Flux Pavilion has grown to become one of the leading artists in the bass community – and for good reason. Ever since his “Gold Dust” remix became a staple in everyone’s sets he’s been unstoppable to say the least. With his most recent collaboration “Need Your Love” with NGHTMRE blowing eardrums at nearly every show and festival the last couple months, Joshua Steele continues to push the envelope and represent dance music in its finest form. We caught up with Flux after his phenomenal set at Summer Set and talked with him about collaborations, his creative process, and what’s next for the bass phoneme.
RTT: First off, amazing set. I just saw you at Bass Center which was fantastic, and this set was completely different.
Flux Pavilion: Yeah my set has changed quite a bit. You can see my three times within a month and it will be the same, and then sometimes there will just be a burst of energy, where I change my set to its core when I get bored. I had loads of new stuff, tracks I’ve been working on over the last few weeks and tracks that I’ve been sent.
Your track “Need Your Love” with NGHTMRE is phenomenal. How was it working with an up-and-coming artist?
I don’t really look at him as an up-and-coming artist, I don’t look at him any different than me. Sure, I might have some slightly better ideas regarding release schedule or maybe saying “just trust me this is going to work”, but if he turns around and says “no trust me THIS is going to work” who’s to say my idea is better? As John Cleese once said, “The children are the most creative people”. The best way to be creative is to revert back to being a child, which is why those most inexperienced in the industry often come up with the most interesting ideas, because they’re not shaped by anything. I try to stay there as much as I can. As soon as I feel like I know what I’m doing, then I need to move on. I don’t want to know if something is going to work or not, I want to be surprised. You don’t want to do the same thing over and over again just because you know people are going to like and buy it and it’s going to sell tickets.
Yeah, everything you’ve come out with recently has been all over the place and it’s all been fantastic.
I’d sooner see my career be over than find myself in a place where I’m just doing stuff to keep my career going. That seems like hell to me.
You’re constantly progressing and doing what’s new and interesting to you.
I keep moving, I feel like that’s what Flux Pavilion has always stood for. Back in the day, I would be the first one on before Funtcase and Doctor P, I would play when the room was empty. I’m still playing the same sort of set now as I would back then, just for a lot more people and with new material. Flux just stands for not giving a fuck, and doing what you think is cool and what you want to be doing.
How did Basscenter come about? Do you and Lorin know each other pretty well?
Yeah, he was the first guy to really support my music over here, playing my Gold Dust remix at his sets. Before I started touring there were videos of him playing that track and the reaction was unlike anything I had in the UK. From that point on we’ve always spoken, we’ve hung out, and over the last six or seven years have become friends. He’s really cool, he just emailed me and said “I’m doing a show, wanna do it?”
You were a natural fit for the show, and a perfect opener for Bassnectar, along with Flying Lotus
I actually walked past him (Flying Lotus) backstage, I didn’t talk to him, but was just like he’s fucking awesome. Just what were saying, doing your own thing and respecting your own vision. FlyLo doesn’t do anything because he wants to make money, he doesn’t do anything to be popular. He does stuff because he needs to make his music. That’s how I try to do things. My stuff is a lot more abrasive but I still try to approach it in the exact same way.
What’s next for you?
I’ve got quite a few good releases planned for this year. I have the skeleton for a release nearly every month until April next year. I’m working on a lot of gnarly Run The Jewels-esque hip-hop stuff, which may or may not be released under Flux.
Do you seek these hip-hop artists out, or are you approached by them?
It’s a mixture of both. I like to work with people that seem like they’re doing their own thing. Like Riff Raff, for me, regardless of what anyone thinks of him in the hip-hop community, I don’t view him as trying to be part of the community, not trying to be the next big thing. If there were no cameras on him and no one following him, he would still be Riff Raff. Like I saw him at a hotel before we worked together and he was just hanging out and looked exactly like he would on stage. That’s why I like working with people like Childish Gambino, especially in hip-hop I want to work with people who seem to be doing their own thing and looking to do something new.
I’ve been working with these guys Two-9 in Atlanta. Just super cool Atlanta hip-hop but quite smart lyrically as well. It feels like a British grime crew. As soon as I heard them I was instantly intrigued, by the way the look and act and the way they put themselves out there. I did a two day session with them in Atlanta. I seek people out when I hear some music that I think is insanely cool. I don’t go around looking for who’s popular or go on Hype Machine to see what’s going to make me cooler. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, they could have 10 fans on Facebook, but if I hear the music and it’s fucking amazing then I want to work with them.