Dillon Francis is known for his goofy personality, whacky antics, stellar production skills, and the ability to actually DJ (and do it better than most). His debut album was an instant success on the i-Tunes charts and fans here in Philadelphia have a chance to hear the new tunes in person next week. Before he hits town on Thanksgiving Eve, we spoke with him about the album, his cat, Taco Bell, naked cartwheels, his upcoming collaboration with Skrillex, and the Backstreet Boys. Yes, really.
Independent Philly: Your debut album ‘Money Sucks, Friends Rule’ dropped about 3 weeks ago. How has the reaction been so far?
Dillon Francis: It’s been awesome. It’s been super cool. I’m just really happy to finally have it out, in the World, so people can go and love it or hate it, if they want to, listen to it, and do whatever they want with it. I’m finally happy that it’s just out. It’s been such a labor of love and it sucks to be sitting on music that you made like two years ago and have to redo and keep going back into to get the right version done. All of that stuff feels amazing; it’s like the biggest weight lifted off of my shoulders. I was just hanging out with my friend Orlando and he was like, “You seem so happy, you have no care in the world right now”. I was like, “Dude you have no idea. I don’t”. I’m just happy that it’s not in my hands anymore.
IP: You’re known for your love of cats. Have you ever considered ghost producing songs for your cat and if so, what DJ name would you give to your cat?
DF: (Laughs) It would definitely be ‘DJ Mittens’ and I would be so down to make cat songs for him. I don’t really know what genre of music that cats like, but I assume they’d like it to have things that sound like “meows”. It would kind of be like this bizarre project that I have with ‘Kill The Noise’ where we make all music that has ‘meows’ in it.
IP: You could get some vocal samples from your cat on there and it would probably be pretty easy to teach it to press play.
DF: (Laughs) Yeah, definitely.
IP: If Taco Bell were going to create a ‘Dillon Francis Taco’, what ingredients would it contain and would it be a hard or soft shell?
DF: Aw man, they are actually already making it. Well, I could elaborate more. The one I wanted to do was, right when the ‘Doritos Locos Taco’ came out, I wanted it to be in this ‘Cheesy Gordita Crunch’ wrap, with the ‘Baja Sauce’, whatever it is, I think it’s like a sour cream/jalapeno sauce. But, my other favorite dish from them is the ‘Mexican Pizza’ so somehow they could incorporate the ‘Mexican Pizza’ with that. Maybe it’s like sandwiched on the sides as well. It’s like a ‘Mexican Pizza’ with a ‘Cheesy Gordita Crunch’ with a ‘Doritos Locos Taco’ inside. That would be the ‘Dillon Francis Taco’ and it would give you a heart-attack.
IP: That sounds delicious.
DF: It would have to come with a disclaimer.
IP: Mmmm, the ‘Mexican Pizza’ is on point, I’m hungry now.
DF: It’s sooo good.
IP: You’re going to be playing the Electric Factory on Wednesday, November 26th. What can your fans expect from a Dillon Francis show if they’ve never seen you in person before?
DF: They can definitely expect this new stage production that I’ve only played at ‘Coachella’ and at Red Rocks. It’s got a bunch of crazy content on it, all the stuff from my album. The content I have is insane. You’ll have a great time dancing but also laughing at the stuff that’s been shown on the videos screen. Also lots of jumping around.
IP: You have that live GIF photo booth set up at your shows. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen someone do on the camera?
DF: I think the craziest thing is already one that we did, me, and my tour manager, and merch guy. They were lifting their shirts up and showing their tits and my TM was doing the ‘Truffle Shuffle’. That’s the craziest thing I saw, but I’m hoping to see some really funny GIFs on there. We should make someone in Philly do a cartwheel naked in front of it.
IP: Once this interview gets posted, I’m sure that there will be more than enough people here in Philly willing to do that.
DF: (Laughs) That would be so funny.
IP: Being that your show here is on Thanksgiving Eve, what are you most thankful for this year?
DF: Being able to play on Thanksgiving Eve and people actually go to it, and my parents of course, can’t leave them out.
IP: Thanksgiving Eve is actually the biggest bar night of the year.
DF: I did hear that! Someone Tweeted that to me from Philly and was like, “I can’t believe you’re coming on the biggest bar night of the year!”. It’s going to be amazing. It’s probably going to be a crazy show.
IP: What can you tell us about your upcoming Moombahton track that you’re producing with Skrillex?
DF: Actually still trying to finish it. It’s super old-school style Dillon Francis-esque. It’s very minimal with a big kick and some really cool sounds in it. Still trying to get a vocal for it because right now it’s sitting in demo mode and that vocal that we have for it is used on so many tracks between me, Skrillex, Diplo, and DJ Snake. I think we’ve all used that vocal. That’s the main thing I think we need to do. It’s almost done. I’m saving that for a Moombahton EP that I want to put out next year. It has that song, another new one that I opened up ‘EDC Vegas’ with, and I want to make two more for it as a nice Moombahton EP for all my super hardcore Moombahton fans.
IP: Have you considered releasing the single under a cute Hollywood couple name like ‘Skrillon’?
DF: (Laughs) That is a good idea actually. Maybe if it comes out as a single we’ll do that. Yeah I’m down with Skrillon, Skrillon Francis… Skrillon Francex. It’s so sexy.
IP: Between yourself, ‘DJ Hanzel’, and ‘DJ Rich As F*ck’, who’s the biggest chick magnet?
DF: DJ Hanzel, hands down. Hands down. There is no competition. That guy wins every time.
IP: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise or even shock our readers…
DF: I went on tour with the ‘Backstreet Boys’ when I was 22 or 21.
IP: Who’s your favorite Backstreet Boy?
DF: I have no idea…
IP: I know, it’s hard to pick just one.
DF: (Laughs) You know what? I’ll take that answer. It’s hard to pick just one, I love all of them.
IP: Perfect. That’s all we’ve got for you today, looking forward to the show.
DF: Awesome to talk to you man, I’ll see you on the biggest drinking night ever. I’ll have a bottle of champagne for you.
Want to join us for Dillon Francis (with support from ‘Hoodboi’ and ‘TJR’) on Wednesday night? The show is all-ages and you can snag advanced tickets here to make sure you aren’t left out in the cold feeling like a jive turkey. In honor of ‘Money Sucks, Friends Rule’ we’re going to give one lucky winner the chance to take a friend to the show without spending a dime. To enter, fill out the form below (completely). The winner will be notified on Tuesday, November 25th via email and can pick up their tickets at will-call on Wednesday night.
[Interview by David Miller]