Felix Cartal Episode Preview
[CFR] You’re leaving tomorrow to play SXSW in Austin?
[Felix} Yeah, bright and early. 7 am flight tomorrow morning.
[CFR] Have you been to Austin before?
[Felix] Yeah. This will be my third year there. Getting familiar with the ropes.
[CFR] I’ve always heard of Austin as the ideal city for music. What’s your experience there? Does it live up to the hype?
[Felix] It’s great for live music. I think dance music is still taking a bit of time getting used to living there, but, I love all types of music so I think it’s awesome that everything just kind of gets thrown in the mix and you can see a bit of everyone. Even on the same bill in some places. It’s pretty cool.
[CFR] You’re playing with a couple big names. Steve Aoki, A-Track and Diplo, Laid Back Luke, Skrillex.. Have you played with many of those guys before?
[Felix] I’ve pretty much played with all those guys now, just at festivals and stuff though over the past couple years.
[CFR] Your latest single and video, Black to White with Miss Palmer. It looked similar to your first single off this album. Was that a continuation of that video?
[Felix] No. I guess there was symmetry with the bikes… It was a different director, but I think the concepts were both mine. I always want to do something reminiscent of growing up, something that everyone can relate to. With Don’t Turn on the Lights we did the dangers of sneaking out when you’re younger and with this one it was more of having a good time, riding around on bikes and how enjoyable that can be.
[CFR] You’ve been featuring red balloons held by all these different people. Is there a story behind that?
[Felix] I wanted something to be associated with this record. For the first couple shows I did for the first single, we filled the club with red balloons. I wanted it to be something where you remember just going to parties when they were fun, and that was it. Kind of like prom meets house party vibe. Nothing symbolises a party more simply and clear than a balloon. That was kind of the area behind that.
[CFR] Your third single off the album was with Miss Palmer. Have you worked with her before?
[Felix] No, this was the first song we did together.
[CFR] So how did you guys meet up?
[Felix] She worked with Steve (Aoki) before on his track No Beef with AfroJack. Steve just kind of connected me with her. It was just something real quick and it worked out.
[CFR] Is the rest of the album going to resemble those first couple singles? What can we expect from the whole thing?
[Felix] Domo was the second single that we released. That one was more of a heavier instrumental, so I think album kinda fits somewhere between the two styles of the pop-influenced vocal tracks and the heavier dance tracks that are more designed for the club. I’m always trying to find the perfect formula for balancing the two things. That’s what I went for.
[CFR] You went to university in Glasgow. What was it like for you back then?
[Felix] I was in school for an English language degree, so not really anything music oriented. I was working on music at the time though. Actually, when I moved to Glasgow, which was in my third year of university, that was when I started doing my first DJ shows.
[CFR] Were you already seeing some success in Glasgow? Or was it when you moved back to Vancouver?
[Felix] I was lucky enough to get on some pretty nice bills, but when I moved to Glasglow, the first show I’d ever played there was literally the second time I’d ever DJ’d before. Very young in my career.
[CFR] You play on Ableton. Is that what you started out on in those first couple shows?
[Felix]I’ve used it from day one.
[CFR] So you’ve never been a guy for CDJs or turntables?
[Felix] Nah. My passion is creating music rather than learning how to be really competant at spinning records. I’d always put more time into just making music. So for a live show, I wanted a way to play the music, not so much as to become some sort of turntablist or anything. That’s just not where I came from.
[CFR] What does your live set up consist of?
[Felix] I still use the Evolution UC 33 but I’m just about ready to chuck it and go right into the DJM 900 now. You can go all 4 channels on the mixer now, it’s great. Simplifies the set up even more.
[CFR] I heard at one point you were mentioned as a French duo. Any truth to that rumour?
[Felix] I’ve never heard the duo part. For a while when I first started I’d heard rumours that I was French. I’d put Paris as my location on MySpace as a joke, but then it kind of circulated into something more serious.
[CFR] So you’re just starting your Different Faces tour. Are you only hitting North America?
[Felix] Yes, it’s just North America right now. South by South West this week, Miami next week for Winter Music Conference and Ultra, and then starting at the end of March into the end of May I’ll just be doing 3 or 4 shows a week.
[CFR] For those of us coming out to see you, what can we expect in your set?
[Felix] I’m gonna try and get in most of the new album and maybe a couple edits of the songs to make the less club heavy ones work a bit more. I’m really into what Tommy Trash is doing right now. ??? has always been a big supporter. But man, Tommy Trash is on fire.
[CFR] Throughout your music career, is there any one moment that stands out?
[Felix] I just got confirmed for Sasquatch this year. That one kind of hit me more than any other festival. It was one that I always knew about growing up. All of these dance festivals are newer, so there isn’t so much of the history with them, but with Sasquatch there’s a bit of a back story. Growing up listening to music, I’d always hear about the bands I’d admired playing Sasquatch, so to be able to be on a bill that I’ve always known about is pretty unreal.
[CFR] A quote from your Facebook: “A bit of time off is just as important as working”. What kind of work ethic have you got?
[Felix] I think I have a pretty ridiculous work ethic when I get an idea. As more people start to believe in you, are willing to help you and work for you, I think a lot of people think they have to do less. The more I think about it, it just means you have to work harder. You have this team and more things going on. You have to push it to the next level rather than take it back and let other people take over the reigns. Take a couple days here and there so you come back harder than ever.
[CFR] What’s coming up next for you?
[Felix] Just the tour, mostly. The schedule for the tour is getting pretty heavy. The record comes out March 27th and we’re gonna have the fourth single come out mid April, beginning of May. It’s gonna feature Sebastien Grenier from Death From Above 1979. It this grindy-punk dance tune. It’s kind of different. I’m excited about it though.
[CFR] You were bands originally. You started out in punk?
[Felix] I played in shitty punk bands growing up my whole life. That’s where I come from. The moshing, fist pumping and circle pit crowd.
[CFR] What turned you onto electronic music then? What was the first song that really made you listen?
[Felix] Radiohead’s Kid-A record is always one that sticks out in my head. It was a band that hadn’t really been electronic based, but then listening to it, I thought there were more similarities between different types of music than I’d originally though
3/15 Austin, TX Republic
3/15 Austin, TX 508 House
3/16 Austin, TX Mohawk
3/16 Austin, TX The Illmore
3/17 San Bernadino, CA Beyond Wonderland @ NOS Events Center
3/20 Miami, FL Mansion
3/21 Miami, FL Nikki Beach
3/22 Miami, FL National Pool
3/23 Miami, FL MIA
3/24 Miami, FL Ultra Music Festival
3/24 Miami, FL National Pool
3/24 Miami, FL Dream Hotel
3/31 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
4/5 Calgary, AB Desperado’s Nightclub
4/6 New York, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
4/7 Ottawa, ON Babylon
4/12 Houston, TX Stereo Live
4/13 El Paso, TX Buchanan’s
4/14 Phoenix, AZ Madison Events Center
4/18 Whistler, BC Garfinkels
4/19 Kamloops, BC Cactus Jacks
4/20 Las Vegas, NV Haze
4/21 Raleigh, NC Raleigh Amphitheater
4/25 Syracuse, NY Westcott Theater
4/26 Baltimore, MD Mosaic
4/27 Washington, DC Josephines
4/28 New Orleans, LA Mardi Gras World
5/8 Winnipeg, MB Green Room
5/10 Victoria, BC Cabaret
5/11 Kelowna, BC Level Nightclub
5/28 George, WA Sasquatch Music Festival @ The Gorge