Nice To Be Nice

Garbage & Fun Lovin Criminals

It is nice, to be nice. The promotion of anything musical online is always hard, trying to get people interested in your product. Building up a fanbase takes a lot of input and – if I am honest – a lot of live gigging. You will likely tour with a lot of people with a similar sound, as promoters will target a type of audience. So if you tour with a similar set of people why not remix each other? Having remixes made for you might seam something only a dance band might do these days, but it can give any artist surprising results, I remember the joy of the XFM Remix albums still.

Growing up I would enjoy bands trading remixes, a fine example from 1998 was between Garbage and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals. They had toured together in the past so they knew each others sounds, leading to the remix of Garbage’s track ‘You Look So Fine’ (Fun Lovin’ Criminals version) where the FLC played the track live with Shirley Manson re-singing her vocals. The Fun Lovin’ Criminals track “Korean Bodega – Aero Mexicana Mix” was remixed by Garbage’s members and Shirley Manson added vocals to the remix. Both being established bands at the time, the remixes helped each others CD Singles up the charts.

A less famous example would be from 2014 when the bands Frett and Delamere remixed each other, both sharing a similar fanbase.

Frett and Delamere

or Mak & Pasteman and Roska remixing of each other:

For myself, when looking for remixers I never had any money to offer people, but did offer to sing for them or do a bit of graphic design… anything digital I could trade for their time.

Ultimately digital collaboration paid off for me. After asking German musician Michael Loop to do a remix for me, I sang for him – and then kept on singing until – we had an album of material…

The same is happening with Secret Piano. Mostly people I found were happy to remix someone for free: it was all about building their portfolio.

For me it was about getting different musical styles with my voice, so in time I came to just leave the vocal stems online for anyone to access. So it is nice to be nice online – and embrace the opportunities and sounds that others can give you.


Robjn is a musician and artist who resides in Cambridge. The thoughts are his alone and are moderated.


  1. Great article. Makes sense to me. I really should find some decent remixers!! Some interesting processing on that vocal of yours!


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