Meet Griffin James aka Francis Inferno Orchestra. Doesn’t eat fruit and samples crow noises.
Hi Griffin – so, tell us – What have you been up to recently. The ol’ touring and producing routine?
Pretty much.. I just returned from Australia about a month ago which was partly to do shows but more-so to sort out my visa situation to remain in Europe which was fortunately successful, but since then yes touring, producing bla bla bla
I had a look at your bio (don’t ask me why). It says ”Francis Inferno Orchestra is the conductor of a new type of ensemble – made up of rich samples from disco’s back catalogue and an array of raw drum machine rhythms.”
What’s the most unusual sample you’ve ever used in a song & where did it end up ?
I recorded some crow noises whilst in a Australia a while back and used them in a remix, I won’t say which one because that ruins the surprise.
Talking about songs and remixes, so far you’ve released your material on quite a few different labels. Is that something you’ve planned or has it just happened. I’m asking since from a label perspective you sometimes try to work the artist on more than one release, planning a bit ahead or at least try to.
It just kinda happened, but it doesn’t happen anymore and hasn’t happened for quite a while. I think early on I was quite ignorant and just said ‘yes’ to anything that would come my way. Now I am mostly just doing stuff for my own label, besides remixes of course.
Let’s talk about Superconscious Records. You’ve started this label with Mic (Newman) aka Fantastic Man. What’s the best thing about having you own label and what’s the worst (if any) ?
I think the freedom of creativity and just being able to do whatever we want is the best part. working with mic is a real pleasure, we both have our strengths and we bounce off each other quite well with all of our ideas. We are also super lucky to have really talented friends contribute to label musically and artistically. So far nothing bad (touch wood)
Will the label focus on 12”s or do you have any plans to release albums also?
We have plans, but nothing that i can mention just yet :)
Here’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask you – If Ben Klock was a fruit, what kind of fruit would he be..and most importantly, would you eat it?
I wouldn’t know, i don’t eat fruit.
Moving on. Besides producing you also travel & DJ around the globe. Do you write/produce while you travel or do you keep the two apart?
I tend to keep the two apart, I think when I travel i’m too interested in where I am to sit in a hotel room and “make trax” and when I’m on a plane i’m either sleeping or playing my nintendo ds. I do take my sketch book around with me usually incase I feel like I want to do something productive.
I’ve been fortunate enough to hear you DJ and it really struck me that your sets are always varied and you’re not afraid to throw in a curveball. I’ve also read that you do not plan your sets in advance. Have you always played like this or is it something that, with time and experience, been developed?
I guess so, I think I just get bored listening/playing the same kinda thing for too long so I like to swap it up a bit. I enjoy listening to lots of a different stuff so I trying to include a range of things in a set is always the most fun i think.
Speaking of DJ-sets, a lot of ”disc jockeys” always say they prefer to play longer sets. If you’re going to a club to listen to a DJ yourself, are you there for the whole set?
I guess it really depends if the club has the key components to keep me there (good sound, good vibe, good people). I’ve knee slapped for 7+ hours (with breaks of course) to various marathon dj sets, many-a-times when the club/promoters did their part and provided a proper setting.
The obvious follow-up question to this then is of course what is the shortest DJ set you ever played?
I think like 20 mins? I played after Steffi once in Melbourne and literally the minute she finished, everyone in the club left and the manager shut it down.
You’re playing at Le Bleury-Bar for the Bolting Bits Crew. Is this the first time in Montréal? Do you have any connections with the music scene in Montréal?
Yeh first time! I’m really excited as it’s been on my to-do list for a while and heard great things from friends.
Finish the sentence ”Tyson Ballard* needs to….”
Give me his car.
(Bonus info – Tyson Ballard runs Voyeurhythm, the label that released the album ”A New Way Of Living” by Francis Inferno Orchestra)
In closing, is there anything that future holds for FIO that we should be aware of?
A new EP which will be out before the end of the year, plus some other remixes which should be in the sphere soon. Maybe some other bits under different aliases too. I’ll be playing a bunch of dates around UK/EU over summer too so keep a look out for those. At the Superconscious camp.. Fantastic Man is delivering the next 12″ and a follow up record from Luis CL is coming too which I’m very excited about.
Interview by Tooli