Interview with Black Tiger Sex Machine @ Imagine Music Festival
OneEDM: How are you liking Imagine?
BTSM: We were here last year. It’s awesome.
OneEDM: You guys blew up over the last year.
BTSM: The last couple of years we played a lot of great shows, great festivals. As the months go by it seems like we have more and more fans in the crowd. We’re more of a group that builds off of word of mouth and doing more and more shows.
OneEDM: I heard you guys just got out of Orlando.
BTSM: Yup, Thursday. It was Thursday.
OneEDM: We were in Tampa, but we have contacts in Orlando. We heard you guys murdered that!
BTSM: Thanks, that’s awesome. It was a great night.
OneEDM: My question for you guys is: Most fun venues or areas, like regions you guys have played? Basically, what’s the best place you love to play?
BTSM: We were talking about it earlier. Grand Rapids, Michigan was great with Electric Forest. Grand Rapids, they have this one awesome venue there, we’ve played a few times. You know the Midwest, in general, is really awesome. Iowa, Omaha, and Des Moines. I gotta say here, like down in the south like Florida, Georgia. We played a couple festivals around here as well. We played Tomorrow World, Hangout Fest in Alabama. And yeah, coming from Orlando yesterday, like people they party! They party hard it’s awesome, even for us.
OneEDM: Do you guys shift your set style when you go to different regions?
BTSM: No, we organize a lot of stuff behind every track. We didn’t do it tonight because the setup’s pretty good, but in Orlando we did it for the first time. We kind of change our sets based on what we want to play. Like the night before, how did the crowd react to this? Right. Then the next day we don’t think, “oh, the crowd might react this way.” We just think what are people reacting to in general in the sets we play. How should we maybe tweak the sets? Bring in this new song. What song to take out. It’s always evolving, and it’s always, you know, just trying to keep people moving. But we won’t be like, “oh, we’re playing this region, so we’ll change it this way.” We don’t do it that way. We do about 40 different sets a year. Sometimes it’s like one song will change; sometimes it’s like half the set.
OneEDM: Are you guys staying [at Imagine] for the whole weekend?
BTSM: No, we are going back home tomorrow.
OneEDM: Did you see any good sets, or check anything out?
BTSM: We were just at Gorgon City. It was very untraditional mix-type. Really nice, like house music. It’s a flow that’s different.
OneEDM: Do you guys ever perform without the helmets?
BTSM: A couple times a year we’ll do afterparties, or just DJing without the helmets. It’s a logistical challenge; traveling with them, putting them on, making sure everything works alright, the system changing the lights.
OneEDM: Have you guys had any interactions with the other helmet DJs? Like Deadmau5?
BTSM: We’ve tweeted at him a couple times. But we’ve never met in real life. There was this time where he roasted us, but not like hate level. It was a good roast, not where he destroyed us. We were like, “we’ll take the heat on this one”. Then we made a joke and he followed us, so yeah it was cool.
OneEDM: You have any big releases, upcoming tracks, or tours?
BTSM: Next Wednesday, the first single on the 2018 LP, it’s called ‘Lions’. We played it tonight and we played it the last couple months. We’re excited to release it.
BTSM Shares Tales from the Stage
OneEDM: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen during a live show or at a festival?
BTSM: The craziest thing we’ve probably ever seen was when we played this set at Wakarusa in Arkansas. It was 5 a.m. when we started. The stage was a very epic kind of setting. Kind of down a hill, in the forest, with the sun coming up. It was beautiful. It was a very wooded stage. It felt like a scene from Lord Of The Rings, a lot of silhouettes and stuff. Then, all of a sudden everyone points at this naked guy in a tree. He’s swaying back and forth in this tree and everyone is like, “Oh my god!” “Oh my god!” We have our helmets on, looking at it like “Oh my god,” is this really happening? It was a security risk so the stage manager got us to stop. It was like the last set of the night, so they stopped us ten minutes early. Which was good, we were about to dip out. It was the coolest sunrise set ever. They had everyone leave the stage. They tried to get the guy down. He finally got down but then he started running and just booked it. Five security guys are running after him down the hill, towards the stage, which is like the cleared off area. A guy jumps through the air to try to tackle him, misses him, [and lands] into a bunch of trash cans. It was like some slapstick stuff out of a movie. It explodes. Then, he is running towards the side of our stage where it’s like a barricade, and behind it, it’s just a forest and a slope, and it stops at about height level. And he’s running, jumps, and clips the edge of it. And he starts bringing it down. The security guard jumps after it and they just destroy the fence together, The guy running after him looks like a wide receiver rugby player. And we’re just on the stage watching it happen. We just took our helmets off. Then, afterward there are a bunch of people chanting, “Let him go!” It’s at 6 a.m. and there was so much energy.
OneEDM: Anything else you want to talk about specifically?
BTSM: We’re on tour. Next week, we play in Vancouver. We’re doing Lost Lands, Excision’s festival in Columbus.
OneEDM: Who do I have to beg, borrow, or steal to get you into silent disco tonight?
BTSM: Well, we have to drive back to the hotel so I don’t know. We love to do after parties. We’ve done like two silent discos. One time we walked into Gainesville in Florida and it was a silent disco with like 100-150 people. They had four different DJs. It was the coolest after party. We finished at like 2 o’clock. Our friend said, “come here, it will be fun.” We go and it’s a massive fire, bbq, a silent disco. We were like, “really this is a thing?”
OneEDM: You guys were like underground legends, especially in Florida. You guys have blown up down here…Like legend status.
BTSM: Thank you, good to hear that. We work hard on the label on what we do. We try to not compromise.