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.
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. Photo taken by Lily Colovic.