Sydney dance outfit Flight Facilities have opened up about their success over the past 12 months in a candid interview with News Corp, revealing, among other things, that they are yet to break even on their last tour.

During the chat, Jimmy Lyell, one half of the ‘Crave You’ hit-makers, claimed the duo “pretended” to play live during one of their earliest festival performances, but now look down on the practice, while admitting that it’s the financially sound way to tour.

“We put on a mix tape at one of our really early festivals just to try performing like that,” Lyell said. “But halfway through I thought ‘I am so fucking bored and I feel like a dick’. So we never did it again.”

“We do as much as humanly possible up there,” Lyell continued. “If there’s too many vodkas or beers beforehand we probably couldn’t do our job properly.” The band have been on tour for the past year supporting their debut LP, Down to Earth.

The boys’ current tour sees them employing an expensive stage show, including an extensive lighting rig, two guest vocalists (including Brooke Addamo aka Owl Eyes), and a performance rig that allows the duo to actually perform live.

“Dance music is supposed to be fun,” Lyell said. “The outfits are part of that. We want to make our live show an experience that’s not like EDM. In America we get classed as EDM but we’re probably the antithesis of that.”

“I like people who are used to that [EDM] culture coming to see us. We love the whole theatrical aspect to the show. Our biggest inspirations are the Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Orbital, the old school big beat stuff. They were doing so much stuff on stage not just standing behind a laptop.”

But, Lyell admits, not simply standing behind the laptop takes a toll on your bank account. The duo is yet to recoup the money they spent on their latest round of touring, which included gigs around the country, as well as in the US and UK.

“Hopefully we’ll start to make some money soon, we’re spending money to make money at the moment,” he revealed. “That’s pretty important when you’re establishing yourself. I think it’ll pay off in the long run.

“I think we’ll have a brand that will keep going for a few more years to come because we’re putting in the hard yards now. It’s a big investment in time and money.” However, as far as Lyell is concerned, the investment is worth it.

“This live show is the vision Hugo [Gruzman] and I had when we started, it’s tough for perfectionists to see it take so long to come to life. And it’s expensive. We’re touring with this huge lighting rig that has been the bane of our existence for the past two years.

“There’s a lighting guy to help with that, two vocalists, our manager, a sound man, a monitors guy and Hugo and I. If it was just a DJ thing we’d probably just need four of us on tour. Hats off to people who do that, it’s clever in the long run.”

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“And if you think about it, people in the crowd have the same experience. That’s why all these superstar DJs have made it work, the experience in the crowd is the same and they make double the money and can probably do double the gigs. But our artistic integrity would stop us from doing that.”

The duo try to save money wherever they can, as they are set to discuss during an upcoming roundtable as part of Vivid’s Cloud Sounds. In a discussion presented by file-sharing service Dropbox, the two will talk about how technology is used to make music.

“Especially being in Australia you need technology to hook you up with people on the other side of the world without travelling 24 hours to work with them,” Lyell explained. “We can’t afford to pay a small fortune on flights.”

“There’s vocalists on our album we’ve not even met yet, but if we didn’t have Dropbox and other technology we couldn’t have worked with them. You need to be able to share things online or else it would cost you an arm and a leg.”

One of their most recent collaborations is with fellow Aussie electronic duo Client Liaison. “We love those guys to death and respect what they do. They’re taking a similar path to us with the pilot outfits, they’re turning that 80s look into a brand and their brand is incredibly strong,” said Lyell.

“If they just keep going like that they’ll surpass us. They’re so talented. Once we get off the stage our pilot outfits come off, but they wear their personas every day which is the best part of it.”

Following an upcoming slot at Splendour In The Grass, Flight Facilities will embark on a tour across Europe before returning for a special, one-night-only show with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, where they’ll perform rearranged versions of their songs.

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