Striking it big with its MGMT-sampling song “The Opposite of Adults,” genre-bending alternative hip-hip duo Chiddy Bang is about to release its first full-length album after a year filled with mixtapes and single teases. After a chaotic show at SXSW earlier this year, Chiddy Bang said it hopes to bring the same energy to ACL and its aftershow with Skrillex at La Zona Rosa.
The Daily Texan spoke to the producer half of the duo, Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin, about coming back to Austin and releasing their first album, Breakfast.
The Daily Texan: I know you’ve been here pretty frequently. What do you guys love about Austin?
Xaphoon Jones: I love cuisine. I love the crepes place. I love the food trucks. The bars are great. Austin is a lot of fun, a lot of fun. At SXSW, we may have taken it a little too far.
DT: Anything about ACL you’re pumped for?
Jones: This is my favorite line-up of any festival we’ve done in the U.S. It’s nice to be in a line-up of people you listen to — Fleet Foxes, Empire of the Sun, Kanye [West]. It’s like hanging out to your iPod.
DT: How long are you here for? Do you have time to see some of these guys?
Jones: We’re going to be here for three or four days because we’re doing an after party with Skrillex that sold out a couple of months of ago, so we’re going to do that and have a day in between.
DT: What can people expect from that show?
Jones: The usual pandemonium of our show and the usual pandemonium of a Skrillex show. I mean, just mayhem. Dancing on the stage; fucking backflips. We’re just going have fun with it.
DT: So, you guys are set to release your first full-length album, Breakfast, later this year. What can fans look forward to?
Jones: You can expect the usual oddball samples, but you can expect them to be deeper and a little bit unknown. The sampling choice is going to be a lot less obvious, and the sound is going to be a little bit more polished. Like a lot of songs from artists, we’re adding background to the songs. Things that make the songs sick and rich, so compared to our earlier stuff, which is ‘laptop in the bedroom’ kind of sound.
DT: Was recording this any different from making your previous mixtapes?
Jones: It’s all about the physical space you’re in. For this album, half of it is recorded in West London and half of it is recorded in New York; a little bit is recorded in my house in Philadelphia. We’re growing as artists, and we’re getting better tools and engineering and I’m getting better as a writer.
DT: How did you end up in London?
Jones: We’re signed to Parlophone, which is a London-based label. And one of my favorite studios is called Wendy House in West London. We were there for two to three weeks.
DT: Is there anything really unique about recording in London?
Jones: Absolutely. London is just so diverse, which is very much like New York in that respect, but the kind of music, centered around drum breaks and Jamaican culture and everything, from two-step to grime, is amazing, and I’m just a huge fan of it. And it comes out in the studio. You’re drinking beer every day; you’re eating Thanksgiving roast every day.
DT: Is there any burden to meet expectations with this album?
Jones: The only burden is between us and our label just because we’re releasing it in America first even though we are on a London label. There’s confusion with the people in charge of the project. But I know Chiddy and I were really proud of the project. It’s been a gap from our last mixtape. I look back and listen to those mixtapes, and I can’t believe I did this. I used this compressor. It’s just been great as a producer to have sounds bigger and wider and crazier with this new one.
DT: You mentioned having bigger and crazier sounds. On the flip side, how do you make sure it still sounds cohesive?
Jones: That’s a good point. There’s less limitation, so it’s almost harder to lock down what you want but luckily, Chiddy is a really good radar of what’s going to reach across a lot of people. I start nodding my head when something is weird and freaking, and Chiddy starts nodding his head when something is really catchy, so I know when both of us are nodding our heads, we’ve found something is really unique and cool sounding.
DT: Do you guys do anything in particular to relax?
Jones: We smoke a lot of weed, and we play video games in the bus. I work on our music almost constantly because I’m doing remixes and mixtapes, so I’m almost always constantly on my laptop. I’m starting getting into DJ more. When you’re on tour, you have to do anything to survive.
Printed on September 15, 2011 as: Hip-hop duo looks forward to releasing first full-length album