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Behind the scenes at Big Day Out with Major Lazer and Steve Angello

As part of our series of articles celebrating 90 Days of Summer with Vodka Cruiser, we headed backstage and behind the scenes with the Big Day Out artists to see what they get up to off duty.

“Big Day Out is like a big summer camp for DJs,” Dillon Francis told us recently, and from the stories we’ve heard over the past few weeks, the Mad Decent star isn’t exaggerating. From pick-up basketball games between unlikely acts to impromptu boat parties and late night seafood feasts, the Big Day Out tour gives the acts a chance to hang out, get to know each other, and maybe even spark some new collaborations.

We wanted to know what the acts really get up to during their downtime on tour, so we interrogated a few of our favourite acts backstage at the Sydney Big Day Out to find out what had been going down. Turns out they’d been up to plenty, from BBQing with Flume to being locked in the studio. Read on below for our interviews with Walshy Fire of Major Lazer and Steve Angello, and come back next week when we catch up with Dillon Francis, Big Gigantic and Peking Duk.


Behind the scenes with Walshy Fire of Major Lazer

Jamaican Walshy Fire spills the beans on BBQs and basketball.

So who’s idea was it to bring Flume out onstage at your Big Day Out set and have one of your dancers twerk on him?

I’ve gotta blame Curt from Flosstradamus for that, it was his idea to bring Flume out. We were like ‘Flume’s not gonna be down for this’, but Flume was definitely game. He’s officially a part of the crew now, original rude boy.

Now you guys are buddies, do you think that might translate into work in the studio?

Yeah man, believe it or not we’re actually leaving Flume’s house right now, we had a nice time there. We just went over to his apartment for a BBQ and some snags. He’s an amazing producer, great guy, so, for sure.

I saw you guys went fishing with Lorde in Auckland as well?

Yeah man, that was nice man, I caught the only fish for Team USA.

How did the collaborative studio session with Lorde go?

We haven’t done it definitely yet, it’s in the works. We’ve got some demos, so you know, it should happen, because she is a talent I can’t even explain.

Is the new EP still set for a February release?

Yeah, that’ll be a five or six song EP – we’re playing most of the songs on it live now. Lose Yourself is probably the most popular track, we’re shooting a video for that, Sean Paul is on it. A lot of the songs are already getting played amongst the DJs, so when it drops people should be all over it.

There was a long wait between EPs 1 and 2 from Major Lazer, and now it seems like this one’s come up quite quickly – did you have a lot of material sitting around?

A lot of material, man. Me, Wes and a couple of our favourite producers were in Miami and we knocked out 30 songs in a week, which is incredible. We were like, what are we going to do with so much material? Let’s drop an EP, as we had so many good songs.

Who won the basketball game you guys played with Flosstradamus and Arcade Fire in Melb?

Win’s [Butler] the best, man, he takes it serious. He’s six foot five, he plays for real. The rest of us are just kind of out there getting exercise. But he’s calling the fouls and trying to beat you by a lot.

I’d heard the Arcade Fire guys take it pretty seriously.

Yeah man, we went to check them out when they were practising [basketball] before they went on to play – they play for real. This tour has a lot of cool bands on it so I’ve been trying to meet as many people as possible, but it’s hard when you just get to the festival an hour before your set. But I’ve been trying to catch them all: Ghost was really good, Pearl Jam, Flume…just crazy.

So what’s next for you guys after Big Day Out?

After this we go to South Africa and then to Kenya for two Mad Decent Block Parties, and after that we’ll really start working on the album proper, working with people like Lorde and the Flosstradamus people.

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