We had a chance to sit down with Christian Srigley and Leighton James of Adventure Club as summer festival season wrapped up in Chicago at North Coast's very successful fifth edition. They took a moment to talk with us about their upcoming performances, musical process, and how they tag-team their creativity.
The dubstep duo has been making waves in the EDM world with original songs like "Gold" and "Thunderclap" as well as their great remixes including one of Flight Facilities' "Crave You." You can catch Adventure Club at the ongoing Safe in Sound tour along with Flux Pavilion, Destroid, and other guests this fall. Be sure to give their latest mix - Superheroes Anonymous 5: Road Trip Edition - a listen.
You’re known for being interactive, exciting, and for just throwing a great party at your shows. Any big surprises tonight, or anything new we can expect? C: Tonight? We're going to light ourselves on fire!
L: Well, we are unveiling our new single.
C: Wait, no that actually IS real, not the fire thing.
Wait, that is big news, but no fire then? C: Well, it might be real, you'll just have to wait and see.
L: You'll need special glasses to see the special fire.
So after North Coast, you guys will be having an after party at Bottom Lounge. We can expect the momentum to carry over from the 630 stage, but do you guys prefer that kind of space? Is it more your speed to be at an outdoor space or an intimate indoor stage? C: They're both just different beasts, they're both very fun. More intimate, bigger crowds, higher energy and intensity. It’s just different.
L: They are apples and oranges, to really leave it at that.
When you guys produce together, how do you split the workload between the two of you? Is it a split down the middle, or is there more of a tradeoff? C: We write and collaborate with ideas together, but I'm the one who does the in-box, actual production.
And you do the in-box production in Cakewalk right? How’d you get started there? C: When I was like ten years old, I used to play guitar. I still play, but I was very into blues guitar. My dad got me Cakewalk Home studio to record rhythm guitar so then I could solo on top of it. I started making a couple guitar-based songs with some drum samples and stuff when I was a kid, and once I started to work in Cakewalk, I wanted to stick with it.
So with that guitar and music background, would you consider yourself classically trained? C: I wouldn't call it classically trained. I mean I’m trained... with lessons.
L: Yeah, My parents forced me to take piano lessons when I was seven.
Any favorite VSTs? C: Well, I mean it depends on what you want to do. I want to think of one that's fun, so Sausage Fattener?
From Dada Life? L: Yeah, I think that's one that's always used.
C: It's really a great plug in -- it definitely gets the job done, but I just stopped using it when I started getting a little more manual with everything. Lets see, I like Fab Filter Pro-L limiter right now, I'm a big fan of it -- I mean it's not something fun, but it's real.
Do you guys prefer remixing or building something from the ground up? C: It's actually the exact same process for us. We work ground up for our remixes and our originals. If we have an original with some really obscure samples we cut them up and piece it together to make a melody. Or if we have vocals, we cut it up and try to make it really indiscernible. We are still starting and making something for either... it just ends up being like the first sample we start with, and then it's the same process.
When you make something original do you start with a hook or a key and build a melody or progression? C: I don't think we've ever decidedly choose keys because it's a little too constricting. We kind of just hear something?
L: It's mostly the vocals we start with.
C: Yeah, the vocals we'll start with the vocals-- try to picture something that we want to hear, and we just run with it.
I have to ask, do you guys have any crazy pre-show rituals? C: We listen to a lot of hardcore music.
L: We start a mini moshpit - a two person moshpit. We're listening to Breakdown of Sanity right now.
C: And Fit for a King's 'Creation Destruction.' I love this album right now.
If you guys weren't doing this, if you weren't doing music right now, what else do you think you would be doing? L: Like... actually? What would we like to be doing?
C: So if we never took off?
L: I think I'd be an investment banker right now... or an accountant.
C: Yeah, you'd definitely be an accountant, he's an accountant... and I would be digging holes right now!