How Darren Criss Got Steve Aoki For Dave Matthews Band Remix: ‘He Took It Very Seriously’

Darren Criss and Steve Aoki’s new dance track, “Crash Into Me,” started as a joke: what if someone made DMB EDM?

“I’ve always had this bit with friends that if I was ever an EDM DJ, I’d take Dave Matthews [Band]’s six-minute, seminal ‘Crash Into Me,’ and I would truncate it into a three-minute club banger,” Darren told Access exclusively at a recent listening party-slash-workout class for the single, thrown at Barry’s Bootcamp.

“It would just be really fun, unexpected – and it’s just fun to recontextualize songs,” said the “American Crime Story” actor, who considers himself a ’90s kid and has played in tons of ’90s cover bands. “It just started off as a joke, because there’s a drop in the song … And I was like, man, if I just had CO2 cannons and a four-on-the-floor, people like me at a club would be like, ‘Is this ‘Crash’? This is insane!'”

Despite largely writing it off as a “silly” idea, Darren decided to run it by Steve when they recently met.

“When I gave him this pitch, he took it very seriously. And he’s like, ‘That’s awesome. Let’s do it,'” the “Glee” alum said.

The duo recorded the cover “immediately,” and the result is “uptempo” and “unapologetically fun” – a totally different vibe than the original.

Darren said it’s a “delight” to see fellow ’90s kids’ faces light up when they realize what song it is two seconds in – but not everyone gets the reference.

“What’s incredible is that there’s people below 27 that hear it, and have no idea,” he said. “They just think that it’s a cool song. And as a rabid consumer of music from all decades, this is a tradition that has been going on forever, where people contextualize songs they love growing up into new arrangements for new audiences to listen to. I can think of hundreds of songs that I heard as a kid that I didn’t know until later in life was a cover. So, I’m just kind of adding to that.”

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