If you don’t already know about Flosstradamus, then you’re probably very familiar with their influence. The Chicago duo managed to perfectly time a foray into trap-based EDM with their own iconic aesthetic and seemingly unquenchable party craving. The boys go so hard, they were even banned from performing in their home town at one point because their crowds can get so hyped, they resemble riots. We talked to them ahead of their HDYNATION ANZ tour in Australia to see what’s been up in their lives.
There’s a lot of predictions that 2015 has a lot more in store for hip-hop and EDM and trap than 2014 did. Are you guys feeling the new year?
Yeah 2015 is already giving us better tunes than 2014. It felt like the music world was in a bit of a slump in 2014, but our inbox has been full of great tracks so far this year!
I know you don’t like giving away too much before you drop it, but are there any schemes you’re currently cooking in terms of new music, projects or collaborations?
Our new EP is called Soundclash, and it’s comprised of 6 collaboration tracks we did with all of our favorite artists and producers. It features collabs with GTA, Lil Jon, Run The Jewels, Valentino Khan, Ricky Remedy, Nymz, and TroyBoi, and drops on 4/20. Aside from music, we’re releasing a new line of HDYNATION clothing, and a collaboration line with 47 Brand.
You hit up Australia with a tour a couple of years ago. Any spots you plan on revisiting or things you wanna do this time around?
Every time we come here we have to hit up a chicken spot that has chicken salt chips. My wife is from here, so I’m [Josh] going to spend some time on a family holiday in Hyams Beach with our family over here.
Roughly how many strobes are you going to be bringing with you?
[Laughs] As many as they’ll legally allow!
Things have been running pretty steadily and on the up for you over the last two years. You’ve definitely experienced a lot and earnt a lot more cred since you got cut off by the cops at the Mad Decent Block Party a while ago. Any new crazy tour stories since then?
One of the craziest things we’ve seen would have to be the growth of our fan base, the HDYNATION. We never really imagined we would amass such a large cult following, but we have fans from all over the globe who follow us around on tours. They’ll see six or seven shows on the tour, and even go overseas to see us. It’s totally humbling, seeing as Curt and I have been at this for 10 years now, and just reached this level of success within the last few years.
Is the hardstyle scene still giving you shit in 2015?
[Laughs] Yep. Every time we post on Facebook or YouTube inevitably we’ll see a comment saying, “These guys steal all of their music!” Fortunately for us, all that negative shit did was bring more attention to our music, and in the end it gained us more fans than anything.
You guys are all about viral hype. I think it definitely peaked when Banned 3 came with a damn vaporiser. Any fiendish plans to 1up yourselves on that one?
We’re always trying to find innovative, and creative ways to release music, and it extends past the internet, into our live shows. On our last tour we wanted to build HDYNATION as a real 3 dimensional place. We collaborated with Virgil Abloh from DONDA/Off-White, and built a 14 foot tall structure for Curt to DJ out of, along with an actual burnt out car crashed into the stage. Most recently we released a nail polish collab called 1090Pearl with a company called Floss Gloss. We’re all about using our moment to do as much creative fun shit as possible.
What’s it like seeing people casually in the streets repping your merch or pumping your beats?
Surreal. When I landed in Sydney my wife and I were walking off the plane and the gate agent stopped me to take a pic, and he showed me we were his wallpaper on his phone. When Curt and I started Floss we never imagined it would get any bigger than our little party in Chicago. So every day when we get messages from people from all of the world, or see pictures of people who have tattooed our logo on them, it blows our minds, and gives us the energy to keep doing all these shows, tours, and making all this music!
What’s a venue you’ve performed at that needs to be on people’s bucket lists?
Chinese Laundry in Sydney is a pretty insane experience. Also The Tabernacle in Atlanta. We played there on our HDYNATION tour and it was easily the best show of the tour. Great sound, and the way the balcony wraps around the entire venue, everywhere you look there’s people.
In what ways do you think your sound and look has changed over the course of Flosstradamus, if at all?
We went from being two DJs using four turntables and two mixers, rocking small clubs playing sets of other peoples music, to an act who has found their own original sound. The funny thing is our original sound is a production version of our DJ sets. Ever since 2005 when we started, we were always mixing electronic music, and southern rap. Now we do the same thing, only when we play our live sets, we’re playing mostly our own music off Ableton, and we’re doing it to 5000 people instead of 50… and we’re doing it in hoodies!
As a global force, do you guys still feel a strong connection to the Chicago trap scene?
Our strongest connection is to the global scene. The WWW is our home more than any physical place. We still put on for Chicago and represent that city everywhere we go, but as for being a part of the scene, we’re only playing there one or two times a year. I live there but I’m 31, and bout that Dad life [laughs].
What would you say is the weirdest shit you’ve sampled in a track?
On our track Total Recall I used my iPhone to record the sound of the rain that was hitting the sky light while we were in the studio recording it. I ended up putting some effects on it, and chopping it up and it wound up in the track.
Flosstradamus #HDYNATION Tour Dates:
Fri 27 March – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Sat 28 March – Metro Theatre, Sydney *sold out*
Sun 29 March – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Thur 2 April – Studio, Auckland
Sat 4 April – Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Sun 5 April – Villa, Perth *sold out*
Mon 6 April – Villa, Perth
More info + tickets here.