We talk to InnerPartySystem – aka Kris Barman, Patrick Nissley and Jared Piccone – backstage at their live DJ show at London's Corsica Studios about playing illegal parties, touring with Pendulum and their forthcoming mini-album, Never Be Content, which comes out on Red Bull Records on March 7...
How was your show last night at Madame JoJos?
Jared: “Awesome. It was our first show in the UK in over a year, so it’s nice to come back and see that people still really care about us.”
You’re playing in quite a different venue tonight. Does this remind you of your former warehouse party days?
Jared: “Yeah, but they were much bigger than this. And mostly they were illegal and the cops would come at some point. There was a warehouse in Philly we’ve played at a few times: it has three floors and can fit 2,000 people in the place. The last time we did it there they had fire-breathers too – it was like a circus!”
It must be great to have that flexibility: you can play the big arena shows and then you can also DJ in underground clubs too?
Jared: “It’s a totally different vibe and satisfaction. Usually I play drums, so I’m pretty married to what’s going on all the time, whereas with our live DJ set [which they do in clubs] I can jump around and let go a little more. We do a lot of different stuff, like opening for metal bands, so it’s always nice to have a change of pace.”
Are you fans of partying? You look pretty partied-out at the moment...
Patrick: “I partied a little hard last night. We went back to the hotel and that was really it, but we drank more there. There was a lot of Jack Daniels!”
'I really don’t like pigeonholing things into genres. If it’s good music, it’s good music'
Do you associate yourselves more with dance, pop or rock?
Patrick: “I really don’t like pigeonholing things into genres. If it’s good music, it’s good music. But the material we’ve been coming out with recently is more electronic than our other releases and rock is losing.”
Did you have any new musical influences on this record?
Patrick: “I don’t listen to that much music. If I do, it’s from the ’70s. I’ve been big into disco: it has good basslines and it’s funky.”
Will this album surprise your fans?
Kris: “I think anyone who liked the old record is going to like this record. A lot of people are saying that we’ve got a crazy new direction, but I don’t see it as a 180-degree turnaround or anything, it’s more of a 30-degree turn. Or, maybe 45 degrees.”
It’s certainly more electronic. What does dance music allow you to do that rock music doesn’t?
Kris: “I think we just really like interesting sounds and parts, so anything that’s not by the book. That’s what we aim for. [With dance music] we can meld songs together and make more of a cohesive set, like a DJ set would be. And it allows us to do stuff like tonight. Tonight’s not our live show, it’s more of a DJ set including our remixes.”
I read that you amassed a lot of new gear to make the record, was mastering it a challenge?
Jared: “I don’t think there’s anything about making music that’s much of a challenge. It’s about: ‘I really like how this sounds when I twist this knob, let’s twist it some more.’ If you try and aim to do something specific, it never ends up as good as if you try what comes out naturally.”
What about the inspiration for the lyrics?
Patrick: “It’s anything, really: each of the songs has its own different story, whether that’s about relationships or opinions. And the idea of ‘money makes the world go round’ was a big influence, obviously.”
You got some stick on Twitter because some people thought you were being unpatriotic…
Jared: “Yeah, someone was hitting me really hard one day about American Trash and I was like: ‘Dude, if you read the lyrics it’s actually kind of a positive song’. We’re not saying that we don’t want to live in America, we love America, but we’re just saying that we think we can do better as a country. We’re all fucking up.”
You’re about to go on tour with Pendulum. Is it fair to say you are excited?
Jared: “We’ve been shooting for this for a while. We’ve done a lot of tours with bands that didn’t quite make sense for us, but sometimes there are some confused people in the audience. Pendulum is another step in the right direction for us and we’ll be in front of a bigger crowd that will be receptive to what we do. There’s going to be a load of kids going apeshit.”
- Visit the official InnerPartySystem website
- Visit the official Red Bull Records site
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