When people hear of Flux Pavilion, they automatically think of hard-heavy bass and dubstep. But what about the melodies? The drops? The lyricism? If you had a taste of his newest album, Tesla, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Flux Pavilion has outdone himself (as if that was possible) with Tesla. He took something as simple as music and crafted it into a work of art.
The way he synthesizes vocals, bass, and melodic and rhythmic patterns gives his work an unassailable position in the world of music. I caught up with the cynosure of music at New York City’s Webster Hall to get a sense of what Tesla is all about.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You are creating a new name for yourself and your music. Outside of just dub step, your tracks are all in a little bit of different directions, much like the alternating currents in tesla coil. Is that how you got the name Tesla?
Tesla is a unit of magnetic flux density, that’s where the name came from originally. Plus Nikola Tesla who is a awesome… We could talk about that for awhile.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: This is a question at large but how do you think your music has progressed since you started making music? Your sound hasn’t changed, it’s developed into its own Flux Pavilion.
See for me, the way I look at it is I always write the stuff I like. I’ve been writing music before Flux and after Flux. Some of the stuff that I write, people will come out and be like “Oh this doesn’t sound like Flux Pavilion.” It’s interesting to me because that was the music I was writing when I was 15 or 16. So when I was creating this new album, I incorporated stuff I used to write all the time and I never knew what to do with it. So when I had the opportunity to write an album, I was like “Oh cool, let’s see if I can explore some of this.” People will say “Oh your sound has changed,” but it actually hasn’t. I just haven’t done this bit yet.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How did you prepare your new tracks? What really inspired you to create the Tesla album?
I was feeling out what Flux was, what was the point of me? If I stopped doing this, would the world be missing out? If the answer is yes, then I should probably just stop.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: The last thing you should do is stop.
It was what is Flux Pavilion all about, what am I trying to achieve, and how do I continue to do that without becoming stale. A few others think it doesn’t sound like Flux but it just felt like Flux Pavilion to me. This is the vibe that I feel when I am excited about music so I wanted to write an album about that.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you find it odd that people say to you “This doesn’t sound like Flux Pavilion,” but it is, because you are Flux Pavilion. You’re the one making the music!
It’s an interesting concept because I’ve become well known for a certain sound. When you do something else, people will be like “well that doesn’t sound like him,” but that’s cool cuz for me I’ve had 18 numbers write me an album. It’s taken me this long to get my head around the album so I kind of expect people to just understand it. But what I love about my fans is that after a few weeks they would tweet and comment “why didn’t you do this?” or “I’ve listened to it a few times and I quite like it.”
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: For me, when I listened to your new album, I had the thought “This doesn’t sound like old Flux but it’s a newer Flux,” which is nice because it shows that you don’t have to stick to one sound even though that’s what your audience knows you for. If you ever listened to Jay Z’s "On To The Next One," he says “want my old shit, buy my old album.”
Haha yeah totally. That’s the thing, if you want to hear "I Can’t Stop," it’s there, it’s on Spotify, it’s on iTunes, you can listen to it. If I was to create music that I thought people wanted to hear, I’ve learned is that people never want to hear what you think they’ll like. If I was like “Cool, this whole album feels like "I Can’t Stop,’” everyone would be, “No it’s not as good as "I Can’t Stop.” What’s the point of even trying? "I Can’t Stop" and "Bass Cannon"came out of a natural feeling.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Those tracks are legendary but you have so many more good tunes.
Every track I’ve come out with has been “This is dope, let’s put it out and make more music.” Tesla is the same.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How did you select Matthew Koma, Andrea Martin, and Bully Songs as the vocalists for your album?
Well, I’ve worked on loads of music. I’ve got so much more music but Tesla felt emotionally more Flux. Most people do sessions of sitting down and writing music and the ones that came together, the ones that really nailed the vibe I was going for made it onto the album. Bully for instance, we sat down and we actually did three songs together. As soon as we started working on ‘Ironheart,’ I told him what I wanted to achieve and he said “Cool give me a day.” He came back and absolutely nailed it. Same with Matthew Koma, Andrea Martin freestyled that whole chord, we changed it a little bit but most of it was freestyle.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Would you ever let a bad singer aka me sing on your album? (I’m kidding of course).
See to me, there isn’t good or bad. Well, there’s good and bad music but it’s not the idea of someone being a classic contained singer. That’s not what it’s about. It’s more, if you can sing two notes out of tune and make it feel fuckin’ awesome then I want you on my record. It doesn’t have to be in tune or perfectly tuned, if it feels good and has that vibe about it, then that’s what it’s all about.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Wrapping things up, what would you say your spirit animal is for this Tesla tour?
For this tour... hmm.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I picture you as a white tiger for this.
That’s funny. My girlfriend’s spirit animal is like a big bear and my spirit animal is like a small mouse. She’s actually very small and I’m very big!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: That’s funny. Everyone tells me I’m a butterfly but I feel as though I’m more of a caterpillar.
It’s almost the same thing though, same creature!
Catch Flux Pavilion in a city near you while bouncing across the States on his Tesla Tour. Visit his website below for upcoming dates!
AUTHOR CREDIT: KIMBERLY PHAN