In the heart of London lies the Sony Music Building, in which a certain Mr. Dillon Francis is found. Laid back on a comfy sofa and looking relaxed, Dillon is in fine spirits today and already has everyone in the room in fits of laughter with his general chat alone.
This is the personification of a star who has kept both feet firmly on the ground. With his debut album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule set for worldwide release later in October, we caught up with Dillon to have a chat about music, technology, cat fighting, cardboard boxes and other such matters…
HTF : Before we start with the proper questions, Chris wants to know if you’re going to replace the microphone of his you tried to eat when he interviewed you at Reading Festival in 2013? Apparently it still has the teeth marks.
DF : (Laughs) No way, he can replace it himself! He should be glad that I did it!
HTF : OK then, let’s skip straight to the most important question on the list. Who would win in a battle between your cat Mittens and Deadmau5’s cat, Professor Meowington?
DF : I don’t think it would be a good battle at all. Neither cat would win. My cat is really jumpy and he sucks so much and Meowington is pretty chilled out, I’ve met him a few times and he’s really laid back. Meowington would just be really laid back and my cat would look like it’s on crack.
HTF : Looking at your merchandise store, there’s some pretty crazy stuff on there! Such items as you singing ‘Happy Birthday’ underwater for $1,000 and dressing up as a pirate, then singing Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ for $4,000?
DF : I don’t know why nobody has bought those yet!
HTF : What gave you the ideas?
DF : It was just my manager and I sitting down and thinking of cool stuff to put on the merchandise store.
HTF : So are these drunk ideas?
DF : (Laughs) No, we’re completely sober when we come up with these ideas, we’re obviously just crazy people!
HTF : Another one is the Dillon Francis cardboard box. Is it re-usable and how many cats can it contain?
DF : It’s definitely re-usable and can contain probably up to (pauses to think) six cats?
HTF : What is the quality of the cardboard like?
DF : Oh, it’s the best quality cardboard that you can get! The best in the cardboard business!
HTF : What do you think the future for DJ’ing is? Do you like the modern technology or should we all be going back to vinyl?
DF : I think definitely Digital DJ’ing. I like Serato in conjunction with CDJ’s and I still use that instead of Traktor or Ableton. I have a huge library of music on Serato, which means that I can change to any song in my computer library, whenever I wish to. I think that’s where DJ’ing is going now, as everything is going electronic, but I still wanted that live aspect. I want to be able to rewind a record, drop in DMX or something and just change up the whole band.
HTF : There is a growing trend for DJ’s going back to vinyl at the moment though.
DF : Yeah, I find that weird, with how good sound systems are now, going back to vinyl is weird. It’s really easy for vinyl to skip.
HTF : What’s on your tour rider?
DF : On my rider I have:
One Steve Segal (Nothing Specified)
The A Team Van (Nothing Specified)
A lock of Justin Bieber’s Hair
Fruits and Vegetables
An artist rendering of myself as a Gigolo
A sock puppet of Bruce Willis
Two Action movies from between 1989 and 2004
HTF : You’re often quite a sharp dressed man on stage. Where do you get your best suits?
DF : Topshop. Topshop have really good suits that fit off the rack. Plus, they’re really cheap in comparison to suits that are custom fitted. Playing in suits, you tend to sweat a lot, so I would definitely say Topshop suits. They’re the best!
HTF : If I was to classify your music as EDM, would you punch me in the face?
DF : (Laughs) Punch you in the face? Of course not! You can call me EDM if you want, but I don’t like that term. I’ve always considered it dance music, but I guess dancing has been lost. I think we’re going to come back to it though. Like, with Wolfgang Gartner’s new album, he’s really pushing towards bringing back dancing.
HTF : Do you think that people who were once into what is classified as EDM, who now say they’re into Deep House, are following a trend or making a genuine switch?
DF : Oh totally, yeah! I think it’s wanting to look cool. EDM is so big now, it’s becoming the main-main-mainstream of music. With songs by people like Rihanna and Ke$ha, everything is becoming 128BPM. The songs are beginning to have drops in them without vocals, before the vocals come back in later. I think there’s now people who are switching to EDM from deep house, as they’re bummed out that deep house is becoming more popular than EDM.
HTF : Do you think that styles like deep house are a passing trend in the mainstream? You play a lot of different styles, most notably Moombahton, do you think some like that could become the new mainstream sound?
DF : Maybe… (Laughs) I hope so! If that happens, then I’ll be super-happy! I do love deep house, which is why I created the character of DJ Hanzel.
HTF : Ah yes, DJ Hanzel. He doesn’t seem t0o excited about the Mad Decent Boat Party coming up in November. Is this just because Flosstradamus has been booked to play?
DF : (Laughs) Yes, it is down to Flosstradamus for sure! It’s just that!
HTF : Would any other bookings please DJ Hanzel?
DF : Nope! He hates everybody… Except for Disclosure and Solomun!
HTF : Is there a chance of DJ Hanzel becoming so deep that he hits the Earth’s core and end up in hell itself?
DF : No, he’ll hit the Earth’s core and then he’ll burn up and die! That’s the deepest you can go! DJ Hanzel is a mortal.
HTF : There’s a lot of vocal drops in dance music now. Who would you say creates the best vocal drops? Little John and Fatman Scoop are two personal favourite shouty men, but would you agree with those or say somebody else?
DF : I totally agree, that’s a good call! I mean, I love that Skrillex record ‘Recess’ and I think Fatman Scoop on that works really well, his voice is so awesome! I also like a dancehall dude called Mr. Lex, his voice is so cool! General Levy and anyone who Major Lazer works with too.
HTF : One of your breakthrough tracks was I.D.G.A.F.O.S. What does that actually stand for? I’ve always assumed it’s I Don’t Give A F**k OK Sister?
DF : (Chuckles) That is so close! It’s actually, I Don’t Give A F**k Or S**t, but I like Ok Sister. I think I’m going to start using that. I Don’t Give A F**k OK Sister!?
HTF : There’s nothing like a good stage dive. Do you think you have made any good stage diving tunes?
DF : Definitely that one! I was talking about this recently. I think I definitely stage dove to that song in Nashville. It’s in the music video for it. I remember playing ‘Go Where Eagles Dare’ at a show in Chicago this one time. Nobody got the song, but I did stage dive to it!
HTF : Would you allow stage-diving at your show given the choice?
DF : No. I think it would be an awful idea. I think anybody who thinks ‘Oh Yeah, we can stage dive at the show’, won’t actually stage dive and will instead just bum-rush me. Then I don’t know what would happen!
HTF : I’m guessing the term ‘bum-rush’ means something very different in America to Britain?
DF : (Laughs) It doesn’t mean ass-rape if that’s what you mean?!?! Bum-rush! Hahahaha!
HTF : Speaking of Britain, what do you think of British culture? The crowds, the food and such.
DF : I don’t like the food, but that’s mainly because I don’t know where the good places to go are. I’ve talked to a bunch of my friends from England, I love the country so much, but I don’t like eating Indian food every day. Although, I’ve found you can walk into pretty much any place that serves Indian food in Britain and it will be good. I just remember being here a long time ago and finding myself in some random spots and the food was really bad. However the crowds are amazing, they’ve always been really receptive about the new music I play and I think that’s because everyone in the UK is really…
HTF : Drunk?
DF : (Laughs) Well there is that, but they are also really into new music. In the States, people go out to hear new music, they don’t want to hear the music they’ve heard before on the radio and stuff. I guess that’s what I’m like when I go out, I don’t want to hear the same songs, I want to hear stuff that makes me go “WHAT THE F**K WAS THAT!?!” and over here, that’s what it’s like.
HTF : So, to round things off, you’re debut album ‘Money Sucks, Friends Rule’ comes out on October 27th via RCA Records in the UK, and October 28th via Mad Decent / Columbia Records worldwide. Tell us why people should buy it rather than pinching it off of a torrent site?
DF : Just because it’s my first album and I’ve never made one before! That’s why!
Remember to go pick up a copy of Dillon Francis’ debut album Money Sucks, Friends Rule when it drops on RCA Records in the UK on October 27th!
You can pre-order the new album on iTunes by clicking here.