Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus has had a career so multifaceted it's hard to keep track. As if scoring a film and running a record label wasn't already worth a slow clap, he still manages to indulge his alter ego Captain Murphy, all the while keeping time for some light astral projection.
THUMP: I just read on Twitter you're moving house. I moved house a few months ago, and all my belongings are still in my car.
Flying Lotus: Oh man yeah, it's such a drag.
It's shit to do just before you have to head to to Australia in a couple of weeks. Do you miss LA when you're away?
Yeah, I get homesick. I get homesick driving to the grocery store. It's part of the great job that I have, but you know, I'm never away for too long. I never leave LA for too long. I'm not one of those that go on a tour of the whole world. I probably should be, but I'm not.
We'll make it as comfortable as we can. Can you give me a spoiler of the visuals you have planned?
There's going to be some new stuff, and building on some stuff that we've already got.
Your graphics on stage are such a big surreal part of your performance. It's like they're from another universe. I read that when you were putting together Until the Quiet Comes you thought up aspects of the album through astral projection. Do your own dreams influence your music much?
Strange dream experiences I've had that have been—otherworldly—I got inspired by that when I was making Until the Quiet Comes. I got inspired by my curiosity, I tried to put that in my music. I wanted to make a record that was kind of dreamy, like a lullaby: magical, ethereal, like dream sounds—I got inspired by what else was out there. I think that's what my sound is like.
Until the Quiet Comes had all the themes of subconscious and dreams; do you have any big themes for the new album?
It's similar to concepts I've played in before in that respect, but the story is a lot deeper this time round and the journey is more intense. It's shaping up to be something really interesting.
Is it darker than your last album?
I would say so, more than the last one definitely. But at the same time I feel like there are moments of light and funny moments, moments that are really silly. I do a lot of the stuff with a smile, even if it's epic and serious, I do it with a smile, I do it playfully. Even though it's intense and deep, I also like to laugh at it too.
Is Captain Murphy going to be on your new record?
Yeah, he'll be on there. Not like how you think though.
Is it weird to have both of your alter egos together in the same project? I imagine them as being from different worlds.
It's funny you say that because I feel like the Captain Murphy stuff on this album is not like the Captain Murphy album at all. It's totally different. It's like Captain Murphy playing in Lotus world. I'm really conscious of all that stuff, I'm really conscious of the balance between the sounds. It's a big deal to me. There's a time for everything. This album will finish up and the Murphy stuff will pick up. It's almost as if the story continues. But if people are expecting the stuff on the album to be like the Captain Murphy album, then it'll be a rude awakening.
You've said this album is going to be more jazzy and it might be, "kind of jarring at first."
Yeah well I've always been into jazz—I don't hide that. But I feel like in past records it's kind of been I've been kind of exploring it, kind of toying with it: having bits of it going though. But now it's completely out of the gate on this record, so I'll swing it. I think in the end I feel like we always come back and we use more jazz as higher beings. I feel like that's the main line through line the album.
Flying Lotus will be touring through February and March for Thump. For dates and details click here.