After finishing up two nights at The Black Box and having an EP on the way, Levitation Jones has been making some serious moves. Responsible and socially distance that is. Selling out four shows at Black Box Denver, Levitation Jones has started off 2021 with getting to show what he can do. We recently had the chance to sit down with him to have a quick conversation. As we get into this interview we learn a ton about the new EP, how he spent his days of 2020, a standup act that may be in the works, and much more. Read everything that was talked about in the full interview below.
Party or No?
The conversation starts off like any other would, with some “Hey, what’s up?” and “How have you been”. As hellos have been exchanged we dive deep into the questions. We ask if his shows at The Black Box were some of the first that he is doing with Covid restrictions.
Levitation Jones responds with, “I’ve been taking opportunities. I find that with the concept of prohibition dosent work, people are going to party whether you tell them to or not. Why not go be a good influence, ya know? I played a show and the promoter pulled me to the back and asked if there was anything they could do differently? I told him, to be honest they didn’t push the mask recruitment thing hard enough but the distancing was fine. We played a show the day before and masks were super enforced. For that exact reason people were more comfortable dancing near each other, while giving space, which made for a way more energetic crowd.”
“The promoter said thank you and he would enforce mandatory masks. I felt that was a good influence, i’m not a hero for doing this but I feel it’s in my heart that I gotta do. I’m also trying not to get evicted, it’s not like I can make a million dollars right now to pay rent. I don’t have that option, I am kinda back against the wall. There is a lot weighing against me but I don’t blame people for being mad at me in a way. I’m still not going to listen to it. I’m not a Covid denier, I just feel there’s something weird going on here that we aren’t seeing. I am kinda trying to stay out of everyones way.” Brian tells.
We continue on the chat asking Brian if he has a day job. “You know when Okeechobee came around I quit my day job. I sometimes have a day job I sometimes don’t. Since I have lived here I started working at this place that was walking distance away. It was great at first because I was having the hours to allow me time to work on music while also being able to get hours in at the job. They started to ask for more hours and I was definitely trying to get less hours. Then I played Okeechobee and I thought, I am going to try to do music full time again. So I have forever been here, trying to survive.”
“Do music full time during a pandemic, real genius move, right?” Brian jokes.
Livestreams and Live Sets
“You have been doing quite a bit of livestreams during this all haven’t you?” Patrik asks.
“At first they were okay. If you caught somebody on payday you’d probably be alright, or if you had some sort of established following. I can’t get more than 20 people to get on my stream at a time now and it’s not like any of them are really donating. But that’s fine! I like practicing and playing for people. Sometimes you’ll get a nice day where you’ll make $20-$40 which is always cool. As the governments been less generous and everyone has been struggling, I know I haven’t been the only one out here struggling. It’s been pretty obvious in donations and what’s available as an artist.”
Our conversations begins to lead into the direction of live sets, as Levitation Jones recently sold out two nights at The Black Box. “How did it feel from playing these livestreams to playing sold out shows in front of a live audience?”
Levitation Jones responds, “It was really cool, ya know? I definitely enjoy the fact that people get it enough to buy tickets to a show of mine during an experience like this. I am the right guy to play a seated table show. It feels like I got the right tunes for that attitude and I think everyone had a pretty good time with the experience. There are some other people out here selling out shows also which makes it feel good to know that you aren’t alone here.”
Activities that one may do in their free time can range from a number of things. For Brian it is working on a standup bit, “I was thinking about starting to do open mic nights. I have been writing some standup bits, unrelated from bass music. I have like eight minutes, I haven’t even practiced it at all. It’s very interactive and physical with the crowd, it dosent really work unless you can watch me up on stage being a dingus.” Brian jokes.
“We are going to see if it’s alright first. I am going to be super humble about it. If it’s alright like people laugh, we’ll run it. If it bombs we can say that we tried and it’s not for me.” Brian tells us.
We then ask Brian about what he has done with his time during quarantine. “I felt very comfortable executing on creating listening music instead of club music. That is something that I always wanted to do, I say always all the time, it is something that has been in almost every release. I put in some sort of chill song or laid back song that is not meant for the club. For this upcoming EP called Morality is Subjective, it has four songs that are all very chill and downtempo-ish. It’s all very different influences of stuff that you might not normally hear at a dubstep and/or weird bass event. I am excited to introduce a lot of that, my fans may not know a lot of these wave sounds so we will see how that goes.”
EP Coming Soon
Now, about the upcoming EP. We are insanely curious as to more details about it. We question Brian with, “Touching on the EP a bit more, when is it supposed to come out.”
“We’re making sure that it is perfect, which is always a conundrum and oxymoron. I have a certain vision of how I want the master to sound on each track. Two of them are done and we are waiting on two, one I am very back and forth on. We want to make sure it’s good. It’s all very awesome already and I am confident in the music as far as what I want to listen to. I tried to make music that I wanted to listen to or music that you could hangout with. It’s nice thinking tunes.” Brian says.
“Would you say that you are starting to develop your own sound if you haven’t already?” Patrik questions.
“Yeah! Some random kid at one of my shows told me he heard my new EP. I had played a few of the tunes at the club that night. The kid tells me, I don’t mean this in a weird personal way, this is kinda you starting at square one again. I was like I get it. Yeah, it was a bit weird to hear that right after a set but I was like okay I do get that.” Brian tells us.
“This is the first time I have released music after cutting my hair, it’s kinda a reset on who I was trying to be and how I was trying to approach the music industry. I don’t have an agent now and it’s a lot of changing points. I think i’m a lot more confident in my music production now than I was before. At this point I believe I can be taken serious as a music producer with this release.” Brian shares.
Behind the Scenes
Touching a bit more on the two nights at Black Box with Levitation Jones, we asked about how he chose the artists to open up for him. We also asked if he booked all his own gigs since he doesn’t have an agent.
“I came up with all the themes, I did do a lot of the communication, and handpicked all of the openers. No I didn’t do all the work.” Brian laughs.
“Yes, I wanted to go with people that I have been a fan of for awhile. I am a huge fan of a lot of artists from the Denver local scene. There is so many artists from Denver who go under the radar who nobody really cares about. If these guys moved to Connecticut where I am or Rhode Island where I was coming up, they would be doing great! There is not a lot of music producers out here doing okay. There is a handful that are and are very talented but it’s not very competitive in a way. You can stand out very quickly if you’re making really good music. Tons of these people are.”
“MYXED UP and QILIN were very awesome openers. I have known them for a long time and have been supporting them for a long time. Putting them in my mixes and all that good stuff, we slowly started talking more and more and to be honest they were some of the first people that I thought of. They played great!”
Music Scene of Connecticut
Finally we ask, how the EDM or bass music scene is out where he lives.
“It’s interesting you know, there is a real EDM blanket scene everywhere. The underground bass scene is very Tipper oriented, that’s a good baseline. There is a lot of Truth’s Deep Dark and Dangerous energy up here, there’s a lot of roots connected with their business in this area. You see a lot of your standard deep dubstep and squishy bass and psychedelic stuff. It’s cool because there is a bit more of a crowd for the downtempo community.”
Brian shares with us a story of before Covid when he was able to play his music. “I would be playing house parties, pre Covid of course, where it was big cuddle puddles and mattresses on the floor where I would be playing three hour sets into the sunrise with these nice big windows. Everyone is hanging out listening to music. Very beautiful. It is a much smaller community up here.” Brian tells us.
“The people don’t really like me up here honestly” Brian laughs. “They don’t understand my jokes really. They like me everywhere else in the country a lot more than here. Which it’s weird why I am from here!”
Growing up listening to artists such as Deftones and The Prodigy, Brian says these were a few of his influences. He also watched Jackass and Viva La Bam heavily growing up, which he says could be some of the reasons for his shenanigans. This four track EP is to be on the lookout for, you will not want to miss this.
Levitation Jones was on the radio at the age of 18 putting on a radio shows, he started creating music around that age as well. “These parties are sick, they’ve made me feel at home. You know, I’ve never really felt too comfortable around anyone before.”
“I have been making music for over 10 years.” Brian shares with us as we begin to finish up this interview. “I give my music out for free, I don’t believe in my music being exclusive to a vinyl or to rich people. If you are homeless and have an MP3 player, bump my tunes homies!”
Something to go and check out after this is Levitation Jone’s podcast! You can find that linked here. Jerseys are on the way and much much more music. On behalf of myself and everyone at Party Guru Productions i’d like to thank you for the time to allow us to do this. If you’re still reading this Brian, i’d still like to be one of the first to know about that standup.
Photos From Levitation Jones
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