Electronic duo MSTRKRFT’s latest album OPERATOR released July 22, but they had a couple tricks left up their sleeve—namely in collaborator Patrick Stump, usually known for his vocals with Fall Out Boy. Alternative Press is stoked to premiere Stump’s remix and sit down with Al-P (formerly of Girlsareshort) and Jesse F. Keeler (Death From Above 1979) about how the remix came about.
How did Patrick Stump initially get involved?
AL-P: If I recall, he was put in touch with us through his manager.
JESSE F. KEELER: We sent him a couple songs from the record, but this was the one he wanted to do. He did like, two or three different versions of the remix.
AL-P: Yes, there were two that were vastly different in terms of stylistic direction. I think we all agreed on the one he should pursue and we were all excited about it.
Was there a certain quality that made you lean toward the one he should complete?
KEELER: I think the one we chose, we chose it partially because it seemed like the strongest, but also because it didn't sound like anything else we had coming in, in terms of remixes from other people. You want to keep your remixes pretty varied; you don't want to release a bunch of stuff that sounds the same.
Was there ever a point that you were like, “Does this even make sense? What will he come back with?”
KEELER: Well, the only thing we ask of anybody that we work with, whether it's a remix or doing a vocal, or whatever—we just want who we're working with to be excited about what they're giving us, and at that point, it's trusting their artistic ideas. If we were going to try and control the system fully, we'd just do it ourselves, right? You've got to let go of the reins and let people do what they're doing and try not to put them in too tight of a box. Once the process started, that was it.
AL-P: I think for us, especially coming from our remixing career, that era when we were doing a ton of remixes, we would always try to take whatever song we're working on and recontextualize it as much as we could, while still respecting the song. I noticed kind of a similar approach from him, just from the amount of vocal that he used and how it's vastly different from the original. I think that's what makes this a successful remix.