Just days away from headlining epic dance fest TomorrowWorld in Georgia, 26-year-old English DJ and producer Flux Pavilion just made his fans even more ecstatic. Flux just dropped his first full-length album “Tesla,” and judging by his Twitter feed the Internet is more than into it.
The singer-songwriter, DJ and label owner hasn’t really slowed down since he started performing in 2008, and clearly doesn’t mess around when it comes to studio time. He’s been playing the drums, guitar, saxophone and piano since he was a kid (seriously). However, he did finally choose and admit to me that his true love is held for the guitar.
We caught up with Flux before his late-night performance at EDC Las Vegas this past summer, and we talked about everything from his incredibly brilliant track pants to his opinion on Zac Efron’s Hollywood depiction of EDM. Needless to say, his set at TomorrowWorld is going to be insane.
Is it ever weird when you randomly hear your song “I Can’t Stop” in major movies, like “The Great Gatsby?” for example?
I still have never seen the film…
Yeah it’s kinda like, when my music is attached to something it makes me a bit less interested in watching it. It becomes less immersive if that makes any sense.I guess it’s kinda like being an actor and not watching the film you’re in — you can’t really get into it. So when my music is used in something, it doesn’t make me pumped to watch it, it makes me sort of want to watch it less. It is sort of a strange thing. When it comes on it takes me out of the experience. I think [the track] was on UFC when I was watching one of the matches and I can’t remember his name but he walked out to “I Can’t Stop” and it was really weird and it made me feel less immersed in it.
What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about what you do?
I guess the whole kinda party aspect. I feel like is a big misconception. See I’m a DJ because i write songs and I want to play them. I also exist in the studio, so it’s like I’m not here to sort of schmooze and hang out, take selfies and go party. I’m here to play the music that I’ve been writing in the studio. That’s true for a lot of people making music, especially producers who are quite happy in the studio.
So after you’re done playing a club you’re not always staying there to party after?
I suppose if I am drunk enough I guess [laughs.] I never eally went to clubs before, I only go to them now because sometimes that’s where I’m playing music. I guess it’s really a crazy misconception that a lot of people think it’s not about the music, but it is. It is for me.
And then there’s a lot of people who say “all the music sounds the same” and that “it’s easy.”
That’s kinda what everyone is pissed about in that new Zac Efron film. Everyone’s pissed off about it because it’s a Hollywood depiction of EDM, but I feel like it’s actually displaying something that’s real and true but it’s the one aspect of it that they chose to show. I think the tag line is, “All you need is one song and one laptop” or something like that. And it’s actually true in some cases for some people, but they are not necessarily artists and they are living in a different world, and that’s cool but that doesn’t speak for all of us.
What are some of the differences you see when you’re playing in the states versus the UK?
There’s a lot less fireworks [laughs.] We don’t really do the fireworks thing. It’s kinda like in the UK it’s a lot more grimy and a lot less dressed up. Because dance music there sorta came from a free-party-in-the-woods kinda attitude. Like, “let’s get really fucked up and go rave our asses off.” It’s similar here in that party attitude but it’s a lot more dressed up and showy, and a lot more about being fabulous I guess.
What was your first experience with Playboy?
I think the classic, sorta iconic Bunny. I always thought the word “sex"I guess but it’s not just about sex. But when you’re growing up and don’t know anything about that, I guess it is. It’s always been the Playboy Bunny being the main thing when I discovered what that meant. I was like wait, there is a place for me to find these types of pictures? Which I feel like a lot of 14, 15-year-old guys all felt that way.
A lot of people say they find them in the woods…
It’s true. We used to have a place called the mound, which was basically just a big mound of dirt. I grew up in a old Roman town and there used to be a castle on this mound and that’s where you’d find all the dirty magazines. It was great, "hopping up the mound.”
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
No not really. I go through the first 5 minutes of the set in my head. But yeah, smoke a cigarette within 10 minutes of going on because then I can’t smoke another one for an hour.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Uh, people who stop walking when everyone else is walking behind them for no fucking reason.
So, this entire festival?
Well yeah, just like I will just walk straight into you now. And I feel like if they don’t know where they are going, they deserve to be bumped into. It’s the airport move. If you’re walking in a straight line and have a good pace, and someone stops in front of you than fuck ‘em.
You’re obviously traveling a lot. What are some of your favorite cities?
Well obviously London. I really like the vibe of Vancouver and Seattle as well.
What’s your favorite thing to do after-hours in Vegas?
Uh, waste money on stuff and extravagant things I guess. I’m a big fan of drinking scotch and smoking cigars I guess.
What did you do with your first big paycheck?
Studio gear, which is what I spend most of my money on. But I probably bought some nice shoes or some whiskey, but its mainly music stuff. Put your money into what you’re doing.
Shoes are pretty fun to buy though. And track pants.
Yeah, I actually have a pretty big collection of clothes now. It’s been like about 4 or 5 years of just buying stuff. I just got a pair of Louboutins that I’ve been scared to wear but I’ve been trying to incorporate them into my outfits now.
What’s the first song you knew all the words to?
I can’t remember who the artist was. I think it was…Chubby Checker. It was like a claymation video or something. We used to download music videos, and I made a little set for music videos and I would perform them in my room when i was 10 or 1. I remember learning that song.
Nicole Theodore is an editorial assistant at Playboy. Follow her on Twitter.