BT and Christian Burns’ new project All Hail The Silence are the current support act on Erasure’s The Violet Flame Tour and we caught up with the duo to find out how the Erasure tour experience was treating them…
Can you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard that you were going to be touring with Erasure, and how did you react?
Christian Burns – I was in the studio in the UK working on some new music when I go the call off BT. He told me and I went very quiet. It took an awkward amount of seconds for it to register with me. Then I screamed down the phone like a maniac for a good minute or so.
BT – I was driving the car. Immediately put on Circus and started screaming like a 12 year old. True story.
How did you feel before you stepped onto the stage for the first show in the tour?
CB – Well for me, I had a mixture of feelings before the first show… Not only were we opening for such an iconic band, who were also a huge influence on me but we were also debuting our music to the world for the very first time, it was one of the most exciting feelings I have ever had before a show. A fair amount of butterflies too, the good kind!
BT – Thankfully we videotaped that moment. It was one of very few ‘full circle’ moments in my life. Another was Peter Gabriel leaning over to me in his studio Real World and asking me what I thought of a baseline he’d just played. Vince has been one of the greatest influences of my musical career. I’ve followed him since Speak & Spell, know all the synths he loves and uses, and have probably studied ever bar of everything he’s ever written. This is an unspeakable honour for me.
How did you feel when you came off the stage?
BT – Amazing. You know, this is a special project for both Christian and I. We’ve been around the block and back and independently achieved extraordinary things in our individual careers. Saying that, we regard this project and this material with tremendous reverence and excitement. To see people react to these songs, never having heard them, with such a powerful reaction the way we feel them is, well, just stunning.
CB – I felt completely elated after the show, it was a pretty special show with it being our first outing. It took me a good hour to come down from that!
How have the Erasure audiences been for you so far?
CB – The Erasure audiences have truly been brilliant on the tour, we have received a really warm reception from them. Watching them go crazy when Erasure came on is a spectacle, the fans know how to have a good time!
BT – Amazing. Erasure fans are incredible. I’m one too remember!
For anyone who hasn’t been able to see you, what’s your show like?
CB – We get a set time of 30 minutes and we try to cram as much in there as we can, there’s a lot of energy on stage, although we are a new band, me and BT have been performing on our own for a while so we know how to rock the crowd.
BT – We are a synth pop duo referencing all our heroes from growing up. From Human League to Blue Nile to Yazoo, it’s kinda all in there. Both Christian and I perform all the time – at EDM festivals and the like – so we are fairly natural performers. There is a lot of energy on stage. More than anything it’s about the songs we are playing. I really believe we have a very special first album on our hands. It really is about the songs.
For anyone who doesn’t know you, which one song would you make them listen to ‘get’ what you’re about?
CB – Any of them to be honest, but if I was to pick just one I would say ‘Diamonds in the Snow’, great hooks and some of my favourite analog synth sounds on the record!
BT – Probably ‘The Alarm’ which isn’t out yet. We’ve seen people at the shows screaming “You can feel it if you DON’T STOP” which is crazy and cool in equal measure because the song isn’t released yet.
Have you been watching Erasure’s performances?
BT – All of them. I saw them open for Duran Duran as well! Andy is an incredible, natural fluid performer. He’s an absolute joy to watch, he commands the stage. Watching Vince and his rig is like class for me.
CB – Yeah, we got to watch their show for the first time in Pittsburgh, they nailed it! Hit after hit after hit and Andy was on top form with his vocals. The atmosphere was electric!
What’s your favourite Erasure song from the tour?
CB – My favourite Erasure track is ‘Ship of Fools’.
BT – Blue Savannah. Andy’s voice is so amazing on that live. Also I didn’t mention this yet but the lighting for their show is so kick ass and for this song in particular. Christian and I were at front of house in Pittsburg screaming every word of this song out, hands in the air.
Have you abused your Access All Areas privileges to go into places you shouldn’t have gone?
CB – Not yet, there is still time though!
BT – Not at all. Have so much respect for these guys and their crew, we are elated to be here. We’re trying to be super respectful. Poor Christian spilled a bottle of water on stage the other night and Erasure’s tour manager let him have it. I thought we were both going to cry! We are trying to be respectful and stay out of everyones way and just add to the excitement of what is already an amazing night for anybody that comes out. I’m waiting for Andy and Vince to invite us to dinner or something though, I’m dying to just hang out with them.
What’s on your rider?
BT – Hummus, veggies, pita, water and Red Bull. Double underscore the RedBull, we are driving ourselves on this tour in an RV.
CB – Wait, we have a rider?
What was it like when you first met Vince and Andy, and what did you talk about?
BT – Just about stuff. It was awesome. They thanked me for the remix I did for them and told me it’s doing really well. We just hung out and talked. I get people fan-boying out on me at my gigs so I am doing everything possible to not run up to Vince and start talking to him about his Movement drum computer and Pro-One’s and such!
CB – We met them on the first night in Atlantic City, which was a bit of a big deal as for me and BT as we have both grown up listening to Erasure and Vince has had a hand in a lot of my favourite tracks from the 80s. They were both really nice, we chatted to them for a bit about how the tour was going and then we had to run and set up!
What’s the worst thing about being the support act?
BT – Nothing. It’s the greatest thing ever. Bucket-list great.
CB – Nothing sucks about being the support act on an Erasure tour. Nothing.
And the best thing?
BT – Same answer in the opposite. Everything. Anytime Erasure asks us to support them, we’ll do it. Their crew, the guys, the girls, it’s amazing.
CB – We get to finish early and then get to watch Erasure live every night!
How are you travelling from show to show?
BT – In an RV we are driving ourselves. I fly about 350,000 miles a year doing shows so it’s definitely a change for us! We bought a cowboy hat at Walmart that is the ‘drivers’ hat. You can’t drive unless you wear it. I now know the layout of Walmart by heart. It’s just complete winning. We are having a blast.
CB – We love it! We do all the driving ourselves so as you can imagine we are going through a serious amount of Red Bull.
On a scale of one to ten, how much fun are you having?
CB – 11
BT – 11.5
What’s happening for you next, when you finish your dates with Erasure?
CB – It’s all really exciting for us at the moment, we are a baby band but we have big plans. We are putting the finishing touches to our first album. I am also working on some new collaborations in the EDM world, and have a few big tracks coming out in the next few months.
BT – I just finished scoring the new Anthony Hopkins thriller ‘Solace’ and will be starting a top secret project with Disney. I am also working on an orchestral retrospective of my work that we will be announcing very soon (Nov 19th to be specific!). Finally I’m working on some new software and hardware creations to follow my work with iZotope (BreakTweaker and Stutter Edit).