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Interview: Keys 'N Krates Return To North Coast Music Festival

By Robert Martin in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 29, 2014 3:00PM

Toronto trio Keys ‘N Krates last stepped foot in Union Park for North Coast Music Festival in 2011. Three years later, the live electronic act is back and bigger than ever. They moved up in billing, signed to Dim Mak records, and will soon embark on a coast-to-coast headlining tour. Combining live percussion and keyboards with their sampling and DJ work, Keys ‘N Krates serve as one of the few “bands” within the EDM genre. We had a chance to chat with the band on the heels of their new six-track Every Nite EP and before their Friday performance at the festival.

CHICAGOIST: What would you say has changed the most for you guys since your last time at North Coast Music Festival in 2011?

JR. FLO: Man so much! Back then we were kind of just a 3 piece band doing these cool live remixes. Now we have our own music that sounds like weird bassy rap beats, that we’ve produced. Our live show is now a combo of us playing our tunes live and weaving in live remixes to compliment our music and create a dance party.

C: Are you going to get the chance to see any other artists perform this weekend? Who are you most excited about?

DAVID MATISSE: I really wanna see Chet Faker.

JR. FLO: I wish we could stay to see Grandtheft, Cashmere Cat and Little Dragon on Saturday. Would also love to see our people What So Not, but our sets overlap.

C: What are the differences playing to a festival crowd like North Coast vs. a more intimate club or venue?

ADAM TUNE: It’s definitely a different feeling, but both can get equally as rowdy. We love clubs cause they are intimate and sweaty. However, we’ve played to crowds of 10-15k this summer that made us feel like we were in a small sweaty club.

C: Your massive tour in support of Every Nite has you guys playing shows nearly “every night” for the next few months. As a largely live band, what are the challenges of performing that frequently?

ADAM TUNE: As a drummer I definitely get tired and my legs can seize up, so I just have to get a lot of rest and drink a ton of water.

C: You already gave us a taste of the upcoming Every Nite EP with “Are We Faded”. What kind of sounds can we expect from the rest of the release?

DAVID MATISSE: The rest of the EP is actually a lot darker than “Are We Faded.” However, we like to think that the basic principle of making weird rap beats that evokes an emotional reaction is present throughout the whole EP.

C: Chicago’s Congress Theater recently announced that it made an agreement with the city to ban all EDM events from the venue. What do you guys think about moves like this and the negative image that is often associated with dance music?

JR. FLO: It’s pretty insane, but if they don’t want it in their venue, I’m sure there’s tons of other rooms that will be happy to take that business.

Keys ‘N Krates plays North Coast’s 847 Stage 6 p.m. Friday.