Day two of the 2015 Firefly Music Festival, I had the pleasure of chatting with two awesome Australians-turned-LA-residents (a.k.a. AustraLAians), Kristian Attard and Serg Dimitrijevic of Intergalactix. Known for their driving electronic beats, futuristic sounds and melodic synths, this DJ duo hit success with their first single “Tuesday,” and have since been doing great on all the other days of the week too. It was the first music festival for the long-time friends, as Intergalactix, and they had two great sets for attendees to choose from. First, an intimate show on a stage in the campgrounds on Friday, then their big festival debut in the Woodlands on Saturday.
Read on to learn more about the “indie, future, funk” duo, their unique creative process and which one of them has a passion for snorkelling.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How are you guys feeling about your first time at Firefly?
We’re really excited!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You guys played earlier today – how’d that go?
Killer. It was a little bit slow since it was 11:00 am, but it was a great location at the Camping Ground Stage. People were waking up, having showers, getting breakfast...and checking out our music! It was a great location for us to be, to attract some people and get them to tomorrow’s show at the Backyard Stage as well.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Very excited for that! What are you looking forward to most with tomorrow’s show?
Serg: I’m just excited to get out and play our music with a whole bunch of new people.
Kristian: Yeah exposing our music to people, a new audience on a big stage. We drove by there earlier today and it was huge!
Serg: It’s a really cool vibe for us, we’re just really excited to be here – it being our first festival with our band. It’s just a great, great feeling.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How are you liking the other artists here?
Kristian: A lot of artists we’re a big fan of. You know, Paul McCartney is someone I grew up listening to. The Beatles were one of the first bands my mom every showed me. To be playing at the same festival as Paul McCartney is so cool…my mom’s pretty proud! And Zedd is someone we’ve actually worked with before. We played on Jimmy Kimmel with Zedd.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How was working with Zedd?
Kristian: He was really inspiring to work with. He’s a true musician as well as a really amazing DJ; he’s very musical and has great arrangements. I loved working with him and love his music. Snoop Dogg is another guy I grew up listening to.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Snoop!
Kristian: Oh man Snoop has always been cool! We’re so gonna try to meet him.
Serg: The coolest, he’s the man.
Kristian: There’s a bunch of cool artists here – Morrissey I love as well, Foster the People, The Killers, and so many more.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Any hobbies?
Serg: I like to snorkel. Big snorkeler!
Kristian: Really? He must be doing this in private.
Serg: Oh yeah, it’s my secret on the side.
Kristian: I think he’s lying.
Serg: Not at all! I snorkel with flippers.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Oh well you know you’re legit when you have flippers.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: So if you were to sit down with the intention of writing a new track – what’s your inspiration/creative process? What do you do?
Kristian: We have a couple different ways of doing things, sometimes it’ll be an idea that I start and I’ll send it to Serg. And sometimes he’ll say “oh that’s cool!” or other times “ehh, not so much.” If he thinks it’s cool, then we’ll both work on it and he’ll send it back to me. A lot of the time we’re in different places. He’ll be away working on another project, or vice versa. Then sometimes it’s the other way around where he’ll send me instrumentals, and I’ll hear the melodies on it and will start writing and I’ll send it back. So a lot of our stuff is written from different locations, sometimes on the road in totally different parts of the world.
Serg: An when we're together back home, we’re always working. We have a process where we’ll jam a lot and we’ll just put a whole bunch of ideas out there for hours.
Kristian: Then we’ll go back and cut it up, picking the best parts – “oh that part’s cool!” Bounce that down and listen to it.
Serg: Yeah and finding what’s good, or he’ll be singing over some stuff and we’ll be like “okay that’s a good hook there.”
Kristian: We also have a writers group that we started, it has about 20-25 people in it and we’ll meet every week. Basically I’ll send out a phrase to everyone at the start of the week, then by Friday all these people in the group have to hand in a song with that phrase that I emailed out to everybody. And they have to cc the whole group.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I bet you get a lot of good stuff from that!
Kristian: Yeah actually Jason’s in it, our drummer. He’s been sending in a lot of great stuff.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Maybe I’ll have to join!
Kristian: We’ll have to include you. It’s a lot of fun, and the main reason for it is just to be creative every week.
Serg: And it doesn't have to be a completed song, it could be anything - a voice memo on your phone...
Kristian: Though if you don’t send in something by the end of the week you get kicked out!
Serg: Well not off the first one, you get two or three chances…then you get kicked out haha.
Kristian: And also listening to other friends’ ideas, see where their head’s at and where they find inspiration. It just motivates you doing it every week. I’ve had a lot of emails from the other guys saying how thankful they are for this. So that’s another way we do it.
Serg: Just by doing stuff like that it sparks all these other ideas.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: That’s such a cool start to a creative process!
Serg: Yeah it really is, and since we do it once a week, by the end of the year you have over 52 different ideas that you probably wouldn’t have had!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What about your dynamic as a duo? Where do you pick up where he leaves off?
Serg: Well we’ve been friends for over 15 years and have been working together professionally that whole time. A lot of people notice we can finish one another sentences. That definitely contributes/spills into the creative process – we know what we like, we know what we’re into and what we want our sound to be. So when we send ideas to one another, they’re not all great, but we know when it’s the right one. Then we’ll keep moving on that.
Kristian: Yeah, we’re also trying to get ourselves out of our usual – we’ve kind of realized we naturally stay at about 120 bpm all the time tempo-wise.
Serg: It’s a natural tempo for humans, has a nice pace to it. There’s a reason why every music software the default is 120.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I had no idea.
Serg: It must be a natural thing that humans feel, it’s not fast enough to make you want to go crazy and it’s not slow enough that you want to fall asleep. It’s just a nice pace. So we’ve been focusing on taking things up a notch in tempo – 130, 136, 138 or so.
Kristian: We’re trying to write a bunch of stuff and then come out with a record towards the end of the year. That’s kind of our goal right now. So we’ll probably pull off the touring a little bit, and just focus on making music.
Serg: We’ve done a lot of touring and work recently, playing everywhere, opening every envelope, doing everything we could. And it’s been great, we’ve been loving our live shows a lot. Even for the Firefly, we’ve got two different sets for two different shows. Like we said we’re just so happy to be here.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How would you describe your sound in a few words?
Kristian: I’d say indie, future funk.
Serg: There you go, indie, future funk. That’s it.
Kristian: It’s kind of like we’re influenced by certain bands like Tears for Fears, Morrissey, and people like that, then we also listen to Sly & the Family Stone, Prince, Stevie Wonder. So we try to fuse all those things together, which are very different.
Serg: And new bands, we always love new bands.
Kristian: And electronic music!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How would you compare festivals in the United States to festivals in Australia?
Serg: Australians love festivals! It’s hot as hell though. But I personally think there’s a similar vibe at festivals no matter where you go, whether it’s Australia, America, Europe…it’s a festival vibe. Here it’s amazing. We’re based in LA now and I love the festivals in the States.
Kristian: It’s always just a fun time. You never know what’s going to happen.
Serg: And everyone’s there for the same reason, for the music. They’re not there to be seen in some cool place, like a club, it’s all about the music. So what you get is genuine emotion and genuine happiness. I think it’s fantastic.
Kristian: So far, from what we’ve seen here, it’s one of the best ones. I’ve been to Coachella a lot, and love Coachella. Really like this though.
Serg: People enjoy music being there for the right reasons we’re getting that genuine emotion from everybody. You can’t beat that, when you’re on stage and everyone’s just digging the music, it’s an amazing feeling.
Special thanks to Kristian and Serg of Intergalactix for taking the time to sit down and chat with us between their sets!
AUTHOR CREDIT: RACHEL NOVOSAD