Monday, 30 May 2011

Interview: Innerpartysystem

With a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in hand, electronica trio from Pennsylvania, Innerpartysystem, set up a spectacular light display for their set supporting 3OH!3 at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth. I caught up with two thirds of the band before the show and sparked a small disagreement about the degree at which their sound has changed…

This is the first date of the UK leg of the 3OH!3 tour, are you excited for the next couple of weeks?
Jared Piccone (drums): Definitely. It’s kind of like a home away from home for us so it’s nice to be in familiar places. And the shows are definitely gonna be bigger because I think we do better in the UK than the rest of the continent.
Kris Barman (programming, guitar, synthesizer): Yea we don’t draw much anywhere other than the UK.
Jared: We’re still like a new band. A lot of those places we hit for the first time on this past tour. Like Paris, Amsterdam, Marseille. There was definitely a handful of places we’ve never been so it’s nice to come to places where we definitely have some fans.

What can the UK expect from your live shows?
Kris: Well I think this is probably the best set we’ve ever put together. It’s super energetic. It just punches you in the face right after every song. It just flows into each other. And we have a really cool light set up this time
Jared: Yea we kind of spent all the money we had running these video tubes but it’s worth it. They look pretty cool.

What do you guys need to survive on tour?
Jared: Wi-Fi. I’m addicted to the internet.
Kris: Toothbrush, floss,
Jared: New socks and underwear because we just throw them out. We don’t wash them or anything. So a pretty steady supply of that stuff. And anything that when I lose it, it’s huge. Headphones are definitely one of those. If I don’t have headphones, I freak out. I’m so snobby about the sound too. It needs to have a lot of low end. Even certain headphones won’t do. I’ll have headphones but I’d rather just not listen to music if they’re not loud enough.

You played at Madame JoJo’s in London a little while ago, how was that?
Jared: It was perfect because we did a smaller venue than we should have, on purpose. So it was really full and hot.

Is the reaction you get from UK fans noticeably different to the reaction in America?
Kris: Honestly, it varies from city to city. It’s so hard to say ‘America vs UK’. I mean UK people do seem to be crazy in every city, but people are really crazy in certain cities of America too.

A few people have been saying that the new EP, Never Be Content, has more of an electronic dance music sound compared to your previous punk-rock sound. Would you agree with that?
Jared: Yes.
Kris: I honestly disagree a little bit. I don’t think it’s that much different. But I can see how some people think that.
Jared: It’s different. It’s definitely different.
Kris: It’s not a 180.
Jared: I wasn’t gonna say it’s a 180. Don’t be so defensive dude.
Kris: I’m just sayin’.
Jared: I think he was prepared for it, because we get that a lot.
Kris: It’s more of a 45.
Jared: Yea, well put.

You are now working with Red Bull Records, do you think a lot will change?
Jared: A lot has changed already. It’s a more laid back atmosphere. It’s not major label syndrome where because nobody is buying records anymore, every major label is looking for quick ways to make money. It’s nice because Red Bull has another form of revenue than music so they’re not totally worried about us grossing millions of dollars immediately. It’s great not having that pressure on you because it gives you time to make great music.

You’re coming back to the UK to play Sonisphere festival this summer. What are your festival essentials?
Kris: At festivals they kind of give you everything you could possibly need.
Jared: The hospitality at festivals always rules. I love playing festivals.
Kris: They’re just throwing stuff at you. You get all the free stuff you could possibly imagine. And the food is always awesome. It’s the best thing ever.
Jared: And its summer so the weather is usually great. And you never have to worry about the venue not being adequate because it’s this massive outdoor thing. And there are a lot of bands that you usually want to see. So it’s awesome.

Better than tour?
Kris: Yea, that’s why some bands just do festivals!

What are your other plans for the rest of the year?
Kris: To finish off the new record and keep touring.
Jared: And a new light set-up. The light set-up we rented here kind of sparked us to build a whole new deal. We’re probably gonna axe the lights that we have been using and do something new. Probably more video oriented. I’m not sure how we’re gonna set-up yet but it’s definitely gonna be the Innerpartysystem style, D.I.Y., crazy scattered looking something or other. But we haven’t figured it out yet.

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