Infected Mushroom will be playing Webster Hall in NYC on Friday, Aug. 8th, 2014. Purchase tickets here.
(Interview from 1/22/13)
Before Infected Mushroom nearly tore down Brooklyn Bowl during an absolutely insane DJ set last week, the guys took the time to sit down with Live For Live Music and answer some questions about the band’s past, their new direction, and upcoming plans of gigs at Coachella and Ultra and collaborations with Porter Robinson, Zedd, and Steve Aoki. Read the highlights below:
On the new direction of dubstep and drum and bass on their latest album, ‘Army of Mushrooms’:
Duvdev: “I think after two heavy metal albums, which was the Black Schwarma and Vicious Delicious, me and Erez came back to listen to electronic music after so many years and dubstep came about in the beginning with Bassnectar and all these kinds of guys. Skrillex was still…and we fucking loved it, you know? And said, “Let’s do that.” And then Electro and then Glitch opened and everything. We actually like it, so that’s why we experiment in that and the new EP that is coming out now, which if Friends on Mushrooms is going to have shit loads of new stuff. Reggae, moombahton, everything, dubstep, whatever.”
On the genesis of their cover of the Foo Fighters’ ‘The Pretender’:
Duvdev: “I think me and Erez wanted to a drum and bass track, basically, because we’ve never done it. So we started a track, Drum and Bass, 174 [bpm] and then when I came to the studio, I heard the Foo Fighters track, which I love, ‘The Pretender’, said this is kind of the same beat, you know? So we looked it up online, we put it next to the songs, the same. You know what? Let’s fucking cover the Pretenders and it came. We didn’t plan…”
Erez: We don’t plan too much.
Duvdev: We don’t plan shit. People think we plan to. We just go to the studio and what comes is what comes. That day I listened to the track on the radio said, “Fuck yeah. Let’s cover it.” You know?
On releasing the album through Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records:
Duvdev: Steve Aoki is a good friend. He said, “You know Duvdev? Let’s bring in Infected Mushroom into Dim Mak and do the shit you want to do and we’ll promote it.” You know? No…nothing about the music…nothing about this is not exactly the Dim Mak sound, Steve. I want this sound need to be Dim Mak to actually make Dim Mak more of a…because at Dim Mak they have Aoki, the Bloody Beetroots, Infected, whatever. There’s so many…so basically what he wanted to do is spread the label kind of music wise and when that came and actually said…we said, “You know what? They’re so many styles. Let’s do it.” And he has been so supportive and the guys leave it up to us. We’re finally happy that there is label that is two streets from us. So if shit goes wrong, we just shout it and you know it’s good. Instead of having a label in New York…
Erez: So crazy…
Duvdev: Or Europe or what…fun, everything worked. They see head to head with us, so…
On whether or not Infected Mushroom’s live band will return to the United States soon:
Duvdev: 100%. Yes. We stopped it because of this production at the moment, but we’re doing live shows all around the world and we’re going to do it in the US again. The live element has a different vibe and a different style to the show and we love it. As much as we love the new ‘Fungus Among Us’ kind of vibe, the live element is rocking guitars and shit, so definitely. Shelved at the moment, but definitely coming back.
On the influence of hip hop in their sound:
Duvdev: Matisyahu’s a good friend of ours and we have a new…we have Artillery, which was done with Swollen Members. We have a new remix coming out of us and Matisyahu doing Artillery as a mash-up. We love hip hop when it suits our needs. When it’s heavy and stuff and that. So look for that in the future, for sure. You know I like what’s their name from the UK now? With Skrillex and all these guys?
Erez: Foreign Beggars.
Duvdev: Foreign Beggers. Fuck yeah. You know I love this shit. You know. When it’s heavy and it’s grinding. Why not?
On collaborating with Datsik and Jonathan Davis, and updates on future collaborations:
Duvdev: Oh, hell yeah. Well, you know what? When we met Datsik. I became friend of him actually last Electric Zoo and told him, “You know what? Let’s do something together and he said, “Fuck yeah.” You know. So me and Erez started doing two minutes, we send it to him and he loved it and send us a track back and it was Evilution ready, but then he let…he was touring with Jonathan Davis, which is a friend of ours. He told him, “Listen, I’ve done a new track with Infected Mushrooms. It’s really rocking.” And he heard it and he said, “You know what? Why I want to sing on it.” And he recorded actually on the bus, so this was not planned the whole thing. It just went dot, dot, dot, dot. Definitely a new collaboration with that. Thinking in this coming year, Seven Lions already ready, Pegboard Nerds, Savant, Zedd, Porter Robinson, all these guys are lined up vocalists. Steve Aoki, of course, which we haven’t collaborated, yet, but we put this EP so many, many collaborations this year.
On the chance of alienating fans when switching styles and evolving sounds from album to album:
Duvdev: We took that, many years back, very seriously, but this has become a phenomenon with Infected Mushroom and the album they have the hardcore fans that go, “What the fuck is this?” But then after two years when we put out a new album, they go, “I want it like…” So we cannot please everybody and that’s understandable. If you are into one genre and Infected Mushrooms is not representing that genre anymore, move on. You know? You can bitch about it and it’s fine, but I say move on. You know? If I don’t like a back anymore, I don’t bitch about it. I have the moments that I do like about that band. I love the old Metallica. I hate the new Metallica. I don’t bitch about it. I just listen to the old shit. That’s what I like and people have to understand that. If you have an album that you like, listen to that album. We, as musicians, because we’re doing it for so many years, we cannot stick to one genre. It’s boring for us. You know? We have to move on. So that’s what we’ve done.
On whether or not the band would ever go back to producing psytrance:
Duvdev: Definitely. We’ve done now with this new album a track with Astrix called “Astrix on Mushrooms”. It’s a super old school psytrance track that we would never have done if he didn’t push us to it, but now I love the result, so he pushed it to the old school. And definitely, you know, we want to do an orchestra album, a whole classic album, an acoustic album. What not? Not always pushing forward, but just doing different stuff.
Erez: Its about fun when we make music…If you don’t have fun, it sounds like shit.
On whether or not they still identify with psytrance as a genre:
Duvdev: We’re Infected Mushroom. We like psy trance, but we do not…the majority of our…if you listen to our live set now, there’s only 20% psy trance…
Erez: Not even that. Yeah.
Duvdev: Not even that. How we can be defined as psytrance anymore. We love the genre, but we don’t pursue it anymore, sometime we do, but we do everything from moombahton, reggae. We like to be considered as an electronic band. Come check us out, we do whatever we do. You know?
Their thoughts on Shpongle:
Duvdev: We have tracks together with Hallucinagin and Shpongle. We love Shpongle. It’s one of our favorite artist back in the time. He’s more of a psy that it’s not, but he really takes it to the ambient, kind of freaky level. We love that shit. You know? And he’s very talented. He pushed…he’s the only one from our crew that packed into the US and I wish more because there’s so many talented artists in the psytrance movement that didn’t push to the United States like Lillix, Ace Ventura, Astrix, Skazi that can destroy the dance floor also over here, so maybe in the future.
The band’s festival plans this summer:
Duvdev: Oh, yeah. We’re going to go Ultra. When this is going up?…I could say Coachella but I’m not allowed to. We are doing it with the spheres…Yeah and many festivals around the country. Some EDCs, some this, some that and yeah.
Infected Mushroom’s latest EP, Friends With Mushrooms Volume 1, is out today on Dim Mak Records. Check it out, here.