Dillon Francis talks Red Rocks, Taco Bell and his Asshole of a Cat [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

How on earth can we be expected to squeeze every question we could possibly ask Dillon Francis into a quick 15 minute phone conversation? There’s so much to cover. From Taco Bell to cats, Columbia Records to his long lost dad, there’s just way too much to get in.

Regardless of our endless supply of burning questions, we did get a few choice ones answered as we look ahead to his show at HARD Red Rocks, coming up next week in Morrison, Colorado. Check out what he had to say:

TMN: Hey Dillon – thank you for taking some time to speak with us today. We’re looking forward to catching you at HARD Red Rocks on July 31st. You’ve played all over the world. Where does this venue rank for you in comparison to the rest of them?

It is tops for America. My two favorite venues for America are The Gorge and Red Rocks, and they are both tied. You can’t really just pick one. The Gorge is so different from Red Rocks and Red Rocks is so different from The Gorge.

I might just go with Red Rocks because that’s where I’m playing. [laughs]

TMN: If you could give Red Rocks a nickname, what would it be?

Hmmm. That is a good question. I am tongue tied for the first time in my life… “Where the weed at?” [laughs] For some reason whenever I think of Red Rocks, I think of weed…a lot of weed being smoked in that little funnel of red rocks.

lolla-portraits-9TMN: If you were wondering, there’s a Taco Bell roughly 17 minutes away from the venue.

Well, HARD is doing a contest and they are going to choose two fans to have Taco Bell dinner with me. So, I will probably be getting Taco Bell from that one.

TMN: Speaking of which, are you really a Taco Bell franchise owner?

No. I wish I was! My business manager told me that it’s not a sound investment, so I will listen to him on that one.

TMN: All kidding aside, you’ve had a crazy past couple of years. I double-checked and the first post we ever covered was your Tittsworth “911” remix back in 2010. It’s absolutely insane to see everything that’s happened in the past four years. What’s one moment that’s made you sit back and say, “holy shit, I can’t believe that just happened?”

Getting signed to Colombia. Talking to my lawyer on the phone about the deal and just kind of…”holy shit! This is crazy.”

TMN: Congratulations on that, that’s awesome!

Thank you, I appreciate it and all the support. Actually, I was playing at SXSW and I remember taking shots with another Music Ninja (@blastheninja). I didn’t think anyone was going to show at the SXSW show that I was playing at, and all of the sudden people funneled in and all these people were buying me shots. I think I lost my backpack that night. Lost my production computer. At the time I was still DJing off my production computer.

TMN: Speaking of the Columbia deal, did you actually put a clause in your contract with them that says “they have to send a $20 Taco Bell gift card on the first of each month.”?

[laughs]I am not allowed to talk about it, but lets just say I get a lot of Taco Bell now! $20 worth is A LOT.

TMN: Yeah that would be enough T-Bell for a good size party! So, your last tune, “Get Low” has experienced some tremendous success over the past months. Talk to us about what working with DJ Snake was like.

It was very French. There was a lot of language barriers, but it was really cool because I had found out about him before he really started getting a lot of releases. It was when he had this song “Together,” that I thought was really awesome. It was right at the beginning of all the trap stuff when Flosstradamus did the “OG Don Mix”.

I remember hearing them and being like, “DJ Snake and Flosstradamus are going to be the two guys that were going come out on top,” from everyone else producing trap.
We just started talking on twitter and he sent me this little loop, saying “Hey man, you want to make a song?” I was like “Fuck Yeah! That sounds awesome”, so we took that loop and we turned it into “Get low”. I worked on it in LA and also while I was traveling to Europe. I stayed 3 extra days just so that we could finish the song. After we finished the song, but still didn’t have a vocal sample on it, I was as like, “What if it went ‘get low when the whistle go’ or something like that?” He tried to say it and he couldn’t because it sounded way too French. So, I tried to say it and it didn’t really work either. I got back home and got my mic that I had in my studio. I said it again and it still didn’t work. I tried pitching the song 5 semi-tones, talked into the mic and said it in a really high pitch voice. Then I can pitched it down 5 and to see if it still sounded cool, and that’s how I got the get low vocals in there. I sent him back to him and he loved it.

Now we are best friends forever because we made a song. He’s my Parisian brother. We talk all the time.


TMN: Yeah we didn’t realize it was you on the track, that’s awesome. That song also came on during Skrillex’s set at Coachella, where you made everyone actually get low in the crowd. You even called a few people out, telling them “don’t be that guy.” What was it like seeing thousands of festival kids (myself included) being perfectly still, sitting on the ground?

It was so amazing, but I also feel really bad that I’m making people do it. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer for that song to build up, so they are sitting down there for 30 seconds. The last thing you want to do at a festival is sit down on the ground, but it is the coolest thing to see, as I am sure you have seen videos. When everyone pops up and it’s just so fucking awesome. It is great to see people pop up to that song.

TMN: Your album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule is coming out this year and features some unique characters, including one of my all time favorite rappers, Twista. Talk to us about the album, including how you came up with the title.

I came up with the title while I was taking a shower. Most of the good ideas that I have are when I’m taking a shower.
I called my manager late at night and I was like “Hey I want to make a shirt that says ‘Money Sucks Friends Rule’…do it”. He made the shirt and sent it to me, and all my management loved it and thought it was so cool.

We thought, “lets wait until later on to put it out.” Then when I was close to finishing the album and we were having a phone conversation, he asked “what do you want to call it?” Since we hadn’t used the shirts yet, I was like “What if we call it that?”

Which he replied, “That’s fucking genius, lets do that” So boom. We came up with it just like that.

TMN: Awesome, Is there a release date on it yet?

It’s going to be in the fall. ‘Get Low’ is doing really well right now so we want to release it in the fall. We will have the pre-order come up in a couple of months and then a couple more singles before the album. After that, a fall tour and all that stuff.

TMN: We are looking forward to it! Talk to us a little bit your charitable endeavors. We know you sell once-in-a-lifetime experiences on your site and donate the money to a good cause. Where did you come up with this idea?

It was my manager really. In the beginning of my career he asked, “What if I make a part of your website that has stupid shit that you should do”, and I went “Cool! Lets come up with a list!” So we came up with the most ridiculous things, one of which was remake the scene from Ghost with 12th Planet. The thing that was really funny about that was that we didn’t even tell 12th Planet that we put him on that. When someone actually bought it, we had to call him and I was like , “Hey man someone bought this from my website, it goes to charity are you down to do it?” and he was like “Of course I am, I love you!”.

We are just coming up with stupid things that we put on the website. I think the last thing we were supposed to put on there was I would get fake tits for 2 million dollars, but then we realized it would really suck if someone bought that and I had to get fake tits.


TMN: Do you have one charity in particular you donate to or do you rotate?

We rotate. The last one we donated to was this organization in Chicago for after school programs for kids. I think Flosstradamus and I have both donated to that charity, but we flip flop around.

TMN: That’s awesome man, we really think that that is something more people in the music industry should take it on, so we applaud you for doing that. Moving along, we have been following your Instagram and we noticed you recently delved into Tinder. How’s that been going?

[laughs] That was probably the best month of my life! I would get home from the studio and go on Tinder. Any girl who knew who I was, I would block them, and anyone who didn’t know who I was, I would be the worst guy ever. I would be like “OMG I’m in love with you, do you think we would have beautiful kids?” Just saying the worse opening lines. I would always try to one up myself. It was me and my friend with Kyle and Vinnie from this group from Phantoms. That’s how it all got started.

We were driving home from Vegas because I played at Surrender, and as we were driving home, Vinnie started using Tinder and saying he had a match with a girl. We started passing the phone around the car and coming up with topics for the conversations. That is how we got started and then it went down a deep dark hole, just messing with people.

We’re going to finish this up with a set of random questions:

TMN: If you were stranded on an island with DJ Hanzel, who would be the lone survivor?

I would be. I would kill him instantly, probably.

tumblr_mi4hjlUiYP1rsejmqo1_500TMN: If the world was coming to an end, and we had to become cannibalistic, what DJ would you eat first?

Man, the DJ that I would eat first, would be…hmm…who is the most athletic DJ? I guess it would probably do Diplo. Probably Tiesto or Diplo.

TMN: Describe your cat in one word.

Asshole. If you can use three words? Complete Utter Asshole.

TMN: What’s your favorite Tom Hanks movie?

Forest Gump of course!

TMN: If you were about to start a WWE wrestling duo, who would you partner up with and why?

I would partner up with Jamie Lovine, because he actually is, or works in WWF. He would get the best possie.

TMN: What’s the strangest interview question you’ve ever received?

Haha, I guess “what DJ I would eat” is pretty out there.

TMN: We ask everyone this one – if your music were an animal what would it?

It would be a cat! Of course!