Felipe releases?
Finesse & Runway: Dino: They’re what I do in my private time. Its a more personal project than F&R. Its more self-expressive. I try and rid my solo music of the more obvious musical formulas. My first Schematic release,as “Flim Toby”, was mostly done on a 4-track and contains some of my first computer recordings,(which can be embarrassing). Mellow stuff. My newest Schematic release, “I’m you”, is more anxiety-ridden, acid- chaos and apocalyptic. I think all my releases though, are pop music for the most part.
Chain D.L.K.: Final blessings?
Finesse & Runway: Melba: Get drunk and pass out.
Visit Finesse & Runway on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]