Dillon Francis Gives No Fux About Haters, Talks New Album Collabs, Diplo [Exclusive Interview]
Dillon Francis has one of the strongest fan bases in all of dance music and they’ve been along for a wild ride lately, enjoying his wildly popular Money Sucks, Friends Rule album, hearing the announcement of the filming of his new MTV pilot show, and anxiously awaiting his highly-anticipated Moombahton EP with Skrillex.
In the midst of all this action he’s still managing to reach his fans on tour and we were able to catch up with him at his Washington DC stop.
We discussed his favorite vocalists and he confirmed working with a few including Fitz and the Tantrums on his next album. Dillon breaks down his album and clears the air about any criticism he received about the poppy songs on it, commenting on the haters and referencing the hate that Avicii received when he tried something new. Lastly, he talks about working with Diplo/Mad Decent and Columbia at the same time, the role that each plays, and how much musical freedom he’s given. Read all of that and more in the full interview below.
On who he considers his favorite vocalists right now:
“The ones that I want to work with for my next album are Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie…”
“…James Mercer, the lead singer from The Shins. I’ve been a huge Shins fan forever and I really want to work with them…”
“…I’m going deep back into my indie background, like I really want to work with The Radio Dept. I think their vocals are so cool and indie and they would work really well in like a very “We Are Impossible” style song except more airy…”
“…Oh I also really want to work with Fitz and the Tantrums which I am. That just got confirmed today [to be on the next album]. So I think that band is fucking incredible.”
On the amount of criticism he received for the poppy songs on Money Sucks, Friends Rule:
“I think I received less than I had anticipated but I still thought with how I structured the album…I actually thought I wasn’t going to receive any because of how I made it really diverse and like I put in the Moombahton songs. Like, truly, I think there are four Moombahton songs on there – “Not Butter” even though it’s like hard techno it’s still in the same veign. “I Can’t Take It“ that’s exactly my style of Moombahton I’ve always made. “What’s That Spell” starts off with 128 and goes into bouncing Moombahton. And then [“We Are Impossible”] it’s like a pop, somewhat in [Moombahton-style]. But, I felt with doing those and then like “Love In The Middle Of A Fire Fight“ and then like “We Make It Bounce” and “Set Me Free“ I thought that would [make people happy]. And yea, some people got mad but I think that’s just going to happen with everyone who’s taking a step out away from what they’re doing. Like look what happened to Avicci, everyone got fucking mad at him…Even A-trak he wrote up this whole thing on Instagram a couple days ago that was just really awesome to read. He was talking about people pushing the envelope and doing different things and not just making the same mainstream stuff. I don’t know, I think that whoever the naysayers are they will probably come around.”
On continuing with the poppy style:
“…Yea, I mean my music has always been poppy if you listen to “IDGAFOS” like I made that song when I was remixing that song “Stereo Hearts” [by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine, video below] and that was a pop song. And so I’m always going to have that pop melody stuff and I’m always going to do the Moombahton stuff and I’m going to continue doing everything. I love doing everything!”
Memorable moments from Mad Decent Boat Party:
“The Major Lazer performance was incredible because I was hanging out with Travis Scott the whole time and he let his guard down and was just being the happiest dude ever. I took him out to go and do the Major Lazer run-back-and-forth thing! Also the beach party when everybody ran in the water. Oh and the 3:30 am set where everyone came up on the mic.”
On working with Mad Decent and Columbia, the roles that each play, and the musical freedom they give him:
“As you can see, I’ve been doing whatever the fuck I want to do and I’ve been doing that ever since I first started working with Diplo. And he’s always encouraged that. He’ll give advice but that’s on you to take it or not. So, I love working with Mad Decent and that’s why they’re still a part of my deal with Columbia. They just do a lot of the marketing for us. They leave it in our hands. And Columbia is pretty much along for the ride…they give us resources and want to be a part of it and we want them to be a part of it….I have a good team. Diplo does my publishing. I get to use him as much as I want. I can always send angry emails like “dude, hook me up with this person” and he’ll hook me up through emails….I was expecting to lose a lot [of the freedom I have] and I haven’t…the A&R guy that I work with is amazing, he’s super easy to deal with and he’s always on my side.”