"I've always enjoyed fusing two different styles of things that people didn't expect in order for audiences to recontextualize things that they thought they knew," Criss tells Billboard.
You might not have any Dave Matthews Band on your workout playlist yet, but Darren Criss and Steve Aoki are here to change that. On Friday (July 12), Aoki and Criss unveiled "Crash Into Me," an effervescent dance-pop makeover of DMB's 1996-released top 10 Alternative Songs hit.
On Thursday night, Criss previewed the song to a small group of press during a workout class at Barry's Bootcamp in Hollywood, pumping the track three times throughout the high-intensity, 50-minute session. "What a crazy culture we live in where we now have workout drops," Criss laughed to Billboard during a post-class interview sitting on neighboring treadmills.
It's also a crazy culture we live in where a jangly Dave Matthews ballad can be right at home with an instructor counting down the last 30 seconds of lunges -- or blasting in a nightclub, for that matter. "I'm a '90s kid. I grew up loving that music," Criss says. "And I've played in tons of '90s cover bands, and I can play them all. So when EDM was becoming more popular in the States, I can remember thinking, 'Man, if I was an EDM DJ, I would love to just take Dave Matthews' seminal "Crash Into Me" and turn it from a six-minute unconventional ballad with chimes and odd bars and things that are pretty counterintuitive to what a normal [hit] song would be, and I would put it into a box of 2019 club bangers.' Which is what we did."