Together, Christian Strigley and Leighton James, better known as Adventure Club, have been revolutionizing the Melodic Dubstep movement with their original hits such as “Gold” and “Wonder,” along with chart-topping remixes like “Crave You”, “Youth,” and “Lullabies”. We met up with Adventure Club at Coachella to discuss their upcoming album and their debut at the festival.
So you guys are bringing out two special guests for your show today?
Christian: Maybe three…
Leighton: Woah, three? I don’t even know about that.
Christian: Yeah, so special that we don’t know about it. We just always anticipate someone sneaking onto the stage.
So it’s definitely Yuna & Kite String Tangle for starters. Could you talk about working with Kite String on “Wonder”?
Christian: Well we’re actually really close with Kite String, with Danny, he has the same management as us so we end up being shoulder to shoulder a lot, and we definitely see eye to eye on a lot of things so it’s amazing hanging out and working with him. The music ends up being a breeze. He’s just so talented that it’s almost impossible for something bad to come out with him.
Do you plan to work with him on anything off your upcoming album?
Christian: We’re definitely talking about it.
How many tracks do you have completed for it so far?
Christian: Just so many works in progress. WIPs.
Are you going to be re-releasing anything or all new material for the album?
Leighton: Maybe one or two… There’s definitely a couple I want to re-release, maybe get them out there a bit more. Maybe like this Yeah Yeah Yeahs song we sampled, called “Awake”. If we could get that one cleared it would be really cool to get out
Christian: Maybe our track called “Kaboom.” I’d be surprised if you’ve ever heard it, but it’s good. If you look it up its one of the first songs we ever made. Well from a production critique it’s pretty sloppy.
Can you talk about the inspiration and production of one of your new songs?
Christian: Well we actually found along the way that we’ve been getting back to our roots, kind of working on stuff that doesn’t necessarily have a focus on Dubstep, but has a focus on that feel we kind of coined as Adventure Club. And we were kind of getting away from it, and now that the album’s coming up we’re coming straight back to it because we love it so much and it just feels so right.
Leighton: We’re trying to find ways to implement that feel into different genres.
Like which kinds?
Christian: Well we’re also not being genre-picky. The genre that we’re kind of talking about is 128 BPM, but we don’t want it to sound like overly housey.
Leighton: No, we’re trying to just like switch it up.
Last time I saw you we were talking about how Skrillex’s “Recess” combined pretty much all genres. Were you guys inspired by that at all?
Leighton: I mean it was a really cool album, the fact that he was able to cross over into so many different genres is inspiring, and we kind of want to do something the same, just maybe not as far-out as he did it, we want to stick to what we know.
What's it like mixing your “Superhero Anonymous” mixes- does it take a long time or does it feel closer to a DJ set?
Christian: We definitely implement a lot of what we’re feeling out live, but its fun to actually sit down and be able to solidify something and put smaller detail work in that you wouldn’t be able to do on a spin.
Leighton: It gives us the freedom to put songs in that we normally wouldn’t play live. Like Superheroes 3 had like a 15-minute section of whatever I was feeling at the time – and obviously people didn’t like it too, too much because the first half hour was comment, comment, comment and then I went to this deep weird place and there was just… nothing. There’s just one comment that says, “This is the worst part of the mix.”
Christian: Yeah, you can’t really do that live. For example, our set today is 55 minutes, like you throw in some weird whatever-you’re-feeling stuff and half your sets gone by.
I mean those Superhero mixes have gotten so popular they have the power to to some degree help launch some careers, like the Chainsmokers. Do you feel like this power...
Christian: Superpower you might say…. (laughs)
Do you feel like once you get popular it's harder to experiment because of a responsibility to what people expect?
Christian: With great power comes great responsibility.
Leighton: Cheesy. But we really do try to rep our friends as much as possible. As long as the production is passible and the song doesn’t suck we consider it.
Christian: We don’t have as much politics with what we’re releasing.
Leighton: It’s more about the music. We try to be tastemakers without actually saying we’re tastemakers.
Christian: Yeah definitely can’t say that.
Leighton: Now we’re those pretentious assholes….
Well no, you guys have been doing a bunch of charity work. You just donated 17,000 to “fuck cancer” and are throwing the “do goo” Adventure Club benefit. Is that something you’re looking to do more in the future?
Christian: It’s one of the most rewarding things in our career today, so yeah. It comes naturally, and it feels right.
Leighton: We’re just in a position where we can do it now.
Christian: With great power comes great responsibility, we’ll just say that after every answer (laughs).
In that same vein, does your inspiration for music come more from the need to express yourself and create something artistic or does it come from a want to affect other people and give them a good time or good music?
Leighton: I think at first it was to express ourselves, then once we saw the power it had on people I guess the scales kind of shifted a little bit. When we create music we also now try to imagine what somebody listening to it would feel while they listen to the song.
Christian: Exactly. I feel like as long as we’re inspired that’ll translate to the fans. If it’s inspiring us then people who like stuff we’ve done before will hopefully like it too.
Are you guys working with the Chainsmokers on anything new right now?
Christian: There’s a work in progress…
Do you have any article of clothing that you love or has a good story behind it?
Christian: Well the shirt I’m wearing now, this “Bring Me the Horizon” tank top, I think out of the last 90 or so shows we’ve played I’ve worn it like 85 times and maybe washed it once. It’s gotten to the point that it can’t absorb any more bad smells. It actually doesn’t smell that bad. I guess it took in a lot of cologne and deodorant. I’ll walk into a smoky venue and walk out – everything smells like smoke except the tank top. It’s a magic tank top, but it’s getting a little dangerous. I’ll go up to the crowd and people just pull on it so it’s getting looser and looser.
Any awesome adventures lately?
Christian: They actually wrote a couple Adventure Time episodes about our own life experiences.
Leighton: Yeah, so basically just watch the show.
Christian: If you’re watching the show, you can pretty much flip a coin. If it lands on heads, it’s based on us.
-Julia & Jesse