INTERVIEW: Bag Raiders Talk about Latest Checkmate EP & Tour

We recently had the opportunity to interview Australia natives, Bag Raiders before their show at the El Rey on April 1st. They released their latest EP Checkmate in March and now they are headed to Australia to finish off the last leg of their tour.
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What was it like growing up in Australia? How does it compare to Los Angeles?
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To be honest, Sydney and LA are pretty similar. Lots of sun, pretty spread out, beach vibes. People in Australia say Sydney is LA and Melbourne is NY and I can see that…
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Who were your influences for your latest EP Checkmate?
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I think we draw inspiration from all over the place, not just music. Food, people, nature, art, it all finds its way in there somehow. The title track has a UK feel for sure, the drums are kinda on a 2-step tip, which is something we were/are both into. Breakdown is much more of a driving into the sunset vibe. And then Magic Feel has a “cool guy walking round sunset junction” flavour going on.
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Who did the graphics for your latest EPs?
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The amazing Mat Maitland from Big Active!
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What are your favorite instruments that you used in any of the 3 EPs?
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Tracking live drums on Checkmate was super fun. And Magic Feel has same samples from an E-mu SP-1200 which is a dope old sampler. Then the arpeggiated synth lead that starts Breakdown is from Chris’s modular system. So again, we draw sounds from all over.
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Which keyboards or synths do you use?
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Too many to list! But we love the Dave Smith stuff, the Mutable Instruments and Make Noise modular gear and then a bunch of old stuff. Usually the MS-20 and Jupiter-8 are on everything we do in some way or another.
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Both live shows and DJ gigs are intimate in their own ways. What type of environment leads you to prefer one over the other?
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Just depends what mood I’m in. Live is way more challenging so that can either be good or bad!
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How do you handle mistakes during a live show?
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I think we’ve learned to just let them go and move on. In my mind people who come to the shows are pretty forgiving. They already like us, they like our music, if they can see we’re up there busting a gut then I think they’re gonna leave happy even if there are a few wrinkles along the way.
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What is your most anticipated stop on the tour?
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For the shows it’s gotta be NY, LA and SF. Always the biggest crowds and funnest venues. But we’re also keen to go to places in the middle of America we’ve never been before. Texas, New Orleans, even places like Saint Paul, bring it on!
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For music and tour info visit bagraiders.com.

INTERVIEW: Tiga Discusses No Fantasy Required

Ms. Indigo Jones and WOLFshoes had a chance to speak with Tiga about his recently released album ‘No Fantasy Required’, the tour, and his college radio show. Tiga’s album ‘No Fantasy Required’ is available online now.

iTunes: po.st/nfritunes
Counter – po.st/nfrcounter
Spotify – po.st/NFRSpotifySampler
Amazon – po.st/nframazon
Bandcamp – po.st/nfrbandcamp

INTERVIEW: Marbs Talks Art & Desert Hearts

WOLFshoes and Ms. Indigo Jones speak with Marbs. He is in charge of the Desert Arts program, creates the Desert Hearts Records album artwork and he will also be DJing at the Spring edition of Desert Hearts happening April 1 – 4, 2016 at Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.

For tickets and more info visit www.deserthearts.us.

INTERVIEW: Mikey Lion Talks House, Techno & Desert Hearts

This past Tuesday (10/27) WOLFshoes and Ms. Indigo Jones spoke with Mikey Lion, one of the founders of the Desert Hearts record label and festival. They discussed the upcoming 3 year anniversary Desert Hearts festival happening November 5-9 at Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. The festival will feature 100 hours of non-stop house and techno. “House, techno and love we are all Desert Hearts.” — Mikey Lion

For Desert Hearts tickets visit www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/960175.

DESERT HEARTS TAKEOVER w/ Mikey Lion Interview + Ticket Giveaway

This Tuesday (10/27) we are doing a special Desert Hearts Takeover show. We will also be interviewing Mikey Lion and  giving away 1 pair of tickets to Desert Hearts November 5th-9th at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Tune in from 10pm – 12am PT for your chance to win!

Desert Hearts

Lulacruza Interview Following North American Tour

Lulacruza recently made their final stop on their North American tour at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 22, 2015. The band consists of Alejandra Ortiz and Luis Maurette who both originate from South America. Their most recent album, Orcas features 8 tracks, which bring together folk and electronic sounds that will make you feel as if you have floated off to a far away island. This album has all you need to relax, transcend and tune out the constant chatter of the outside world.

Orcas is available as “name your price” at http://music.lulacruza.com/album/orcas.

Following Lulacruza’s North American tour WOLFshoes had the opportunity of interviewing the duo.

Tell us about your album Orcas? 

Alejandra Ortiz: Orcas is our 5th full-length album, and our most intimate album to date. It’s a collection of songs about the risk and vulnerability of falling in love: falling in love with another, falling in love with the chaotic beauty of nature, and the ultimate need to fall in love with one’s self… It was recorded during my pregnancy, so it was a very very special moment to enter the studio. The album was recorded on Orcas Island in a state-of-the-art recording studio surrounded by the ocean and ancient woods. While there we were deeply moved by the energy of the island and feel that its spirits came into the music, so we decided to name the album after the island.

Have you learned anything about yourselves while touring? 

Luis Maurette: Definitely! When one has toured as much as we have over the last 10 years, touring is part of life and life’s lessons come up on the road. Between 2009 and 2012 we went on extensive 4-6 month long tours. These weren’t your typical tours because they relied heavily on community, we offered our concerts to anybody who had the will and the space to host. This way of touring took us to the most incredible places and situations, things we could have never imagined; cities, rivers, mountains, communes, farms, homesteads, spiritual communities, and more. These travels were not only done as performers, I personally traveled heavily in the Argentine Andes mountains discovering indigenous music of that region, and we also shot Esperando el Tsunami in Colombia, traveling to some of the most remote places of the country, where we delved into indigenous and Afro-colombian cultures.

In our travels we deeply connected not only with the people that we would encounter, but also to different ways of life, different conceptions of how we can live with the land and each other, different conceptions around relationships and love, different conceptions of what it is to live among spirits, and how we can maintain integrity in how we live. It’s almost endless what I’ve learned on the road, it is such an integral part of me that I cannot tell anymore where I learned what.

Why do you want your listeners to transcend? 

Luis Maurette: The music that calls me, is music that takes me past my regular notions of what life is, past my definitions of physicality and individuality. When music is shallow, it just doesn’t interest me, and is even exhausting to listen. In that search for transcendental music we both have experienced, first-hand, rituals and ceremonies where the music transports the listener, opens gateways to other dimensions and holds the universe together.

After those experiences it would be pointless to shoot for anything other than transcendence. Once you have seen and experienced some of the things we have, there is no turning back.

Do you meditate? 

Alejandra Ortiz: I sit in silence, and I also practice a form of active meditation called latihan.

Do you have any advice for musicians just starting out? 

Luis Maurette: I feel that music has been the key that has opened up some of the most precious things in my life. Music is communal, it’s spiritual, it’s emotional, it makes you dance, or cry, or listen to the spheres or express angst, and on and on. There is no limit to what music can be. I would say, trust this key, and let it take you where it needs to.

Alejandra Ortiz: I would say, find your inner guide, and search within for the unique gift that you have offer to the world. For me, deep listening is what makes you a real musician.

 

Article by Lily Colovic.

Flosstradamus Talks Soundclash EP, Helicopters and Their HDYNATION Take Over

During Coachella Weekend 2, Josh Young (J2K) and Curt Cameruci (Autobot) of Flosstradamus sat downand spoke with Ms. Indigo Jones and WOLFshoes about their new Soundclash EP, HDYNation tour, helicopters, and vitamins.

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You’re releasing your Soundclash EP on 4/20. What can we expect from the EP?

Josh: “The whole concept behind the EP is just collaborations. So we’ve done that a lot in the past with other artists and stuff but this was something where we set out to put together a whole collection of music, because a lot of times we release songs individually, like one song at a time. We put together a whole 6 song EP that’s built off of collaborating with other artists and taking the strengths from us as well as other people and putting them together. So it’s truthfully a sound clash and mixing of different types of styles and different types of sounds.

HDYFest will be your Soundclash EP release party. Is there a specific reason why you chose Austin, Texas as the location for the event and will it differ from the HDYNation tour?

Josh: “Yeah it’s going to differ from HDYNation tour in a sense that HDYNation Tour was a really big, massive stage set up, kind of the biggest production that we’ve done so far. This is going to be something a little more scaled back and more fun, kind of just on a block party vibe. So we’re just really trying to do something that mimics the feel that you get when you’re just hanging out and listening to music with friends and just kind of turning up in the back yard of Stub’s BBQ. The reason we chose Austin is because we love Austin. We haven’t played there in ages. We missed SXSW this year because we were on tour in Australia so we thought it would be a really good place to do it. It’s 4/20 so it’ll be nice to hang out in one of the best music cities in the world and smoke some weed.”

What’s it been like teaming up with Virgil Abloh to create the interactive set design for your HDYNation tour?

Curtis: “It’s good man, all the stuff we do with him, we design everything so we do the clothing, set design, music, everything you know. We’re hands on. He toured with us the year before on our IRL tour and so we were always just shooting ideas back and forth. When it came to do this tour, it was kind of the same thing. We just got on a few calls. He had done the Yeezus tour and designed all of that, and he also designed Travi$ Scott’s tour and a lot of other people’s so he was just spitballing with us and we just kind of came together and created it all. It was all-natural. He’s from Chicago as well so it was just second nature to do it with him.”

If you were given an unlimited budget, no laws applied, just free range to do whatever you would like at a show/ tour, what would you like to do?

Josh: “There’s a lot of ideas we’ve had over the past few years that have been shut down for several reasons. Whether it’d be illegal, or too expensive but most of them involve helicopters, so I’m going to say that if we had unlimited budget and no rules applied we would probably do something involving lots of helicopters.”

Do you have any touring rituals?

Josh: “Absolutely, this guy,” pointing to Curtis, “is more on the ritual side of things so you can shed some light on that.”

Curtis: “Yeah, yeah, I take vitamins wherever I go and I just keep myself regular because we’re in different time zones and all over the place. Then every morning I get coffee, like I have to have a coffee whenever we travel. It’s actually kind of a cool way to explore cities and stuff too because you have to go hunt for this coffee shop by a cool park or something on the way, so that’s definitely part of being on the road, touring. As for show rituals, nah, I mean I like to be really prepared right until the last minute before we go on. It’s just my thing.”

Josh: “Yeah, he’ll definitely work on the set until the last minute. Even if he doesn’t have to, he’ll just kind of get in that zone because that gets him, I think, in the headspace to work on it. It freshens his memory. I like to do the opposite. I like to just get away from it for a minute and just get my energy up, and start to try and get myself hyped up and get myself emotionally ready to go on stage.”

In a billboard article, David Guetta mentioned that you were his favorite act at Coachella. He also mentioned that after seeing your set and the energy you evoked from your fans, he altered his set list to incorporate more hip-hop. How does it make you feel when you hear things like that?

Curtis: “It’s an honor.”

Josh: “Yeah it makes us feel awesome. It’s good to know that the set is being well received and that also, it’s influencing people that are some of the most influential musicians in the world right now. For us, every time we go out, we always try to do the best to bring the most energy that we possibly can to any stage and it’s always good to see people that are attracted to it who we wouldn’t expect in a million years to be attracted to it. I feel like David Guetta falls within those lines, where it’s like, we would never really imagine that he would be a fan of this but it’s cool to see it can even reach him and affect him in that way.”

What’s it like collaborating with ’47 brand to develop your own clothing line?

Curtis: “That’s been really good. ’47 Brand pretty much gave us free range to do anything we wanted, which was cool. We had a lot of ideas we wanted to do with our own thing, because we have our own clothing line that we do anyway but ’47 Brand was able to give us the higher quality materials, better production, and a lot more freedom that way. It was a good thing. We were able to make better quality stuff for our fans so it’s a good look.”

Josh: “It’s the first time we’ve collaborated it with a company on an entire line of clothing. Like we’ve done an item, like a one off item but it was cool because we did a one off item with them last year, like a couple hats. They came back this year and gave us free reign to do an entire line so that was pretty awesome. It felt like a little validation as a fashion entity outside of just music.”

You DJ’d the first Mad Decent Boat Party and will be part of the second. What was your favorite moment about Mad Decent Boat Party?

Curtis: “My favorite part was, not to be selfish, but it was our set. We played inside of the auditorium. Honestly we saw other sets that whole weekend, but something about that, the energy, like us and everyone on stage, the fans and just being contained in that bubble of that room, it didn’t feel like anything else that whole weekend, for me personally. So that was my personal favorite. Personal, personal favorite, to be able to turn down on the beach the next day was pretty good. Like to actually go to a beach and put my feet in some water.”

Josh: “Yeah that beach was awesome.”

When you first formed Flosstradamus, what were your original goals and how do they compare to where you are now?

Curtis: “Original goals when we first formed were just to throw a party and yeah just do a party in Chicago. That was the initial, very, very first thing. We were young kids trying to hook up with girls and just do the typical DJ thing when we were teenagers. Then we started to grow away from that- more opportunities came. We were able to travel. We had to quit our jobs. It kept snowballing and it got to the point where we had to take it a little more seriously and realized that this could be a really good career if we could work our asses off. Honestly, we’re still not where we need to be. There’s so much more I think we can achieve as Flosstradamus. It’s cool though to go along the whole ride and experience it.”

Do you have any advice for producers just starting out?

Josh: “Yeah, there’s a lot of trends to follow and it’s not to say that you don’t have to like ignore popular music but you have to try and carve your own path. That’s something we did for a long time, which was kind of like keep up with our contemporaries and play catch up with the music that was around us. It was when we decided to go in our own direction and literally make our own lane that was when things really turned around for us. We started to see sort of a different side of music.”

Flosstradamus Avalon 12/2012
Flosstradamus @ Avalon 12/2012. Photo taken by Lily Colovic.

OthermusiC Interviews Tokimonsta!

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Ms. Indigo Jones and WOLFshoes interviewed Tokimonsta after her performance at Wolfgang Gartner & Friends on March 23, 2013 in Miami, FL. Shro, from KUCI’s Tokki Sounds, also contributed to some of the interview questions. Tokimonsta was very kind to agree to interview with us after her performance at the National Hotel. For more from Tokimonsta visit www.tokimonsta.com, soundcloud.com/tokimonsta, or find her on twitter @TOKiMONSTA.

OthermusiC’s Interview with Cut Chemist!

WOLFshoes spoke with Cut Chemist about his current Renegades of Rhythm
tour with DJ Shadow. The tour is based entirely on Afrika Bambaataa’s
record collection. His music, based in funk and breakbeats, has greatly influenced hip hop as we know it today. He will be at the House of Blues in
Anaheim tonight 10/2 and the Hollywood Palladium tomorrow night 10/3. “I
suggest you come and see the show because it’s a once in a lifetime
opportunity for people to become a part of history… It’s almost like a
touring museum and we are performing with these artifacts [records].”
–Cut Chemist

Interview with Louisahhh!

This is an interview I did last year. I sat down with LOUISAHHH!!! during WMC in Miami on March 21, 2013 right before she hit the stage for a back to back set with Brodinski, Gesaffelstein and Monsieur Monsieur of Bromance Records. I really enjoyed speaking with LOUISAHHH!!!. She was very insightful and inspiring with her answers.

WOLFshoes: What made you want to start making music and at what point did you realize you wanted to DJ?

Louisahhh!: My dad worked in music when I was growing up and still does so even when I was like “My parents don’t understand me” and like super bummed and pissed and a teenager filled with angst that was always a point of connection and relation for me and my dad. Then, I grew up and started taking piano lessons when I was seven and classical guitar. I thought I wanted to be a jazz guitarist, which is like the nerdiest possible instrumentalist to be. Like jazz guitar! I was like going into college and instead of being a jazz guitarist I took up drugs and when I started kind of like going out, I had a bunch of friends who had clubs or party nights growing up in New York and so I would DJ just for fun and then a friend taught me how to beat match and all of the anxiety I felt when I was performing my music or playing instruments in bands was lifted when I was DJing. I didn’t get any performance anxiety. So I started DJing non-stop and started partying really hard and then I got sent to rehab and stopped drinking and using and it made me love music even more because that became the best drug.

WOLFshoes: What was the club scene like in New York?

Louisahhh!: When I first started going out it was mostly seeing bands and like the bands that were really fun at that point were like Ratatat, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, The Strokes and like seeing them at shitty clubs and then that kind of turned into like this party called Misshapes which was mostly like not dance music at all. They would play like Madonna’s “Hung Up” like 4 times in a night and it would somehow be acceptable but it’s how I met like a lot of people that are doing this today like all the Trouble and Bass guys I met there. I went to high school with Luka. It was like a really tight small scene that a lot of people have graduated out of in a cool way. It’s interesting to watch how dance music warped from like 2003, 2004 until now. Especially in America, it’s crazy to watch and actually I feel like I’m starting to play a lot of the same tracks I was playing in like 2006 because they are sounding relevant again. I really love the end of electro clash and what we think of as electronic music now.

WOLFshoes: Have you ever been to winter music conference?

Louisahhh!: Yeah this is like my sixth year.

WOLFshoes: Did you used to go to the panels at the actual conference?

Louisahhh!: No we’ve only ever played around at crazy parties. I feel like it’s a weird thing now that it’s split too. It kind of saddens me because are we here for spring break or are we here as a community of musicians and artists, entertainers and DJs. Who is this for? It’s a little bit confusing. It’s sorting itself out though.

WOLFshoes: If you could do a panel at Winter Music Conference what topic would you want to discuss?

Louisahhh!: I’m really interested in women in dance music and how do we better create a community that is not competitive, not caddy but really supportive, has more integrity amongst itself because I think that’s a hard thing. Sometimes I feel like we are often pitted against each other and then also I’m interested in how America is finding itself beyond EDM. Where’s the underground, this is what’s mainstream now and how do we cultivate a domestic scene.

WOLFshoes: What advice do you have for young producers?

Louisahhh!: I would say do something everyday for your art. What ever it is. If you’re not feeling particularly inspired it doesn’t matter show up for your work. Creative discipline is really important and if you’re not able to make a song that day, write. If you’re not able to write, draw. If you’re not able to draw, listen to music. There’s a very high rate of consuming inspiration and outputting work. Just keep making work.

WOLFshoes: Do you feel the electronic music scene is more welcoming to female producers now than when you first started?

Louisahhh!: I think there is an amazing group of really talented, really wonderful women internationally and that’s really exciting however I think it’s really up to us to be role models and to treat each other as such, as peers and to behave in a way that we want female fans of dance music to behave because you see so much groupie culture in the DJ world. It’s repulsive and upsetting. We don’t get it as much because men are terrified of the ego rejection that would come from approaching a female in a position of power I think in a lot of ways. We have to behave in a way that encourages us and supports each other. There’s a party in Paris called Girls, Girls, Girls that’s a really good example of that. Anna Lunoe, Gina Turner, Star Eyes and Jubilee are all doing awesome work here and it’s like let’s work together on this because it’s really disappointing to watch this weird trolling aggressively, sexual behavior and like especially in the rave scene like eww. So let’s act like ladies.

WOLFshoes: Your new EP is coming out in April and what can we expect from that?

Louisahhh!: It’s something I’m so excited about. I’m proud of. It’s been a long time coming. I hope you love it as much as I do.