By: Sarah Nicole Vaughn
One of the first things I do when I start prepping for an interview with a band or musician is to look up a few live performances on Youtube and get a feel for their vibe. I’m not going to lie, it took me a few minutes to understand exactly what DrFameus was up to, but it’s clear that his live shows are something worth seeing in person.
DrFameus is the solo project of Disco Biscuits’ drummer, Allen Aucoin, who blends drum & bass, dubstep, and techno to create his sound. Live, Aucoin tunes into his audiences and customizes the show for them as he goes, something he says he learned to do while jamming with the Biscuits on their tours.
Even if “wub-step” isn’t your thing, bands like DrFameus showcase some of the genre’s more meticulous artists and demonstrate much more creativity than a bunch of repetitive, testosterone-driven bass drops. His live set features him, his acoustic kit, electric drums, and a computer for the loops he plays along with, a one-man band of sorts.
DrFameus will be in Lubbock on March 3 at Cactus Courtyard, and I think Aucoin is going to give us a hell of a show.
New Slang phoned up Aucoin yesterday to talk about his tour, the upcoming Lubbock show, what music he can’t get enough of, and his plans for the year ahead.
New Slang: First of all, how’s the tour going so far?
Allen Aucoin: The tour has been great. I started in Durango a few weeks ago, then Ft. Collins, Denver, Boulder, Milwaukee, Davenport, Minneapolis, Madison, and Kalamazoo. The first few shows were with Conspirator, but the Lubbock show will be just me.
NS: You’ve been playing with the Disco Biscuits for a while now, how has that influenced your shows?
AA: I try to take a different approach, but I stay more in the electronic realm than the Biscuits. One of the things I’ve adapted is the Biscuits’ way of jamming and playing off the vibe of the crowd. I’ll have a loop I’m playing to and how I play it and how long I play it depends on the crowd and that’s something I honed in on while playing with the them.
NS: Was there any sort of pivotal moment that got you into drumming? If so, what happened and who were you listening to at the time?
AA: I started drumming in High School, I got a drum set when I was a Junior. Having a private teacher from the beginning, he was strict in learning jazz and in the beginning I engulfed myself in the jazz realm. There’s so much there (in Jazz), that you can get lost for a lifetime. For drumming, it taught me a lot of independence. It took a lot of practicing and a lot of listening but I started in the jazz realm, then fusion, then funk. Once I found funk I was sidetracked for a few years. The first time I heard electronic and drum & bass, I was a Freshman in college. It was LTJ Bukem, and I was mesmerized the minute I heard it. I couldn’t believe the bass he had and the drums were so produced and it was really cool to me. Once I heard that I couldn’t get enough. I was friends with Deantoni Parks, who was one of the first to play live drum & bass and that’s where I started my love for electronic music. I’ve never ever waivered in the love I have for drum & bass, but since then I’ve also gotten into electronic and dubstep, but I will always love drum & bass.
NS: And who are you listening to now?
AA: I’m looking at songs to remix right now, and the one band in the 20 tracks I’ve listed so far that screams at me is Awolnation. They’re very eclectic as well, they have one track that’s more trance and ambient and another is more punk and, before you called, I was listening to their song ‘Sail,’ and I can’t get enough of them. I’m also really into Mars Volta and Sound Garden. And in the electronic realm: DJ Icey, LTJ Bukem, Squarepusher, Assex Twin, and Urban Assault.
NS: This year is just getting started, what are you planning and looking forward to this year?
AA: I’m gonna be playing as many shows as possible, between 100-150 shows. Maybe more than 150. Everything that they send me, we try to make the best decision and take as many shows as possible. DrFameus has played in the Northeast and a little here in the Southeast, so we’re trying to get out more. I’m also going to be working on an EP. I’m making a track listing, with the songs that work well in clubs and that they latch onto the most. I’m going to have a week or two in May to work on an EP and then maybe in June or July I’ll have something to give people or release online.