Originally published by Heart Eyes Magazine
Fly By Midnight is taking names (and rightfully so) with their single “You Belong.” I got the chance to talk to the guys about the writing process. They even gave me a hint as to what they may be releasing in the future and their sauces of choice.
HEM: Okay first of all, I’d just like to say the “You Belong” video is genius. The colors are beautiful and the narrative is so interesting! Who came up with the idea for this video?
Justin: We really appreciate that! With every new video we’ve shot we find ourselves working with a smaller team every time. Slavo & I decided on the style of the video after being inspired by our best friend Alec’s recent travel video he had filmed of his girlfriend. We packed our bags and were on the road for two days just filming. Three dudes, an idea & a camera.
Slavo: The concept came to Justin & I a couple weeks before filming. We wanted this video to be the first one where our stories were separate yet connected. On a deeper level we almost mirror each other and throughout the video Justin’s past is almost foreshadowing the future of my relationship.
HEM: “You Belong” has received so much positive feedback on Spotify and Apple Music. Did you anticipate the success of this song specifically?
Slavo: We had “You Belong” sitting on our hard drive for about a year.. it went through several different phases of production until we had decided on one that felt really complete. By that time we were so anxious & eager to put it out to the world. We knew it was special when we wrote it, but honestly we had kind of forgotten how special as we had sat with it for a long time.
Justin: It’s pretty rare that we take a moment to be proud of our progress, but when we had gotten the editorial pickups on Spotify & Apple Music we really had a moment to take it all in. Being able to experience it with our fans when it was released almost reenergized our love for it.
HEM: The sound of your new album Rerunning is so fun with an angsty twist! What is your favorite song to perform?
Justin: “Heart” has really grew [sic] on me live, but I think nothing beats the energy we always get from “Just Say It.” It’s kind of beautiful and odd being the concept of the song is somewhat of a downer, but the chorus has become that song of ours that people scream at every show.
HEM: What was the most difficult song to write on this album?
Slavo: Hands down “Ain’t Got Much To Go.” The verses came together very quickly. We had written a completely different pre-chorus that we ended up going back and reworking. Then we starting [sic] overthinking the concept of the track taking place during the summer.. and the album coming out in the fall so we wrote alternate lyrics to “this summer ain’t got much to go”.. but in the end we chose to stay true to the actual story. I don’t think anyone even noticed. It’s so easy to get in our own heads about those kind of things *laughs*.
HEM: Tell me a little bit about your collab with Carly Paige. What specific talents and vibes did she bring to the group?
Justin: After listening to the music she’d written we knew she’d compliment [sic] our creating style. It was such a quick session too. So easy going and a genuine respect for eachother’s craft. The level of comfortability we found in the room really worked to our advantage being the concept of the song required somewhat vulnerable talks about our experiences.
HEM: Who else would you love to collaborate with?
Slavo: The list is long. We’ll be out in LA from Jan-Mar and really want to work with as many eclectic writers/producers as we can.
Justin: It’s such an amazing time in the industry to fuse genres as well so bringing in different minds is going to really push the level of Fly By jams.
HEM: When you write songs, what comes first – the lyrics or the melody?
Justin: It always changes. A majority of the songs for the album started with a lyric phrase or title. Songs like “Loving Yous A Little Bit Hard” and “You Belong” were short poem style notes in our phones.
Slavo: A lot of our melodies really come to life once a general idea for the production and rhythm is built. We rarely just write to an acoustic guitar.
HEM: Where do you feel most inspired?
Slavo: Different locations inspire us.
Justin: Agreed. We were in Nashville recently and it was just .. so inspiring to be out of our norm. *laughs*
HEM: What has been your favorite city/venue to play?
Slavo: It’s tough.. our hometown shows are always such a good time being it’s fans mixed with our closest friends & family. We played a show this past year though in Southern Utah that was just beautiful. The view.. the crowd energy and everything.
HEM: What’s your dream venue?
Justin: I think we have more of a dream stage set-up rather than a specific venue. Just something designed to immerse ourselves in the crowd. Blur the lines between audience and performer. Still a work in progress, but it’s an idea we’ve been thinking on.
HEM: You’ve released two albums this year. How would you describe the change/growth from New York Nostalgia to Rerunning? And are you tired yet?!
Justin: New York Nostalgia is low key more of a compilation of previous singles compared to Rerunning which is a new collection of material, but yeah night and day.. we’ve grown such confidence to have more fun. Color outside the lines. Take creative liberties we wouldn’t have with NYN.
Slavo: Far from tired.. if anything we need to slightly pump the brakes a bit. Let Rerunning soak in. Continue to promote these tracks and their stories before moving on to the next. We’re such typical creatives where we’re like “all right .. new music tomorrow!” *laughs*
HEM: How do you deal with writer’s block and keep from getting stale in your writing and production?
Slavo: Writers block happened once out of the 3/4 years of working together. We went to take a walk, got Italian ices (very Staten Island of us) and we were back.
Justin: We’re constantly inspired mostly because we really strive to take on adventures and meet new people.
HEM: What can we expect from you going into 2019?
Slavo: New music. Hopefully a tour in the works.. *fingers crossed*
Justin: Maybe some acoustic .. stripped down versions of Rerunning?
HEM: If the two of you switched bodies for the weekend what would you do?
Justin: That’s a fun question. We hang with the same people on a daily basis so not much would really change. I’d probably kick it with Slavo’s new puppy and then get drunk at some point. Slavo has a way higher tolerance than I do so that would be a nice change of pace. *laughs*
Slavo: I’d probably hang with Justin’s grandma. That woman is the sh*t.
HEM: And one of my favorite questions to ask… If you were a sauce/condiment, which would you be? And why?
Justin: Honey mustard hands down. Highly underrated and always to my surprise not served at every restaurant in the states.
Slavo: Ketchup, a classic. And Justin hates ketchup so that would be pretty funny.
Needless to say, the Fly By Midnight guys are so fun and so talented. And they’re just getting started. Check out their new music video here!