he only thing I was worried about before interviewing Flux Pavilion on his Tesla Tour was making sure my hands were not sweaty. I wanted to be able to shake his hands without delivering a nervous bundle of perspiration. This was the biggest artist I had ever interviewed and it was at the Aragon Ballroom, a mainstay for Chicago concert-heads. I was pacing back and forth in front of the bar waiting for Flux Pavilion's manager to text me something, anything, I was hoping they didn't forget about me. At last a young guy approached and led me up some stairs and into the green room. I had to wait a bit for another journalist from Q101 to finish up his interview and he turned out to be some seasoned writer, he looked down at me while muttering, "Good Luck Kid..."
As I walked in I performed one last saving wipe on my jacket and then offered my hand to Joshua Steele, dubstep legend, Flux Pavilion. He turned out to be a normal guy (shocker!) like most artists and we began to chat. He told me of his humble beginnings in creation, before they called it electronic music.
So I’d have guitar but then I’d write in a bass line and put in a keyboard line and record harmonies. It was just like ‘I don’t have a bass guitar, I don’t have a keyboard and I don’t have a drum kit’, so this is the only way to write the music I want to write, by doing it electronically. Only now do people say ‘Ah so you’re an electronic musician’ and I’m like ‘Oh shit I guess I am.’ For me, Music is music and that’s just the way I’ve chosen to do it and I really like it that way.
Flux also had some provoking thoughts on the true nature of dubstep,which actually resembles a "punk ethos" and he explained how this differs from the common conception of the genre.
Bassnectar was doing his thing before it was called dubstep and will carry on doing his thing after its called dubstep. Dubstep isn’t on the tip of people’s tongues anymore but to me, what it represented in a word or an idea, was this punk ethos, like ‘Ah, I really like writing this music and I kind of don’t give a fuck about anything else, I don’t really want to go the house clubs but I love the music and here’s a place I feel accepted.’
Flux also spoke about the limiting effects of fame and how hard it is to have a branded name attached to your creative abilities.
Because when you become an established artist with a sound like how the fuck do you elongate that sound into a record format without it sounding the same. You get so many albums that sound the same and are so intrinsically linked to ‘It must sound like me’ and I was like ‘You know what, I don’t give a fuck if it sounds like me or not because if it feels like me, that’s the most important thing.
The odd thing about meeting your hero is realizing they are a normal person that worked incredibly hard to achieve a dream.
The original interview was conducted by myself for EDM Chicago.