Adventure Club On Their New Album and Pioneering Melodic Bass Music
When Christian and Leighton of Adventure Club first met in the late 2000s, they never imagined they would eventually headline electronic music festivals worldwide. They hadn't even considered dance music to begin with.
The dynamic duo joined forces to start a hardcore pop-punk band, and they had legitimate success for several years before pivoting to electronic music in 2011.
They quickly established themselves as pioneers of a new sound in the burgeoning dubstep wave. Their sound was a counterpoint to the aggressive energy emerging in the genre. It was progressive and bangin' all at once.
They began touring aggressively across the states. And after a few years of growing to headliner status, they released their first album Red/Blue, in 2016. And since, Adventure Club has become a dance music mainstay, consistently playing every major festival in the country and releasing a well-respected catalog of high-quality music. Their upcoming album, Love//Chaos, will be dropping soon.
You guys started as a pop-punk band. Could you tell us how the two of you met and what led to starting a band in this style?
Leighton: I really wanted to start a metalcore/hardcore band. I put up one of those "Band Members Wanted" signs (the ones where you tear off the little ends that have your phone number on it, Facebook wasn't even a thing at that point) at every nearby high school. Finally, a mutual friend introduced me to Christian. We jammed in my basement and hit it off immediately.
What pushed you to go down the musical route you ended up in?
We toured as a pop-punk band for many years before I started to work at Turbo Recordings (the Montreal-based electronic label owned by Tiga). That really opened our eyes to a whole new world of music.
Justice, MSTRKRFT, and Ed Banger Records were the biggest at that moment in time. We discovered "dubstep" at a Steve Aoki, Boyz Noize, Bloody Beetroots show. The whole night was 128 BPM, and then Steve played a Rusko track (which we didn't know), and we just looked at each other and were like, 'WTF IS THIS?!' From there, we thought we really wanted to hear some of our favorite bands remixed in this style.
Your remix of "Crave You" by Flight Facilities was an instant smash and put you guys on the map almost immediately. How did this opportunity come about, and when you put it together, did you have a feeling that it would be as big as it was?
We heard the original "Crave You," and knew immediately we had to remix it. I think we emailed their team over 1000 times to get the acapella. It was one of those songs that came together almost instantly. We knew how we wanted it to sound and feel. After about a week of vocal chopping and sound design, we were about as close to happy as any artist can ever truly be about a song.
How would you describe the type of music you create?
Throughout our career, we've touched and tried many different genres of EDM. The style that we love to create, the style that really got us to where we are today, is melodic bass. We stumbled upon that sound after our "Crave You" remix and have been obsessed with it ever since.
Melodic dubstep is one of the biggest genres in the world now, with artists like Illenium and Seven Lions leading the charge. A lot of your music in the early 2010s felt like the first version of this. Who was influencing you back then, and do you guys feel like your music has impacted the new generation of bass music?
Thank you! I think back then, we were influenced a lot by Nero, Flux Pavillion, Blackmill, Draper. We took it, reshaped it, and made it a bit more accessible.
Seven Lions also had a big impact. I remember hearing one of his songs after a couple of months of us being AC, and we were like, "this guy gets it." It's so incredible to see the newer artists like Illenium, Dabin, Said The Sky really take the charge and push the genre even more.
What artists and genres do you listen to regularly when not listening to dance music?
We listen to an array of different genres depending on our mood. In the gym, we're either listening to Spiritbox, Dance Gavin Dance, Soltan, ETID, Veil Of Maya, Sullivan King, Kaiwaichi. Relaxing or driving it's usually classical romantic era composers, Leaving Laurel (RIP Pierce), Kiasmos, Jacques Greene, Thievery Corp. We're also really big on K-Pop.
You guys have been headlining shows for almost a decade now. Do you have a memory of a show early on in your career that felt like a breakthrough moment, and maybe a show recently that was very special to you?
I think 2012 Global Dub Festival at Red Rocks, we were opening, but just to be able to play at such a beautiful, iconic, grandiose venue made us just look at each other and say, "this is incredible, I think we might be onto something bigger than us now."
What do you remember about your first gig?
Almost everything, our first gig was not even in our hometown. It was about an hour away from Montreal, in Ottawa. We remember how nervous we were the whole time there if people were going to show up. We repeatedly listened to the songs we were going to play in the car. Finally walking into the venue [it was] sold out! Three hundred people, we were completely floored. We still remember how insane the energy in that room was. Thank you, Carlyle, for showing us love that night.
It feels like the last few years have seen you guys experiment with different sounds and maybe go in a new direction overall. Whether it's "Anywhere," "Back to You," or "You'll Never Be Alone," you've been making unique music. So what's changed recently? Have you enjoyed collaborating with some of these new up-and-comers like ARMNHMR or Kaivon?
As producers/artists, it's in our nature to want to explore and learn different genres. In our Superheroes Anonymous mixes, we try to showcase a variety of genres. Just that alone gets us so intrigued to try our hand and experiment.
When we started, online collaboration wasn't as accessible as it is today, and we kind of just kept to ourselves. We always wanted other artists to be in the room with us while we produced. Our views have changed. There's so much talent out there. Collaborating and learning from one another is what really pushes these genres forward. We're at a point in our career where we want to work with our idols and this incredibly talented wave of new producers.
What's the next chapter for Adventure Club? Do you plan to release another album anytime soon, bring out new production? What can fans expect from you guys going forward?
The album release is imminent. It is a 25 song album called Love//Chaos. It's mainly a collaboration effort with so many of our favorite artists. We can't wait to tour it next year and see new and old faces.
What excites you about the future of dance music?
We love how it's evolved so much over the years. Younger artists keep pushing boundaries, defying any ties to genre. It's so motivating to see all the passion that keeps pouring into the scene. Just continuing to watch and be a part of the ever-evolving future keeps us excited.