words & photo_ melissa mallin
If you haven’t heard of the amazing dubstep artist Adventure Club, then either you’ve been living under a rock, aren’t into EDM or simply don’t know good music. The bass duo, combined of Christian Strigley and Leighton James from Montreal, Canada, are best known for their remixes of Flight Facilities’ “Crave You,” Foxes’ “Youth,” and Lips’ “Everything to Me,” as well as their original tracks “Gold,” featuring Yuna, “Rise and Fall,” featuring Krewella and “Need Your Heart,” featuring Kai. They’ve headlined at Ultra Music Festival, Sunset Music Festival, EDC Vegas, and are currently on tour with Safe in Sound Festival. When the Safe in Sound tour rolled into Pompano Beach at Club Cinema on Oct. 4, Distraction had a chance to sit down with the guys and talk all things music.
The duo met in high school and started their careers in music by making hardcore pop punk that initially transferred over into their dubstep sound, creating those heavy wobbles and perfect bass drops. What started out as nothing more than a hobby, learning tutorials off YouTube, quickly transformed these two into the big names in EDM they are today.
What initially sparked your interest to make music in the first place?
AC: Christian – My brother got a guitar at a garage sale and just put it into his closet and never played it. A couple months later I pulled it out and started playing, trying to play the rifts on tracks I’ve heard on the radio. I’d record them on my tape deck and just play them back and then replay them. I played piano when I was really young but my mom forced me to play so it was kind of like homework.
Leighton – It was pretty much the same for me. I grew up with my grandmother. She had a grand piano and everyday we’d just sit down and play.
Christian, I know that you scream. Have you guys ever thought about incorporating screamo into your tracks?
AC: Initially, yeah, that’s all we wanted to do. That’s kind of how we made the transition. We’d been listening to some dubstep remixes of hardcore tracks that we really liked because of the drops. They sounded like breakdowns- electronic, hardcore breakdowns. So when we started messing around with dubstep, that’s what we initially wanted and I don’t know… It just didn’t happen, we took a different route.
Can you guys walk me through what goes on in your minds when you sit down to create a song?
AC: Christian – Well, actually we’ll sit down and start on live instruments first. We’ll either both grab a guitar or I’ll grab a guitar and he’ll [Leighton] sit down and play the piano or a mini keyboard, which isn’t really live but close enough, and we’ll get the combination down. Then we either build around vocals or write them and just remix until we get it right.
How many songs do you produce that never actually get heard?
AC: 5 out of 6 don’t make it. If you go on our soundcloud you’ll just see so many songs. Our private links on soundcloud are literally like ten to one.
Ableton or Logic?
AC: Neither. We use CakeWalk X 3.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?
AC: Christian – Personally for me, I’ve been dealing with back problems, slipped discs and knee problems. I broke my femur and just a bunch of stuff. My body definitely took a beating. It’s been hard integrating the physical health problems into traveling all the time. You kinda just have to stay on top of it all the time or else I’ll wake up two days later and just be in so much pain.
How old are you guys?
AC: 26 going on 50.
Where do you guys see yourselves in the next five years?
AC: As far as the end of the year goes, it’s kind of already laid out for us as far as all our shows are all planned and booked. We’ve got a couple of new songs in the bank that are going to come out when the time is right. In five years, I mean you just don’t know. In five years if we’re still doing Adventure Club, we’ll be happy. If not and we’ve moved on to other things it’s just the force of life but hopefully AC’s still alive and kicking.
How have your parent’s been watching you guys rise to fame?
AC: Super supportive. They were a little skeptical at first because they didn’t understand the whole EDM world and they didn’t really know what we were doing. They were kind of like “someone’s buying your plane ticket so you can go… dj?”
What advice would you give to aspiring producers trying to get their music out there?
AC: Just take advantage of the online communities. They’re abundant and if your tenacious and you just keep putting it out there, going on and on getting it out to everyone that you can. There are so many areas that you can use to get your stuff out there so take advantage of it.
What message are you trying to get out to your fans?
AC: We love our fans like… to death. I feel pretty confident saying our fans are better than other people’s fans [laughs]. Our fans are special. We get a lot of love and support and it feels really committed.. it feels real. We want them to follow us and check out are new song base so that we can be updated with everything that were doing.
Last question. You guys are friends with Krewella. What’s your take been on the whole kicking rain man out situation?
AC: We are 100% supportive of the krew and we know that it’s been a really tricky situation and there’s a lot of sides and a lot of stuff and we’re just kind of supporting everyone and hoping that they get it out of it.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all of the new (and the old) songs below. And, if you missed you’re chance to see Adventure Club at the Safe In Sound Festival, be sure to buy your tickets and see them perform at Life In Color on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27.