In what is one of our biggest interviews yet, I had a chance to talk to Circus honcho and Big Beat artist Flux Pavilion. The blonde-haired brit spoke about his tour with Dillon Francis, upcoming release, his experience with Reddit (and his AMA!), his live show, musical process and more. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Yo man, how’s it going?
Hey Flux, thanks for taking the time to answer questions, I’m a huge fan.
Oh cool man, thank you.
So you’re finishing up the last date of your Standing on a Hill UK tour with Dillon Francis, and then you’re coming stateside next weekend, what’s it been like? Seems like you guys are having a lot of fun!
Yeah man, it’s been awesome. I came over for the Standing on a Hill leg in the states with Brown & Gammon and Cookie, and we were over there for like 6 weeks and it was awesome. Doing about 5-6 shows a week, and yeah it’s kind of slowed down and its been more and more fun. So then we came back, and it’s been pretty much exactly the same. Playing loads of tunes to loads of people, and it’s been good.
And are you guys travelling just by car? It seems like from twitter you guys are just in a car together.
We’ve got a mini-bus thing and sleeping that way helps. So I’ve got luggage, a mattress, and [unable to decipher], just pretty much going like that, so we’re just working on music, but yeah we’re putting a song together. We played it out at the show in London, where he played it and then I played it, and yeah no one had ever heard it obviously, or even that a track between us even existed. So yeah, that was awesome. That’s the thing about being on tour with other artists, you can just be sitting on the tour bus or be sitting backstage working on a track, put it on a CD and then goes out there and play it for all the people. That’s the best way to gauge reaction, is to play it out straight away to all the people.
Does the track have a name?
Nah, not yet. It’s not completely finished yet, but I will be playing it when I come over to the states next weekend for the Halloween shows.
Do you have any NYE plans you can announce?
I’m not sure how much I can announce, but as far as my schedule goes, I’m coming to the U.S. So yeah, it’s looking like we’re doing four dates and it’s going to be a big Circus extravaganza, so the whole Circus crew is coming over. We’ll be doing some shows together and then splitting up and touring.
Great, well I know we’ll definitely be looking forward to that announcement and hopefully it’s near me! Looking back now, this past summer you did an AMA on reddit, and I’m a huge redditor. How did that come about? Why?
Well I’ve always kind of, always checked reddit. Like the same way I imagine you check reddit. It’s my homepage. It’s my go-to thing, that I just go and check all my stuff out with. I’ve got all my sub-reddits planned out. I know what I’m into. I check out comic books, and then gaming, imaginary monsters, and all these kinds of stuff. It’s an awesome place to see what’s happening, and past the time. I was doing an interview with someone and I mentioned reddit. She got really excited but I hadn’t quite realized it was something that loads of people were into. I thought it was just something you read the comments, lurk. So I looked into it more and then emailed the moderator and asked what he thought about me doing an AMA, and so he put it up. So yeah, it’s actually the most nervous I’ve ever really been. (at this point the audio began cutting in and out, so sections of sentences may be missing. The missing pieces are not included, as we cannot confirm what he said with 100% certainty) With an AMA, it’s directly my words to the people. I kind of just got some fizzy drinks, a pack of smokes and just sat there and hashed it out for 3 hours; it was awesome.
Yeah it definitely was awesome, and I was at my computer reading along. I loved it. So from the Reddit community, a big thank you. I know the Reddit community is very appreciative of it.
Yeah it was awesome. I didn’t quite know how much of a thing Reddit was. I had just come across it and got into it. But since the AMA, I’ve kind of realized it’s a big, global thing. To me, it mirrors the dance music community. In the dance music community, something happens somewhere in the world and then everyone and everywhere knows about it because of social media. Reddit kind of has that same feel to me. It’s just this globally connected thing where people can all talk about what they like.
Yeah, I think Reddit is great for that exact reason. We can come from around the world and all talk about what we like and don’t like. Are you going to get any of the other Circus guys or another friend, Dillon, to do an AMA?
I talk it up quite a lot, but it’s also one of those things that if they want to do it, they can just sort of do it. It’s been kind of a personal thing, and I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. My manager didn’t know, the label didn’t I just wanted to do it. Sorted it myself, didn’t tell anyone, just did it. I’ve told people to go to do it, but I can’t force anyone to do it, or to be a part of the community. I don’t want anyone to do it for the wrong reasons.
Yeah, I definitely understand. As much as I would love to continue talking about Reddit, I have another question. You’ve completed a track with Major Lazer, when is that out?
It’s coming out on Monday (10/22, this past Monday). It’s pretty cool, and I’ve got an 8-track EP myself coming out, which is going to be the end of November, maybe the first week of December. It’s essentially my album, but I’ve whittled it down to 8 tracks because they were my favorite ones and they are strong and they encapsulates a lot more of what I want to get out of an album, with 8 tracks rather than a 10-track album.
So the only difference is the number of tracks?
Yeah, it is the album. There were a couple of things that I felt didn’t quite fit. They felt a bit like filler, and I was like I am going to take them off and keep working on something for the future. I didn’t want to put any songs on the album just to get the tracks up.
Are you going to be bringing the live band setup to the states soon? I know I’ve seen the Maide Vale sessions, and I loved it.
Yeah, the Maide Vale thing was an experiment in what I could possibly do live. It was a general idea, from which I’ve taken from that and I’ve taken a step back towards the DJ world. The show I’m working on now is a mix between this new DJ booth with all this official stuff and the band stuff so it’s somewhere in the middle with me and two other guys. Hopefully I can test it out in the UK early next year and if it goes well, yeah it would be awesome to bring it over to the States. But I want it to grow naturally and organically rather than just throwing it together because I’m at this point in my career. I didn’t want to just throw it together. You know I want to slowly build it, and make sure it musically and creatively it works.
That sounds awesome and I’m looking forward to it and it sounds like you’re doing it the right way. I know I don’t like it when it seems like an artist is doing something just for the hell of it, but—
Yeah, I mean, people know me as a DJ, and see me as a DJ. So if you see my show, and then buy a ticket again to see me and it’s just me singing and playing guitar, it’s not Flux Pavilion anymore. That’s my biggest fear. I mean, just everyone sort of being disappointed, even if I am putting my best into it and making it as good as it can be, but to take such a huge step in a departure from what I’ve been doing these past couple years. I know I’d be disappointed to see an act, of which I’ve seen all the YouTube videos, and then go see them and it’s a completely different vibe. So, I’m trying to bring it back to like a rave, or a big more dance music party, but sort of being more involved with singing, or guitar, and making it more of a performance while not taking away from the music.
So in the event, you do use the live setup, you’d be using the guitar and singing?
Well on the new EP that comes out next month, I do sing on a few of the tracks. So I’m thinking about just singing while I’m djing. Just grabbing the mic during my set, and signing. Just seeing how that goes, because I sang on the tracks so why not see how that goes? Just to get the ball rolling on that, and the guitar would be the next logical step. For me the whole idea of going live, is more of a layering process rather than creating a big live show. I want to create a platform that I can build on over the coming years. So at one point I can have a string section and then play the saxophone and then loads of singers come out. So it can be that, but I want to start quite simply and nail the core of what’s going on while giving myself space to grow.
Wait so you mentioned you play saxophone. Now that means you sing, you DJ, and you also play drums, guitar, saxophone, what else do you play?
Well I played drums in a band for 3 years, and a variety of other things. I mean if you play guitar it means you can play a mandolin, a ukulele, a bass. If you can play a saxophone it means you can play a clarinet, and I’ve just kind of stockpiled instruments. Trumpet is the one I’m on at the moment, which I’m trying to perfect, or at least get something good out of it.
Do you use those instruments in your writing process? I know on Reddit you said you tend to paint the note into your workstation…
Well strangely enough, even though I play a whole a bunch of instruments and love writing songs on the guitar and to sing, when I write electronic music, I actually paint the notes in. Painting the notes in actually works really well for me. Like I might be inspired by what I write with instruments, but I don’t tend to conceive or realize my ideas through that. I’m just a lot more comfortable sitting down with a mouse. It’s a strange thing, and that’s just kind of the way it is.
I know we’re almost out of time, but just one question. Any names we should be looking out for? Anyone in your sets too look out for?
How about one from Circus and one in general.
Well from Circus, my favorite just because he’s so ridiculous is Brown & Gammon. Well he’s not my favorite, because I could never really say that about the Circus guys because they’re all wicked, all my friends and make amazing music. But with Brown & Gammon, he’s just got this weird thing that I can see him doing some really strange, awesome, weird with the future of electronic music. Breaking new boundaries, I won’t know if it’s good or not, but I like it. I’ll have my eye on Brown & Gammon forever. And elsewhere in music, I don’t know really. I don’t tend to listen to new stuff, I don’t know. I keep to myself and I listen to Sigur Ros and Bon Iver in my spare time. So actually knowing about new stuff in dance music isn’t quite part of my thing. But I know he’s pretty big right now, but Madeon was a definite surprise when I heard him for the first time. Considering his age and just hearing the pure skill and the quality of the stuff. As he gets older and knows what he wants to do and finds his place in dance music, he’ll be quite something in the scene.
Well thank you for all the time and the candid answers.
Thank you for the this and no problem, take it easy!