Dirtyphonics' Charly Says Steve Aoki Is a "Down-to-Earth" Dude
As exciting as electronic music can be, it can also get repetitive as shit.
However, Dirtyphonics, the bass-heavy, Dim Mak-signed trio from Paris, embraces the unpredictable side of the genre. And it was pretty apparent when we interviewed crew member Charly that he and his mates are not about it for the kind of drug-frenzied, glittery mega-spectacles. They're not trend surfing. They're definitely committed for the long haul.
Only Pitchin and Charly are currently on a DJ set tour. On March 1, they'll be hitting up Club Cinema in Pompano Beach. We spoke with Charly about joining forces with Dim Mak, what it was like meeting Steve Aoki, the difference between French and U.S. raves, and how they're really doing without Thomas.
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New Times: Can you tell me a bit about your history with Dim Mak?
Charly: It's awesome. We started working with them for two years. We feel like we found the right match. As an artist, you want them to respect you from the get-go. They respect us and push us and stand behind what we do. We have a strong relationship with Steve [Aoki]. We can't complain. We are writing our next EP to release with them. We get to the office and say, "Hey." It's not like we're like, "Hey, we're the artist and you're the label." No, we have a relationship.
What was your first meeting with Steve Aoki like?
Well, he's one of the biggest guys in the industry, but is a down to earth dude and loves what he does. It's awesome to see someone that big who still has two feet firmly on the ground. He still keeps his kid spirit by getting excited about everything. It's easy for us to collaborate. He was in punk bands when he was younger, we were in metal bands. He can relate to our love of music. It's about the energy. It's rare to see someone that big handle everything in the industry. With the schedule he has, that's really fucking crazy -- I think he plays like 300 shows a year -- and he will still answer my texts within minutes, no matter where he is in the world. He is nonstop.
Can you describe your last Dim Mak release?
It was a remix of "Transcend." We were at Tomorrowworld in September and they said they were putting out a track and wanted us to remix it. We didn't even listen to the music, but were so comfortable we said, "Yes." We play it at every show and people go crazy. The kids love it. You do what you love and say, "Hey, let me see what others say," and you play onstage. If people love it, it's the best feeling in the world.
What are you working on now?
Our new EP for Dim Mak. It's been a crazy year for us because we released an EP and did lots of remixes for artists like Linkin Park, Kaskade, Borgore. We wanted the new EP to happen naturally. We write a bunch of stuff and have it come together naturally. It will happen in 2014, for sure. Music quality comes first.
Only two of you are touring with a DJ set, why is that?
Thomas left the band a couple months ago and decided to switch to a different career. He always did different stuff like painting and writing. He is now painting and we support him. To see him happy is important. He was in the band for ten years and I've known him for 15.
Pho is back in Paris in the studio. We send each other material, different things we are working on. We send sound clips, he will polish in the studio, etc.
Now that you're a three-man group instead of four, what's changed?
To be honest, not that much. The music we write and performance is not going to change, I hope. Ever. Thomas brought a lot to the band and we are going to push that feel into the band. It took a couple of months to let it sink in and figure out what we were going to do and adapt. Dirtyphonics is bigger than us anyways and is going to go on whether it's three of us or four.
What's the difference between French and American audiences?
In the U.S., hmmm, how do I put this? There is more of a party side in the U.S., more of an event with signs, costumes, makeup, etc. France is more casual, like, "Oh, I'm just going to a concert." Not as colorful. We are lucky because we travel all over the world and get the same energy all around. The U.S. is more crazy, the production is bigger. There are more fireworks, etc. Europe doesn't have the candy or rave culture at all. The U.S. is all about candy and color.
Where do you see bass-heavy music going from here? What's the future?
I can say two things about this: (a) I don't want to know and be surprised, I want to wake up every morning and have no idea where it's going; and (b) who can tell? If you told me EDC was happening five years ago, I'd be like, "Dude, what the fuck, you're tripping."
You go to Japan, Australia, Europe, etc., and it's cool that different cultures are embracing this music and bringing their own energy to it. I'm from the rocking metal age and now it's the electronic scene and it's beautiful to us. The kids love it and go to, like, three shows a week. People are more conscious of taking care of each other at gigs, like rave families. Australia, when we got there, wasn't into dubstep and then we saw it explode in a year or two. They have huge fests there now, it's great.
Anything else coming up?
We just released a track on Soundcloud, a remix of "Los Angeles" that someone did for us. Next month, we're releasing a remix of "Disintegration" by Le Castle Vania. We will be releasing more tracks that are separate from our EP.
Can you elaborate on "We don't follow rules, we create them"?
We had so many influences as kids. We always wanted to make music that felt good to us and didn't fit in a nutshell. When we get in the studio, it's not like, "Let's write with that Dirtyphonics formula we do." We like to get surprised by what we do and we never know what the next thing will be.
Any additional comments?
All the shows we sold out is super fucking exciting. Interacting with fans, making music you love, partying with people who love your music, writing new material -- I could definitely do this every day of my life.
Dirtyphonics. As part of Excision's 2014 Tour. With Ill Gates. 7 p.m., Saturday, March 1, at Club Cinema, 3251 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via flavorus.com. Ages 18 and up.
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