Interview: Dillon Francis

From his home in LA to the global scene, Dillon Francis is a DJ and human being who is always in demand around the globe yet never loses his infectious groove and electronic soul. On the brink of releasing freshly mixed grooves and already making big waves with a steady stream of high quality tunes, Dillon is steadily radiating good vibes and raising the bar while searching for versatile pearls to rock listeners world. I caught up with Dillon to chat about his journey as a musician, his outlandish new music video and more. 

You ran wild with your imagination in your music video for “Go Off”. What lead you to bringing this concept to life?

I was just working with the director “Brother Willis” and I really really liked his treatment idea! It reminded me of a plot line like the old music videos I used to love watching on MTV, so we ran with it!

Tell us all about your experience of joining forces with Flosstradamus.

Floss and I have been touring together for ages and we finally made a song together after knowing each other for almost 9 or 10 years, so it just felt right to throw this party together. 

Explain how you were first introduced to Electronic music. Musically speaking, who has had the greatest influence on your musical soundscapes? 

I first heard it from my good friend Eamon, and he played me Bloody Beetroots’ remix to “Seek and Destroy” by Metallica. They called their remix “Ill to Destroy”…It blew my mind and it set off there, and then the person whose soundscape made me want to start making music was Rusko.

Photo Credit: Thomas Falcone

If you could sit under the table and listen to two human beings have a conversation to draw inspiration, who would you choose and why?

Hmmmmm. I’d kinda want to be in the conversation with whoever the two people were, but I also can’t think of two people right now. 

What have been the most important evolutions in your own music making over the years? Have there been specific ideas or techniques which opened up new creative possibilities for you? 

It’s just always trying to do something that isn’t already being done and trying to push boundaries to inspire other people 

Rumor has it that you are making new music at the moment. Give us the scoop.

Working on a new LP right now! That’s all I can say. I’m working my ass off though trying to get it done ASAP. 

Have you been to or played at Berghain? If so, what was your experience like?

I’ve been to the Berghain 1 time! It was awesome. They were playing amazing techno music and they kept opening the blackout shades to hype up the crowd. It was definitely a sight to see. 

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?

I love you all even if you hate me. 

Dillon Francis Social Links:



Interview: CloZee

Toulouse Electronic Musician, CloZee, has surrendered to her inner calling through continuously revealing layers of her kaleidoscopic musical vision through albums that move you such as her latest, ‘Evasion’. I caught up with Chloe to discuss her emotional sensitivity laced within her artistry, the importance of being honest and generous, intimate recording processes, upcoming Spring 2019 tour and more.

Congrats on the success of ‘Evasion’. I perceive that your music and delivery is just as much of an inner journey as it is outer. Tell us about what you learned about yourself throughout the creative and recording process. 

Thank you! I particularly learnt that I feel better about my music and in my life in general when I follow my current mood and feelings when a compose a song. I can’t force myself to try to create  bangers when I’m feeling emotionally sensitive. This is probably my most emotive and intimate work so far because of that. 

What is the most bizarre everyday object that you have used as an instrument throughout your time as a musician?

My set of keys. Love to add those « clings » sounds to the beat.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time? 

I think just confidence, in general. Still working on it though. It’s not totally there, but that’s what makes me work harder everyday so I don’t know if I want to totally overcome that feeling.

Photo Credit: Eric Allen

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the digital world and the social medias. I hate a lot of things about it, but I currently can’t live without if I want to spread my music and do what I love. I also met awesome people thanks to that. I’m all about it when it’s used in a smart way. 

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in. 

Being honest and generous.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

Good sleep (whenever it’s possible), good food, a good team of people and friends, and awesome fans are the key to stay excited and healthy on tour. 🙂 

You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us your perception of the difference between crowds in the states vs. crowds overseas?

Every crowd is different depending on the countries and type of events. I’ve experienced awesome crowds everywhere, and I had bad experiences too haha. I guess the only thing is that outside of America or Australia, my type of music isn’t very popular or known, so I never know how it will accepted and appreciated, because the scenes are very different. But this is also what makes my life exciting. 

Get tickets HERE to The CloZee Spring Tour 2019

If any of our readers have never been to France, what are some of your favorite urban exploring spots that you recommend to check out?

Toulouse, Bayonne, Lyon, Montpellier

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

I love you all, thank you for being here. I hope you’ll like the future music I’m working on!

CloZee Social Links:



Interview: Fire From the Gods

Austin natives, Fire From The Gods, are the full forced musical embodiment of empowerment. Blending a variety of genres including Hip-Hop, Metal and Hardcore, the Lone Star State gang has a lot to deliver and a lot in store. I caught up with the guys to further discuss being a part of Rise Records, not taking shit from anyone, how social media has expanded their artistry and more. 

Photo Credit: Zizi Friesen

First and foremost, introduce yourself to our readers. How did Fire From The Gods come to life?

My name is AJ and I am the vocalist for Fire From the Gods. FFTG has existed since 2007. FFTG under its current guise has been together for about 2 years. After various lineup changes over the years we now have a solid 5 member setup that we are very pleased with. 

Your Rise Records debut, ‘Narrative’, was a total hit with fans. Tell us about the creative process behind the album.

We wrote this record in about three parts. A majority of the pre-production was written and recorded in Texas with our co-writer and producer Robby Joyner of Black Book sound. The vocals and lyrics which took the most time were written by me in NYC where I lived at the time and the final product was recorded with David Bendeth at the house of loud in NJ. There is a lot lost in translation when sharing files back and forth. The plan was to record in Texas then have the record mixed somewhere else. Fortunate for us a window of opportunity was opened and we got the chance to record with David Bendeth in New Jersey. That move took the record and creative process to a whole other level.  Over about 30 days during the holidays we knocked it out. The end result was ‘Narrative’. 

Did you have any goals or intentions going into the studio before the recording process began? 

We went into the situation with D. Bendeth and The House of Loud knowing that we were going to have to step our game up. Many great records have come out of that place. The only real intention was to take full advantage of the opportunity. We had some prepro but we were unsure of what we were going to produce.  The label was very chill and very supportive. The folks at Rise were like give it your best shot. Everything we sent they loved so we kept going without hesitation. 

Have you been on the road testing any of the new material? If so, how have your fans been reacting to it? 

The last two tours we’ve played all new music from ‘Narrative’. The response has been mega! We played two very different tours. The Browning tour was closer to the metalcore “scene”  that FFTG comes from. There wasn’t much of a surprise that the fans of The Browning were into the music. The Otep tour was a very different landscape. Her fans are very dedicated to her and they embraced us. Many had checked out “excuse me” prior to the show. They came prepared to see us. We had great time.  

Is there another band that is signed to Rise Records that you would like to recognize for their musicality?

For sure. Rise has such a diverse roster at the moment. It’s very easy to find something for everyone. I really dig Of Mice and Men’s transformation over the years. Their last two releases are a testimony to the band’s maturity and experience. Tiger Army is an awesome band I grew up listening to. Their current Rise release is just as good as anything they’ve put out in the past. The new Crown the Empire is great another band that is changing and maturing. Cane Hill is the very embodiment of the best aspects of 90’s and early 2000’s Nu metal. Rise is a pretty cool place to be right now.

What bands or artists influenced the sound and playing style of Fire From The Gods?

So many. We talk about our diversity in the band a lot. Because we have such contrasting backgrounds. But we all share a common love for heavy music which ultimately influenced our record. There’s a bit of The Deftones, Poison the Well, Slipknot, Metallica, Rage against the machine, Sevendust, Sick of All, Hatebreed, Norma Jean, The Bled, The Used, Meshuggah, 90’s hip hop, NYHC, pop punk the list goes on. We could chat for days about the bands that influence us.

Have social networks been a key asset of creating your audience?  

FFTG had a pretty solid social media before our signing. Due to the band having an already extensive history. Each release prior to Narrative had a distinct sound with attracted fans from all over. So ppl have been talking about the band for a long time. It definitely helps. I don’t think it’s the end all be all for a band’s career. But it is certainly a fantastic tool to help build a career. I believe in the old school formula, you write a record you tour the record and you sell the record. Too many bands live and die on social media these days. There’s no substance especially if that’s your only method of reaching fans.  You have to play shows compounded with a solid social media presence to survive these days.  

You guys have a fierce amount of energy which is highlighted on your album but as well as in your live performances, Do you guys have any pre-show rituals to harness that energy?

Besides the usual stretching, warming up stuff we all just kind of do our own thing before the set. Bonner jams super high energy bands before showtime to The Bled, Every Time I Die, etc. Rich does as well sometimes. Jameson, Drew and I kind of zone out and get our minds right. FFTG shows are very high energy. We try to be relentless on stage.  

Last but certainly not least, do you have anything that you would like to share with your fans? 

Again, thank you all for taking your time to speak to us. Keep your head up and don’t take shit from anyone. Peace.

Fire From The Gods Social Links: 


Music Reviews

Brooklyn Musician, XI.ME.NA, Releases New EP – ‘Before You’

Brooklyn Musician, XI.ME.NA, takes listeners to a space of connection as she reflects upon her personal experiences, growth and downfalls throughout her mesmerizing new EP, ‘Before You’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “High Moments”, compelling instrumentals open up to lead into XI.ME.NA’s astounding vocals that are both deep and rich in soul while mimicking the likes of Paula Cole. Throughout “High Moments”, lyrics that take listeners down a road of reflection come back to the forefront of XI.ME.NA’s mind as she tunes into her divinity and reminds herself that it is within her present that she is able to receive and be. “Before You” is the second and title track that slows it down and instantly mimics the likes of FKA Twigs as haunting echoes add an element of mystery and darkness that compliments the lyrical trajectory that is drenched in sadness and emotions felt in moments of silence.

The third track, “There’s Me”, dials it down to a nearly A cappella spill of self-love as XI.ME.NA lyrically speaks of how deeply words can cut as her soul erupts with fury and fire that she knows in the back of her mind that she has held within for too long. Closing out with “Lions”, XI.ME.NA picks up the pace and elevates the minds of listeners as she lyrically is aware of her power and lioness nature as a woman while not being in fear of diving into danger to clear the debris and come back into her life as a bolder and brighter version of herself.

If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Adele, FKA Twigs and Sampha then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for XI.ME.NA on YouTube.

XI.ME.NA Social Links:


Music Reviews

LA-Based Musicians, Historian, Releases New Single – “Witch Hazel”

LA-Based Musicians, Historian, are back in style with a frenzied furry of Rock and Roll laced with soul throughout their latest single, “Witch Hazel”. Through the dark and sinister lyrical trajectory mixed with the smooth and mastered to perfection instrumentals, Historian finds their way into the homes and hearts of listeners with this fun track that stands out in their ever-growing discography.

Adding a dash of Punk that is both unexpected and pleasant, Historian has created a genre-bending dose of musical medicine that takes listeners to the depths of Rock and Roll heaven throughout “Witch Hazel”. Eluding to the fact that they are able to bring their introverted nature’s outward with style and class, Historian is bound to last and continue to stand strong in their true Indie colors. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as MUTEMATH, Modest Mouse and The Modern Lovers then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for Historian on SoundCloud.

Historian Social Links:


Music Reviews

LA Rockers, ROCKET, Release New Single – “GIANTS”

Los Angeles Musicians, ROCKET, are flying through an alternative universe of their own to end the year with their stand-out new single, “GIANTS”. Lyrically reminding listeners that everything that you desire begins with what you act on today, ROCKET mixes music that is mastered to precision with songwriting perspective that inspires listeners to find more within themselves and bring it outward artistically. Through playing the lead role with humble pride that naturally draws listeners their way, Janelle Barreto embodies the desired Lead Vocalist of a bands dreams as ROCKET continues to develop the confidence that keep them ahead in the ever-changing world of the music industry.

Having a variety of accolades under their belt including being voted as one of “Best Bands to Catch” by CBS Los Angeles, ROCKET is a group of impassioned rockers who have a bright 2020 to look forward to. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Social Distortion, Paramore and CKY, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for ROCKET on SoundCloud.

ROCKET Social Links:



Interview: Bluetech

Psybient DJ/Producer, Bluetech, has an uncanny way of chiming into the unknown to reach into the soul which translates into his otherworldly musical delivery. Ahead of his upcoming show in Detroit at Deluxx Fluxx on Thursday, October 3rd, I caught up with Bluetech to discuss being proactive about anxiety, the upcoming release of ‘Holotrope’, the importance of meditation and more.

Congrats on the upcoming release of ‘Holotrope’. Tell us about the message that you intended to portray throughout the new album.

Thank you! ‘Holotrope’ is a travelogue of sorts, a document of a self moving into more connected states of being, dissolving a bit of the control of the ego consciousness into more expanded awareness.  That all sounds a bit obtuse, but there is a definite repeatable series of experiences when you begin to look on the inside for answers, whether that’s through meditation or contemplative practice, or other modalities for exploring the inner nature.  Holotrope is a map of that journey.

Though a broad question, what have you learned about yourself and what skills have you developed through working in the music industry.

I’ve learned how to sleep on planes, no matter what! Sometimes I’m up for the next city on tour after only a few hours at the hotel, so putting myself into nap zone on the plane becomes an essential skill.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time? 

I pretty regularly struggle with anxiety, which is one of the reasons I’ve been exploring meditation and quiet time just looking at my own thoughts to see if I can make some peace with all of that.  I have lots of challenging thoughts, I think everyone does! The “practice” is learning to not identify with them as definitions of who you are as a person. Im learning to recognize when my anxiety pops up, and treat it like a little gremlin buddy.  Like “Hey anxiety, I’ve got some work to do. Heres a lollipop, pull up a chair and color in your book so I can focus ok?” Taking the sting out of it definitely helps, recognizing and honoring that its real, yet not surrendering to self limiting or negating productivity by getting stuck in a loop about it.

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

I’m not actually a huge fan of social media.  Seems to be more and more studies coming out suggesting that social media and obsession with checking smart devices is contributing greatly to a sense of unease and insecurity.  Anxiety and depression seem to be the malaise of the modern age, like our inheritance for all the “convenience” of technology. I definitely use it, and am trying to come to a place of peace with social media, and limit my usage.  It’s amazing how many less books I read since facebook, instagram, twitter the like take so many cycles of my awake time. I’m learning how to step away and not feel like I’m missing out.  

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in. 

I feel pretty proud of the fact that I’ve discovered an athletic lifestyle later in my life.  A few years ago I was looking at my 40th birthday coming and realizing I was very overweight and not really happy.  So I’ve gotten into working out and running, which I love. Just finished my 6th half marathon and 3 more planned for 2020. Not only have I trimmed up, but I have so much more energy and life force flowing through me!

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

Meditate.  Meditate. Meditate.  Whether its a formal sit in the hotel room and really getting a proper session in, or just counting my breaths to 10 repeatedly while standing in line for security at the airport.  Even 5 minutes is enough to quiet the racing thoughts and let go of _whatever_ is going on for me, and just have a moment of peace and remembering the stillness. I don’t mean to evangelize, but meditation is really the only thing I’ve found in my life that brings some peace and awareness and allows me to deal with the stress of being on the road.  And I’m like a baby beginner newbie meditator, and yet still…. It works.

You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way. 

I won’t claim to have any special mystical knowledge or inherited wisdom, though I have learned that being aware of and open to the unexpected brings a particular opportunity for magic. Sometimes its a conversation with the lady making my coffee, or a fan who reminds me how powerful music can be, or a late night bus ride to the next city with a gorgeous landscape passing away.  Another reason to disconnect from the phone, there is such wonder and awe available in every moment if we just slow down and notice.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

Be good to yourself.  You deserve it.

Bluetech Social Links:

Facebook • Instagram

Concert Reviews

Chicago Musicians, Umphrey’s McGee, Play Soul From the Heart in Detroit

Chicago Musicians, Umphrey’s McGee, brought the Umph Love and soul to Detroit for two sold-out nights of transcendent music that left concertgoers feeling as though they encountered an enlightening experience beyond the music. Playing hits trekking back decades, Umphrey’s McGee music is a spectical in itself beyond the glory and glow of the lights that naturally comes along with every one of their shows.

Photo Credit: Jessica Golich

Umphrey’s McGee Social Links:


Music Reviews

New York Rocker, Paul Maged, Releases New EP – ‘Fight To The Death

New York Rocker, Paul Maged, continues to charge forward musically from a place of consciousness and awareness throughout his latest EP release, ‘Fight To The Death’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first and title track, “Fight To The Death”, Paul begins with a guitar intro that mimics Billy Talent as lyrics that travel through the ups and down of daily life teach listeners to find out what will truly invigorate their spirit beyond the excess stimulus that we tend to immerse ourselves in to provide distractions from self. The second track, “Life Goes By”, slows it down into a place of metaphorically rich lyricism that steadily speaks of the lack of consciousness that individuals approach their lives with that only hurts them from experiencing the full human experience in the long run. “Nightstalker” is the third track that swiftly jumps into a pool of sin as lyricism that speaks of Paul falling to his knees for the apple of eye are smooth and full of universal language that will catch the mind of an enlightened listener.

The fourth track, “Off In The Distance”, slows it down into a piano intro that leads into lyricism that speaks of the past creeping up into the present while creating a space of the unknown that Paul sails through as he finds pieces of himself hidden within along the way. “The Resistance” is the fifth track that continues to spark a fire in listeners hearts with lyricism that questions the daily motives of individuals in society who continue to fall at the feet of consumerism and our evil political leaders. Closing out with “Illusions Go By”, Paul closes out with a slow dose of reflection that ties in spiritual thoughts that are intriguing while keeping listeners amped to remain in the present.

If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Rage Against The Machine, Billy Idol and Billy Joel, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Paul Maged on Spotify.

Paul Maged Social Links:


Music Reviews

Italian Funk Collective, The Black City, Release New Album – ‘Wake Up. The Funk.’

Italian Funk Collective, The Black City, are an idiosyncratic group of musicians that have morphed their obscure thoughts into a creatively detailed bundle of music throughout their latest full-length album release, ‘Wake Up. The Funk’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first and title track, ‘Wake Up. The Funk’, the guys jump in with ease akin to instrumentals of Grateful Dead which invigorates the minds of listeners as they travel down a journey of lyrical simplicity that is pleasing to the soul. The second track, “Stone Free”, is full of groove that will make you move as vocals that soothe the spirit gift listeners with a ticket to the other side and a place to glide through lyrics that pour forward the yearning for love. “Hour of the Beasties” is the third track that kicks up the pace with a fun Jungle instrumental that is mixed with Electronic which leads into a full-blown eclectic mix that sounds akin to a track by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The fourth track, “Cage”, slows it down into a lyrical exploration of freedom from internal incarceration that is accompanied by awareness of one’s personal freedom to embody their truest self at all times. “Be Quiet” is the fifth track that is full of mindfulness as the guys venture through the highs and lows of the experience of silence and the lack of sensory which could lead a mind either into inspiration or depravity.

The sixth track, “Original Sound”, begins with a Low-Fi ease that trickles into vocals that mimic the likes of Tricky as lyrics that speak of the power of vibrations spill forward and inspire listeners to reach toward peace. “Shadow Wake” is the seventh track that begins with a beautiful intro instrumental that showcases the dynamic group of talent that is The Black City as lyrics that speak of attempting to awaken from a long slumber leads listeners down under. The eighth track, “Goosebumps (Remix)”, begins with a bold proclamation of love that is warm to pleasant as funky instrumentals leave listeners spinning in a web of romanticism and sin. Closing out with “Funky Time (Remix)”, the guys close with lyrics that remind listeners that taking the high road is always the way to go.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Grateful Dead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and lyrics similar to Rage Against The Machine, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for The Black City on Soundcloud.

The Black City Social Links: