If you've been paying attention to West Coast music at all in the last couple years, you've probably seen the Illvis Freshly around. Legit: They're pretty inescapable and it's easy to see why. Their heavy-hitting, ultra-fun, partyrific electronic rap songs are sure-fire ear-crushers, made for those days and nights with all the friends. As the summer finally takes hold of us all, Illvis Freshly's music is even more relevant, assured to keep you moving in time with all this glorious weather. And as we enter Festival Season, they're bound to show up in your face and plug your ear holes up with funky rap goodness, including summer kick-off shows at two of BC's premier festivals, Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest and Tall Tree. We got a lot to cover here, in fact so much to cover that this interview is TWO PARTS, so let's get after it and get this thing started. In part one of this monstrous 5 Questions we get down with Phil and Doyle, the non-verbal duo that gives Illvis Freshly their distinct live-electronic hip-hop sound.
Check the video for the group's latest single from the album Illenials, “Upside Down,” featuring Caleb Hart, mega-cool dude and guy who is also appearing at both Ska & Reggae Fest and Tall Tree (As well as many other festivals).
1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money?
Doyle: Oh yeah, Bush – Sixteen Stone.
D: “Come Down.”
When's the last time you listened to the album?
D: I heard “Machinehead” on the radio the other day and thought, “This is the first fucking CD I ever bought.” Apparently it was a hit 20 years ago, like '96. Gavin Rossdale, he's a handsome man.
Phil: My first album was Sum 41 – All Killer No Filler.
And the last time you listened to it?
P: I listen to it once a week. It's on my phone.
What's your favourite track?
P: “Handle This.” I'm younger than these guys so when I was 10 buying my first album, that was the album for a kid like me.
D: That was a little later than Bush, yeah.
P: They had to change their name to Bush X after awhile right?
D: It was Bush X actually when I bought it.
(Danimal): There was another band called Bush so they had to add the X. The other band stopped being a band so they got to drop the X then. They were still called Bush overseas.
I think I remember listening to Bush with you in Grade 7, Doyle. Didn't you do a project on one of those songs?
D: Yeah, I did “Glycerine.”
2. When's the last time you did something for the first time?
D: Uhhhh, singing falsetto at practice just now. We're practicing a cover for Ska Fest and I'm going to sing falsetto in it. Never done it in public. You answer Phil, then maybe I can think of something else.
P: Last weekend I played my first DJ set. It went really well. It just a camping thing, not a big event or anything, but I had to put it together and rehearse it. That was really cool.
D: Yeah, I'm gonna go with the falsetto thing. <laughs>
3. What's the most positive memory you have of an elementary or high school teacher?
P: When I got expelled from high school... This is more of a redemption story... When I got expelled from High School in Grade 12, my English teacher – who had failed me three times by this point – was like, “Yeah, you're the type of kid that's not really going to do anything.” Recently, my sister is a secretary at a moving company and she came in, my sister knew her, and she asked, “How's Phil doing?” And my sister showed her all our music videos. She was, “Ahhhh, wow. I guess he's doing good things these days!” My sister said, “Yeah, and he's finished high school.” The teacher messaged me on Facebook and we chatted.
D: I had a teacher who was kind of a bitch in high school. She was a French teacher but she was from Haiti, so she had a really weird French accent. All of her lingo was quite a bit different from French Canadian stuff. We always kind of had it out for each other, she sent me to the office all the time. But after I graduated we still lived in the same neighbourhood and every time I saw her after graduation she was so sweet and friendly, always asking how I was doing. It was if this sourness never happened. She was super nice. But man, we almost made each other cry. I never had a teacher who had it out for me or vice-versa so bad.
P: Another redemption story!
4. Time heals all wounds, I suppose. Very good. If you could spend the day with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
P: I feel like me and Jack Black would get along. It would just be a good time. Go out on the town...what a time! I almost...well, I'm not going to tell this story <short pause> I was close to meeting him once, but I didn't. I stood outside of his trailer yelling “JAAAAAAAAACK!” He was filming a movie in Tofino. When I left to the go to the beer store, Jack Black came out and said “Tell that guy to stop yelling.” Then he signed my friend's guitar. I came back and were like, “Dude, Jack Black signed my guitar. And told you stop yelling 'Jack!' at his trailer.”
(Danimal): That's not a redemption story.
That's the opposite of a redemption story.
D: Mine would be a toss-up between Dave Chappelle or Will Ferrell. We'd go for a scooter ride around town or something. So yeah, scooter ride with Dave Chappelle and Will Ferrell.
Wait, “and?” You got both of them there now?
Double-whammy. Dave Chappelle drives the scooter part and Will Ferrell is in the sidecar. I've got my own scooter. Every time I'd look over I'd just think, “Hahahahaha!”
5a. This is just for you Phil, this is a question for DJ Nu-Mark... Would you prefer some E40 or a bottle of O.E.?
P: Would I like some E40? Nope. Would I like some O.E.? Yep.
P: You don't know that E40 song?! <more pausing from the group> That's like his most popular song! <More pausing from all> Oh my god, you don't know this?! The readers will know the song. I would definitely prefer the O.E. Because I don't listen to a ton of E40. Put that song in there, the readers will know. Nu-Mark will know what I'm talking about.
5b. This is for Doyle, this is from singer/songwriting guy Ben Caplan...If you were a hotdog, would you eat yourself?
Hot dogs are not my favourite. If you had asked me if I was a pizza, would I eat myself, then yes! But no, I wouldn't eat myself. Wait, maybe if I was covered in mustard. Yep.
Would you cover yourself in mustard to ready yourself?
If a special someone covered me in mustard, then I'd eat myself.
6. Last question is for both of you, from Beat Fatigue...What's a song that best describes your personality, without taking into account lyrical content?
P: I'd say “Night Train” by Guns 'N' Roses. That's a solid, rocking tune.
D: “Cream on Chrome” by Ratatat. It's dope.