Litchfield merge rock and EDM on their bus tour to Ultra Music Festival
Live performance and EDM is still a new concept, but Litchfield are here to change that. The trio, founded by Mario Litchfield in 2009, have already proven to be a tour de force across a wide range of musical disciplines – from punk rock to dancepop to rock n roll. Their early years as a rock outfit have blossomed into a live EDM experience unlike anything on stages today. From Vans Warped tour in 2011 to the live stage at Ultra Music Festival 2015, Litchfield’s legacy has taken various forms… but one thing has remained the same; the band’s rockstar attitude and charismatic live presence. We sat down with the trio as they prepare for their Ultra Music Festival debut to pick their brains and see what makes the first rockers to take on Ultra tick.
How did Litchfield get its start?
Mario – It’s actually kind of a cool story, Adam and I met at a local show. We always say that the Universe brought us together. We started making music right after that and in our first little jam session, we wrote a song within 20 minutes. We’ve been making music ever since.
In 5 words how would you describe your sound?
M- I would say… Ever evolving, bone jarring, fun! I don’t think we draw our influences from any type of music, it’s all about life experiences, that’s where we draw our Influences from. Touring, people we meet, real life events. Music is the sound track of life and that what we do.
What made you change from your earlier pop/punk style to embrace EDM?
Adam – Change is a strong word, see we don’t believe we ever changed, we’ve just evolved. And were evolving with times and with whatever his happening, believe it or not, our fans are evolving with us, EDM (we actually prefer calling it just live dance music – LDM) is all about music, and that’s all we want to represent is just music. There are no labels here.
What’s the creative process like, What’s a studio session like for Litchfield?
M – Honestly, It’s a little bit different now. It used to be like back in the day, it was a lot easier to get creative, because we used to go to this Indian Reservation and we would smoke on the peace pipe on the Indian reservations. But then Adam got caught with the Chief’s daughter in her teepee. Needless to say, we’re not allowed on the Reservation anymore.
Ben – As far as a studio session goes, I think what makes us unique is that we’re playing live instruments and we are tracking the sounds to be able to play everything we create in the studio, live. It’s a lot of work, but the payoff is that we really do play it all live!
You were on Warped tour and now you are preparing for Ultra, do you change your approach to cater to an EDM crowd?
A – We definitely have brought a more DJ friendly element in, meaning everything flows from song to song now. Before we could just play one. Stop. Play another. People at Ultra come to dance their ass off and we are built for that now! At the end of the day, we’re all about the energy, the entertainment value, and where we are just bringing it no matter what.
B – No matter what we are always going to put on the best show we can put on. We are in the studio daily making sure the shows are amazing spectacles and fun!
M – We are rock and roll on the outside with a heartbeat that’s pure dance music. I’m sure that will be what fans will experience.
Are there any artists in dance music that you believe are doing live performances well?
B – I mean there are lots of artists out there at that are doing it, just not to the level that we are doing it, it’s unparalleled. We’ve been hard at work getting the live stuff so perfected I really think people will be blown away with what we’ve created.
M – We’re bringing a hybridized edge to the live side of electronic music. We tie in the live element that other people just aren’t doing. We’d say we’re filling a void, but that sounded a little too porny, haha.
Touring bands incurs much greater costs than DJs, what is your touring philosophy?
A – Our touring philosophy is to always bring the energy, it doesn’t matter about the cost it is always goingbe cheaper to be a DJ. It’s not about the money, we are about the experience. We will say it time and time again and we will never cut corners to make an experience less than epic.
M – Its always cheaper and easier to be a DJ because their gear is provided by the promoters/venue and usually they just bring themselves and a memory stick! ;-) But,… for us -we are a touring BAND and that’s of course a lot more to maintain on the road. Our label, Kaleidosphere has invested in a branded tour bus for us so we can be able to take this show on the road, properly. We feel we should be raging harder than
anybody out in the crowd if we are going to be representing rock and roll craziness to the EDM community.
What do you think EDM lacks as a genre?
M – Honestly, I feel like as a genre, EDM right now is only lacking the whole live element and that’s what we bring so I feel like the only thing it’s is lacking is us… and we’re here so it’s complete. Lol!
What does it need to establish itself as more than just a fad in the United States?
A – EDM as a fad, that is always a tricky question because we get that one a lot. EDM is not a fad there are over 200 sub-genres of EDM and of course people rap was a fad. We know how that turned out… So for it for to be a fad, you have to assume that 200 styles of music will just go away. It’s impossible.
M – It’s a lifestyle. It’s limitless. How can something that’s limitless be a fad? We believe music itself is infinite because it can be anything that we want it to be and it encompasses so much more than the sum of its parts. It is a lifestyle as Ben said, and we, like everyone that is part of it, are one of the threads that connect it all. We are dance music (in whatever shape that ends up morphing into or being called) for life.
This is just the beginning of the journey and we hope to be on it for the rest of our lives and with a lot of new friends!