Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Charly of Dirtyphonics

Avaland Presents Donald Glaude & Richard Vission 1.5.13

French electronic dance music quartet “Dirtyphonics” have made some big waves in a relatively short period of time. A rabid fan base, peer adoration, a jet set touring schedule, and a brand new album can all be checked off of their bucket list. Two things they haven’t done are play a show in Philadelphia or do an interview with Independent Philly…until now.

They’ll be rolling into town on May 9th so we had a chat with Charly to find out more about Dirtyphonics what fans can expect from their live show.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “Dirtyphonics” and what special meaning does it hold for you guys?

Charly: When we first started and realized we were going to take it to a professional level we all sat down together and we wanted to find a name that represented who we are, and the music we make. We felt that Dirtyphonics was a great combination because it was a contrast between “dirty” and “phonics”: dirty being an attitude or a style of life or the kind of music we make in terms of how the bass is and at the same time phonics represents how much attention to detail and to the quality of everything we do. So the two of them together we thought are really great and really represent the fusion of us and our music.

IP: Your debut LP “Irreverence” just dropped a month ago. How has the response been to the album thus far?

Charly: It’s been insane. Like you said, it’s our debut album and when you do that you really don’t know what to expect. Especially in the scene today where everyone comes up with singles and EPs, we chose to go with a full length because it gave us the opportunity to dig a lot deeper into the sound that we have. Putting this out and the reaction we’ve had from the industry, the producers, the fans, the press, everything, has been awesome. We hit the #1 selling spot on the Beatport charts, we’re doing really well on iTunes, every single night on this tour we have the crowd singing the songs, and then all of the producers and all of the fans around the industry have been giving us a lot of props. We’re really, really excited about the way it’s been received.

IP: You guys are in the midst of a major North American touring schedule for the next several months with some major festivals like Coachella, Orion, and Camp Bisco mixed in. Do you prefer to play the larger festivals or the smaller, more intimate venues?

Charly: I guess we like all of them. You know obviously it’s different to play in front of thousands and thousands of people at a huge festival and then go back to like the 500 person capacity club. It’s awesome to see a huge crowd in front of you but it’s incredible being a couple feet away from the crowd as well and sharing the sweat and eye contact. We really love it all; there’s nothing we prefer really.

Dirtyphonics "Irreverence Tour" Seattle, WA 3.28.13

IP: What can your fans expect from a live Dirtyphonics show if they’ve never seen you perform in person before?

Charly: Well what’s real interesting with what we we do, and that’s why we choose to do that, is obviously we’re part of the EDM community or scene but at the same time our aura on stage needs to be unique, and then, you know, the energy we have and the way we share the music with the crowd is pretty unique. What’s major is that we used to play in metal bands so that history planted the seeds for the kind of L.A. punk energy that we have on stage. It’s not just four dudes standing behind their equipment throwing out a couple nods because we also stage dive and interact with the crowd. We go out into the crowd, you know, we like to share the real moments with the music and human elements to have a real connection with the crowd. That’s what’s really specific about us.

IP: Being that you used to play in metal bands and punk bands, who are some of your favorite bands out there right now that fall under the metal/rock/punk genres?

Charly: There are lots of them. We’ve been fans of “Metallica” forever. We love “The Haunted” right now, “Machine Head”, “The Deftones” “Slayer” obviously. We even like “Black Sabbath” from back in the day, “Guns N’ Roses”, there are like so many of them.

IP: Being that you’ll be out on the road for quite some time, what are some of  your favorite, and least favorite parts about touring?

Charly: It’s such a weird and awesome lifestyle. The best points are obviously being able to meet so many different people and discovering so many different cultures, and getting to see things that very few people get to see. I mean we travel all around the globe, all year long. It’s incredible to be able to discover these things. What’s kind of hard is being away from your girlfriend, family, and friends because you don’t really see them that much but I guess that’s the choice you have to make with this life.

IP: I’m sure it varies a little from city to city but is there any kind of set routine that you guys try to follow on the day of a show?

Charly: A general routine? Probably not. I mean, obviously yeah with the sound-check and all of that, but I wouldn’t really call that a routine. Now, what we like to do right before the show, right before playing, is that we get really, really excited. Probably fifteen minutes before the show, we can feel this energy that’s in the four of us, rising, and we just can’t wait to be on stage and play. I guess some people get nervous but we just get really excited. What we do right before we hit the stage is we have a big group hug, realize once again, every single night what we’re doing and how lucky we are. Then we have a shot of vodka and then it’s showtime!

dirtyphonics

IP: Let’s do a quick “Best of Dirtyphonics”. Tell us, out of the four of  you, who would be the most likely to win the following, starting with who would be the best dressed member of the group?

Charly: Probably Thomas, you can see it in our promo picture.

IP: Who’s the best dancer?

Charly: That would be Pitchin.

IP: Who’s the funniest member of the group?

Charly: I guess we’re all pretty funny but give it to Julien.

IP: Who’s the biggest Lady’s Man?

Charly: (Laughing) That’s gonna land on my shoulders.

IP: When you do find yourselves with a little bit of down time, what do you guys enjoy doing?

Charly: If we’re home, obviously we’re going to try to spend as much time as we can with girlfriends, friends, and families. Now when we’re on the road we really like to go out and explore, see the scenes. See the mountains, see the oceans, see whatever is around. Then obviously there’s shopping time, which is usually online shopping, but we like to do a bit of that. Shopping especially when you can go out and grab little bits and pieces of everywhere and each culture so that later when you’re missing them you can have these memories from tour.

Dirtyphonics "Irreverence Tour" Spokane, WA 3.29.13

IP: You guys are going to be rolling into Philadelphia on May 9th to play at the Theater of the Living Arts. Would you like to give a shout out to your fans here ahead of that show?

Charly: Yeah definitely! It’s going to be our first Philly show and we’re really, really excited about it. We actually have a history in Philly because our agency comes from there and we can’t wait to be there and rage with you guys!

IP: Finally, please tell us something about yourself or Dirtyphonics as a whole that would surprise or even shock our readers…

Charly: Oh, we’re getting into the secrets now.

IP: Yup, secrets time.

Charly: (Laughs) Give me a second for that. Let me ask Pitchin if he has a good answer (pauses). It’s a hard question because, to be honest, we don’t have much to hide and we’re happy to answer any questions when they’re asked. Okay, if you come to the Philly show, you might see Pitchin naked.

IP: We’ll let people know and we’ll see you in Philly.

Charly: See you there.

The Dirtyphonics show is Philly is sure to be an awesome night of music. Not only are Dirtyphonics going to be rocking our city for the first time, but they’ll be joined by a stellar supporting cast that includes Le Castle Vania, ETC!ETC! and locals Frost and Ruxbin.

We’ll be there to catch all of the action and we really hope you’ll join us. You can pick up advanced tickets and save yourself some money (or heartbreak if the show sells out in advance). If you just don’t have the funds to buy a ticket, you can enter our contest and win one of the two tickets we are giving away!

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Interview with Kim Moyes of The Presets

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The Presets are about as big as they come in Australia. The duo of Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton have won over a dozen awards, including becoming the first ever Electronic act to win an ARIA for “Album of the Year” (2008), followed by an APRA award for “Songwriters of the Year” (2009).

They have released three studio albums, remixed a bevy of artists including Lenny Kravitz and Kings of Leon, and have shared the stage with genre defining artists like Coldplay and Daft Punk.

Starting on Saturday, May 4th they will be kicking off their U.S. Tour (with Dragonette and Classixx) in Washington, DC before cruising into Philadelphia the next night to play a May 5th show at Union Transfer. Before we catch the show on Sunday night, we spoke with Kim Moyes of The Presets to get the dirt on the upcoming tour, life on the road, and a slew of other topics.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “The Presets”, does it hold any special meaning for you guys, and did you consider any other names?

Kim Moyes: I actually came up with the name The Presets before we even started making music as The Presets. I think it was one of these names that I thought was really great and I kind of had this concept that we would be a band that made music with like old Casio keyboards and just use all the preset sounds and drum machines from them. So it was kind of a funny concept that I was playing with and then Jules and I had been messing around for a while just jamming with synths and drums and we sort of thought we would just start making music in that style and we just thought the name The Presets kind of fit that. We didn’t really consider any other names. I think we were sold on that name from the get go.

IP: Your latest album “Pacifica” has been out for about six months. How has the reaction been so far?

KM: It’s been great. Critically it’s been our most acclaimed record to date. Our fans who always love what we do are still really into it, and really interested in what we’re doing and really like it. A lot of people think it’s the best album we’ve made. I don’t think it’s really satisfied everyone’s expectations, there are people that really miss the super hard, aggressive stuff that we were doing a few years ago, or that we have done in the past. So, you know, a few fans have dropped off along the way but I think we’ve also picked up fans who never really liked that kind of (hard) stuff and appreciate the fact that we’ve kind of developed our sound and matured and continued to progress. The shows have been really great. The new material and the old material seem to work really well together, and we’ve been able to remix some of the older material to kind of keep it up to date and more in line with what we are doing now. I think it’s a great show given the history of our catalog. It sounds really good together and the crowds always seem to have a really good time. All in all the response has been pretty positive.

IP: You guys are going to be touring in the States soon with Dragonette. What went into pairing these groups together for the tour?

KM: Their management (Dragonette) and our management are quite close. They are managed by the same people who manage Cut Copy so they are kind of like extended family members. I’m not overly familiar with Dragonette and I’ve never met them before but I think it’s going to be a good fit, it’s going to be fun. I think they are the right type of band to tour with. We are also touring with Classixx as well and I’ve met those guys a few times and they’re really sweet. So yeah, I’m excited to meet these guys. When you tour you’re like brothers and sisters in arms, so hopefully by the end of May we’re all best friends.

the presets TOUR

IP: What is your least favorite part about being out on the road touring?

KM: Being away from my family I find is the most irritating side effect of going out on the road but I try not to focus too much on the negativity of touring. There are so many musicians that we know that struggle to have a career and I always catch myself thinking “Oh God, I have to go away and be on the road for a month and be away from my family and stuff” but the reality is, this is my job and if I wasn’t touring I wouldn’t be earning any money and I wouldn’t be achieving what I think I should be achieving. I’m grateful for the opportunity and that people are still interested in what we do enough to keep coming back to the shows.

IP: There is a crazy amount of buzz in the States about Daft Punk’s new album “Random Access Memories” that is being released in May. You guys had the chance to tour with them in Australia. What was that experience like?

KM: It was great. It was a real honor. We’ve been fans of Daft Punk ever since “Homework”. I remember even when “Da Funk” came out about a year before “Homework” came out and taping it off of a community radio station on a cassette and bringing it into Union and playing it for Julian on headphones and just couldn’t believe how good it was. We never really had any crazy idealistic dreams (at the time) that one day we’d be supporting Daft Punk but luckily enough, we did. Also, aside from support a great legacy act like Daft Punk, that time period that we toured with them was actually really monumental for us in terms of our career because we were in the studio making “Apocalypso” when we toured with them and I think “My People” had just come out onto radio so everybody was starting to get really familiar with it. There were about 50,000 people at the concert in Sydney with Daft Punk. We played all over Australia with them but the Sydney show was one of the biggest ones. With “My People” just coming out on the radio, we had a chance to play that live, and we played “Kicking and Screaming” for the first time live, which no one had ever heard, and I remember the crowd was just really responsive. When we came off stage, all of our friends and everyone there, their jaws just dropped at how good it was and how good the response was. It just felt like that was the beginning of a really special time for us. I definitely think of that Daft Punk time with very fond memories. We also got to meet our lighting guy and our tour manager from that tour as well. It was Daft Punk’s tour manager and Daft Punk’s lighting guy. And you know, those two guys are our guys now. Ego trip aside it was a really amazing experience.

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IP: Between you and Julian, who would win the following battles? The first one is a boxing match…

KM: Julian takes Boxercise, like Fight Club, a couple times a week, so I guess he would. Then again, I don’t know, when you’re in the heat of the moment… are you talking about an actual boxing match like “ding, ding, ding, ding” and all that or like street fighting?

IP: Either one, it could be sanctioned or just a round of spontaneous fisticuffs…

KM: Like backyard brawling with no gloves and stuff or like Ultimate Fighting? If it was a backyard brawl I think maybe I would win because I think I’m maybe a little more psychotic than he (Julian) is. But if it were like boxing with rules and gloves then it would probably be him because he’d probably have a better technique than I do.

IP: Which one of you would win a dance-off?

KM: Julian, hands down.

IP: Who would win a cook-off?

KM? Again, Julian, hands-down.

IP: How about a fashion show, which one of you is a better dresser?

KM: That would be me.

IP: Great! Would you like to give a shout out to your fans in North America that will be coming up to support your upcoming tour?

KM: Yeah, I’d like to say, if you’ve come seen us before and you had a good time, come down and say hello. We’ve friendly and accommodating and  we’ll try to take some photos with you. If you’ve never seen us and you’re curious to check us out you should come down as well and bring some friends. You’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s straight up shirts-off-and-have-a-good-time.

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IP: In 2009, Julian was quoted in Rolling Stone Australia as saying that you get asked the same six questions over and over again by music journalists and bloggers. So, if you were going to interview yourselves, what would you ask? Are there things that you want fans to know about you that you don’t think they’ve had a chance to learn? 

KM: (Laughs). That is such a deep, hypothetical question. I don’t think anyone should have to answer that question. It’s like a parallel universe within a parallel universe. Julian made that comment when I think we were getting interviewed in the States in L.A. and for about three interviews in a row we kept getting asked “So you guys use auto-tune on your vocals right?” and we were like what the hell is going on? And then one of us, or someone, checked our Wikipedia page and the first comment was “The Presets are a band that use auto-tune”, that was the first thing in our description on Wikipedia. So we thought if it would be funny if we put in “The Presets really hate being asked the same six questions”, you know like “How did you guys meet” and “Where’d you get your name from”. You know, we were just sort of having some fun, and now we get asked about the six questions as much as the six questions.

IP: Uh oh, I guess we asked you that…

KM:  I’m just kidding mate.

IP: Finally, can you tell us something about you guys that would surprise or even shock our readers…

KM: God, I don’t know. What do you think is a shocking thing? Drinking your own urine, is that something that you think is shocking?

IP: That would be shocking if indeed you drink your own urine, yes.

KM: Well I don’t think either of us do that. I think we’re just pretty average dudes, pretty average humans, just getting along in life and doing things to survive. I don’t think there is anything overly shocking or confrontational about what we do. You know, we’re all human.

We can’t wait to catch the show this Sunday night at 830pm! The Presets, Dragonette, and Classixx all know how to light up a stage so the three together promise to be one hell of a good time. You can grab advance tickets to make sure you don’t miss out on an amazing end to the first weekend of May! See you there Philly!

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

[Article by David Miller]

Interview With Ace Hood

AceHood-17

When it comes to poker, it’s always good to have an Ace in the hole. When it comes to the rap game, it’s always good to have an Ace in the Hood. Riding high on the success of his most recent single, “Bugatti”, Florida based rapper Antoine McColister, better known by his stage name, Ace Hood, will be throwing down at the Tower Theater on Friday, April 5th.

Ahead of his show in Philly, we spoke with Ace Hood about his life, his music, his future, and a few things that just might surprise you.

Independent Philly: How did you come up with the name “Ace Hood”?

Ace Hood: Initially I had the name Ace growing up. I don’t know man, Ace just always represented “1” to me and when I wound up getting my situation done, it was “Ace Gunner” at first and then we wound up changing it to “Ace Hood”. It was just a childhood nickname growing up, I just always loved “Ace” ya know?

IP: How has the response been to your “Starvation II” mix-tape that you released in January?

AH: The response has been phenomenal. I think this is definitely my greatest work thus far, you know, mix-tape wise. A lot of real records, a lot of real music on there. My fans and supporters definitely love it. It’s over 600,000 downloads, the response has been amazing. Every city I’ve been to, in state or out of state, I’ve been performing a lot of records off of Starvation II…they love it.

IP: Your new album “Trials & Tribulations” comes out this July. The first single “Bugatti” has been your most successful track to date, what else can fans expect from the album once it drops this summer?

AH: Just expect substance. You know, I wanted to bring that part of the music back. Just kind of the things that I’ve been through, not just my trials and tribulations but my fans and supporters’ trials and tribulations, you know what I’m sayin’? So you know I want to represent that real music, I want to bring that timeless music back. I tell people a lot of time it’s funny that you’re able to hear a Biggie or Pac record in 2013, I want the same to be true for Ace Hood in 2022, that you’re still able to play that record because it’s classic. I take pride in my music, I feel like it actually does something for people personally, in their personal lives, so it’s real music and it helps people get through things like I was able to get through things.

IP: Early on in your life it looked like you might have a shot to be a top-notch football player. Do you ever think about how your life would have been different if you’d wound up as an athlete instead of a rapper?

AH: My body would have been beat up a lot. As an athlete now you take so many injuries, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s a lot of hard work and you put a lot of stress and pain on your body in order to do what you gotta do. I’m glad I did take up music and that is my love but if life was playin’ ball man, I’d probably be sore, layin’ down, and all that good stuff…hurt up.

ace hood starvation 2

IP: What do you think you’d be doing with your life now if you weren’t rapping?

AH: Something positive man, hopefully. Probably somewhere in school maybe, even though college isn’t for me, at all, you know what I mean? I’d probably be somewhere in graphic design, putting one of these talents that I have to work. Probably in college, something like that, or playing ball. Those are the only things I can actually think of.

IP: We know you’ve worked with a lot of other artists already, but who are a few other artists/producers that you’d like to work with in the future (that you haven’t worked with already)?

AH: I wanna work with some of the greats. I’ve worked with a lot of great up-and-coming producers lately in the music industry. But I’m excited to work with like a Timbaland, I’d love to have a Dr. Dre beat on there as well. Just some of the greats man so I can get that quality sound. I’m looking forward to working with like the Justice League as too. I think those are the names I’d wanna work with on this new project.

IP: Where do you draw the majority of your inspiration from when you write lyrics?

AH: Life. Life in general man. Knowing where I came from, knowing that I don’t wanna go back to where I came from, knowing that, you know, I have a daughter to provide for and, not only that but, I love the finer things in life. I wanna be able to live comfortably, you know what I mean, without any worries. So I just tell people all the time, life in general man. Seeing my daughter grow up, knowing that I want better for her than I had growing up. My mother, being able to take care of my mother. All that is inspiration man. I want certain things out of life. I want my grand kids, you know, my kids’ kids, being able to inherit what I’ve worked so hard to build, you know what I mean? So just life man in general, life.

IP: What advice would you offer to young MCs who are trying to break into the music business?

AH: Stay focused. You gotta believe in yourself. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve been able to do throughout my whole career, even before I actually had, you know, a big career in this industry. I’ve always believed in self, I’ve always believed that as long as I believe, nothing else matters. I just put that type of motivation and that type of energy into my music, and I’ve always had confidence in my music as well. I would just encourage any artist to stay focused, of course keep God first, and you know, just keep working hard. Try to outwork those who you idolize, you know what I mean? I try to outwork my competitors and some of my musical peers. That would be the advice I’d give.

IP: Putting all politics aside, who do you think would be the Top 5 rappers of all time?

AH: Dead or alive?

IP: Yeah, dead or alive.

AH: Jay Z, Biggie, Pac, Wayne, and Nas.

IP: You have a show coming up this Friday (April 5th) at the Tower Theater, what can your fans expect from your live show if they’ve never seen you perform in person before?

AH: Passion man, passion. Energy, the energy is crazy man. What I love about doing my concerts is always feeding off the fans and their energy. Passion, lyricism, and skills. You know I always like to go “a capella” and whatnot, and give fans that up-close-and-personal as opposed to how you just hear it on the record. What I actually do on the record, I can do that live too so you can expect that. You can expect a lot of hit records being performed, great music, you know, just a phenomenal show all around. 

IP: Finally, can you tell us something about yourself that would surprise or even shock our readers…

AH: When I’m home, I cook here and there. I don’t know if that would shock readers. Cooking here and there…I may watch a little “Lifetime” know what I’m sayin’? Cookin’ and watchin’ Lifetime.

We can’t wait to catch Ace Hood at the Tower Theater this Friday, April 5th as he supports Meek Mill. You can buy advanced tickets right here. Hope to see you there Philly!

Interview With Markus Schulz: Get Ready to Scream

markus schulz scream

Call Markus Schulz “butter” because the man is on a roll. He’s recently traveled across the globe with Armin Van Burren on the “A State of Trance (ASOT) 600” tour, announced a new partnership, and dropped a new album. As if that weren’t enough, he’s about to embark on his own “Scream” album bus tour which will make stops all across the U.S. in April and May.

He’ll be rolling to Philadelphia for a stop at Soundgarden Hall on Thursday, April 11th (with The M Machine) and we had a few quick questions for him (with an in-person interview to follow) before his performance here next week.

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Independent Philly: Your upcoming Scream album bus tour is making a stop in Philadelphia next week and you’ll be playing the Boom Box festival at Penn State as well. What can your fans expect at one of your shows if they’ve never seen you spin in person before?

Markus Schulz: Between festival and club gigs, it differs hugely. At festivals, with the shorter set lengths, you need to come with something more compact. At club gigs though, that situation reverses. Playing across a broad span of electronic music, it (a club gig) allows me to explore all the musical areas I’m into – everything from deeper progressive and techno-ish moments, to tough trance thrash, and then off the cliff top dive down the Schulz rabbit hole!

I love to play the longer sets. To put that in context, New Years Eve last at Avalon in L.A., I spun for 12+ hours straight. For this tour, sets will lean more in the extended set direction.

IP: Do you prefer to be in the studio producing or out on the road playing gigs?

MS: As a DJ/producer, one never takes preference over the other. They are both entirely different (yet naturally linked) practices. They both offer completely diverse, yet equally enjoyable highs. One takes place on stage, in front of thousands of people; the other is capsulized and away-from-the-public. From that I can imagine how fans might think that DJing is the preference. Not the case though.    

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IP: What can you tell us about your New World Punx partnership with Ferry Corsten?

MS: Ferry and I started playing together b2b last year and working on a few reboots of some of our old, not-forgotten favorite tracks. “New World Punx” is a sort of formalizing of that. The name comes from my ‘The New World’ track and Ferry’s ‘Punk’ track. It’s now this kind of umbrella name/term for what happens when our two sounds meet. We’ve just finished playing the opening trio of nights/sets and the response has been incredible. Can’t wait to get stuck into more of them.  

IP: Tell us a little bit about your experience on the A State of Trance 600 tour…

MS: As you’d expect, every ASOT season offers another best new level in terms of what it delivers. 600 though has made an almost impossibly large leap. It started around ‘amazing’ and every gig since has just got better and better. Ultra last weekend was off the hook – an incredible atmosphere. I think this weekend just gone by however managed to top it. Ferry and I played a New World Punx set at Madison Square Garden and I know it’ll be a night I’ll still be recalling in 20 years time.  

IP: Would you like to give a shout out to your fans in Philadelphia?

MS: Sure! Guys, Philly is a place I love to play and it’s been a touch too long since I’ve been back. We’ll be putting that to rights next week though! Looking forward to seeing all you next Thursday night at Soundgarden Hall. Be in no doubt: unicorns will be slayed!

We can’t wait to be on hand to cover Markus Schulz set at SGH as well as get his answers to a second round of questions! We’ll hope you’ll join us Philly for  what promises to be an amazing night of Trance music.

Click here for full event details!

Click here to buy advanced tickets (save a few bucks and gain faster entry to the venue)!

Interview with Jason Hann of EOTO

EOTO

EOTO was formed in 2006 when Michael Travis and Jason Hann (of String Cheese Incident) began experimenting with their love of electronic music. It didn’t take long before their unique live shows were packing houses as they toured relentlessly around the country.

Using no pre-recorded sounds whatsoever, EOTO crafts their loops live on stage to create a one of a kind experience at each show. Add in killer visuals, and a rabid fan-base, and you have the recipe for live-tronica perfection.

For their upcoming tour they have teamed up with crunkstep creator Crizzly to bring yet another dimension to the show. Before we catch them in action on February 8th, 2013 at the Theater of the Living Arts (you can enter our contest to win free tickets here) we caught up with Jason Hann to answer some questions for us.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name EOTO and what (if any) special meaning does it have?

Jason Hann: Travis came up with the name EOTO, which stands for “End Of Time Observatory”, and we had gone through about twenty names and already had our first gig booked and didn’t know what to call ourselves. So we went through all of these names and one of our other names actually appeared on the first flyer, and by the time the show came around we have changed it to End Of Time Observatory. The meaning just felt like a reflection of being in a world where there are so many other dimensions going on that you don’t even feel time as a separate dimension. We live in 3-D, we don’t really feel the 2-D world as much; and having that kind of relationship to time, where it’s so deep into the other dimensions and possibilities that are happening, that accessing the time dimension seems trivial.

IP: It’s been been several years since your last studio album, do you guys have any plans for a new one in 2013?

JH: Right now, no. We’re having fun releasing just our live shows. We both produce on our own but it seems with the way our schedules have been, because we’re on the road so much, that getting an extra week in our off time to make that happen seems like a little more of a burden. It wouldn’t feel fresh, kind of like we were just doing it to do it, and we’re gonna try to work on (while we’re out on the road), having a recording situation where, at sound check or something like that, we can work on some new material or some set up where we can record ourselves. I’m not really sure what we want to do with it, if we just want to make it our own thing or if we want to collaborate with other producers and have them remix our stuff. Live, we feel like we’re just exploring all the time so there’s a lot of satisfaction when we put out a live-recording where you can really see the enrichment of our development.

IP: Did you make the conscious decision from the get-go to never use prerecorded sounds in your live sets, and if so, what went into that decision?

JH: It has been with us since our inception and the project really came out of us not trying to put a project together and just setting up random instruments and jamming on them from like 10pm til 4 or 5am. We got in the habit of doing that on a night to night basis, and just having fun playing different instruments, and as we recorded ourselves, the stuff that we thought sounded most interesting was when we would emulate some form of electronic dance music. Those always seemed to be more inspiring than if we were just trying to do some rock-fusion thing or funk thing. When we would hear ourselves back, it just kind of gave us the incentive to say “Hey, let’s do this in front of an audience”. It was just two of us but knowing that we could play for hours and hours on end, gave us the confidence to know that we could do that night after night and just make stuff up. It was really hard at first, we didn’t fully realize what we were taking on, but we really learned how to work through any kind of writer’s block, or player’s block.

IP: You mentioned a moment ago collaborating with other producers, and we know you’ve worked with several producers and artists in the past across a wide range of genres. Are there any specific people you haven’t worked with before that you’d love to in the future?

JH: Wow, that’s a good question. It’s funny because when we were coming up, it was right around the time when Bassnectar had broken open pretty big and Glitch Mob had broken open and I remember there was more talk around that time about doing some collaborations with those guys. You know if we just sent them a stanza of what we had. We haven’t talked with Tipper about doing something together but we talked with Tipper about doing some remixing in relationship a to String Cheese (Incident) project and yeah, it’s one of those things where there’s really a lot of young producers out there that it would be really cool to just get our material to and see what they have. I feel like everyone at this point could be pretty worthy of that. So part of it is us just getting together and recording all of our tracks in a multi-track forum. Right now when we do our live shows we just record to stereo output so we don’t have control of all of the individual instrument tracks, so we’d have to update our live set-up in a really different way to pull that off. It’s kind of one of the reasons that we haven’t tried to go for the studio thing.

IP: What can fans expect from a live EOTO show if they haven’t seen you perform before and are there any new elements that you’re unveiling for the new tour with Crizzly that maybe no one has seen before?

JH: Yeah. Visually we are adding stuff to our projection mapping. We have quite a few new images that we had our animators work on. We have a unique sort of laser production that we’re adding to that show too so there’s all this kind of visual stimulus, from our lotus sculpture projection mapping set up, and we’re looking to add some other visual textures with the lasers, like showing them on these sort of transparent films so it looks like holograms floating in the air and not just shooting lasers from the front of the stage to the back of the stage. So there’s definitely things we’ve done to try to make the show more unique from a visual perspective. Musically, our last gig was at the beginning of December, we were integrating all of these sort of new concepts of productional music that had just recently come out. Trap music is the thing that might be building around, ad nauseum to a certain degree, but there are no live bands that are pulling that off so we just really found a way to hit that style hard, and then some minimal techno stuff, and discovering this gamut of what we did before but adding new styles to it so it’s just a bigger journey musically. 

EOTO (4.24.2012)

IP: Sounds great. You guys are known for doing these grueling stretches with your live shows. How do you prepare mentally and physically for a long tour?

JH: Well usually it’s back to back to back, so it’s not anything we’re preparing for necessarily, it’s just more like a continuation. It’s almost never ending. Going into this tour was actually pretty different for us. I’ve had the last three weeks off and I’m a little bit curious. This week I’m really starting to play and sing on a day to day basis so that all of my stamina is there for when we dive in because we haven’t done that before. In the six years we’ve been together we did a festival spring tour, right into summer tour, right into fall tour, so in all those years we really haven’t taken much of a break. We’re just kind of doing our own thing now in terms of trying to relax and just enjoy home as much as possible, so I’ll let you know when tour starts where our heads are at but I think we’re both feeling really refreshed and ready to dive into the music. 

IP: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at one of your live shows?

JH: It probably gets X-rated at some point but I’m not sure I want to go into that… here’s a nice safe thing, there’s definitely some shows we’ve gone to with some haunting experiences with like ghosts and stuff. That’s kind of lame huh? (laughs)

IP: You mentioned ghosts so, Bigfoot, Martians, Zombies, and Ghosts… which of those do you believe in?

JH: Definitely ghosts. Martians in the sense that a lot of us are kind of Martians. Bigfoot? Maybe not in full-on Bigfoot form like you would picture as a Yeti or Sasquatch, but there are definitely other species that haven’t been discovered. What was the other one?

IP: Zombies.

JH: Oh yeah, Zombies, I freaking love Zombies! I only believe in them in the sense that I’ve been to Haiti before. There’s a lot going on down there in the form of, people that are influenced by a certain chemical made from plants that can definitely alter your body’s functions so that you could come back in a state where you don’t have your mind, but maybe not in the sense of “The Walking Dead” Zombies where they’re up and eating people. They do have them, but that’s more Bath Salts. I don’t consider that Zombieism; that’s just bad drugs.

IP: Yeah, drug induced Zombies don’t count…

JH: You have to only be able to die by being shot in the head to qualify as a Zombie. But I do love The Walking Dead. I’ve followed it since the fourth issue of the comic, or graphic novel. When it was first starting, someone turned me on to it and I was like “Oh my god, this should be on TV!” and now it’s on TV, so there.

IP: In addition to graphic novels, have you read any good books recently?

JH: I’m not much of a book reading guy these days. I’m a full news/political junkie guy. On a certain topic or news story that’s going around I’ll fully dive into the politics of what’s being put out. One of the last books that I read is “Best Democracy Money Can Buy” by Greg Palast. Man, that was just a fascinating book. He’s an investigative journalist, and you know, they don’t make investigative journalists anymore. Journalists on TV tend to be so careful because if they report too bad of a story they won’t get an interview with other people again because there are so many other people that was to interview important figures that they don’t want to rock the boat. They’ll go PG on it unless it’s super obvious that some crazy crime was committed. But other than that, investigative journalism is really a lost art form. So Greg Palast is probably the best in the world right now for what he investigates, which is mostly big oil and voting fraud and stuff like that. But it’s real nuts & bolts and when you read his stuff it’s like you’re looking into a crystal ball because he’ll write some stuff that was two or three years ago, especially with the voting laws being put into place, and suddenly election season comes around and all of these things have been put into place. It’s scary somewhat but it makes sense with the nature of politics and power grabbing. So that’s what fascinates me even though I’m ultimately jaded.

IP: Can you tell us something about EOTO that would surprise or even shock our readers?

JH: Nope (laughs), nope, we’re open books. There are so many navigational tools I’m going through right now but let’s go with a cool fact on Travis’s  side…Travis’s dad, his name is Neil Travis, has an Academy Award for Best Editing for that movie “Dances With Wolves” with Kevin Costner. With me, I don’t know whether you have my particular bio but I played on the 2001 “Chronic” Dr. Dre record.

IP: Both things we did not know.

JH: Well look at this! And we didn’t even have to get all dirty and freaky and creepy.

IP: We’ll save that for the next interview.

We can’t wait to check out EOTO’s new visual aesthetics, as well as the incorporation of new genre’s of sound into their live show, when they play the TLA on February 8th! For those of you not in Philadelphia, you can check out the tour schedule here before it kicks off on January 31st!

 

Interview with G. Love

G. Love Fixin to Die

It’s hard not to gush about one of our favorite musicians. G. Love has been representing Philadelphia for two decades with his infectious sound. Impossible to pigeon hole into even many sub-genres of music, we can simply say that his blues and hip-hop infused tunes are as unique as they are catchy.

The man has produced numerous hits and albums, worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, and traveled the world, playing for fans around the globe.

This Friday he will return to his hometown to play at sold-out show at the Theater of the Living Arts and he took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about making music, summer living, time travel, and all things Philly.

Independent Philly: What projects are you currently working on, either as a solo artist or with Special Sauce?

G. Love: Right now we are kind of working on, as a band, a new record, the writing of it. I should say I’ve been writing a lot this past year and we’re gearing up to record the new record in the spring time. A lot of our focus right now is on making sure that the new tunes are really great. So yeah, we’re just getting all the arrangements really tight and everything really hooked up and ready to go.

IP: Your show in Philly this Friday is sold out yet again. Do the hometown shows still have a special feeling for you?

GL: I live up in Boston these days so I honestly don’t get to Philly too much unless I’m playing or going to the studio so it’s really awesome to hear that the show is sold out. We’re playing the TLA (Theater of the Living Arts) which is kind of a return to my old stomping grounds since I grew up right here in the neighborhood. I used to play on the street right across from the TLA and a lot of my songs are written about things that happened right there, right around the corner from the TLA. You know, about the basketball courts at Segar Park and Starr Garden, you know, just livin’ right there in the city. When I play internationally they kind of understand what I’m doing musically, but it’s kind of written for Americans, you know, it’s very American. Then I feel like when I’m traveling in America everyone kind of understands what I’m talking about but when I play in Philly, everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about. Know what I mean?

IP: I do. I grew up in Philly myself which leads to my next question… What’s your connection to 6525 Parkline Drive?

GL: Oh that verse was by one of my old rapping partners, The Katman, that’s where he grew up, that was just the address of his parent’s house in Mt. Airy.

IP: From album names, to lyrics, to video images, to tattoos, you seem to have a fascination with Lemonade, what can you tell us about it?

GL: I don’t know, it’s just one of those things where, lyrically, I always liked the word “lemonade” and what it represented. I would always pitch “lemonade” as a track or song and I said if I ever got a record deal I would get “lemonade” tattooed on my arm, which I did, up at South Street Tattoo at 11th & South. To me it always just kind of represented the front porch and those lazy summer days and that was kind of what my music always, I used to write a lot of my music actually sitting on the front porch in the summertime. That’s what I like to do is sit out with my guitar, in the shade or in the sunshine, but I like to sit outside. That’s a good day for me if I can sit outside and strum away on my guitar all afternoon. So the “lemonade” thing just kind of symbolized the blues and those front porch days in the summertime, and just kind of a different way of looking at life, and it was all kind of just summarized in that drink (laughs). 

IP: We’d love to get your personal views on Philly… Who do you think currently makes the best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia?

GL: Tony Lukes is bangin’. I grew up eating Jim’s Steaks. There’s also a great place down off of Delaware Ave, it’s called John’s Roast Pork, it’s a little mom-and-pop spot. I think as far of the bigger places that really do well, Tony Lukes is pretty amazing.

IP: Which Philly sports team do you think is the closest to winning a championship?

GL: Now? How are the Flyers going to be? I don’t know man, maybe the Sixers. I mean I know they won’t win it this year but they’ll probably make the playoffs. Eagles… looks like we’re going to be rebuilding for a few years now, and I don’t really follow baseball. Although the Phillies have been doing pretty good lately, aside from last year. I guess we’re really just kind of up shit’s creek with the Philadelphia sports scene. It’s a tough sports town because it’s such a huge sports town with such die-hard fans, and you just grow up your whole life bleeding green and watching the Sixers. I’m more of an Eagles fan and Sixers fan really but of course I root for the Flyers and Phillies…and the Fever… do you remember them? That was our soccer team. We have mad love for our sports teams, especially the Eagles and it’s very tough to be a fan.

IP: What do you think is the best concert venue to play in Philly?

GL: I’ve played everywhere from the Tin Angel to Citizen’s Bank Park. Honestly the TLA really is one of the great classic rooms in Philly, I’m happy to be going back there. In the summer we’ve been playing a lot of outdoor shows at Festival Pier and played outside in the parking lot at Electric Factory so those are cool. Electric Factory, of course that’s a classic room but it can also been sonically challenging. Actually I would say that my favorite rooms in Philly are some of the medium sized rooms like the TLA, or some of the smaller clubs I came up playing, whether it was Dobbs or the Khyber Pass, or the Tin Angel like I said. The thing about Philadelphia which is so great is that there are a lot of venues, a lot of small or medium sized venues and that’s why it’s got a pretty vibrant music scene because there are places for people to play like Johnny Brendas. Not just because I’m playing it, but I’ll say the TLA.

IP: Who is the best unknown or under-known Philly performer or singer that deserve more attention?

GL: The person that always jumps to mind, and I’ve been such a long-term fan of his, and cohort of his, and he’s just a legend in the Philly music scene, I’m talking about Chuck Treece. He’s played with everybody and I kind of came up, when I was kid just really looking up to him and as I got better and more well known I got to play with him and he was in my band for a little while. He’s kind a a cornerstone to the hip-hop side of the music and also the punk rock scene. Chuck Treece.

g. love

IP: If we have our calculations correct you turned 40 a few months ago…

GL: Yeah it’s true.

IP: If you could go back in time 20 years and see yourself, what advice would you pass along?

GL: If I could go back 20 years? That’s a good question. Wow, 20 years ago, what would I say? My girlfriend says “don’t spend all my money”. On the financial side I’d say “buy a house in Fishtown” cause we rented a house in Fishtown for like seven years, I could have made a ton of loot if I’d bought something down there. The other thing would have been, on a musical level, cause 20 years ago we were getting ready to make our first record, I would have said “You know what, work that first record for one more year, and take more time making your second record”. (laughs)

IP: You’ve worked with a slew of other musicians, a few that come to mind are Slightly Stoopid, Jack Johnson, and the Avett Brothers. Who is another artist that you’d love to work with that you haven’t before?

GL: It’s funny because I really have gotten the chance to work with a lot of musicians and that’s really one of the best parts of my gig, is getting to collaborate with so many kinds of people, whether it’s people I grew up listening to or people that have grown up listening to me. I don’t know man, I’ve worked with so many people. I’d love the chance to get to do some recording with Jack White, I think that’d be pretty awesome. We’ve talked about it a couple times. I think maybe someday we’ll get to do some work in the studio. That would be someone I’d like to do something with.

IP: What’s the secret ingredient that makes the sauce so special?

GL: Lotta love.

IP: Tell us something that would surprise or even shock our readers…

GL: If the Eagles were to win the Super Bowl.

We can’t wait to catch G. Love & Special Sauce when they roll into the TLA on Friday. We hope to see you there Philly!