Interview: UNFITS are set to be over the top pop worldwide
When I was contacted about doing a feature on this band, I took a bit more notice than usual, because it wasn’t coming from a generic PR mill. It was coming from someone directly on the band’s team. Reading through the press release, the ambitious nature of the music video for “Satisfy Me” intrigued me further.
The video lived up to the hype. It’s over the top.
I’m always looking for that pop act that will be the next to take over. The single “Satisfy Me” certainly has all the makings of a worldwide smash. I would describe the sound as M83 meets The Chainsmokers.
The video for “Satisfy Me” is a cinematic journey throughout the world. The message I get from watching this is that the protagonist has indulged in everything the world has to offer; but all the beauty and hedonistic pleasures do not satisfy. He is still searching for that one thing, or person, that will fulfill that void. The song leaves a poignant feeling of wonder in me, one that is frankly very therapeutic after the strange mood I was in much of today. Heck, even before listening I was really annoyed about something completely unrelated, and that feeling seemed to melt away as I listened.
As I type this I just wrapped up a webinar with the Columbus Music Commission that discussed the story behind twenty one pilots. Frontman Tyler Joseph and key members of the band’s team tuned in via Zoom to discuss the band’s origin story. One of the things that stood out to me was how intentional everything was—and how much everything comes straight from Tyler Joseph’s mind. Everything is very intentional and thought out.
So, it was my pleasure to sit down with El Sueño, the frontman for the Los Angeles-based project UNFITS to learn a bit more about this larger than life project that you don’t know about—yet. The foundation has been laid for quite some time. I haven’t taken the time to explore every corner of the UNFITS Instagram, but it’s clear they are being positioned for something big.
Tuned Up: Describe the band’s sound in the form of a cocktail or favorite beverage
El Sueño: If UNFITS were a beverage we would be Añejo tequila.
I noticed you filmed a part of the music video in Popsicle LA (the “Batcave” in The Dark Knight). How was that experience? How did it feel to film in such an iconic location?
We are huge admirers of Christopher Nolan, and our lifestyle is similar to Bruce Wayne, if he was a skydiver. So it made sense to shoot in the real-life bat cave. I wish I could live there, actually. I need a house like that to work on artificial intelligent robot humanoids and new music.
The bio mentions that the music video takes inspiration from Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott—do you have a favorite film by either of those directors? Which one and why?
Ridley Scott is my favorite director. I love the sci-fi dystopia visuals of Blade Runner. Blade Runner is a cinematic drug of utopian escapism with lush burnished tapestries I could get lost in forever.
The music video for “Satisfy Me” was filmed on 3 continents. Where would you like to film next?
Next video will be in Moscow. We also have projects planned in Egypt, Morocco, and St Lucia.
Describe a musical moment that you would define as “paradigm altering” in your personal development.
Discovering The Clash altered me musically. And reading about Sean Corey Carter (aka Jay-Z) busting out of Marcy Projects inspired me personally. I actually used to live on the streets, and breaking out of below the poverty line is just as hard as it is for a Space X rocket to break through gravity to near Earth orbit.
What was the most transcendent experience you’ve had at a concert?
Seeing people do shrooms at jungle raves in Tulum with kaleidoscope lasers under a tapestry of burning stars.
What’s an unexpected part of the music grind? What’s a rewarding part?
Unexpected part is how bad the food can be. Sometimes during traveling I survive on cashews or anything healthy I can find. In a perfect world I could eat sumptuous vegetarian food in any country I travel to, but that’s usually not the case.
The most rewarding part of music is connecting with fans. Sometimes the music is just a catalyst for bringing people together. In other words, people together can be even more powerful than music alone in a room by itself. Without the connection to other people, life would be pointless.
Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?
I have two favorite quotes:
1. Albert Einstein said “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest is mere details.”
2. Keynes said “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”
Both of these quotes illustrate that “knowing” something theoretically does not mean you will be around to benefit from it empirically. Anytime I think I know something, I try to assess how close I am to the truth being realized. So many people live their entire lives theoretically, without reaping any of the results of what they know.
What artists are on repeat for you right now?
Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” has a whole new meaning to me during these unusual global pandemic times.
I also continue to listen to a lot of progressive house music like Ben Böhmer or Kyle Watson.
How are you staying grounded during quarantine?
I have been using this as an opportunity to give back more. One of the things I’ve been doing is chartering helicopters to skydive supplies into remote locations. There are many people quarantined in remote locations who literally can’t leave their house. So I’ve been skydiving in from low altitudes of 3,000’ to airdrop supplies.
I also have been writing a lot of new music. Music is always clarity. As confusing as the world can be, music has always been absolute clarity.
What can fans be looking forward to in the near future?
Pop up shows in Europe, large scale visuals with C4D sci-fi art to compliment the music and hopefully a tour where I skydive into every venue before I perform.