the day before the music conference ends
in Miami. Normally everyone is hurting
so much from the three days and nights
of partying prior, venues tend to look
more like dark airport waiting room (slump
in your seat and have a drink) than hopping
nightclubs. No one told the 600 or so
people smashed into Bash, jumping up and
down, cheering, and scrambling for the
CDs being tossed into the crowd by the
makers of the music that has them going
so wild. That would be Somboinx &
Lindsay, the Chicago duo who perform their
infectious funky chunky house music live
and have churned out a barrelful of vinyl
on their Q-Studios label that's been heating
up dancefloors from coast to coast to
coast. Lindsay was born Lindsay Frkovich
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 24 years ago,
while Somboinx aka Adam Scott Nelson calls
Laconia, New Hampshire his home. We got
the chance to talk to the dynamic duo
about how they got together to make such
sexy sounds and here's what they said!
What was the first song you ever
learned to sing?
I've got a killer rendition of the ABC's
on tape from age 4! but I learned to sing
the Shirelles and Chiffons songs when
I was pretty small. I love Motown from
the early 1960's. Also "The Greatest
Love of All" by Whitney Houston.
Did you always want to be a singer,
or were there other careers you considered?
I knew I wanted to be a singer from as far back as I can
remember. It always seemed to be the natural choice for
What prompted you to move from Milwaukee
I came to Chicago at age 18 to attend Columbia College for
music and theatre performance. I graduated in 2001.
How did you end up the manager of
Q Studios... and what is Q Studios exactly?
Adam and I met across the Damen L' platform in 1998. To make a long story
short it was love at first sight and we
started making music together right away.
My Dad owns a recording and video studio
in Milwaukee, so I fit right in at Q Studios.
Over the past 5 years Adam and I have
transformed our space into a state of
the art studio. I guess I do more of the
managerial duties because I'm more organized!!
What role to do you play in the
song making process: do you write lyrics
or melodies on your own or work as a team,
or do you stick to singing them?
I write my own lyrics and melodies. Sometimes I come up
with them ahead of time, I always have a songbook going
with ideas in it. But more often Adam will start making a
song and I will sit in the studio with him and get an
idea. It may start with one melody line and a couple of
lyrics, and then I will just write the song as he is
making the music. But we give each other ideas as we go
along. This format has proven to be the best for us.
If you had to say you sounded like
a famous singer - or a combination of
famous singers, who would that be?
I don't know who I sound like , but I
have found inspiration from a variety
of singers, from Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald,
Madonna, and a lot of disco to Motown
RAVES ASKS SOMBONIX...
How did you come up with the name
Came up with it while at college in
1988 as part of a longer name Blastarataphrap
Oh, of course, we should have known!
;) What was the first rave or club that
you went to and what was it like?
Axis on Lansdown St. in Boston 1989.
The club changed decor every month. They
moved the bars the changed the sculptural
displays and occupied 3 floors behind
Fenway Park. It was more industrial music
Front 242, Nitzer Eb, Dessau.
What made you decide to become a
Got tired of babysitting a rock band
and all the crap that goes along with
that. I was renting studio space to Johnny
Fiasco for 5 years so I was always around
the music and the people.
Were you a DJ before you were producing
I was producing electronic music as far
back as 1985 but it was far from the House,
Hip Hop and DNB I make now.
What are a few of your current and
all-time favorite records and artists?
Too hard to answer. I always like to
drop Bob Sinclair's "The Ghetto" Inland
Knights records are usually pretty good
RAVES ASK THEM BOTH...
To someone who's never been able
to see you perform, how would you describe
it and your music?
We create and perform House music, some
of it is funky some tribal and deep. Lindsay
sings her lyrics over me spinning Dub
Plates of our tracks in a continuous mix
usually followed by a bangin' set of jackers
that would get your mom shakin' her booty.
What is one of the wildest, craziest
things that's ever happened to you while
A dancing crowd of 600 cheered when
we dropped "Reptile" at WMC 2003. It let
us know that our music was not only reaching
a lot of people globally but was both
memorable in a sea of House music and
highly regarded. I feared the club would
be clearing out by the time we came on
at 4am but they danced right up to the
lights coming on at 6. We signed a lot
of foreheads that morning and watched
people scramble to get the CD-Roms we
were tossing down on them.
Was there ever something that happened,
a hardship or a setback, that had you
thinking you might quit music altogether?
How did you get past that?
Never thought I would quit but the hardships and setbacks
certainly had an affect through the years. More often than
not, its out of your control. Making music is easy but when
you try to sell it or sell yourself
and the business end of music is not your forte you face
some headaches. I will always keep pushing on.
Have you ever been out and randomly
heard someone playing one of your records?
What was that like and what did you do
when you heard it? We have friends that
call from overseas saying they heard us
in a club or on the radio. One friend
went to 3 different clubs in one night
and heard "Reptile" played at all of them!
What do you think of the state of
the club scene in the US and abroad right
now? What's the scene like in Chicago
compared to in the past?
It seemed better before but I think
there is just to much going on so the
whole scene is watered down. Big DJs are
demanding too much money which is killing
the promoters. I believe that a lot of
the people attending nowadays have no
idea who they are there to see. In my
opinion the big priced overseas DJs are
not drawing the big crowds but getting
paid as if they were. Clubs are not as
automatically packed as they used to be
and I think the built in crowds of a few
years ago made those DJs think it was
somehow their doing. I am up to my neck
in the Dance music scene and I don't know
who some of these supposed big draw names
are so how could the people from the burbs
Have you seen the clubs you play
in be affected by the any sort of legal
or police crackdown?
I have seen no indication of authority
killing the party. I think they have been
more lenient since 911 sorta like "let
the people party". You cant crack down
on the populace when the economy is suffering.
Nobody wants to be the buzz kill these
days in my opinion.
Tell us what you're working on right
We are nearly finished with a full length
CD/CDROM that has radio versions of our
releases to date as well a lot of brand
new material. We have 2 tours we are booking
in support of the release and are putting
together a live band for next summer so
that we can perform our music with live
Bass, Drums, Guitar, Strings and Keys.
What do you want to accomplish with
all that you do?
We hope to be able to take what we now do in clubs to a larger audience at
live venues and festival stages. The music
is cross over Dance but retains true roots
of Chicago's "HOUSE" sound and we believe
it is perhaps the most approachable/enjoyable
sub genre within Electronic music. People
throughout the states still refer to everything
played in clubs as Techno so it will take
some time for them to learn the term "House"
but they will be shakin' their booty regardless.
Anything else you'd like to say
to the Raves.com audience?
Check out our web sites as they have
most of our (Quicktime) Videos and Mp3s.
We host a couple other sites as well.
http://www.qstudios.tv Our studio main
site http://www.qstudios.tv/miami Our
interactive press kit http://www.jimijon.com
Our main portal http://www.the-joint.net
Booking agency site, contact LadyJ@the-joint.net.
-- interview by Jennifer Warner