Chuckling softly Flying Lotus muses on the question.

"What's been going on in FlyLo world?" he repeats. "Pretty interesting I guess. Pretty not interesting. I had a business meeting and went to boxing and Aikido class. At some point I'm going to get to work on music today."

Boxing? I had no idea he was a student of the sweet science. After telling me he's been boxing for almost a year I ask if he's stepped in the ring.

"Nah," he replies, before getting serious and saying,"but I wouldn't want to mess with me".

Advertisement

Then he laughs and says, "But I'm a gentle spirit. I don't believe in violence so boxing, being a pacifist, it's a funny thing to do."

He took it up because running was "boring," and he needed a level of fitness to be able to tour.

"I look at fitness as part of my job. It's part of my job to take care of myself, take care of my body so I can be on the road. That's part of the work to me. Every day I work on music but also work on my physical, my vessel. It helps everything. Get away from the computer and get some new ideas. Get out and get the blood flowing for a little bit."


So we can all thank pugilism then, for bringing the innovative and acclaimed Los Angeles producer and beat maker to Auckland's Town Hall for a show this Saturday night. Just like his music FlyLo's live show is bold, inventive, groundbreaking and promised to be completely unlike any gig you've been to. In fact it's so cutting edge that he hasn't even seen it.

"I've only had a chance to see some of the show myself because how can I be in two places at once, right?" he laughs. "I've only gotten to see a little bit once. And I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. I didn't see it until the very end of the tour. I waited. And they were like, 'do you want to see it?' And I was like, 'yeah lets do it'. So we set up a way for me to see it, and I saw some and was like 'no f***ing way dude! This is what people got to see every night dude? No f***ing way'."

He describes what people were seeing as a "visual audio feast," that blends his smudgy, hallucinatory beats with full 3D visuals that, thanks to brand new tech and the 3D glasses you're given at entry, completely envelop the audience no matter where you're standing in the room. It's billed as a mindbending experience.

"These kids man, their faces are hilarious to me. When I play this show it feels like I'm literally mesmerising people. They have this look that is so enchanted and peaceful and beautiful... it's really something," he says. "But I don't get to see the show, I don't get to see the 3D at all. I just get to see faces and from my perspective, people are having a great time."


The first 3D experience he can remember is, appropriately enough, Disneyland's sci-fi adventure film Captain EO, which landed in the amusement park in 1986. This too mixed 3D visuals with music, with Michael Jackson starring, singing and dancing as the titular space captain.

Advertisement

"That was a next-level thing when they had a little gremlin flying out at you," he laughs. "It felt like magic. It felt like bringing magic to people. Which is something that's always been important to me in all the things I get involved in. I really try to keep it magical because people need that nowadays."


READ MORE:
Album review: Flying Lotus, Flamagra
Album review: Flying Lotus, You're Dead
Album review: Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes


Right from the beginning concepts have been hugely important to FlyLo. With albums revolving around his hometown (Los Angeles, 2008), the universe (Cosmogramma, (2010)) and the inevitably of death (You're Dead!, 2014). He says the show itself is more concerned with imagery but is heavily influenced by Flamagra, his recent album that cast fire at the core. His visual aesthetic is treated with as much care and hallucinogenic thought as his music and frequently presents religious and devilish iconography in startling ways.

"In the imagery there's something that calls to certain people, it makes you question your own…" he trails off, pauses and tries again. "We all understand how serious these symbols are to people and what they mean to people. Whenever I use the imagery it's more to represent them, not me. Because I don't know if I believe in any of those things. I don't subscribe to any particular faith. I believe there's more than this but I don't know if can say these people are right and these people are wrong. I really don't believe we're meant to know."


Having explored life, death and the after life in his music and with themes of spirituality playing such a large part in his discography has he ever had any spiritual or paranormal experience?

"Oh definitely," he answers. "I've had my own experiences to lead me to believe there's more than this. For me, it's not an educated guess. It's from experience."

LOWDOWN
Who: Flying Lotus
What: Bringing his mindbending audio/visual concert Flying Lotus 3D to Auckland's Town Hall.
When: Saturday night. Tickets available from ticketmaster.

Flying Lotus 3D

Flying Lotus 3D is at the very cutting edge of technology. The whole show happens on the fly with both FlyLo and his visual team performing their respective aspects completely live with no timestamps, pre-records or safety nets.

"I would get terribly bored," he says about the idea of working to cues. "There's no way I could do it every night and be okay with it if there wasn't the possibility that things could go to shit. I need things to possibly fall apart for me to feel that things are complete. If it feels like I'm painting by numbers or just pressing play then it will not work, I just won't buy it. No one will. I can't fake the funk with that stuff."

This approach, which essentially sees him remixing his own music every night, also means that each and every show is a unique. The music and accompanying visuals can never be replicated in the same way. Each gig is a moment in time, an experience that can't be repeated.

"I wanted a reason for people to come out. For people to feel like this is the only time they are going to hear these songs. These are songs for this show, for these moments, they're not recorded moments. I think there's something special about that. Obviously people want to hear things they're familiar with but at the same time part of my show is, 'what's gonna happen?'. Well, we don't know what's gonna happen! That's important to me."