Five Minutes With Dillon Francis
On working with Anderson Paak, and having one gumboot filled with beer on his rider.
Producer. DJ. Actor. Social Media Icon. Donut Activist. Is there anything Dillon Francis can't do? Well... NO! It's been a long and torturous 394 days since he was last in Australia (not like we were counting or anything) but bass fans rejoice, your wait is over, as the almighty Dillon Francis will be returning to our shores this April. After a breakthrough 2014 that saw the release of his full length album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule, Francis' 2015 was nothing short of gargantuan. His latest EP, This Mixtape is Fire, went straight to #1 on the US iTunes Electronic/Dance Charts and signalled new heights climbed and conquered for this affable LA superstar. Featuring collaborations with some of the biggest names around - Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Chromeo and Kygo - the mixtape was an inspiring return to Dillon's Moombahton roots. If this wasn't enough, Francis recently teamed up with Aussie star What So Not to create the hard-hitting, gob-smacking, bass-slapping Arrows, and added his unmistakable midas touch. A midst all this I caught up with him via the phone.
How’s life, how are you?
Life’s good I’m just trying to blow up some big pool floaties for my pool and fix my pool light which is the most first world white guy problem ever.
What’s wrong with it?
Well it’s won’t stop flashing, it’s in poltergeist mode, my pool is raving.
Don’t you hate that, you’re trying to wind down and your pool is turning up!
Man I got to confess I’m a big fan, I have been a fan since the very early moombahton days, do you ever find people forget that side of you at times?
Yeah I think so, especially now. But like six years ago when I first really got into this, essential mixes were such big deals for people to find out about music, radio mixes etc and all that was so big, it’s not like that anymore. But yeah a lot of people don’t care about old news anymore.
Yeah everyone is looking forward and living in the now hey?
So what are your plans going forward? Do you want to work with pop artists?
Not really, I really want to work with cool people. I’m working with Anderson Paak right now and he’s a big dude in the hip hop scene, he’s really fucking cool. I just want to work with really interesting fun people. With amazing voices. There's this guy Harri Mint, he’s a busker and I’m working with him at the moment.
Did you find him on the street?
No my manager did, and like showed me him, and I hit him up on Twitter and yeah he was all up for it, but he is legit singing on trains and stuff.
That must be a good feeling, knowing you can help talent up.
Yeah and he’s super real, his voice is phenomenal.
So how does that feel? Not so much a duty but a privilege you can help people be put in the spotlight?
Yeah I think Diplo is really good at that, and a lot of artists want to do that, and that’s what I’m trying to do with my next project, is having fun but making super inspiring music and I really want to make a new movement, like last time, really.
That’s a really good aim, more producers should have that aim, you are almost risking failure to make history on dance music.
Yeah, exactly, that’s more fun to do that, because I get to inspire more people. Hopefully.
Does the urge comes from the satisfaction of being at the forefront of moombahton six years ago or so and how good that was for you?
Yeah, that’s where it stems from.
I was obsessed with I.D.G.A.F.O.S. and 2.0 - both very game changing.
Yeah that was a good time.
So in Australia, what are you looking forward too? I know you love it here right.
Yeah I love Australia, it’s one of my favourite places to tour ever, the people are so nice. What are those crackers that you bite off both sides and drink the coffee through?
Yeah I love them, Tim Tam slam!
I can imagine your rider would be pretty interesting.
Oh I need to update it!
Let’s do it now, give me the inside scoop on your rider?
Definitely one gumboot filled with beer, four packets of Tim Tams, and one jar of vegemite, actually a vegemite and cheese crust pizza!
I didn’t even know that kind of pizza existed, that’s pretty good. What else?
Mm the promoter’s girlfriends number is always a good one.
Hahaha that’s good, though the promoter of your tour has a wife!
Yeah I just thought of that, so I can’t do that. Let’s make it the venue owner’s girlfriend then.
Yeah that’s good, I find it weird you like vegemite, I feel everyone born out of Australia hates vegemite.
My dad’s an alternative medicine doctor and he has given me a lot of crazy things. We have this stuff called vegie delight which if you saw you would just think it looks disgusting. Google it, its puréed fermented vegetables, it’s really really good for you. But for anyone who has never had it, they’ll hate it. My friends would always say “Your dad is so fucking weird with that shit” but now that we are all already we are all like 'Wow he was on to something'. I love vegemite it’s got so many B vitamins in it.
So what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Crickets, fucking crickets are disgusting, it was in Mexico. Crickets and ant guava. The crickets are the worst thing I’ve ever eaten, it tasted so bad. The ant guava was incredible.
Was any of it alive? Like the crickets?
No I think they were all dead before I put them all in my mouth.
That’s insane, so like re hashing back to the now? What have you been doing?
Man I’ve been trying to build my studio, and I’m doing it all myself, and I like to just put myself through that by making it heaps hard. For example, I’m putting on a rack mount and I need a screw driver and I didn’t want to drive to Target to get one, so I just tried to screw it in with all the things that resemble a screw driver in my house, and it didn’t work so eventually I had to go get one. And right now I have all these floaties to blow up, but no pump so I’ve just been sitting in my lounge room doing it with my mouth, and yeah it's taking a lot of time. I’m blowing up a Pegasus at the moment.
TOUR DATES (TICKETS):
Fri 15 April - Studio, Auckland
Sat 16 April - Max Watt's, Sydney
Sun 17 April - Argyle House, Newcastle
Wed 20 April - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Thur 21 April - Electric Circus, Adelaide
Frid 22 April - Platform One, Melbourne
Sat 23 April - Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth
Sun 24 April - Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane