Artist Interview: Dillon Francis won't turn down for HARD Red Rocks

Artist Interview: Dillon Francis won't turn down for HARD Red Rocks

MusicJuly 30, 2014

As we wrote yesterday in our interview with HARD founder and CEO Gary “Destructo” Richards, the annual HARD Red Rocks festival is getting ready to blow some lids off of all awaiting rooftops. It promises to be one for the books and is set to test the unprecedented noise limitations that were put in place at the beginning of the 2013 concert season.

It’s close, so close now, but we have one more interview for our favorite readers before the all the madness begins.

Dillon Francis - one part social media guru, one part fervent electro house and dubstep producer extraordinaire - has been on a quick track to the top. His single “Get Low” featuring DJ Snake is currently a playlist mainstay for any party-cats in the EDM know. We spoke with Francis about his coming show here in Colorado and his life in the industry while he was poolside, “chillin’ with Skrillex and DJ Snake in Ibiza.” It all sounds like a terrible time indeed…

Shiza, good work kicking around poolside, lucky! That Ibiza place has long been touted as the party capital of the world, any truth to that?

Yah, it was crazy packed last night. Definitely during the summer it is. It’s so gorgeous here, I’m happy to have time off, but yes it is the party capital.

You get a chance to tour our great world often with your performances, do you see any similarities between fans? Is there a unifying trait in all of us?

Yes! They all love bringing cardboard cutouts of my face to shows. [laughs] That or any signs that have to do with DJ Hanzel, or any of the characters that I have.

Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that those characters of yours would take off and be as popular as they are now?

No, I never did. It’s funny because I used to do - me and my friends - we used to take this class called New Genres back in high school. And in New Genres we were in the visual arts department, and you could do whatever you wanted.

I’d always been interested in acting, I tried to transfer to the acting class, and I couldn’t transfer because my visual arts grades were too low. But I tried to take any classes that would let me do any video stuff; and I’d always try to do something funny and stupid. In New Genres we kind of created the Becky character a long time ago, it was a joke on everyone from that reality show Laguna Beach, where it was those girls that were like,

[In a high pitched voice] ‘Oh my god Becky, you’re not supposed to eat the whole Hot Pocket you’re supposed to chew it!'

'How did I get so drunk, I ate a crouton tonight, it should have soaked up all the alcohol!'

But you know, girls like that, the funniest, craziest…just, I won’t say anything, but we all know. And then when Instagram came up with the video stuff I was like, ‘Oh my god I can start doing the stupid shit I did in high school again for… myself, I guess?’  Then it just became a whole other beast.

You’ve created a monster, now fans want to see all of them at all times!

I’m ready man. They’re easy characters. The easiest character is DJ Hanzel because you don’t really have to do anything. You just have to be a dick and wear sunglasses so nobody can really look at you in your eyes.

You dropped the deep house set “One Deeper” as DJ Hanzel early this month on the BBC Radio 1 show - so you are doing releases with them. Do you want to separate all the characters into their own DJs or just tie them all in with the Dillon Francis brand?

Oh I’m having fun man. I hope everyone else is too. That’s the whole point with it. Maybe there will be shows, but, yeah, it’s just fun to do and show that even though I’m making fun of it, I enjoy the music.

It’s not like I’m a dick and hate everything and then making fun of people. It’s a social commentary because I’m just trying to have fun, and I think a lot of people take everything too seriously. It’s like, it’s just fucking music. It’s nothing to be pretentious about.

You’ve almost made it easier on yourself though because if you want to explore genres you can just make up a character and not get the hate that comes with reformatting ideas.

Exactly! That’s very true. That’s what I’m going to keep doing is making up characters, so I can keep educating people and also not get hate from it.

And where there’s hate there’s social media. That whole social media thing is huge now and you keep your profile alive and well, how important is it for an artist for that interaction?

I love it. Social media is the way that I kind of built my career, is through Twitter actually. That’s the way I was able to contact other DJs to ask if they wanted me to make a song, or if I could remix one of their songs. Also just being able to talk to fans and tell them things and announce stuff to fans so easily.

You can talk to real people! If someone is dissatisfied with one of your sets, which is what I do sometimes where, if they’re (writing), ‘Oh you fucking suck,’ then I’ll ask them, ‘What did I do wrong? Next time what should I do to make you happy?’

Your album “Money Sucks, Friends Rule” has been shelved for a bit. Do we have an official date yet?

I wish I could talk about it. It’s definitely in the fall. The thing that we can talk about is that the reason it’s not happening in July is because ‘Get Low’ is doing so well. It’s one of the first songs I’ve ever had that’s been received by everyone and radio stations so well, so we want to keep working that record. The preorders should be coming up in the next couple of months, and that’s when people will actually know the date.

Is it hard as an artist to be sitting on material like that?

Oh ya, completely. It’s pretty depressing for me because when I was starting, as an artist I would put out as much as I wanted to, and it didn’t really matter, but now it does. There’s a lot that I didn’t know about, but now that I do, I understand it.

It’s everyone’s dream to sell records and try to make money off of their music. It’s a cool experience right now, but if I’m gonna keep doing it forever this way, if things keep getting pushed back, you know, I might rebel a little bit, but right now I’m going along for the ride to see how it works out. It’s a different experience for me.

Well we’re all excited for that and for you and the HARD Red Rocks series to get here already!

Man, that venue and The Gorge are my two favorites in the US. I’m so excited.

Well take note, before this year’s concert season the city passed new noise restrictions. Any plans for turning down?

No way? I’m gonna try and play it as loud as possible and come get yelled at. I’m not turning it down!