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fZOO Exclusive Interview - Felix Cartal


FestivalZOO got to catch up with the one and only Felix Cartal at this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival. With the recent release of his new album ‘Different Faces’ and a tour around the US, Felix has been a busy man. Check out the interview below to hear about his new album, tour essentials and his thoughts on pal Steve Aoki‘s ridiculous stage presence.

FestivalZOO: You’re from Vancouver, do you enjoy playing shows like here in Washington or do you prefer shows that take you farther away?

Felix Cartal: I don’t think I have a preference, every city always surprises me with its own ways of being awesome! I guess it depends where the show is, I’ll adapt and make each show different.

FZ: At a festival like Sasquatch where acts range across a wide variety of genres (even comedy routines), how do go about tweaking your set for a crowd that doesn’t necessarily listen to electronic music? You started out playing in Punk and Hardcore bands didn’t you?

Felix: Yeah I definitely did. Well, when it comes down to it I think you’re ultimately being booked for who you are and you just have to do you. I think that is the biggest thing I have learned from touring with other people is that you can get nervous playing before different crowds and think you have to change it but it is always better if you do what you do best. I’m playing a shorter set tonight so I think I’m just gonna go harder, have a good time.

FZ: What gets you most excited for a show?

Felix: I think it is really important to keep my set updated constantly. Having new music to play is what gets me the most excited up there. Playing a song that I haven’t played before never gets old. I did a track with my friend Clockwork who was on tour with me and we put something together on the road. He just sent me over the final mix a couple hours ago and I’ve never played it before so tonight’s the night, I’m excited!

FZ: Steve Aoki was one of your earliest supporters and now you’re signed to Dim Mak Records. What’s the craziest thing you and Steve Aoki have done together?

Felix: Oh man, I don’t know, because he is kinda chill when he is not on stage. I think that is the craziest thing about Steve Aoki is that he isn’t like that all the time. He is the ultimate entertainer! Oh, I totally ruined it now didn’t I? Any time I see him, he always has some new thing he is going to do on stage, something unexpected. Like jump off a 75 foot tower. I can’t keep up with that guy.

FZ: What are 3 essential items your ideal tour bus would have on the road?Felix: WiFi is SO essential. I have had buses where I have had it and it is a total game changer. It would be cool to have a pet on the tour. A cat, I’m a cat person. I think that would be great, but it might be cruel to do to the cat? Good food is important as well because it is so hard to eat well. Stopping in grocery stores is essential, not just fast food, like always trying to eat fruit makes a world of difference.
FZ: For your latest album ‘Different Faces’, you asked your fans to send in photos of themselves with red balloons. What’s the story behind the red balloon?

Felix: Well for me, what I have always liked most about dance music is that it has injected this feeling into a genre where it is just pure fun. I’ve always listened to Radiohead growing up and it is really emotionally investing music. When you come to dance music I feel that it covers the other side of things as well; let’s have fun and that can be it. I was looking for an imagery that would represent that and thought of when you’re younger, driving down the street and might see balloons on someone’s mailbox and would think “they’re definitely having a party!” That was the imagery I wanted to roll with, trying to incorporate my fans into the fun by having them send in photos of themselves with red balloons to help me put the album together. Some people drew photos and sent them in. They spent a ton of time working on them and they were just great, we decided to send some prizes out to those fans to, to let them know how much we liked their work. Now I have a collection of this album and its pretty cool!

FZ: EDM has started to become a bit more mainstream here in the United States. Some love the progression and others argue that it is corrupting the purity of the music. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Felix: I’m not a purist in any sense because I think that if more people know about the music then I’m happy. I think it is really cool that so many electronic artists are reaching the same caliber in recognition as some pop stars and rock bands have. Dance artists getting nominated at the Grammy’s, and stuff now, I am all for it. I think it need to keep moving forwards and don’t think it will stop. I think of it as rap music where it has carved its niche and I think dance music is doing the same. Maybe when I was 14 I was like “punk music or die motherfuckers” (laughs), but now it’s like, I love so many different types of music, screw it, let’s see what happens when it all comes together at a festival. Let’s do it. Like the Re:Generation Project, fusing everything together..I love it. That’s how it should be.


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