Flosstradamus talk about Lollapalooza, Deep Dish Pizza & The Matrix [TMN Exclusive Interview]


Very few artists can ever truly be called visionaries, but Flosstradamus are just that. Over two years since they released their remix of Major Lazer‘s “Original Don,” the duo have established themselves as luminaries of the trap genre, playing a pivotal role in bringing the genre to the forefront of the electronic and hip-hop music scenes. Though they’ve had plenty of naysayers along the way, the group have helped prove that not only is trap music not just a fad, but it’s an integral part of the future of music. The two have paved the way for countless of our favorite artists here at TMN, inspiring a whole generation of artists along the way. Their latest single, “Rebound,” showcases the pair’s passion for creativity, while also demonstrating their versatility and ability to adapt to a constantly shifting musical landscape. All that really means is that Flosstradamus should continue being a power in the scene for years to come.

We caught up with Josh and Curt at this year’s Lollapalooza and found out what they had to say about the trap genre, their plans for the future, and their festival experiences among other things.

TMN: First of all, how does it feel to be playing Lollapalooza, especially two years after you were banned from performing in the city of Chicago? Has it been kind of like a homecoming for you?

Josh: Oh dude, it’s awesome man. This is our hometown, so hometown crowd, especially after being banned and getting kicked off of Mad Decent Block Party here and all that, so it means a lot for us. It’s Curt’s birthday today–there’s a lot of special things coming together. This is the fourth time we’ve played Lollapalooza, all of our family and friends are here, it’s just perfect man. It’s just perfect.

TMN: That’s awesome man. How does it compare to other festivals you’ve played at this year? Just as you mentioned, it’s Curt’s birthday, it’s a homecoming, so this one must be more meaningful to you.

Curt: This one was definitely more surreal than a lot of them, but we’ve been doing a lot of the Mad Decent Block Parties throughout the summer and those have been great. We’re always touring with all of our friends, like Diplo, Dillon Francis, Riff Raff, all those dudes.

TMN: So it’s really just like a huge party for you guys.

Curt: Yeah, it’s just good. It’s like a fun little road trip with our friends, so those have been really good, but I mean nothing can beat this. This is Lolla. It’s hard to even explain.

TMN: Exactly, you’ve got the city of Chicago, urban atmosphere…

Curt: Yeah, looking at the skyline from the stage was crazy.

Josh: Dude, that’s so dope with the skyline. That’s a great view.

TMN:  One thing we wanted to mention, it’s amazing to see just how much trap has expanded in the last few years, to the point that we now even have subgenres of trap. As true pioneers of the genre yourselves, what are your thoughts on how it’s evolved so far, and where do you see it heading into the future? What ways do you think you can push that expansion?

Josh: Well first off, being the guys that put this on the forefront, it’s really cool to actually monitor it and stay up on it. We’re big fans of it because it’s very dear to us–this music is really personal to us. So you know, everyone for the first year was like, “How long you think it’s gonna last? How long you think it’s gonna last?” And the answer to that 2 years in, or 3 years in almost now, is it’s become just part of the ether. Just like house music, just like techno or whatever, it’s just a thing that’s going to exist in some capacity forever I think. It’s evolved from dubstep, and Southern hip-hop and electronic music, and all those things are staple sounds, so I feel like it’s going to be on that same trajectory. Just keep going, keep moving up and keep becoming more popular, but also branching out and having so many facets.

Like what are the kids that are inspired by Cashmere Cat and Flume gonna sound like? And then it’s just gonna keep progressing from there. Because those people come from us, you know, people took what we did and built on it. Kids are gonna take what they did and build on it, and there’s already sounds we get in our email that are just like, “Oh cool, that’s the future.”

TMN: Have you noticed yourselves kind of pushing towards some of those other sounds as well that you’ve been hearing lately within the trap atmosphere?

Curt: Yeah, yeah Josh and I were listening to some of the first songs we released, like on the Jeffree’s EP, the Total Recall EP, and even that compared to now is totally different. It’s almost like those songs at the time were the most turnt-up thing, but now if we play them next to one of our new songs, it sounds a lot less energetic. And even some of the other earlier stuff we were doing, we were doing a lot more chill trap stuff and things with rappers. We’re kind of going back to those roots a little bit with some of the releases we have coming out, and just making some things that aren’t for the festival, some more iPod tracks.

Josh: Yeah, because we’ve gone so hard in the show realm, and the festival realm, the music we were making just got catered to that. We wanted to make tracks we could play out, and so things got so maximal for us, that we really maxed out. We were just legitimately like, “Alright cool, let’s go back to our roots and make some listenable, just like chill shit.”

TMN: So when you guys are in the studio, do you ever think about what would be better live versus what would be better at home?

Josh: I think subconsciously it happens. We don’t really go into it with this really clear vision. Sometimes you have an idea, or clear idea, but it’s not like, “I’m gonna make the biggest big room track ever. We just go in and fuck around, and see what comes out.”

TMN: And so you’ve kind of mentioned the hip-hop influences you’ve had in your music, but you’ve also influenced a lot of the hip-hop that’s coming out right now. What kind of hip-hop sounds have you really been into lately?

Curt: I’ve been really into the Southern hip-hop stuff; it’s super chill and there’s barely any snares or anything.

TMN: Kind of like Young Thug.

Josh: Young Thug, PeeWee Longway, anything 808 Mafia, (DJ) Spinz, anything that they’re doing, HoodRich is doing, is so good. Also, from Chicago, just anything KatieGotBandz does with King Louie right now, is just fire. Because it’s the same note, it’s hella chill. If you actually listen to it, it’s not the most high energy music, but it kills in the club. Even “Stoner” is such a weird, minimal, sparse record, but when you play it in the club, people go crazy to that shit. We had to remix that song man, we weren’t even getting hired to do it.

We just hit up DJ Spinz for the stems, and he sent them through, and we just remixed it because we wanted to. And then halfway through when we were working on it, just like kismet, someone at the label reached out to us and was like, “Hey, would you guys be in to doing an official?” And they didn’t even know we were already working on it.

Curt: So we’re like, “You mean this?” (laughs)

Josh: It was the quickest turnaround of a remix for sure.

TMN: You guys also kind of mentioned returning to some of the more chill trap sounds, and you’ve got a single called “Rebound” coming out soon. Is there anything you can tell us about the new track? From the short preview you posted online, it sounds like a departure from the hard hitting material you’ve released lately alongside Waka Flocka & Casino.

Curt: It definitely is. It’s just on some chill shit. We have a remix we did called “Tidal Wave” which is just on some chill shit, and we have a song called “Look At The Sky” and “Lana’s Theme,” and a lot of these other songs, and just like we were saying, we’ve been making all of these festival tracks lately.

TMN: Like just preparing for the summer of just kind of in general?

Curt: Nah, just in general. We’re in this environment like a huge percentage of our life because we’re out at these festivals, so it’s like we just want to keep making the stuff that feeds into this. But we had a little bit of downtime recently, and just started writing songs again, and came up with it.

There’s this girl Elkka–she’s a really good singer from the UK, and we actually made a couple other songs that we’re gonna probably release that are in that same vibe. But again, we just wanted to make some stuff for people to listen to when they’re going to the festival and leaving the festival, not shit that’s for the festival.

TMN: Any collaborations you can tease?

Josh: Yeah, for sure. We’ve got something with GTA and Lil Jon coming out real soon. That’s gonna be our next single. And I would say it’s crazy because “Rebound” is a real departure and is a real chill record, but it’s almost like we’re cleansing your palate right before we drop the hardest record we’ve ever made. (laughs)

TMN: Nice, it’s kind of like a little appetizer before the main course. We’ve kind of touched on this already, but from some of your earlier work, it’s pretty clear that, as producers, you’re extremely diverse. Are there any genres and/or styles you’d like to delve deeper into in the future?

Curt: Yeah, I mean we used to make house music and we still love 4×4 music. We definitely want to get a song or two that is Flosstradamus that’s just straight up 4×4 club music. We’re not really forcing that one, but it’ll happen when it happens, and that’s something we definitely want to do.

Josh: We also did a remix competition for “Mosh Pit,” and 3 of my favorite UK producers happened to remix it, and I love their versions, so it got me inspired and thinking.

TMN: Can you name any of them?

Josh: Yeah, Mura Masa, Jelacee from Stooki Sound, and then TroyBoi. And so I had the idea, I was like, “Oh that’s cool man, I’m gonna just hit these dudes up and see if we can’t do a collaboration EP that’s based on more of that UK sound,” cause we really love that–just more bass heavy trap, more minimal bass, listenable trap music, not so much festival stuff or bangers. And they put this weird swing on their music that just has this UK kind of feel to it. So basically, we’re fans of them already, and reached out on email, so we already have two tracks from that, that are gonna be coming out probably in 2015. Yeah, but we’re going to try and do a whole EP around it based off of UK producers.

TMN: That sounds amazing. So one of the things we’ve noticed with you, is when it comes to releasing music digitally or using new technology, you guys have come up with some pretty innovative methods. What fuels that creativity, and do you often find yourselves brainstorming new ways to get your music out to your fans?

Curt: Always. We’re always trying to do that. A lot of our releases we try to do uniquely, especially if they’re big. Even this next release of “Rebound,” we’re working with this company called Splice–they do this sharing thing where you can take the session where the song was made, and then remix from it and it tracks back to us. So we’re gonna release “Rebound” as the single for a week, and after that we’re gonna release the whole session on Splice so kids can remix it and use parts of “Rebound” in their production. It all will come back to us.

TMN: So would that kind of open up a remix competition with that too?

Josh: It’s more like people seeing the production process too. They’ll see the stems, they’ll see what we did, and actually how we produced it.

Curt: It’s not necessarily (a remix competition), cause everyone does remix competitions, and we don’t want to call it that at all. We’re not even trying to have anyone compete. floss_edm_1_new

We just want to be the pioneers of open sourcing music, so that we’re the guys like, “Hey, just take this and make what you want from it. Learn from us.”

Josh: And that’s how we were with our music to begin with, and now it’s evolved and it’s going, with this technology and this company, it’s the first opportunity we’ve had to do such a thing.

TMN: Just like how you guys released your music through Twitter back in the day.

Josh: Yeah, totally. It should be free man. We make too much money off these shows for us to charge for music.

TMN: That’s awesome. That’s a great attitude to have. So, this is the part of the interview where we dive into some of the more fun questions. If you guys could work with any of the artists performing at Lolla this weekend, who would it be?

Curt: I’m gonna say Flume. We have kind of gotten in the studio before, but it’d be cool to get something wrapped up with him for sure.

Josh: Chance The Rapper. He’s here right? I’d say Chance too. He’s crazy. I want to make a really minimal record for him, cause he flows super fast and super based, and it would be dope as fuck to do something just super chill and let him go crazy on it.

TMN: He’s kind of shown his diversity recently, like that song he did with Skrillex, and a lot of the new music he’s been putting out through SoundCloud.

Josh: It’s cool man. I mean Chance is a different example cause he’s not one of the Southern dudes really in that urban bubble–but when we go down South, or when we fuck with rappers even from here, and bring them to an EDM show, or they see what it’s like, they’re immediately down. No one’s like ,“Oh that’s just corny.” They’re like, “Yo let’s work.” Cause at the end of the day, we’re all producers, so we have beats for them for days.

TMN: Yeah, you guys still collaborate with a lot of the Southern rap artists. Are there any other hip-hop artists specifically, besides Chance, that you’d want to work with?

Curt: Yeah, I mean our family down in Atlanta that we always fuck with is like DJ Spinz, FKi, Young Thug, Freebandz Gang, all those dudes. It’s crazy cause what influenced our original production stuff was Southern hip-hop, and they’ve totally embraced what we’re doing with open arms, and it’s cool every time we go down there, we make great music and it’s a big family man.

TMN: Any plans to go back down there soon?

Curt: Nothing right now. I mean we were just there for Mad Decent Block Party, and got up in the studio with a couple of people.

Josh: Oh, Makonnen! Makonnen is on the super artistic side of things there. Atlanta’s always been weird. If you look at the history of Atlanta rap, it’s always super off the wall. Look at what Andre 3000 used to dress like and shit. They’re really inspired by everything, and they’re always really cutting edge, so this dude is on some different shit. It sounds almost like Morrisey or some kind of weird croony singing shit, but he’s always singing about hood shit. He sings about like street shit.

TMN: So, this is a huge debate in Chicago, but what’s your favorite spot for deep dish pizza?

Josh: (laughs) We’re both on different ends of this argument, but I’m Giordano’s like a hundred percent. But also, it was a family choice. I was raised on Giordano’s, so it’s really nostalgic. Yeah, I love it.

Curt: I’m Lou Malnati’s. I like the crust.

TMN: See, those are the big two that they’re always a huge debate around.

Josh: Pequod’s is a new joint, err maybe it’s not even new, but it’s new to me, I’ve never had it before.

Curt: That’s DEEP, DEEP dish. (laughs)

TMN: Yeah, in Lincoln Park? They have the caramelized crust.

Curt: Yeah, it’s good.

Josh: I Google imaged it just to check it out, and I was like, “Damn, I gotta try that.”


TMN: So what’s the most PLURNT thing you guys would say you’ve seen at a festival?

Josh: Wow, I’m gonna just go out there and say today. If we tell someone to do something, and we can get them to do it, that’s one thing. If you can tell 20,000 people to do something and they all do it, that’s another, and I feel like that’s very PLURNT. It’s like they’re not trying to be cool, they’re just there to fucking give a 100% and show out for their city and for whatever.

TMN: Especially today, in the rain, with the mud and the weather…

Josh: Yeah, I mean I don’t even think they care, but there were so many things lined up against us, and it didn’t matter at all. Motherfuckers were going crazy.

TMN: Yeah, people from Chicago persevere through everything.

Josh: Definitely, that’s right. (laughs) Yeah we don’t mind the fucking weather, that’s for sure.

TMN: On to the next one, if Flosstradamus was a drug, how would it make you feel?

Josh: Ooh shit Curt, this is all you bro. Curt is on some biohacking life shit right now. He takes all these supplements, he knows.

Curt: I’m trying to think. What would it be like?

Josh: It would be Niacin. (laughs)

Curt: It’d be like if you shotgunned three Monster energy drinks, and (laughs) what else, I’m trying to think.

Josh: That’s called kidney failure. (laughs)

Curt: If you take a Flosstradamus drug, you will definitely get a kidney stone, that’s for sure.

Josh: Nah, it feels like a million bucks. That’s what it feels like. Feels like a million dollars.

Curt: Ok actually, the Flosstradamus drug is if you take the red pill.

TMN: (laughs) From The Matrix?

Josh: (laughs) We should do a video based off of The Matrix!

Curt: (laughs)  Actually yeah, use that scene.

Josh: Me, Morpheus. You, Neo. We fuckin’ do it. We should’ve done that for “Pillz.”

Curt: Too late. (laughs)

Josh: (laughs) Yeah, well no it’s not.

TMN: You can make a new music video. Rappers do it all the time.

Josh: Right? Dude, all day. We’re definitely doing that.

Curt: Yeah, we just spent ten stacks on this video for this old ass song (laughs).

TMN: Just remake the whole Matrix, soundtracked by Flosstradamus.

Josh: It get’s like 3,000 plays. We’d monetize that though. (laughs)

TMN: Just hire a Hollywood CGI team. You’d have to recreate the “bullet time” sequence.

Josh: That scene where he takes the pill, I don’t know if you remember, but he touches the mirror and it goes on his hand, and he turns chrome. Dude, that transition was crazy.

TMN: Alright, so you guys are 80’s babies right? Well, we’re The Music Ninja, and with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out, we wanted to know if you guys could identify with any members of the Ninja Turtles who would it be? And you both can’t pick the same one.

Curt: I’m gonna say Michelangelo! I don’t know if you took it, I’m taking it.

TMN: I knew one of you was gonna jump on it first.

Josh: Well, he is the party dude.

Curt: Yeah, he is the party dude. Actually, Josh is more Michelangelo now.

Josh: Definitely.

Curt: I’m gonna say I’m Donatello.

Josh: Yeah, he was the smart one. Raphael was the dick. You’re Leonardo! Leonardo was like really nice. This dude is like sober, he’s nice. I’m the turnt up guy, and I eat pizza! (laughs)

TMN: Last question, this is something we always ask. If your music was an animal, what would it be?

Josh: A liga leopard, I don’t know. Yo, I’m going to be honest. I want to say a hyena, alright, and this is why. This is on some nerd shit, but I went on a safari once and they told me that lions steal more than they actually hunt, and hyenas only hunt. They very rarely scavenge. And our music is a fucking animal–it’s a beast. It’s real fucking aggressive.

We’d like to thank Flosstradamus for sitting down to chat with us. Make sure to support them and purchase a copy of their latest track, “Rebound,” now available on iTunes.