By MIKE CHAIKEN
Connecticut is going to bounce next Tuesday when DJ/ producer Dillon Francis brings his Friends Rule Tour to the Dome at Oakdale.
Dillon takes to the road after spending the summer on the festival circuit, performing at Coachella, Ultra, and the Electric Daisy Carnival.
When Dillon hits the Nutmeg state (accompanied by Danbury’s TJR), he will be promoting “Money Sucks, Friends Rule,” the EDM artist’s first full-length album.
Prior to “Money Sucks, Friends Rule,” Dillon had been releasing singles such as “Without You” and EPs such as “Westside” and 2012’s “Something, Something, Awesome.”
“It’s so much easier to make an EP than album,” said Dillon, calling from Nashville.
A full-length album is a challenge on several different levels, said Dillon. “It’s just finding the right songs to fit the character of the album.” He said you also want to try new things when you have a chance to spread out musically on a full-length, but you also want to make sure it’s all identifiable as you.
Additionally, since an album takes longer to complete, Dillon said an artist risks falling behind the trends until it’s released. That hot sound you may have built the album around when you hit the studio, may be passé when you’re finished.
“The trends happens so quickly with the internet,” said Dillon. If you take time to record a full-length, your songs and sound may already sound dated once it’s released, he explained.
An EP is a lot easier and much quicker to get out and into the public’s ears, said the EDM artist.
But, Dillon was proud of “Money Sucks, Friends Rule.”
“It was a labor of love.”
EDM artists like Dillon frequently tap into special guest artists to handle vocals. On “Money Sucks Friends Rule,” for instance, Dillon works with DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Twista, Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie, The Presets, and Major Lazer.
Dillon was asked how did he decide who to work with on his tracks. Do the artists approach him? Does the record company make the connection? Or does he approach the artists?
Dillon said he keeps a wish list of vocalists he wants to work with. Then he approaches them.
For instance, Dillon said he had been a long time fan of Panic! At the Disco, and the band’s lead singer Brandon Urie, having been a fan since highschool. And he always wanted to work with Urie. Dillon finally got his wish on this album with the track, “Love in the Middle of a Firefight.”
Dillon also looks for someone easy to work with, who has an open mind. “It’s hard to work with someone who’s closed minded.”
Dillon said he also loves working with indie vocalists. He has a wish list of them, he hopes to corral for his next album.
Dillon also was asked about his songwriting process. Does he start off with a musical riff that inspires him? Does he start with a drum beat? Maybe a turn of phrase?
Dillon was frank about the process. “All of my songs suck in the beginning,” said Dillon. He finds he has to play with the drum beats, or chord progressions for a while before he finally comes out with something that will click and will allow him to go forward with the song.
There was only exception to the assertion that his songs “suck” at first, said Dillon. “We Make It Bounce.” The song, which features Major Lazer and Stylo G, was something that clicked as soon as he came up with the chord progression, said Dillon.
Dillon was in Nashville as he was being interviewed, rehearsing for the upcoming tour, working on the stage lighting, and putting the final touches on the stage set. The set, which was initially unveiled at Coachella, is reminiscent of a Frank Gehry-designed building, said Dillon. (Think, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.) It’s filled with videos, glass, etc.
“It’s really big,” said Dillon of his stage set. “I didn’t realize it when I made the specs.”
Besides the set, what else can fans expect? “There will be new edits,” said Dillon. “There will be a really cool set list.”
Ultimately, Dillon said, “It’s a cool fun show,” which reflects his “weird take on life.”
“Come out so I can blow you all kisses,” said Dillon to his fans. “Come out and have a blast. It’s a really fun show.”
The Friends Rule Tour with Dillon Francis, featuring openers TJR (of Danbury) and Hoodboi, comes to The Dome at Oakdale in Wallingford on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m.
For more information, go to Oakdale.com or DillonFrancis.com
By MIKE CHAIKEN