First off, I think the question that everyone is dying to know is how did you get involved with Jeffree’s in the first place? To be the first release on Mad Decent anything is a huge deal.
There’s actually a pretty long backstory to that… So everybody knows this guy Paul Devro, well he’s from Vancouver. In around 2005 Paul Devro and his brother Eric were throwing tons of parties and My Gay Husband (Jason Sulyma) was throwing tons of parties with these guys Tony and Tyler called ‘Half Alive’. These parties are really what blew the electro sound up in Vancouver.
Were these house parties? What sort of venues are we talking about here.
They started off in the East Side in dive bars – hipster parties – they were super underground and separate from the party scene that was already going on in the city. Back then everybody was on ClubZone or ClubVibes, even Blueprint, that’s just how things were run. I remember Paul and Jason and all those guys back then just said fuck it and didn’t want to be a part of that scene. ClubZone always hit them up to put their parties on there and they just said ‘no, we don’t want to do that’ and contaminate their scene. It was a really crazy experience because all the music was new. The style of dress was new, the music was new, and it just got bigger and bigger. Half Alive ended up moving to Richards on Richards (when that still existed) and they were the first guys to bring Flosstradamus, Simian Mobile Disco, and Digitalism. I remember Paul and Eric brought Justice to Vancouver for the first time. Justice, Busy P, Medhi, SebastiAn. All the Ed Banger dudes, they did a show at Caprice back in 2007 I think. Back then, the landscape was completely different than it is now. This was prior to electronic music being as big as it is now. This was right when the first Justice single came out and that’s when it all really started. At the time the big kind of music was like mashups.
Like Girl Talk?
Well yeah, but this was even before Girl Talk… Diplo used to be in this DJ crew, Hollertronix. They used to put together these tapes which were a mix between rap and 80s stuff along with newer stuff like M.I.A and Felix Da Housecat- whatever was cool at the time. Mad Decent wasn’t even around back then and the whole electro movement kind of arose from this. Paul and Diplo were buddies and Paul booked him for a show, and… Mad Decent started up a few years later. Back then they only had a couple of acts… it’s stacked now, of course
Yeah, them Dim Mak, and OWSLA are the big guys now.
Exactly, and Mad Decent may not have as many people following them as other labels, but it exists as the taste-maker. They’re the bridge between sounds that are bubbling up and sounds that are established. So anyway, fast-forward to Mad Decent being around for a few years. They’re getting sent tons and tons of good music, but unfortunately putting out a record is a very laborious process. There’s a lot of bullshit involved. So Paul is the label manager, but his real position is A&R- he scouts for new music and talent and stuff like that. He’d been sitting on a lot of these tracks for a long time and eventually him and Diplo and the other Mad Decent guys got together and decided that they needed to get that music out one way or another without the long process. So they decide ‘fuck it,’ we’ll just put it out for free. It still gets the Mad Decent platform, but it’s a bit different. Selling records is an outdated system anyway, right? Digital sales do well, but even that has a ton of baggage.
So where do you come into all of this?
Now, I’d made this track called ‘Heyo’ which was just… kind of a ripoff of Original Don- same triplets and drum programming. I made a ripoff or whatever you want to call it by sampling this horn from a Balle Funk track and I sent it to Paul and he loved it, but he said he didn’t know what to do with it. Then literally 8 months later, a week before they were launching Jeffree’s he messages me and lets me know that it’s going to be the first release on the imprint. I’d actually gotten a bunch of remixes done for it since there were some labels that were interested- luckily I was pro-active and got that done with guys I wanted to remix it. That’s really the way you’ve gotta do things now, really DIY and Jeffrees supports that mindset. So we were the first release in Dec. 1st I think it was and since then, on and off, it’s been a release every week on Jeffree’s.
I saw Zeds Dead did a big release on Jeffrees too. With Omar Lynx.
Yeah, it was huge. They had him go over a bunch of his tracks.
I was at their show a few months back and they had him there performing too so I guess that material had been floating around for a while before release too. It was strange with some of their tracks, but for Rudeboy it works really well.
It works with a lot of their tracks, yeah. It’s really cool. And who else is on Jeffree’s… Flosstradamus had a really big one that kind of blew their career wide open again. I spoke to Paul recently and he said it’s just getting bigger and bigger. More and more artists are interested since it’s quicker. I think a lot of other record labels would be smart to follow.
Back in part 1 you talked about the night you’ve just started in Vancouver, Faded. Can you say any more about it?
The idea is to make it multi-genre and still bass-driven; there are so many genres now and every DJ is realistically playing them all. When you listen to Dillon Francis or Skrillex they play everything now; they play moombahton, they play trap, they play dubstep and D&B, they mix it all. We kinda want to take that mentality and sort of project what other sounds might blow up. Maybe juke will be next… I have my doubts about it, but you never know. We just want to leave our night open-ended and not limit ourselves by calling it an electro night or a moombahton night.
Keeping it weird, I like it.
Exactly, because that’s what music is nowadays. It’s weird, it mutates and evolves at such a rapid pace now that you never know what direction it’s going. We want to be on top of that, but we still want to anchor it with dudes that people will know. We’re also going to be bringing in smaller guys that people won’t necessarily know, but that they should get acquainted with. Hopefully we get enough momentum going so that we can start taking risks.
Finally, when did the idea for Faded come about? Have you had it in mind for a long time?
Faded was really a collab between Alvaro and I. When Youngblood came to an end we’d kinda been talking about re-doing it. The driving idea is to be putting on smaller guys and building a community and a new scene, that idea has always been there and we’d been waiting for the right time. We didn’t want to just start a dubsep night when it had already been established. To me the next wave of stuff is going to be the off-shoots, the sub-genres. Moombahton, alt bass, trappy stuff, and all the other associated sounds. Alvaro and I went down to SXSW this year with that in mind – to figure out what we want to do with this new night we want to start – and at SXSW, that literally was the case. All that alternative and trap stuff was massive. Moombahton: huge, everywhere. That Friday I saw LOLboys and Salva, and all those guys were dropping Flosstradamus tracks. I went to Skrillex and 12th Planet, and Diplo, and Dillon Francis, and they were all dropping Flosstradamus tracks, and that was kind of the revelation right there that this sound is going to blow up too if this big of a cross-section of DJs are playing it.
Can you reveal any of the unannounced Faded artists for our readers? C’mon, now.
Well for starter with the announced artists we have Savoy (May. 23rd), 12th Planet (May. 30h), and Crizzly (May. 6th). As for unannounced…….. I’d like to keep it a surprise.
That concludes our two-part interview with Expendable Youth, but I’ve got one more surprise for all my readers: Tag Blueprint and 110BPM on Facebook along with the status “I want to go to SAVOY” and I’ll hook you up with a plus 3 for tomorrow’s event at Celebrities. If you share this post too, I dunno, I’ll give you a high five or something.