DJs and producers can cop a lot of flack when it comes to their live shows. Not only does skepticism surround what is actually ‘performed’ live, but if you don’t have the ability to play to the crowd, things are definitely not going to be as turnt as they should be. Fortunately J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) AKA Flosstradamus rarely have to worry about either of those issues, as they are continually bringing surprising and engaging elements to their live shows. If you’ve ever been to a Floss show, you already know how live things can get. You’ll be able to get amongst it, yet again, when the pair bring their #WLDBYZTOUR to Australia later this month.
Misha Grace, of Melbourne duo friendships, is another artist who has a vested interest in live visuals and she recently caught up with the guys to get some more insight into what makes a good show and why it has been so important for them to maintain this throughout their career. You can also catch friendships at Golden Plains, PBS’s Drive Live and they’ve also just been added to the epic SXSW festival. Friendships’ new album is due out in May. In the meantime, check out their quick chat below.
Misha Grace: Hey guys, my name is Misha, I guess I wanted to interview you guys to talk about your live show and how insane that gets.
Autobot: Nice to meet you!
M: I wondered how you go about putting something like that together?
J: Our show, well, there’s many incantations of that, but one of our main and first elements was to use props, and not be two guys standing in front of an LED screen. Initially when we started, no one was really doing that—there wasn’t even the technology most of the time to do even that. So we were collaborating with an art collective here called Thunderhorse and we went on to do a bunch of shows and installations where they would bring in and design elaborate sets and now we’ve gone to this level—it’s like we’ve graduated, we’re doing the same thing but on a bigger scale.
M: Yeah, it’s like a playground almost.
J: (laughs) It’s not just props made out of cardboard or foam anymore, on our last tour we brought out a burnt car—we were jumping on it, trashing it. It’s an evolution on what we started doing 10 years ago.
M: Do you guys direct your live stage mostly, or are you picking artists to work with?
C: We have a hand in everything we do, whether it’s designing our album cover or merchandise or live show—we try to do every aspect of it.
M: That’s awesome. My friend and I work together as an audio/visual group too, we’re in our early stages—mostly still dancing in front of an LED screen—but it’s amazing to see what you guys come up with. What do you think is the most important part of having that visual inspiration when it comes to playing electronic music in front of crowds?
J: If you are taking the time to put any effort into visual production it translates so directly to the fans and it makes the show way more immersive. It really takes them away from wherever they are at—most venues are just a big room and it takes them out of their room, and brings them into our world. You can really command their attention that way. No disrespect to DJs that use an LED screen because there are some that can use it really tastefully and really well and we’re included in that. Some festivals we use our screens, it’s not really the media, it’s more what you can do with it. It’s just for us, it’s always been our style and not a lot of DJs or live acts in the EDM world they don’t use anything physical, so for us it’s a chance to go against the grain.
Hit BBE for full tour info.
- Interview: Misha Grace (friendships)