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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!


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!

Guns N’ Roses Triumphant Return to Philly

It’s been ages since the golden era of Guns N’ Roses when Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Steven Adler ruled the rock world. After numerous #1 albums, international tours, scandals, riots, and internal grudges, all that remained of the original GNR line-up was front man Axl Rose.

In 2002 the new Guns N’ Roses scheduled a show in Philadelphia at the (now) Wells-Fargo Center. After opening sets by CKY and Mix Master Mike, the headliners failed to take the stage and fans rioted. The rest of the tour was canceled.

In November of last year, GNR played a show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. After the opening band played from 8-9pm, GNR failed to take the stage in a timely manner (as Axl Rose has become famous for). Fans were forced to wait over two hours between bands before they finally took to the stage. To their credit, they played for three straight hours complete with pyrotechnics, classic songs, and newer material from Chinese Democracy (which was finally released in 2008 after a 10+ year hiatus of releasing a new album).

Last night, Guns N’ Roses finally returned to Philadelphia to play an intimate show at the Electric Factory. The show was scheduled to begin at 10pm with opening act The Last Vegas, who took the stage shortly after 10pm. When they finished their set around 11pm, the question on everyone’s mind was “how long will we have to wait”?

The Last Vegas

It wasn’t long. Axl took the stage with the new GNR (Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, DJ Ashba, and Ron Thal) just after 1130pm and wasted little time welcoming fans to the jungle.

Over the next three hours, GNR played a wide-range of songs that included hits from all of their albums, and even a few covers. There were no pyrotechnics, just the music that defined a generation of rock and has lived in the hearts of the 80’s and 90’s generations ever since.

Axl was engaging as he spoke to the crowd on several occasions. He even apologized for his role in the 2002 no-show incident (after taking a shot at Clear Channel who had been the tour’s promoter).

There was Sweet Child O’ Mine, Rocket Queen, Civil War, Patience, Live and Let Die, You Could Be Mine, and Don’t Cry. Axl took to the piano at center stage for November Rain, and fans chanted an epic call and response during Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.

The show finally ended around 230am with Paradise City as cannons shot blasts of shiny, red confetti over the crowd. Pure bliss.

While this might not be the GNR of old, which is disappointing to many die-hard fans, the show was everything we’d hoped for, and more. We know, new is scary, but the new GNR brings the heat. While it would have been remarkable to see Slash, the one member that GNR could not survive without, is Axl. The singer, who turned 50 earlier this month, is no longer the stick-thin rock-god of the 80’s, but there is still magic in that voice of his. Wearing various hats and sunglasses for the majority of the night, he danced around, sang his heart out, and left it all on stage.

They might no longer be the most dangerous band in the world, but they are still one of the best.

You can check out an expanded photo gallery, video, and set-list below:

Chinese Democracy
Welcome to the Jungle
It’s So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
You’re Crazy
Rocket Queen
Richard Fortus Guitar Solo (James Bond Theme)
Live and Let Die
This I Love
Used to Love Her
Motivation (Tommy Stinson song)
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo (Baba O’Riley)
Street of Dreams
You Could Be Mine
DJ Ashba Guitar Solo (The Ballad of Death)
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Instrumental Jam (Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2)
Axl Rose Piano Solo (Gran Torino/Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/Someone Saved My Life Tonight)
November Rain
Ron Thal Guitar Solo (Pink Panther Theme)
Don’t Cry
Shackler’s Revenge
Civil War
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Whole Lotta Rosie
Paradise City