Mosh pits at electronic shows have been on the spontaneous uprise, but to see a pit that sustains itself for an extended period time is unusual.  To see two mosh pits gain momentum is even more surprising.  So, imagine the energy that was going on in the Sahara Tent for Dirtyphonics’ second show at Coachella when there were not just one, but two completely separate circle pits that rose up, merged, and stretched the entire length of the tent.

Electric Sloth got to hear the French Four’s point of view on this spontaneous combustion when we sat down with them after their show, and it’s clear the feeling coming from the  audience was mutual.

Electric:  Thanks for sitting down with us.  You guys killed both last and this weekend, and that was a really solid job getting a full mosh going across the entire tent.

Dirty:   That was insane.  The crowd this weekend was awesome, and it was way hotter this weekend that the last one.  It drives people crazy, and they’re here to party as well.  You watch this whole crowd getting bigger and bigger, and suddenly the tent fills up and by the second, the energy level rises.  It’s incredible to watch as two circle pits start going and merge together.  Everyone is screaming, the front row has its hands up, and it’s just one of the greatest things to see from onstage.

In the years since Dirtyphonics began as a primarily drum’n’bass group, they have branched out into multiple genres and quickly gained a reputation for putting on live shows that share the energy of a rock n roll spectacle.  With a pace that never lets up and an incredibly high level of production,  it’s no wonder why Dirtyphonics can collaborate with or remix artists like Skrillex, Benny Benassi, and Steve Aoki.

Having watched Dirtyphonics in action for both weekends at Coachella, we were  stoked to sit down with Charly, Thomas, Julien, and Pitchin to hear about their first Coachella experience, their whirlwind Irreverence Tour, and get to the bottom of what their new symbol, the upside-down crown, is all about.

Electric:  So, this was your first time playing Coachella.  Was that an insane experience for you?

Dirty:  Yeah, of course.  The best thing about Coachella is that you play twice.  The first weekend, you have your first experience and enjoy it.  Then you go back.  You just want to do it again.  Most gigs you don’t get a chance to do again, just to enjoy it even more. This is exactly what happened today, and it was even better – insane, and a memory for life.

Electric:  How does this stack up against other festivals or stops you’ve played on your Irreverence Tour.

Dirty: There’s definitely a different vibe. Some festivals are pure EDM artists. This one is across the board:  rock dudes, reggae dudes, and electronic as well. So, it really is a different vibe. Also, it’s our first time here, in the middle of the desert, and this artist area we’re in right now feels like a chill-out coffee Sunday afternoon with friends. And it is with your friends, because a bunch of the artists, people from the industry and producers are here chilling, and everyone is here to play some music, listen to music, and have a good time.  It’s awesome. 

Last week after we played, we went to see Wu-Tang, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and lots of others.  This week we’re gonna take another trail, try to see everyone we can, and check out some really good stuff.

Electric: So as far as the Irreverence Tour, how has it been up until now?

Dirty: It’s been awesome. It’s been above our expectations. We jumped on this tour, and its our first national bus tour with a full-on production and the artists we’ve grabbed to open up for us. When you first do it, you don’t really know what to expect.  You know what you’re putting on the table, but you don’t know how they’re going to react.  

It’s been incredible to see the crowd reaction from the very first show. They were already chanting the lyrics to the songs. The energy was there. The vibe that we are known for and love to see at our shows has been bumping since the very first show and has been going uphill until today, and we’re only in the middle of our tour.  We’ve done like 20 gigs, and we have around 20 gigs left, and it just gets better and better. It’s a challenge for all the other cities we have left to play to kind of get the same energy going.

Electric: Considering you guys are about 20 shows in, how has that affected you? You guys must be dead! Are you running on no sleep from show to show?

Dirty:  Yeah, actually, we went late-night until 4:00 yesterday in Dallas. We had to take a plane, just got here, and took a shower. This is what we do, pretty much every day. The thing is, though, that the second you press play, everything is gone. You can be tired as fuck, even drunk, whatever. Press play. 

It’s our passion.  It’s our life. It drives us. Last week we were in LA doing a bunch of press and meeting people and all that. We played LA, we played Houston, and we played Dallas. Today were back here and we’re gonna be in Minneapolis in a couple days.   But you know when you have the opportunity to do this, especially with your friends, when you have the kind of reaction we have on stage, it doesn’t really fucking matter if you’re tired or not.

Electric: That’s awesome to hear. I’m glad you guys aren’t entirely dead from lack of sleep. My question for you is how does this affect your love life? 

Dirty: Well it’s obviously hard to be away from your family, your friends, your girlfriends, and obviously we don’t see them like other people do, but they understand what we do. They’re respectful and they actually help us and carry us through the whole year and the process of doing this, so it’s very important for us that they understand. 

Electric: Very cool. So, tell me what sparked the idea for your new live setup. You guys didn’t have it in the Sahara Tent, but I’ve seen videos and it just looks so amazing.

Dirty: It basically stemmed from the cover of the album. You know, the title is “Irreverence.”  It represents doing whatever you want to do, what feels right to you and not following rules. That’s what we’ve been doing and using music from the get –go, and it’s what we still do today. We started thinking about it, and then it made sense for us to have a crown that is upside-down, against what is established. Then we took this idea of the crown, which had four spikes, which represents the four of us united together on stage, and we took it to another level, making a huge crown with a whole bunch of lights and effects. 

The great thing is that now, there’s a live unity that’s created between the music, us, and the crowd. Everything moves and breathes altogether and it makes our show even more complete.  The same thing that we do goes to the lights. It really sets the tone with the lighting and music with the crowd.


Electric:   Along with your live setup, you guys have four CDJ’s and two MPC’s. Does that ever get a little hectic between you?

Dirty:  We have those, but we have two native instrument machines, two kaoss pads, and a bunch of new different stuff.   It is hectic, definitely, but there’s four of us on stage. We all have our machines to play music all together and to interact with each other. There’s always something happening, and there’s always a new track coming in. 

Electric: Does the group-think ever get in the way of really putting out a track? Do you guys butt heads often, or is the decision-making generally unanimous?

Dirty:  No, we fight all the time (laughter).  We are four people, so you know, to make one decision, two people will fight, but you can imagine it with four.  But that’s in our interest, because at the end of the day, when there’s something simple like a kick bass or snare that makes us and everybody go hard and bounce our heads, then we know it’s a good thing.  We’re all really passionate about what we do, and what we want to do.  Honestly, there can be a fight, but when it is all four of us jumping in the studio, we just know we have something.

As the Irreverence Tour continues its roll into the Midwest, you can catch Dirtyphonics hitting Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland.  Their new full-length album, “Irreverence, “ has been shredding the charts for the last month with an especially strong showing from “Dirty” and “No Stopping Us,” featuring Foreign Beggars.  So, until you get a chance to see these guys live, check out the new album, but take it from Electric Sloth crew — Dirtyphonics is definitely a show you need to see.

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Interview:  Noah Kline

Contributing Editor:  Shonna

Photography: Ponyo Photography/ OhDagYo