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by David Renshaw

F*ck Buttons: how we ended up played at the Olympics

Andrew Hung of electronic duo fills us in on Friday's ceremony

 

F*ck Buttons: how we ended up played at the Olympics

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It's been called the 'Indie Olympics' with Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club and Dizzee Rascal all taking part in the opening ceremony on Friday night but for many it was the inclusion of F*ck Buttons music inside the Olympic Stadium that caused the biggest surprise.

We spoke to Andrew Hung of the drone duo to find out just how both 'Surf Solar' and 'Olympians' ended up being played to a worldwide audience of roughly one billion people.

When did you find out F*ck Buttons music was to be used in the Olympic opening ceremony?
A couple of weeks ago Rick from Underworld got in touch with us but nothing was confirmed until about one week ago. They just said that they wanted to use ‘Surf Solar’ and ‘Olympians’ for the opening ceremony.
 
Where did you see the opening ceremony on Friday?
I went to the test rehearsal on Thursday which was incredible. You never think about this sort of thing happening and the atmosphere inside the stadium was just amazing. 
 
The lead up to the ceremony was all about Save The Secret, how did you manage to keep your news under wraps?
I didn’t tell anyone until the day of the ceremony because, basically, I didn’t believe it. I just didn’t know it was going to happen until it happened. I think I was afraid to jinx it. When it did happen though it was incredible. 
 
When you wrote those two songs did you ever imagine that they might, one day, be heard on such a huge scale?
No, absolutely not. That’s what I kept thinking about on the day. We started this music in our bedrooms and still write at home so to see it played on a stage like that is really humbling. 
 

 
Besides the fact one of the songs is called ‘Olympians’, did you get any feedback on what it was that made the organisers select the F*ck Buttons songs that they did?
Not really, no. I think Underworld just know what they’re doing and obviously worked very closely with Danny Boyle on the whole thing. I think they picked really well.
 
Be honest. Have you been on the phone to the PRS to find out how much you’re going to make off this?
(Laughs). We’re trying not to think about that really. I imagine it will take a lot of time to gather that information so we might need to wait a while for that. 
 
What did you make of the opening ceremony in general? Did you enjoy the show?
I thought it was fantastic. I joined in with the idea in the lead up to the event that they wouldn’t be able to match the opening of Beijing in 2008. That was such a great show of unity that I didn’t know if Britain could match it. When I went to the practise the first thing I saw was sheep and thought, ‘this is what Britian does, just puts sheep on things.’ However, the final thing was really emotional and I felt moved in places. 
 
What did you make of the other music choices in the ceremony? Any songs which stood out to you?
I liked a lot of the music. They really used the history of Britain well and I mean, who would think they would play ‘Firestarter’ by The Prodigy on that scale? It was mad bonkers. 
 


Have you had any feedback from your fans about this? Frank Turner got called a sell-out for his role in the night…

I did get a jokey text from a friend calling me a sell-out but generally everyone seems to be delighted about it. As soon as ‘Surf Solar’ came up my phone just went crazy then loads of people were talking about it online. 
 
Yeah, about 15 people on my Twitter timeline just posted ‘F*ck Buttons!’ in a row…
It’s just been an immense show of support and helped make it feel like such a special occasion. 
 
Clearly, this is the biggest stage that F*ck Buttons music has been played on. What was the previous biggest do you think?
Well, the biggest gig we’ve ever played was at Primavera in 2009 which was about 15,000 people. I heard the viewing figures for Friday night were about one billion. A good friend of ours named John Hopkins programmes the music in between Coldplay gigs and I know he's played some of our music at their stadium gigs.
 
What are F*ck Buttons up to at the moment? Working on a new album?
Yes, we’re recording at the moment. We can’t really think about a schedule or release date as yet but it’s really close to being finished now. There’s been a two year gap between releasing ‘Tarot Sport’ and this new one and there has been a drastic change of sound. We’re really pleased with it and are looking forward to playing it live. 
 
Is there anything on there that might fit into the opening ceremony of the next Olympics Rio De Janiro in 2016?
(Laughs) Let’s hope so!
 
Finally, are you watching the Olympics? If so, which events are you enjoying?
I am, yeah. I grew up watching these sports and love track and field. The swimming and gymnastic have been great too. 

F*ck Buttons are offering fans the chance to win 5 copies of 'Olympians' on coloured vinyl (one for each of the Olympic rings). The 12" vinyl includes original track Olympians and remixes by Jason Pierce from Spiritualized and Alan Vega from Suicide. Simply sign up to the band's mailing list to enter.

 

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