An Art Department Interview Backstage Of Coachella
There’s been quite a bit of controversy lately surrounding Toronto based duo Art Department. They made some pretty bold comments on Facebook earlier this week that questioned the integrity of three major, more commercial EDM DJs (Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke and Sander Van Doorn). Were these statements from members Kenny Glasglow and Jonny White merely publicity stunts or a necessary act made in defense of art?
MAGNETIC RECOMMENDS:Free Download- Art Department "Heartbreak"
Luckily for me, this interview took place during the second weekend of Coachcella, just a few days before all the Internet buzz, and we didn't have to discuss the drama. I could talk to Art Department on a casual level and avoid the on-going electronic music vs. EDM, vinyl vs. digital, press-play DJ vs. real DJ struggles.
This was their first Coachella experience- undoubtedly an important moment of any artist's career. We touched on this, as well as their upcoming second album, innate fashion sense, and got a better idea of all the genres of music that help shape them as artists.
Think of this as the calm before the storm-
this is your very first year performing at Coachella. I heard last week you killed it but is there anything you want to achieve with your set this week that you didn’t get to do last week?
Jonny: To be honest, I was so happy with last week’s set. It would be awesome if we could duplicate that, but we don’t plan anything. It’ll probably be a similar vibe with a few changes.
Any artists here who inspire you or you really wanted to see?
Jonny: I made a good go of it last weekend and saw a ton of artists I really wanted to see. The highlight for me, was probably seeing Nas do illmatic, like the full album.
Nice! So you are hip-hop heads, too?
Jonny: Yeah, of course! Beck was wicked. I saw the Pixies as well which was also a high point.
Kenny: Yes, Nas was amazing. Arcade Fire was a highlight for me. Oh, and Beck was really great.
So I know you guys play something like 130+ shows a year all over the globe in some of the most exotic places. How does Coachella rate and do you prefer the huge music festivals or the small intimate rave settings?
Kenny: We like both of those settings. We reach a lot of people at festivals who aren’t necessarily there to see you, which is good because you get new listeners from before. You are able to reach a lot of people.
Jonny: In general, I’d say more intimate settings because you can vibe out more with the people at the venue and it’s a lot easier to connect with people when you’re on the floor and there’s under 1,000 people vs. on a stage and there’s 10,000 people far away. To be honest, this party specifically was the most intimate feeling I’ve ever had at a festival.
That makes sense. What about your band name? I know what the Art Department generally means on set, but is there some story behind this?
Jonny: (laughs)It was just appropriate. Don’t read into the name too much. It was just a great name.
Kenny: Yes, he is great with names! (laughs)
What’s up with your 2nd album? When’s it being released and what can fans expect? Is it pretty dance oriented?
Johnny: It should be out in October...and no, it’s not dance oriented at all actually. I think it’s gonna catch a lot of people off guard. I mean, it still sounds like us, but it’s a lot more mature. I think there’s 2 dance tracks on it. It’s a good representation of where we are at right now.
I can’t wait to hear it. So I know you guys are interested fashion. Are you opposed to color though? I only see you wear black.Who are some other current designers you guys are feeling at the moment?
Kenny: Yeah, I only wear black.
Jonny: (laughs) No, wait...actually I just bought a pair of blue leather pants from Balmain. But, yeah we are super into fashion. Our standards are labels like Julius, a lot of Japanese stuff. Alexander Wang of course.
What’s new on your record label No. 19? Any artists we should check out that you’re excited to release?
Jonny: Yes, there’s tons of stuff coming out. Louie Fresco is about to release his new album and a single that came out on vinyl. Eric Volta, I don’t know if you are aware of him yet, but he’s on fire right now. Deniz Kurtel, Dennis Ferrer and basically our core group who we’ve been working with the last few years is really coming up now so we’re showcasing them.
Want to know more? Check out the premiere of OneBeat's I AM: Art Department. You can get a further glimpse of Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow as they describe what their lives are like as one of the biggest underground electronic music acts in the world.
Art Department Tour Dates:
April 24 Asheville, NC @ Moogfest: No. 19 Social Experiment
April 25 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
April 26 San Juan, PR @ One Club
May 10 London, United Kingdom @ Troupe at iCan Studios
May 16 Barcelona, Spain @ Ker: No 19. Social Experiment
May 17 Marseille, France @ DOCK DES SUDS
May 23 Boston, MA @ Bijou
May 24 East Rutherford, NJ @ EDC New York
May 30 Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Timewarp
May 31 Lima, Peru @ Superclub
June 6 Moscow, Russia @ Trokya: No. 19
June 7 Kiev, Ukraine @ Ostrov Festival
June 8 Manchester, United Kingdom @ Parklife
June 9 Ibiza, Spain @ DC10: Circoloco
June 14 Barcelona, Spain @ SONAR: No. 19 Social Experiment
June 16 Ibiza, Spain @ DC10: Circoloco
June 20 Paris, France @ Festival The Tribes
June 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Exchange: No. 19 Social Experiment
June 28 Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest
June 29 Toronto, Canada @ Digital Dreams: No. 19 Social Experiment