100 Gecs Explain the Weird World They Built for Their 'Minecraft' Music Fest

Tonight, the experimental pop duo will host an online event that combines artists like Charli XCX and Dorian Electra with... songs about fava beans?
April 24, 2020, 6:02pm
100_gecs_Press_Photo_credit_Jairo_Cruz

A song about fava beans. Another about chicken sandwiches. Mysteries. Vibes. If you spend your Friday night at 100 Gecs' Square Garden, a music festival the duo is hosting within the video game Minecraft, that's exactly what Dylan Brady and Laura Les say you might get.

"There will be things you have to play at different speeds and different orders to understand," Brady told VICE. If you've been paying attention to Gecs' Technicolor dreamcoat of music, somehow that makes sense.

As artists from scenes from dance music to hip-hop have turned to streaming as a tool to cope with loss of income and satisfy a desire for connection in a time of isolation, the duo may be better equipped than most to rise to the challenge. Les and Brady made much of 1000 Gecs (VICE's No. 1 album of 2019) while living in different cities; and with Les quarantined in Chicago, and Brady in LA, that much hasn’t changed. They've also played sets in Minecraft in the past, including 2018's Coalchella and last year's Fire Fest, though now they're hosting the whole thing.

"We had the whole Tree of Clues tour lined up, but we couldn't do it, so we wanted to do some sort of event," Brady said, referencing Square Garden.

The tour would have started in March and hit Coachella earlier this month. While Minecraft's digital world is certainly a different user experience than the wilds of Indio, California, there is synergy with the tour and Gecs' upcoming Tree of Clues remix album. "It's a digitization of the concept," Les added. "We had a pretty intricate live show that we were working on, so we're trying to incorporate as many elements from that into it—the vibe for sure." The lineup features friends, forebears, and collaborators, including Charli XCX, A.G. Cook, Danny L. Harle, Cashmere Cat, Gupi, and Dorian Electra.

"It's kind of a celebration of this cultivation of the Gecs Expanded universe, the remix album and this festival and everything," Les said. "[The lineup] is mostly people that we have on the remix album, with a couple exceptions who are just friends or people we like."

Gecs' appreciate-everything-remix-anything approach means the world is their oyster, and tonight's set will no doubt be unpredictable, if what the two have been listening to in quarantine is any indication. Among the music Les has had in heavy rotation: "2 of Hearts" by Stacy Q, "Milk and Cereal" by G. Love & Special Sauce, a couple Young Thug songs, Sum 41's "Fat Lip," Weezer's "Beverly Hills," and "some screamo."

Brady says he's not been listening to much besides some Patsy Cline albums while he cooks, but he's been recording a ton of new music; on Thursday, Charli XCX dropped "Claws," which Brady produced, and recently, Rico Nasty teased a song on Instagram Live with his production, too. (She also appears on the Tree of Clues remix of "Ringtone.") If it feels like they are cultivating a new world, it's because they are; and it's not necessarily an intentional thing. The world they've built just includes the people and things and sounds they like.

"When we're on stage, we're just hanging. But we're also entertaining people," Les said.

Donations collected during Square Garden benefit Feeding America. 100 Gecs have directions for how to tune in on their website.

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