Droog’s Coachella Diary: They Came, They Saw, They Conquered

LA-based underground DJ crew Droog — Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe — are known for their quality rooftop parties at The Standard Hotel and uncompromising releases on their Culprit label. Droog was tapped to play Coachella on Saturday, and Justin Sloe was kind enough to give
Big Shot readers the exclusive lowdown on how they fared at the gig.

Bruised and battered from an early morning flight home from Miami — well, it was actually from God’s Waiting Room ( a.k.a. Fort Lauderdale), I hazardously sped to my apartment to meet up with some friends to drive to the desert for day two of Coachella. A couple quick hours later we pulled up to the Indian Wells credential check where they assumed us to be vendors. With his moustache, I’m sure Brett’s been mistaken for a glow stick peddler before. With the passes in-check finally, we hurried on to the fest.

The place was packed and all geeked up from the guy on before us — who was nice enough guy to play some truly terrible music.

As we get somewhat close, I called the promoter to see if there’s a way to get us in quickly as we were about 15 minutes from when we’re supposedly to playing. He pulled up in a golf cart just as we’re parking and we fly into the venue. Somehow we manage to get into the Heineken Dome with about five minutes to spare. The place was packed and all geeked up from the guy on before us — who was nice enough guy to play some truly terrible music. I grabbed some music and quickly realized there’s no way I could mix out of the superfast screeching music he was playing. I let his last track run out and started to rebuild with what I know. This scared off some of the crowd which I’m totally fine with — if that was music was their [preferred musical] style, they would probably not like us.

After a few tracks, the crowd that was there was back into things, or there was just enough drugs to get them going — either way people were bouncing off the walls. Starkillers were on after us and ran into some delays, so we played an extra 30 minutes or so. We had an amazing time in there. It was great to see so many familiar faces, with all of the great performers at the fest they took some time out to see lil ol’ Droog. Other highlights for us at the festival included SBTRKT, Jeff Mangum and Radiohead, plus an after-party with Snoop, but no 2Pac hologram. Thank you, Coachella!

Exclusive: Portishead Talk New Album, Tour & Coachella


Big Shot has spoken exclusively to Portishead about their new album, Third, which will be released next month. The fourth release from the Bristol based trip-hop pioneers (their third studio album, overall) is a less claustrophobic body of work that sees Beth Gibbons utilize the softer vocal style she perfected with her solo album that perforated their ten-year absence from the music industry. Geoff Barrows and Adrian Utley sat down with us to talk through the eleven-track release that steers away from their previous inclination for samples and ventures into a broader sonic pastiche.

The three-piece act will be joined by a similar lineup of musicians to those who have played with them in the past; however, DJ Andy Smith is not appearing at the live dates. Barrows explains that this is due to the new processes the band utilized. “As we haven’t used many samples with Third, the live shows are more about a band. We all swap around instruments. When the lights go out between songs, we are madly running around trying to prepare for the next one. Swapping snare drums, things like that.”

Barrows is excited by the prospect of coming to the US to play at Coachella. “We’ve never done it before, and yes it’s quite funny that The Verve are the other headliners,” he says. “When they split we had to step into their shoes and fill a number of festival slots they had been booked for. So now, although we never went away really, we are going to play Coachella at the same time as them.’

Portishead have indeed never really gone away. They took a well-earned break after a massive promotional tour for second self-titled album and began recording again in 2004 in Sydney. According to Barrows, the tapes were “okay,” but not considered good enough by the band to be classed as new Portishead material. So it came to pass that now, in 2008, the British band who captured the hearts of millions worldwide in the 1990s, arrive back in a music industry that has changed but will surely welcome them with open arms.

A full length exclusive interview with Barrows and Utley will feature in Issue 23 of Big Shot, where the band discuss their live album, PNYC, the influence of Bristol on their music, the changes in the technology between albums, and the plethora of fan made videos that have cropped up on the Web. OGW