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Strange but true: Sandwell District on inspiring Skrillex

Back in 2011, two acts from contrasting ends of the dance music spectrum came to Australia for the Creamfields tour. On the mainstage, there was breakout star Skrillex, on the cusp of his stratospheric rise to household name (well, almost). On the techno stage, it was a rare visit from production masterminds Regis and Function as Sandwell District. In a new, wide-ranging interview with Red Bull Music Academy, Function offers some stories from that tour, including a surprising encounter with the “pop Aphex Twin” Skrillex.

“When we were on that tour Skrillex actually told us that we got him back into ‘acid breaks’. [laughs] He’s a lovely kid, a sweetheart of a guy. I get why he’s so big. A pop Aphex Twin. When Aphex first came out he was separate from everyone. There was house, there was techno. And there was Aphex. He has that same sort of appeal in the way that he’s being perceived.”

That tour also featured Deadmau5 and his Rubik’s Cube in the closing slot, which made for a notable encounter between the line-up’s headliner and techno heroes.

“In the backstage of the Melbourne show, there were two signs,” Function recalls. “One was for ‘all artists’ with an arrow pointing one way. The other said ‘Deadmau5’ with an arrow pointing the other. [laughs] Even Skrillex had his own cubicle. It was like an office back there. It was towards the end of the night, and we’re in the backstage area turning a corner just as Deadmau5 finishes, lifts his head off and goes off the stage. 15,000 people are going crazy.

“You couldn’t have planned this better. As we’re turning the corner, Karl just happens to singing the Mickey Mouse theme song. ‘M. O. U. S. Eeeeeeeeeee.’ Right into his face. All of a sudden his manager is there. The organiser of the festival. It got separated, but… [laughs].”

The interview also touched on one of ITM’s 35 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2013, Function’s Incubation, set to be released on Ostgut Ton, the DJ’s early experiences of New York’s club scene and his dynamic with Regis – read on over at the RBMA site.