Spankox Email Interview

By ElvisNews.comDec 8, 2007
Spankox Email Interview

On YouTube and iTunes a new Elvis remix makes the rounds. The classic "Baby Let's Play House" was remixed by the Italian DJ / Producer Agostino Carollo a.k.a. Spankox. Time to talk to the man behind the remix.

ElvisNews: Can you tell us something about the person behind the name "Spankox"? 
Spankox: My name is Agostino Carollo. I'm a composer, a record producer and a DJ from Italy. I'm signed to EMI Music in Germany and to Universal Music Publishing in Italy. I approached music studying the violin since I was 6 for 10 years. At the age of 11 I wrote my first song. I got a degree in Arts and my specialization is Rock Music. I released so far four albums and various singles under the names X-Treme, Eyes Cream, Ago and Spankox. I received a few gold records for some of my songs like "Love Song" (Top 10 around Europe and also covered by the band Right Said Fred in 2002), "Fly Away" (n.1 in the Billboard Club Chart in 2000 and 5 weeks n.1 in Canada), "Open Up Your Mind" (Top 10 Billboard), "Put On Your Red Shoes" (Top 20 in Germany) and "To The Club" (now a club classic). My latest release as Spankox is called "So True" was out last month on EMI in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I'm a voting member of the Grammy Academy and I've had the pleasure and honor of working with artists like Roxette, Snap!, Vasco Rossi (Italy's #1 rock star), Mungo Jerry and others.

ElvisNews: Are you an Elvis fan yourself?
Spankox: I'm a big Elvis fan since I was a kid. I own almost all Elvis records and he's always been a big source of inspiration for me.

ElvisNews: What are your favorite song, album and movie?
Spankox: My favorites are Song: "Baby Let's Play House" (The Original & The Spankox Re:Version) :-) Album: Pink Floyd "The Dark Side of the Moon" Elvis album: Jailhouse Rock Movie: Braveheart Elvis movie: Follow That Dream

ElvisNews: What made you choose an Elvis song for a remix? 
Spankox: I was really inspired by "Baby, Let's Play House" because Elvis' voice in this recording is full of energy. 

ElvisNews: JXL and Paul Oakenfold remixed lesser-known tracks. You picked a classic. Did you pick this track because you like it or because the copyright ran out in most of Europe or because it was a song you liked? 
Spankox: I discovered this track a few years ago, when I started DJ’ing. I liked it first because Elvis' super voice and because of its title... not the sexual meaning actually, but beacuse I was thinking about the music genre I've been playing as DJ (house music). I used to arrive in clubs where the resident DJ was playing hip hop or R&B and I used to say... "Baby, let's play house now" and drop a few seconds of a little edit I did of the original version. So I couldn't but love this track.

ElvisNews: How did you create the track; what was the material you worked with?
Spankox: Well I was lucky to get hold of one first generation analogue copy on 2'' tape of the original 1954 master. I had to "cook" that tape (it's a special process) to restore the recording then I transferred it to a 24bit/96kHz digital copy and that was my working material. The whole job was done using Logic and Solid State Logic hardware to preserve the original warmth of the sound. The goal, creating the new arrangement and mix, was to make it contemporary, but respecting the original flavour of the track; and I've always been thinking about what Elvis would have said if he heard it. My friend Highpass has been working with me on this production and his musical taste is excellent.

ElvisNews: Was the mix created for you to play something old in a new setting, a club, or were there immediate plans for the release of a single? 
Spankox: Well, the first idea was to try to see if it was possible to update a track like this. It's really difficult to do this. It's Elvis! Several times the whole job was restarted from scratch. When finally the production was complete in its final version I started to play it to several people. All the reactions where very good, so I started to think about a release.

ElvisNews: The remix was launched with a strong media campaign: the song got its debut with a remarkable clip on YouTube and most media received an official press release. The song is both available on iTunes, and CD. All this makes us wonder is this a private project or is the campaign financed by a bigger company? 
Spankox: There's Coca Cola and Pepsi together for the first time behind this project and their logos will be on the CD next to each other. Ehm... sorry, just kiddin'... It's all based on my label, Everness. We put our money in this production and we work in cooperation with our partner labels around the world.

ElvisNews: What kind of reactions do you get on this mix, and is there a difference between the reactions from Elvis fans and dance fans?
Spankox: The reactions in the club are always fantastic. Young people love it. But I have to say it's not a real dance track, it's more pop. The big majority of Elvis' fans are telling me that they really like this new version. Also Nikki, the DJ / musician at Radio Deejay (that's the most important Italian radio network that first broadcasted the track last week) who is a big Elvis fan himself, announced it to 3 million listeners as the best Elvis remix ever made. Italian fans are the ones that are pushing this track to the top of the charts in my country and I'm really proud of this.

ElvisNews: What would Elvis think of it? 
Spankox: He would be flattered. :-)

ElvisNews: What was the reaction from the Elvis Estate? 
Spankox: Well I've been in touch with the publishing side and their Italian representatives, who think the work is very good. So I hope we can find an agreement soon to be able to release the track also in the USA.



ElvisNews: Do you follow the discussions on Elvis message boards RE: your remix? Like with all remixes, this song too has it’s defender and attackers. One message board poster thought it was “extremely poor taste” to try to change (or even "rape") a fifties recording, the “pure era” of rock ‘n’ roll. Had you expected that kind of controversy? 
Spankox: I read the posts, yes. I think it's normal, because this is Elvis. But I was happy to see the results of your poll: more than two thirds of the persons who responded think that this remix is good for Elvis.

ElvisNews: Do you think this mix could do as well as the previous two remixes did? 
Spankox: It surely has a big potential potential. I think it's up to old and new Elvis fans to support it now. Anyway I think it would be a good message to young music fans to see Elvis at the top of the charts again. In Italy, being the track already at the top of the charts and on the radio Elvis is now known also by kids that never got into is music and this is good.

ElvisNews: We were a bit puzzled by the CD with a vinyl pressing on the flip side. Was that made as a gimmick, or is there another reason?
Spankox: I know it's difficult to believe, but it's true. It will be the first of its ki

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Reactions

ger (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 16, 2007report abuse
young at heart and I like the remix better than buying the same old hits all the time
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 16, 2007report abuse
I hope the owners of the Dorsey footage sue this joker. And Ger - how can you have a go at old farts when you're an old fart yourself?
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 15, 2007report abuse
Old farts made Elvis fame, because they understood his music against all. Old farts grew with Elvis. Old farts followed him for years, even when he made stupid movies (as a matter of fact, I wrote him his movies were bad... he answered in sending me a Xmas card ;-))) So... old farts are those who know and understand Elvis music the most. Better than young idiots and their dumb remixes !
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2007report abuse
Ger, your post insults old farts like me. This is a shame! Anyway, you confirm my sarcastic attitude towards your kind.
Emiel Maier (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2007report abuse
Let's get back to the topic, please. I mean, is there a reaction available from Ernst Jorgensen? There was a rumour that Sony/BMG were planning a remix-album, but the project was called to a halt. Is this BLPH re-mix a song that was submitted? I know that his reaction was after the disappointing sales of Rubberneckin' was that releasing another remix was 'a way to loose lots of money'. Will he change his mind when BLPH is going to be a hit?
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2007report abuse
I'm an old fart (55) who has a copy of nearly every Elvis record (I do have all the songs--either on cd, lp or 45 or ep) and I most certainly do like the new mix. I've progressed from the mono 3" speaker and sound. I think this mix is terrific!
ger (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 14, 2007report abuse
IT's just the old farts who don't like it
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 11, 2007report abuse
JimmyCool... You're perfectly right. Here, it's Don Quichotte de la Mancha. So... different spellings for a proper name depending on the language.
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 11, 2007report abuse
I still don't like this remix. In Spanish it's called Don Quijote de La Mancha ;)
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 11, 2007report abuse
Paul, as far as I know the first spelling is the original from the novel (Spanish I guess :-)), in The Netherlands we write it sometimes... (I bet you are about the only one here that might understand that ;-)), but hey, weren't you me?
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 11, 2007report abuse
To Lex... at this time, if I believe what I see about the poll, there are 69% morons on this site, so this is a lost cause. So the analogy with Cervantes and his Don Quichotte is perfect. BTW it's funny to see the names spelling are different in your language Quixotte?). How do you spell Elvis Presley overthere ? ;-) To Kees... Sorry, but I couldn't help to express my opinions any longer. :-)
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 11, 2007report abuse
Maybe I missed it in the article, but who interviewed this gentlemen? Let me make it clearer, the name of the interviewer?
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Thanks Paul! This is far more informative as a blank post :-)
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Sometimes I feel like a Don Quixote (for the remix fans: Don Quixote, or sometimes Don Quichotte, is the main character of a novel by Miguel de Cervante… maybe the story about windmills does ring a bell) when venting my opinion about imposters and remixes. Still I feel the urge to do so every time the subject is on one of those two ridiculous things. Imposters and those remix-DJs have one thing in common: they have no talent of their own, and need other people’s art to gain money.

And no, I’m not saying everything Elvis recorded was great (in opposite), but a classic like “Baby Let’s Play House” should be left alone. And BLPH IS a classic, as are his other Sun recordings. Even the non classics should be left alone imnsho. Record it yourself, on whatever beat you want, with whatever whistles, scratching or screaming through it, but leave alone the originals. I wonder why Han van Meegeren (remix fans: look it up yourself this time) was convicted of falsification and fraud charges, while these guys (both imposters and remix DJs) are “celebrated”. At least Van Meegeren’s work was nearly as good as the originals.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
For Kees... I think I have to put my name over a blank posting because you already know what I am going to post ... Well, now, the post is not blank anymore. ;-)
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
You're right Lex, but it would be nice to read a new opinion every now and then :-)
And Harvey, Elvis proud on his complete catalogue? If so he would not have recorded half of it. And if he was really interested he would have taken more control when others messed up his recordings with various vocal, string or live audience overdubs. This all happened when he was still around and could have taken care of business. He didn't. Personally I like the undubbed and untouched versions best, but the additional instruments and vocals from way back were not that bad either :-) These can't be compared with the version created by Spankox. I'm still getting used to it, but I'm open to new experiences and don't feel for all the name calling. Have some respect for somebody's taste.
ger (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
When can I bye The cd Its The best remix so far
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Harvey, no need to say I agree with you completely. I'm afraid that our braincells are just too much, and those guys are a complete waste of time. I know there are more like us, but they got tired already.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
What's wrong with you people?!? Elvis worked hard to create the legacy he left us, and now we have DJs remixing that work and taking apart all the hard work Elvis created. And you all seem to think it's OK? And you question if people like myself are fans? Get real will ya? What a sad bunch you are. Elvis doesn't deserve this crap. His own Estate treat his memory like shit and now you lot are happy to see his music being tampered with in this way. I just don't believe you.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Well, Kees, isn't this option "Give your opinion". At least everyone except one, who's mocking about other people's opinions, did so...
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
When I first eared this remix i didn't thought it was that good, neither that bad. It was a Remix with a real potential: It would show Elvis to a young club generation from 15 to 25 years old, a generation that just think Elvis is a Fat Guy With a Sinatra Voice!!! But I have to admit: After earring it a few more times, I Really Like it a lot! And as Steve V said "legacy is secure & this will not lesion it in anyway." So Thank You Agostino, for your hard work, and passion for The King's Music, and for your very good Job. Just TCB
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Thank you, CircleG! The boards posters sometimes don't seem like Elvis fans at all. They don't want anything done with Elvis' music at all...it's as if they're content to let it become part of history and die. I grew up listening to Elvis on a mono record player with a 3 inch speaker. Thank goodness times have changed. I enjoy the new releases and I think the remixes have awakened a whole generation who would never have given Elvis a chance (they are most likely the ones buying the new compilations). I think the new version of "Baby Let's Play House" is fantastic.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
On a side note I've been visiting this site for a while now and have found the people who post here show alot of knowledge thats quite interesting and share valuable opinions on releases that have helped me steer away from the poor ones. But lately I've noticed a few 'newbies' who are really bringing the mood of this site down with their rudeness and arrogance and treating this site like trash as if its some place to voice cheap opinions. can I ask those people to keep their opinions, especially the rude ones, to themselves ?
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 10, 2007report abuse
Nasty, nasty Harvey. I like you better when your doing your comedian routine. Have you ever heard Elvis do upbeat remixes of his own songs? Check them out. Even he's done this to his own songs. There great.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Hey Spankox - your remix sucks big time. Pissing all over an Elvis classic may be okay to some of the plebs here who would do anything for an Elvis hit ("Hey, why not have Elvis become the sixth member of The Spice Girls?"), but to anyone with more than one brain cell it's a piece of horsesh*t. If younger people can't be attracted to Elvis' music in its original form, well they can go blow.
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Greg Nolan, I have a son your age. So I guess that puts me in the 50+ age. I applaude this new mix. Finally something being done that is new with Elvis' music. Don't judge who is for or against this new remix. It all about your outlook in life no matter what age you are. I think Spankox did an excellent job and I just want to say thank you. Kees, UH?
ELV75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Some posters could only leave their name over a blank posting because you already know what they are going to post ...
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Of course BLPH is more of a classic than the other 2 simply by virtue of it being a SUN recording often considered the birth of Rock n Roll. As for the remix, relax & have fun with it. The legacy is secure & this will not lesen it in anyway. It is just plain old fun and maybe a way for a younger audience to naturally hear Elvis music without us having to try & persuade young people to have a listen.
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Well it's nice to see that true to form, the video has since been removed from you-tube due to copyright claims, it's all so predictable isn't it. Luckily, the internet is a wonderful place where you can find anything if you look hard enough, and low and behold I have just watched the video to this re-mix, and I have to say that I think it's great. Perhaps not quite as awesome as ALLC, but never-the-less, a great tune which should guarantee our man being heard by more people than at present. Well done Spankox, it's a pity the people who actually own all this material aren't anywhere near as creative. It's great to think that the king will be heard all over again in clubs the world over. Mind you, I can understand if anyone feels uneasy about the re-mixing of a Sun-side, I mean some people get nailed to a tree for less. I hope the powers that be get behind this one and make the most of the opportunity, although I don't have my hopes up. They completely missed the boat with ALLC, and I have no doubt they'll do the same again with this one.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Emiel, certainly "Baby Let's Play House" is more classic than the two relatively-obscure movie tracks that were previously remixed. It was a chart success regionally and soon gained cache as being part of the "Holy Grail" of rock'n'roll- the Sun Sessions. You can't say that about the other two tunes. That said, I don't get the negativity of folks here. Is it an age thing? I bet it is. I'm assuming the anti-s are 45 or 50-plus Elvis fans. I'm 38 and a bit of a traditionalist (hate hip hop , love old music of all kinds, don't really like club music) but on the other hand, within reason and not done excessively, I apprieciate these remixes as they do offer yet another way for Elvis' career to go on "post-humously." And yes, reach a new audience. Elvis' legacy is secure, mind you and he doens't have to chart anymore, but a few of these remixes are great PR. I can see EPE referring to Elvis having a hit in Italy recently, which is ludicrous but great. It all adds up to making Elvis as eternal and ever fascinating as he has proved. So greetings form the USA and my thanks to the DJ, Mr. Corollo. Please know that we can (tell* you are an Elvis fan. Good work. Rock on!
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Don't know what is worse... imposters or DJs like this one...
Emiel Maier (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 9, 2007report abuse
Spankox, congratulations on a good re-mix! Thank you for putting so much effort into making this song better known to a greater audience. I do not think that BLPH is more of a 'classic' recording than ALLC or Rubberneckin', all three are definately lesser known to the major public. I think it is wise to stay away from Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel, etc. They have proved to be succesful in the charts. Whereas BLPH never got a chart listing (at least not in this part of the world!). I think you have taken a very difficult task upon your shoulders. For instance ALLC was sung when Elvis was at its peak. It was taped during the 68 comeback special, and Elvis started to sing in a higher key at the end of the song. This was very useful to JXL who could give the song a ' motorized gospel ' sound. You picked a song from 1955 when Elvis was only 20 years old. His voice had to develop, so he sung in just one key. It was wise not to fool around with Elvis's voice, but to spend your creativity on the guitar-riff. Scotty played it 52 years ago, and it proved to be a classic riff. I am certainly going to buy the CD, and many Elvis fans will. After all, we all want to see our man back in the charts again. (And maybe some new fans will be generated and start listening to the originals...)
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 8, 2007report abuse
"Nikki, the DJ / musician at Radio Deejay (that's the most important Italian radio network that first broadcasted the track last week) who is a big Elvis fan himself, announced it to 3 million listeners as the best Elvis remix ever made." Yeah, right... The best remix is, by far, A Little Less Conversation. Even if older people didn't like it, it made my whole generation dance! Rubberneckin' wasn't good and this one is worse. And the videoclip really sucks!

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