Interview| Killerwatts (DJ Tristan & Avalon – UK)


MCBN: Hey guys, thanks for chatting to us… Let’s get straight into things shall we. You have both gained some great DJ’ing experience with your solo acts but how did the Killerwatts project come about?

Tristan: I first heard Leon (Avalon) playing in Tribe of Frog, one of the best nights in UK. I was blown away by his music. We ended up hanging out and somehow arranged to get into the studio and make some tunes together. After we released “Another Planet” and saw the success of this tune on the dance floor, we realised that there was something going on between us musically…

Avalon: It wasn’t until Universo Paralello that we realised we had to do an album together… It’s been an amazing journey so far. We debut our finished tunes at Origin and I can tell you that there was no more fitting place than Cape Town to test out our sound.

MCBN: Having both been here before and experienced our awesome trance scene, this question is aimed more at Tristan. What took you so long to get back to Cape Town????

Tristan: Visas… I base myself in Goa, India and due to the nature of their Embassy… It has been a constant, rough battle. It became a huge problem but finally sorted it out.

MCBN: The beats were pumping, the bass lines were rolling and I can assure you the dance floor thoroughly enjoyed your Killerwatts set at Origin. How did you enjoy your debut Killerwatts set down here in Cape Town?

Tristan: It was brilliant, the best set we have done. I really enjoyed my DJ set, as I felt it was a journey from start to finish. The night time was dark and much harder and when Broken Toy came on and smashed it, I felt I had to come on and deconstruct everything and build it up again over two hours… I felt I built it up nicely for the Killerwatts set.

Avalon: Tristan said to me after our set that it had to go down as the best Killerwatts set so far. It’s my third Origin and this has to have been my favourite one to date. From the production, to the decor, to the vibe, to the venue, everything was amazing!!! They just keep getting better.

Killerwatts: It was absolute pleasure to being playing there together for the first time.

MCBN: There are so many great artists out there, who have been your favourite artist you have collaborated with and who would you most like to work with in the near future?

Killerwatts vs Waio – Wake Up

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/26395337″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”81″ iframe=”false” /]

Killerwatts: Well, as Killerwatts we have only collaborated with Wiao. We form a unique collaboration, it’s a great mix in the studio. We’d like to work with Domestic. He masters all our music and he is one of the most respected people we have worked with when it comes to production. We’ll be in the studio soon, very soon.

MCBN: We were lucky enough to have you both play separate sets in Cape Town as your solo acts. You guys are producing constantly & travelling the world DJ’ing, how do you find time to fit everything in, especially with the Killerwatts act?

Avalon: We do a lot of it on the road while touring, the album was done in hotel rooms, basically our only spare time! Hotel rooms have become our mobile studios. Ableton live has been able to allow us to be produce on the move. We borrow hotel speakers and set up studio in our rooms and produce as often as we can.

Tristan: One thing I do have to say is we graft fucking hard.  Anyone thinking of becoming a trance DJ/Producer, it comes down to one word: dedication… Another thing that becomes hard is fitting everything else in, for instance family life etc, but we manage to do it. I take the family with me a lot. I had my 40th in L.A last year and had my 4 year old daughter on the dance floor having the time of her life.

MCBN: What do you both enjoy listening to and drawing inspiration from?

Avalon: I listen to lots of bands at moment. I have always been a massive Nirvana fan. When I DJ, I really enjoy Avalon – Distant Future (Dickster remix)

Tristan: I listen to a lot of Neil Young. I draw a lot of inspiration from the early 60’s, 70’s psycadelic rock.

MCBN: What has been your favourite festival to play at to date and why? (We don’t mind if you say Origin hehe)

Trist – The Total Solar Eclipse Party in Kruger National Park 2001 and Samonthraki

Avalon: My favourite party had to be Easter Island Eclipse party which was on an ancient Island in the middle of the ocean with all the local tribe people freaking out hearing trance for the first time. It was an extremely tribal setting with massive statues everywhere, built around 800, 900 years ago. It looked like something from another planet. I felt like I was in a weird Mayan situation, it’s hard to explain but it was mind blowing. Another favourite for me was Universo Paralello with 17,000 jumping up and down with you to something you have created, is an absolutely phenomenal feeling, there is nothing more satisfying.

Killerwatts: Origin has always been a favourite of both of ours.

MCBN: Tristan, someone at Origin mentioned to me that you have Tinnitus which caused you to stop gigging as much? Can you confirm if this is true and has this impacted your musical career at all?

Tristan: The DJ set I did at Origin was a special gift to Origin, so yeah. I only do live sets now to which keeps me more focused on the actual production of the set than anything else. I am getting used to living with it now and will continue producing all the same.

MCBN: The question that has been on my mind since I heard your set, can we expect an album from Killerwatts anytime soon?

Killerwatts: We will be releasing a Killerwatts album in late April, early May.

MCBN: Playing back to back as Killerwatts brings a whole new element to both your sounds. How would you describe the Killerwatts sound to everyone out there?

Killerwatts: It’s a hybrid of an Avalon and Tristan sound… What we have aimed for is a top level production whilst maintaining the authentic psycadelic bedrock sound. So you can really fly with the music but at the same time get down and party. In a nutshell: groovy, ripping, psycadelic funk. We worked really hard at trying to achieve this standard of music and we are really happy with the end product.

MCBN: This question is for Avalon… Being one of the more well known up and coming producers across the world, what was it like when you started working with someone like Tristan who has been in the scene since the Goa days?

Avalon: Basically it was my first party back in 2001… I remembered seeing him (Tristan) playing at the Eclipse party & Samonthraki and I don’t remember any of the DJ’s or anything else but remember someone telling me his name was Tristan. He was my favourite DJ of the party and if you told me that 10 years later I was going to be playing on the same stage as Tristan as my Avalon project, let alone WITH Tristan as Killerwatts at Samonthraki, would have blown my mind. But 10 years later here I am with Tristan and that is one of the reasons why this is a very special project to be working on. It’s also some of the best music I have ever made. We can both agree that…

MCBN: As I mentioned earlier, you guys must travel A LOT, what has been the craziest thing you have seen while DJing across the globe?

Tristan: I always like seeing a naked person, going full primal. There is nothing crazier than seeing a human being going primal. Another insane memory had to be when police stormed in and started beating the shit out of people and smashing the system with bamboo sticks in Goa. Crazy!

MCBN: If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive! Who would it be?

Avalon: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix & Jim Morrison

Tristan:  Buddha, Jimmy Page & my wife.

MCBN: Thanks for chatting to us & please come back soon than later… I don’t think we can wait another year for Origin again to see you fella’s throwing down those monster tunes for us.

A special note from Killerwatts:

Tristan: I really enjoyed the warmth and welcome of all the Cape Town people. I chatted to countless people on the dance floor… You guys made my party. I am extremely happy to be a part of the extended Nano family. I am extremely proud of how far it has come over the last few years. It is well organised and in a matured state with the best stable of artists and team mates that I have ever worked with. I am so happy to be a part of it.

All in all, I think the scene in Cape Town, has got all the contributing factors in the world to be the leader in the Psytrance scene.  Production, sound, accommodation, weather, artist care, it’s unbelievable, that’s why the scene here is as strong as it is. It is so nice to come back and see how the scene is so much stronger and continually growing since I was last here.

Avalon: I have got the same thing to say. Cape Town is such a lovely place, with such an awesome vibe. Don’t you worry, I will be seeing you guys. Maybe even next season 😉

Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…

Comments 2

  1. I was at the eclipse festival when Tristan played. and he played the actual eclipse set. there are no words to describe just how incredibly amazing that was

  2. Nice interview Kreg! Totally blew me away at the party. Can’t wait till next year 😉

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