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Agostino Carollo Interview (Spankox, Eyes Cream)

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A couple of years ago I went to Atlanta for a radio show which featured several live performers – one of which was Ago, who were touring on their hit "Tell Me Where You Are." The version was electric and then when the bridge came – the song suddenly turned into Spankox "To The Club." A minute later Eyes Cream's "Fly Away" chorus was being layered on top as well. I was more than a bit confused so I asked the performer who he was and he introduced himself as Agostino Carollo – the artist behind all of these songs. A true Gemini, he changes project names to match his moods. Riding high on the success of his remix of Elvis' "Let's Play House" and Elvis remix CD, Agostino is once again working under the Spankox name.

DJ Ron Slomowicz: Welcome to Amsterdam. How is Amsterdam Dance Event going for you this year?
Agostino Carollo: It's really cool. I think this year it's even better than last year. The vibe is really high and lots of people are here. It's really great.

RS: So tell us about this Elvis project.
Agostino Carollo: This year I had the Saint in the sky that looked down and made me do this Elvis Presley remix album that's actually the first remix Elvis Presley album in history. It's just been released in the UK, by Sony BMG. It's doing very well, as I've heard. We just shot a video for the new single "Blue Moon of Kentucky" with the new Spankox remix. It's very exciting. I was in Memphis to present it in August, and it was amazing.

RS: How did you get involved with the Elvis project?
Agostino Carollo: I've been an Elvis fan since I was five years old. The idea for this project was just a couple of years ago, just a dream that now has come true.

RS: What was the first single?
Agostino Carollo: The first single was "Baby Let's Play House" and that was released about March 2008. It was a big hit. For seven weeks, it was number one in Italy. It was top twenty in Scandinavia, number three in Spain. It's really great to work with Elvis Presley, because he is the one that actually changed the whole music history. He's the greatest artist of all time, and for me it's a big honor to have worked on this remix album.

RS: I'm just trying to figure out how you got your hands on the source material. How did you pitch the idea to get it through?
Agostino Carollo: You know, the idea actually came because I was in a record shop where they were selling these masters, from the 50s. I actually bought a box of old tapes, just to decorate my studio. But then when I went back to Italy I found out that these masters could be transferred, by hooking them to DVD, to a CD. So I did, and on one of them, a friend told me, 'Hey, this sounds like Elvis.' So I heard it, and actually it was "Baby Let's Play House." That was a kind of sign for me to start working on it. That was the beginning of the story.

RS: So you did this mix … How did you get the attention of the official Elvis people?
Agostino Carollo: Well, that was a mixture, probably of luck and… Of course I have to say thank you to the music, because the version that I did of "Baby Let's Play House" everybody within the Elvis estate heard it and everybody liked it. So that was how it was made.

RS: So we're talking about how you got your hands on the Elvis' tapes, and you got approval on it.
Agostino Carollo: Yes, exactly. Well, the whole process lasted more than two years, and it was really difficult to have all the approvals, because the Elvis estate only gave two approvals – to JXL and Paul Oakenfold – before. They care very much about Elvis' music and his image. I have to say that the whole thing started from the music, because the first version I did of "Baby Let's Play House" was respecting the feel, the original feel of Elvis, and so everybody was really impressed by this and so came the rest. But it was a very long process.

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