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This Is Northern New South Wales

Fleetmac Wood – NYE Falls Festival

Fleetmac Wood is the dance-party remix love-child of DJ duo Lisa Jelliffe & Alex Oxley. Both successful DJs in their own rights, they noticed how much people enjoyed hearing Fleetwood Mac in a party environment, and Fleetmac Wood was born. In the lead-up to their opening set at Falls Festival Byron Bay, we spent a bit of time chatting with them to find out a little more about the awesome project that is Fleetmac Wood.

CG – Hey Lisa & Alex!

FW – Hi!

CG – What have you been up to today?

FW – Interviews actually, all day. We’re just down in Hobart and we went to the Mona museum yesterday, which was incredible and we loved it. We’re looking forward to Falls Festival, just having a little rest before we get on the road.

CG – How long have you been in the country for?

FW – We’ve been here a week now. I’m actually originally from Australia, I’ve been living away in the UK and the US for about 15 years. It’s great to be home

CG – I was about to ask if you were English, I caught the accent, then you also sound Australia.

FW – It’s a bit mixed up! But I am definitely Australian.

CG – How about you Alex, how much do you come to Australia?

FW – (Alex) Well Lisa and I are married, and I’ve been here twice before but not actually for three years, so it’s really nice to come back again. Especially this time of year, it’s gorgeous weather, we’re a bit spoilt at the moment.

CG – So you’re in the country for a string of dates, Falls Fest being one of them –

FW – Yeah, they’re big sets that we’re looking forward to. Normally we do parties, we’ll do four to five hours of Fleetwood Mac remixes and originals and edits, so it’s going to be hard to reduce that down to one hour. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we’ll be playing a lot of the big hits, it’ll be hard to choose which ones.

CG – Do you know how you’re going to kick it off? Do you have a favourite to get people going?

FW – We always like to change things around and we don’t like to organize our sets too much, so I don’t think we’ll give it away at this point – I’m sure most people will recognize the tracks we’re going to play. We’ll be definitely playing the ones that get the biggest reactions at our parties

CG – So I know you guys do remixes of Fleetwood Mac songs, but tell me a little more about your style.

FW – We sort of collect remixes of Fleetwood Mac that we think are fantastic, we do some ourselves and we’ve got lots of producer friends whose style we love so we’ve gotten them involved in the project, we also welcome anyone to have a go and send them through.  It’s an on-going thing, we’re always hunting for a new way to hear this classic music, but we tend to prefer the more disco / experimental remixes. It’s not really about a massive EDM drop, that’s not really our style. We really love the atmospheric dreamy kind of versions, but it also depends on the track.

CG – So you’re essentially curators of Fleetwood Mac remixes – you’re like an audible museum of Fleetwood Mac.

FW – Yeah! Check out the stuff we put online, we have Volume 1,2,3 & 4, and we like to put snippets of interviews between the remixes as well so it kind of tells a story of their back catalogue and what the songs are about. There is such a story to be told, the songs are like journal entries really. They all had a lot of torment and joy, breakups and makeups, it’s all real and authentic and I think that’s part of the appeal of a lot of their songs.

CG – Tell me a little more about why you selected Fleetwood Mac with this project?

FW – Well we have both DJ’d for a long time, I’d always throw in a few Fleetwood Mac tracks into my set about ten years ago and people were so excited to hear their music in a pub or a bar. They were quite unpopular for a while there in the 90’s, it was like everyone’s parent’s music, but it really started to turn around and people started to make their parents music their music, it slowly happened and there was a bit of a remix community online that started to develop. I just had a hunch that a night of all Fleetwood Mac would be really, really interesting, a really unique experience.
We’ve all been to house parties where someone will put on Fleetwood Mac greatest hits and people will dance all night, it’s great party music, people have an emotional connection to it. It’s just really great to hear this music on a great sound system in a dark place after a few drinks with your friends.

CG – Was there any stand-out feedback that you received the first time you played a full Fleetwood Mac set?

FW – We didn’t really think that people would necessarily stay all night and after five hours the enthusiasm might wane, but I remember someone telling me the next day that they were there all night, then went home and put on more. People wanted more, and it’s amazing how long you can listen to this music for.

CG – I need to confess to you – I was one of the people that during the 90’s and even up until a couple of years ago, would make fun of people who listened to Fleetwood Mac, because it was Mum and Dad’s music. But that’s not to say I’m not going to listen to it, and I’m going to check out your set for sure.

FW – Well the great thing about Fleetwood Mac is that no matte what sort of music you’re into, they did it at some point. They had their blues era then the big 70’s stadium rock era, the pop synth era, they’ve got it all.

CG – Have you ever had any feedback from the band?

FW – Well I actually interviewed Mick Fleetwood for Timeout London this year, which was really fabulous, I told him about what we were doing and he kind of sort of chuckled. So, I think they know about it and I think they’re cool with it, as far as we know.

CG – So you’re an interviewer? Now I’m nervous.

FW – Oh no, that was the first interview I’ve ever done. I was so nervous I recorded it on four devices.

CG – That’s a huge first interview, congrats. You guys have had a big couple of years and done some big festivals – Glastonbury, Burning Man – huge. Tell me about Burning Man, what was that like

FW – That was our second Burning Man that we had done Fleetmac Wood at and there was this great big tent that we played in, like a dome that people can do aerial silk performances in there. We had some performers volunteer to do that so we opened our set with a guy doing the silks to my “Rhiannon” remix, which is really special.
(Alex) – Yeah it was super cool

Yeah it was really beautiful, very atmospheric. We were in the middle of the dust with this beautiful young man up-side down, hanging in the air. It was very special, a big party with really good vibes.

CG – Without giving anything away in regards to your set, can you tell us if there’s anything special you’re going to be playing for Falls Festival?

FW – There might be something. There’s a “Tusk” re-issue, it was just out two weeks ago. There’s loads of extra content and new versions of their songs on that, so we might play something from that, we’ve not played that at a festival before.

CG – Excellent, we’ve reached the end. Is there anything great you want to say about Byron, about how much you love it?

FW – Well yeah! My formative years were spent in Byron, so for me that’s where my musical tastes were shaped. That’s when my parents were listening to Fleetwood Mac, so it’s like a strange, full circle really; coming back to Byron and playing Fleetwood Mac. It’ll be great being at the Falls Festival and playing at that beautiful place.

CG – That’s quite poetic.

FW – Yeah, I have such lovely memories. It’s a beautiful place.