Finnish duo Miika Eloranta and Janne Mansnerus have been producing Trance music for a number of years, but they first properly grabbed our attention in 2005 when they started to work together as Super8 & Tab. A prominent member of the Anjunabeats family, they released their debut album ‘Empire‘ in 2010 and regularly perform at some of the biggest shows and festivals around the world.
During the North American section of their summer 2014 tour, Miika (Super8) and Janne (DJ Tab) kindly agreed to speak to professional vocalist, songwriter and Canadian VSA representative Jessika Dawn, guest interviewing on behalf of TranceFixxed, before their performance at the Venue Nightclub in Vancouver last weekend:
Jessika: I set up my questions; nervous I’d forget them and opened my recorder on my phone. I was escorted back to the green-room behind the stage, on the upper floor of the Venue Nightclub. Entering the room, Miika and Janne were on their feet ready to speak with me, drink in hand, relaxed and ready for the show. Both had a very warm and welcoming demeanor and quickly said hello extending a hand to shake. They introduced themselves like I had no idea who they were. From that moment every trace of nervousness that I had previous to meeting them quickly washed away. We went towards the back of the green-room to sit and get a little more comfortable.
TranceFixxed: You just had two shows before tonight’s, in Chicago and LA. How were the shows?
Miika: Great, very good!
Janne: LA has always been really good for us, as it was this time. We’ve been to Chicago about 3 or 4 times, and they’ve all been good fun as well.
TranceFixxed: I just travelled through LA as I just got back from EDC, the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, and I was disappointed you guys were not there.
Miika: Hah! Yeah.
Janne: We’ve been there like, two years in a row so… If you’re doing many things, the same time over and over again, people sort of get bored.
Miika: So it’s good to do different things.
Miika: Yeah, first time for both.
Janne: We’ve heard so many good things about Paradiso; that the scenery is amazing. We’ve played in Toronto many times, although this one (Digital Dreams) is a first. It’s one big party.
Miika: Digital Dreams is basically in the city, I don’t know how many people. The line-up is huge!
TranceFixxed: I’ve got some questions here from your fans as I’ve asked what they would like to know.
TranceFixxed: First question: For a country with a small population, Finland has a strong Trance background with you, Orkidea and Slusnik Luna. Why do you think that is? Why is trance is so popular in Finland?
Miika: Usually Trance has a little bit of those sad and beautiful melodies. Like, Finnish music is more in the minority so I guess it comes from there, because people live that. So people like the music to feel uplifited.
Janne: Also, the scene in Finland is so small, and we all know each other there like Orkidea and Slusnik Luna so that makes a tight community. When we listen to each other’s tracks we give feedback with a really open mind so it pushes people further.
TranceFixxed: You have previously worked and gone on tour with Julie Thompson. Do you still want to do this in the future?
Janne: Yeah, we collaborated with Julie on our album ‘Empire’ and we’re working together again on our new album. Julie hasn’t actually be on tour with us yet, but hopefully that’s something we can do in the future.
TranceFixxed: I thought that was really cool of you guys to want to bring her on tour with you. As a fellow vocalist, just hearing that you would love to bring one on tour was an exciting feeling.
Do you feel it’s only worthwhile, considering you guys are a duo, to take a vocalist with you when there is more than a few tracks done together? Or would you want to do it like Armin and bring ALL the vocalists that feature in your tracks if you plan to play them?
Janne: We’d LOVE to have EVERYBODY on board! Bring all our friends, all the vocalists, the collaboration DJs… everyone!
Miika: But it’s always impossible.
Janne: Yeah. You would need to have something massive like an Airbus A380 to transport everyone to all the gigs.
TranceFixxed: What is the hardest thing you’ve faced on your road to success?
Miika: Right now, it’s being away from home. We have a one year old daughter. I was just on Skype just before we left here and she’s really starting to miss me. I’ll be back on Monday so that’s good.
TranceFixxed: That must be tough. What are some of the things that you try and do to make it so you don’t feel so far away from each other?
Miika: When we are at home you need to be present, not on emails and stuff like that. Be part of the family. Just recently we took our families with us on a two week holiday in Asia just to spend time with our families together. It’s really important that the home base is healthy as it will affect everything else.
Janne: It’s the most important thing so we try to Skype as often as possible.
Miika: We have some kind of routine with my wife already. Sometimes Skype is open for like an hour an half and she’s doing her thing, I’m doing my thing and then my daughter will occasionally come by and say ‘Hi’. It’s kind of being there without being there.
Change & The Music Industry
TranceFixxed: Is there anything that you feel that should change within the music industry business wise? Is there anything that you’d want to change?
Janne: The music business changes all the time, but there simply has to be change. Without the change, who wants to hear the same music all the time? Technical wise all the computers and production tools are getting better, the sound-systems are getting bigger, lights are getting bigger. The DJs have more shows, so music wise it has to change all the time. What happened this week in Boston, we would like to change that. There was too many young kids having too much of a good time and over 50 people needed medical attention, which is not good.
Janne: In this culture, you have your friends which are taking good care of you. People are good at providing the help when they need it.
Miika: We haven’t seen any problems on the dance floor like that, thankfully.
TranceFixxed: How do you feel about the financial side of the industry; people getting paid, vocalists getting squeezed out of their royalties, stuff like that?
Miika: People used to make money just releasing tracks, at the beginning of the 2000s and they would get lots of money from one track. These days, you don’t make any money from music. It would be fun if there would be 1,000 people that don’t want to tour and they would still get their living producing great tracks. Basically now though if you don’t want to tour you can’t make a living off of just making music.
TranceFixxed: At the VSA, we’ve got over 300 vocalists under the alliance umbrella all striving towards change in the industry, fairness and equality. There are a lot of times when they’ve been burnt from different producers and labels so they don’t want to work with them and are wary of working with other. So if you’re with the VSA, ‘the sensible solution stamp’, within the industry they can feel confident that they will be treated respectfully and honestly. The new website has just been launched, so you’re welcome to come and take a look at all the vocalists that want to work with genuine producers.
Miika: Thanks, we’ll be sure to check that out. That’s really good. We’ve worked with the same vocalists for our new album, but it would be fun to work with several new people, you never know what you might find.
10 Years of Super8 & Tab
TranceFixxed: You guys have been in this for about 10 years. Are you going to mark your anniversary?
Miika: Yes, we have to mark it with something – ten years of Super8 & Tab! We have to do something and get Anjunabeats involved. So let’s see what we can figure out together on what we’re going to do.
Janne: Maybe remix some of our old stuff… Whatever we do, there will definitely be many, many parties!
Miika: We still have 6 months to go before 2015 starts, though so plenty of time to think.
Janne: We’ve been here 10 years because of our fans and we want them to be a part of that 10 year celebration. There are loads of new and up and coming talents so we want to give them opportunity to be a part of the history of Super8 & Tab.
TranceFixxed: What are you working on at the moment?
Janne: The new album is coming out soon, in October, so that is taking all of our time. Release wise, putting that together and then we will start touring a lot. Like at the end of the year, we have some big tours coming up.
Miika: It would be good time for maybe Julie to come on tour with us but that’s still months away, so we don’t know yet.
Janne: No, and we’ve got to figure it out with everyone’s schedules and everything.
Miika: For the new album we tried to find new voices, but we just ended up doing more tracks with Julie and Jan and the same vocalists on the album. We’re happy with the results, and can’t wait for it to be released.
TranceFixxed: Well, I believe you guys are just about to go on stage. Thank you both so much for chatting with me!
Both: Thank you!
Super8 & Tab Vs. Jaytech – Code Red
Super8 & Tab: On Tour
5th July 2014 – Luminosity Beach Festival @ Bloemendaal, Netherlands
6th July 2014 – Luminosity Beach Festival @ Bloemendaal, Netherlands
7th July 2014 – Driftwood Boat Party @ Ibiza, Spain
12th July 2014 – Zouk @ Singapore
18th July 2014 – Summer Sound Festival @ Helsinki, Finland
19th July 2014 – Electronic Family @ Amsterdam, Netherlands
19th July 2014 – Summer Sound Festival @ Helsinki, Finland
20th July 2014 – Summer Sound Festival @ Helsinki, Finland
21st July 2014 – Gatecrasher @ Ibiza, Spain
25th July 2014 – Monday Bar @ Stockholm, Sweden
28th July 2014 – Gatecrasher @ Ibiza, Spain
5th August 2014 – Privilege @ Ibiza, Spain
8th August 2014 – Waterdance 2014 @ Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
15th August 2014 – Weekend Festival @ Helsinki, Finland
23rd August 2014 – SW4 Festival @ London
26th August 2014 – Privilege @ Ibiza, Spain
30th August 2014 – Serena Pop Festival @ Espoo, Finland
11th September 2014 – Cream At Amnesia @ Ibiza, Spain
19th September 2014 – Full on Ibiza at Space @ Ibiza, Spain