Flux Pavilion: Always starting with a clean slate
British DJ Flux Pavilion’s latest album, Blow the Roof Off, is a terrific collection of hip-hop and techno beats. It starts with a funky bass riff before giving way to more stereotypical dubstep beats that squeak and sputter on the lurching album opener “OneTwoThree — Make Your Body Wanna.” Recently Flux, who spoke via phone from his home in England, has started experimenting more with analog gear so expect to hear a mish-mash of electronic music if you catch any of the dates on his extensive “Freeway Tour.”
What first attracted you to music?
When I was young, I had this little keyboard that I used to play around on. Then I was given a guitar and enjoyed playing that. A friend bought an electric guitar so I bought an electric guitar and fell into writing music on the computer. It was a hobby. As time went on, I realized that nothing else made me happier than writing music. I wanted to put my mind to it and make a living at it. Really nothing else was interesting other than writing music.
Talk a little about recording.
I have a thing. On every one of my tracks, I make sure I do some singing or sample my voice. The more I do that, the more it’s become a thing now. With every single track, I make sure I’m doing something live on it for my own amusement.
You use mostly digital or analog gear?
It’s mainly been digital, up until right now. I just bought myself a rack and I have two units and a couple of old synths. I want to get more analog sounds in the music. There’s a new EP coming out in a few months and I’m essentially free from deadlines so I’m starting again and I bought new gear. I’m going to write my music on that and see how it comes out. I just worked on a couple of tracks with a four-piece band from New York. I just had them in and while I was working on the computer one of the guys plugged his Gameboy and played a synth riff from that. It’s an interesting way of working.
It sounds like you’re moving away from what we’d call dubstep.
I feel like I spiritually moved away from that the second it started. I still do write dubstep now and you can call it that because of the tempo. It’s really cool music but as soon as a genre becomes popular, you get typecast. I don’t want to get away from the music, which is great. I have no interest in people thinking they know what I’m going to write before I write it. What’s the point? If everyone is imagining the music I’m going to write, then there’s no point in writing it. If they can sit there and think they will know what my record will sound like — and that will probably be better than what I will write — then I’d rather start with a clean slate so that no one will know what I will come up with and hopefully it will be good.
Why do you think electronic music has become so popular?
I think it’s because the electronics are being used differently by a new generation of people then when I was growing up, I bought a guitar to write music. Now, people don’t have to buy a guitar. Now, all the musical geniuses aren’t playing guitar. They can get a laptop. Some great music is being made electronically. Ten years ago, there was great electronic music but you had to have a big studio and a lot of money. You had to have an idea about what you wanted to do first. It was quite segregated. You had jungle and house and stuff like that because you were getting into a specific scene. Now with the Internet, different stuff is happening with electronic music. What would have been the new Radiohead is not using drums and guitars. They’re using laptops.
Upcoming 2013 Tour Dates
Urbana, IL – Canopy Club
Detroit, MI – Freedom Hill Amphitheater
Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Syracuse, NY – Westcott
Syracuse, NY – Westcott
Toronto, CA – Kool Haus
Phoenix, AZ – Big Surf Waterpark
Portland, ME – State Theater
Boston, MA – House of Blues
Richmond, VA – The National
Washington, DC – Echostage
Charlotte, NC – Fillmore
Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
Gainsville, FL – Florida Theater
Tallahassee, FL – Coliseum
Fr. Collins, CO – Aggie Theater
Las Vegas, NV – Cosmopolitan Blvd Pool
Nashville, TN – Municipal Auditorium
St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
Kansas City, MO – Midland
Wallingford, CT – The Dome
Houston, TX – Stereo Live
Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
New Orleans, LA – Republic
Tulsa, OK – Cains
Dallas, TX – Southside Ballroom
Austin, TX – Austin Music Hall
Puerto Rico – Muelle Panamerican