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Classixx Talk About the Evolution of their Live Set and LA’s Best Drunk Food

On a baking hot hotel balcony, we met up with members Michael David and an already sunburned Tyler Blake to talk tours, tunes, and tacos.
March 24, 2014, 8:47pm

Between constant touring over the past four years and a phenomenal album, Hanging Gardens, released in May of 2013 on Innovative Leisure, Classixx are a group that need no introduction in our current music environment. Some time between breakfast tacos and Shlohmo DJing a Resident Advisor party, I met up with members Michael David and Tyler Blake on a sunny balcony of The Hilton. Having arrived earlier that day to play a showcase, the duo was in the swing of SXSW and eager to get chatting.

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THUMP: Hey guys, great to see you again. I think the last time I caught you was with Oliver in Vancouver.
Michael: Oh, man that was fun. It was like a dance party tour where we just did DJ sets. Those guys are our good friends.

Tyler: Yeah, it was nice DJing with Oliver because we've been doing these live tours that are a lot more strenuous.

Really? I've only ever seen your DJ sets. When did you start the live thing?
M: We first started playing live about a year ago almost.

T: Hanging Gardens came out in May of last year and we started just before that. The album came out halfway through the tour and we'd done a few tours before that, supporting friends of ours. First was this band called The Presets from Australia, and that really helped us learn the ropes—not like, playing our instruments ropes—just how to tour live. It really helped. Then, the second time around we knew a little more for our support tour with Toro Y Moi. Now we're in the middle of our first headlining tour.

What's the plan for your current tour?
T: Well, it's 22 dates and we're about halfway through right now. We started in the mid-West and had a really great sold out show in Chicago; we worked our way down to the South here to SXSW, then we head over to the East Coast. DC, New York, Montreal and Toronto.

What's your favourite city to play in?
T: Los Angeles, man. It's home. It takes a long time for your hometown to embrace you, but now they have and it's really cool.

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Are you guys working on a new album right now?
M: The idea is to work on a new record eventually, but while we're touring it's obviously a little difficult to get super involved, but we're definitely creating some blueprints.

T: A beat here and there, but when we get done we'll have a lot more time to focus on it.

Where are you guys taking your music? Will it be influenced by Hanging Gardens?
M: I mean, our new record will probably evolve a little bit, but we're not too worried about that. As long as we continue to make stuff that we enjoy and other people will enjoy.

T: Yeah, as far as developing our stuff goes I don't think we're too conscious of that. I'd imagine that we're listening to different stuff now than when we started, and that'll definitely factor into where the music goes. Really, we just want to make some good tunes.

I've noticed that your sound has been received especially well in Australia. Are you conscious of that?
T: Australia has laid a lot of groundwork for bands.

M: Yeah, we play Australia a lot just by virtue of the fact that bands down there have laid the groundwork for where our music has gone.

T: We're friends with guys like Cut Copy and Bag Raiders, a lot of Modular People groups and Future Classic groups. Their sound integrates with ours and it just happens to be a place where people like the stuff that we make. I don't really know how or why.

Who are some artists on your radar right now?
T: Our label Innovative Leisure is really good at finding artists that don't have as much attention as they deserve.

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Are there any recent Innovative Leisure records that stood out to you?

M: They put out an album from Rhye that I'm really into.

T: And another by this group called De Lux who are kids from LA. They're a lot younger than us and they have something cool going on. They'll definitely be making music for a long time to come.

Last but not least, if it's 4 AM in LA and you're shit-faced, where would you go to eat?
T: Oh, man…

M: Taco trucks! The Mexican food in LA is far out, haha.