Even though Coachella is a desert paradise, it’s still a desert and the desert was angry that day. Wind threw up and spit dust everywhere (I'm in the blue shirt in the picture above - pure Bedouin style). The road into Coachella was an hour and a half parking lot, which eventually dumped my group into a dusty dash to our first must-see of the day: Holy Ghost! Some sadistic programmer placed them opposite of Julian Casablancas. At Coachella you remind yourself that this isn't really a problem and move along. The festival has been more crowded than any year I can remember. Elbow to elbow. Hipster to hipster. Holy Ghost! was great, though. They starting with “Dirty Disco Ideas” and closed with “Wait and See.” It was a good day to dance and this was a nice warm up.
Morale was strong at this point and we headed toward one of the three luscious beer gardens for Spicy Pie (a pizza maker who only shows up at music festivals) and a cold one to drink, preparing ourselves for Fatboy Slim. Norman Cook did not give the performance I assume many were expecting: a mash-up of the classics. There was a bit of that sprinkled here and there, but this was anything but a trip down memory lane. It was a hard-core dance party and nothing more. “Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.” was the mantra pounded into the crowd the same way Alex was re-programmed in “A Clockwork Orange.”
We should have not left the Sahra tent for another break after Fatboy. Take all the Wal-Marts in the bordering states on Black Friday and it wouldn't hold a flame to how crowded this enormous tent was packed. Literally busting at the seams. There was no way in, so we turned our blinky light toys off and walked away. I can’t say I was heart-broken, though. At Coachella there's always options. We headed over to Pharrell Williams’ set. Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Diplo and Gwen Stefani joined Pharrell. The latter putting a massive sing along of “Hollaback Girl.” Shit was bananas, indeed. Pharrell also played his Daft Punk collaborations "Lose Yourself to Dance", "Get Lucky", and some N.E.R.D. material...even his verse in "Blurred Lines." This guy is truly the King of Pop...not that other guy...who isn's around anymore anyway.
The wind wasn’t getting any better and the air was making our teeth brown and morale dingy. However, I was looking forward to Muse and/or Pet Shop Boys, but the group was quite tired and didn’t want to spend 2 or more hours trying to get back to the homestead. Rock N’ Roll was sacrificed that night in the name of adulthood. I will work on regressing for tomorrow, the final day. It’s Calvin Harris, Beck, Arcade Fire and Blood Orange today. Time to rally.
It all started in a church I grew up playing music in churches and stuff. That’s where I got my start, where I found equipment that was good enough to play on…I taught myself piano and guitar and then started writing songs at like 13. I met our drummer Hayden doing that stuff and then we met Jason because we were looking to be able to produce some songs. That quickly turned into us all writing music together once we were a little bit older. So Jason produces all of the stuff, he mixes all of it, and we work together on writing all the stuff together.
“Ghost” I think that was kinda the breakthrough for us of incorporating a lot of our other - a lot of the influences we had as far as electronic music goes. Some of the beats that you hear in there are from the hip-hop inspiration that I grew up with. So it was kind of a drawing of those influences. It was the first time that we felt free to explore all of the options we had in one kind of song.
Family Support My mom always wanted to be a writer though, so it was one of those, it was a classic case of she never totally got to do what she wanted to do professionally, I think. So she was also very supportive and I think the same thing happened with my dad. I grew up with him being an appliance repair man...all my family have always really liked music that I’ve made so I think it makes it a lot easier.
The Entity, Sir Sly 8:30 I wrote the name down on a piece of paper and it felt like - the way we talk about it now - is that it feels like this person that isn’t any of us but we’re kind of aspiring to be. Like you hear the name and it makes you think of the kind of music that we want to be playing, how hard we wanna be working to make the best music we can and do things that we’re proud of and I think that’s why the name stuck. It felt like something that wasn’t us but something that we wanted to become…It basically sounded like the name of a person, or the name of an entity, that we thought worked out. The word, “sly”, was a nickname but it’s also an adjective and it kind of describes a little bit of those darker sensibilities of the music.
All the bass sounds and stuff, the way we would listen to it and move to it in the studio, it always had a little bit of that slinky kind of vibe to it.
“Gold” I think I was driving from Starbucks, from my job at Starbucks to the studio that day. And I had that first line bouncing around in my head, that repetition line of, “my mouth is made of metal”. And that turned into kind of a play on that repetition. And then the lyrics are inspired by a lot of the stuff that you see around today, whether