That’s right, it’s almost time for Electric Zoo 2017! New York’s biggest electronic music festival is back this Labor Day weekend, and the excitement is buzzing.

In preparation, we caught up with some of the artists performing this year to get their thoughts on everything from the festival, to zoo animals, to how much climbing apparently happens at festivals, to the G train and so much more.

Don’t miss E-Zoo! There’s still time to get tickets here!

 

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Elephante by Oh Dag Yo Photography © 2017
Elephante

Thoughts or feelings about your first time at Electric Zoo?   

Elephante: I couldn’t be more excited. Electric Zoo has always been one of those festivals that I’ve dreamed of playing. I’d look at the lineup and watch the livestreams every year, so being a part of it is amazing. On Main Stage no less. Also I’m Elephante so I feel like it couldn’t be a better fit.

Wingtip: Excited! I went a couple years ago as a fan so it’s pretty surreal to return as a performer! New York crowds are also always a little ahead of the curve, so I’m excited to be able to play some stuff that’s a little more left of center.

Wingtip
Wingtip

JayKode: I’m really excited to finally be playing E-Zoo. Been a fan of the festival for a few years now and I love that it’s on an island. Also, it’ll be my first time in New York!

Thoughts or feelings about returning to Electric Zoo?

Julia Govor: It’s an honor to perform for the third year in a row. I feel like I have a responsibility to represent the underground techno scene here in New York City. I loved the raw energy and the excitement from the ravers. Even when I was an opener, everyone was ready to rock and have fun on a Sunday afternoon.

JAYKODE
JayKode

Codeko: I’m really excited to come back to the states for it! E-Zoo last year was one of my first big festivals I played and I got to open up the Main Stage, which was an awesome experience, plus I played the legendary WebsterHall with Borgore at one of the after-parties.

What’s your “zoo animal”?

JayKode: I’d say a baby kangaroo – the literal definition of my name.

Elephante: Well it has to be an elephant right? If that’s disqualified then I guess an otter, those things are super dope.

Julia: Elephant.

Julia Govor
Julia Govor

Bijou: A cobra, that was an easy one haha!

Codeko: Easy. My track “Walking With Lions” was selected the E-Zoo 2016 anthem, so definitely a Lion 😜

Bad Royale: A lion, king of the jungle.

Crankdat: I’m a cat person, so maybe a tiger?

BlackGummy: My zoo animal would probably have to be a black bear.

Grum: Uhh… I’m a pretty standardly stubborn Taurus, so I’d go for the bull!

Codeko
Codeko

Wingtip: I think a sloth. They’re very long and both of us have funny looking heads.

If you had to pick one, what would you say is this year’s “Song of the Summer”?

Elephante: I’d probably go with “Slide” by Calvin Harris. I’m a big fan of Frank Ocean and Migos, and so it all just comes together. Although there’s this new song “24Hours” by G4SHI that I think is a late contender.

Codeko: “Feels” from Calvin’s new album. He really nailed it with the album by mixing that groovy house sound with more modern sounding vocals. “Feels” is just a quality example of what people want to hear nowadays.

Bijou
Bijou

JayKode: I’d say “Stay For It” by RL Grime. I’ve hadthat on repeat since it came out. Miguel absolutely smashes the vocals on the track and it’s got a super uplifting drop/chord progression throughout the entire track that works so well for summer.

Bad Royale: Major Lazer & DJ Maphorisa “Particula (feat. Nasty C, Ice Prince, Patoranking & Jidenna).” It has all the good vibes of a summer tune with a lot of foreign talent on the track. The names may not be familiar to the stateside listeners, but thats also what makes it a greattrack.

Bijou: I think it would have to be Chris Lake’s “I Want You.” It’s an absolute smasher and I’ve been hearing it everywhere I go.

Bad Royale
Bad Royale

What’s your favorite thing about New York?

Codeko: Being able to get practically anything you want within a block of where you are

Crankdat: 99¢ pizza at 4 AM.

BlackGummy: I like the nightlife in New York which goes on later than in California, we’re just passing bills to improve ours by moving last call to 4 AM (fingers crossed).

Crankdat
Crankdat

Elephante: There’s an energy about the city that’s unlike anywhere else in the world. Whenever you’re there you just feel like shit is happening, and it’s super inspiring.

Julia: I have never felt lonely in NYC. Even though it is massive and full of the kind of people that don’t care about you for real, I’ve learned a lot. I now know how to be clear about my ideas, stay focused and busy, and most importantly open-minded!

Least favorite?

Bad Royale: The traffic.

Codeko: Least favorite would have to be the constant Uber surge pricing!

BLACKGUMMY
BlackGummy

Elephante: My least favorite thing is probably how crowded it is. Now that I live in LA, I’m super spoiled and can’t imagine living in a shoebox again.

Wingtip: G train. Hands down. Someone mercifully put a pillow over that train and let it take its last breath.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or experienced at a festival?

Bad Royale: The craziest thing at any festival is, by no doubt, Steve Aoki’s ability to aim a sheet cake like he’s playing Counter-Strike with an aimbot.

Grum
Grum

Crankdat: I went to #14Fest in 2016 and The Chainsmokers opened with “Game Over” so I got stuck in a mosh-pit to my own song haha.

Codeko: Craziest thing I’ve seen was probably a triple tower of people in the crowd during my set where it was a guy, with another guy on his shoulders, and then a girl on that guys shoulder. Needless to say, that tower came tumbling down fairly quick…

Bijou: I think it would have to be earlier in the year at a festival in Texas when I saw a guy who decided to climb a large tree during, I believe, Zhu’s set. They stopped everything and a emergency team had to come in and get him out of it lol.

BlackGummy: As far as crazy, I think the highest free climb I’ve ever seen would have to have been at Coachella a few years back when someone climbed the Sahara tent and suspended themselves upside down off the center support beam. No idea how that person ended up getting down.

Elephante: One of the funniest things I can think of (that you can print haha) is that I have an orange tree in my backyard in LA that I talk to on Snapchat. His name is Oscar, and I’m pretty mean to it, calling it lazy and ugly and stuff.

It’s pretty dumb, and I do it mostly to entertain myself, but a few fans at one festival actually brought a sign dedicated to him, with all the dumb inside jokes and stuff, and it blew my mind that my orange tree is kinda famous.

JayKode: It was EDC 2009 when the festival was still at the Coliseum in LA. It was so crowded that they weren’t letting any more people in the pit coming down the stairs from the stands. Somehow I got through, but my friend was the first person the security stopped right after me.

I didn’t want to go any further without him so we both ended up going back up the stairs to the first row of seats instead and decided to jump over the gate, landing onto the roof of one of the lemonade trucks that was parked in the pit (Fun fact: It was this exact moment when the parkour era started).

Then, all of a sudden, we turn around, and there were about 500 people that decided to follow our lead. It was a swarm! The security had absolutely no control over the situation. We had started a revolution and came out victorious.

Glorious day indeed.

If you were in charge of picking the Electric Zoo theme song, what would it be?

Elephante: If it has to be someone else’s, I’d say “Stay For It” by RL Grime and Miguel.

Grum: One hundred percent, “Toto” – Africa.

Bad Royale: Daft Punk – “One More Time.”

Crankdat: “Electroman” by Benny Benassi and T-Pain

Codeko: “Momentum” by Don Diablo. He has been on fire this year and I expect to hear that track dropped quite a few times at this years E-Zoo!

Wingtip: I think the Knocks’ “New York City.” Just a great ode to the city by two of its best producers.


[Update August 16th, 2017] So QUIX was on the road when we published this, but we didn’t want to leave him out, so here are some selections from him. Make it 11 E-Zoo artists!

QUIX
QUIX

What’s your “zoo animal”?

QUIX: If I was a zoo animal I reckon I would be a bear ’cause I enjoy eating and sleeping.

If you had to pick one, what would you say is this year’s “Song of the Summer”?

QUIX: Well, being from New Zealand, our winter is your summer. But some summer vibes I’ve been jamming lately… everything Kygo has ever made.

What’s your favorite thing about New York?

QUIX: I love that it’s real and not just something I see in movies. And the pizza is lit.

If you were in charge of picking the Electric Zoo theme song, what would it be?

QUIX: I think it should be that new remix by Mr Carmack called “Evil Ways.” That’s my favorite song right now. I know it doesn’t really relate to Electric Zoo, but that is the song that I’d kill zombies to. You know, everyone has the one song they’d kill zombies to.


[Update August 31st, 2017] On the eve of E-Zoo, we managed to track down one more interview, Marc Maya. Here are some selections from him to make an even dozen!

Marc Maya
Marc Maya

Thoughts or feelings about your first time at Electric Zoo?

Marc Maya: I was really impressed and even with the location of the festival, the sights of the city were awesome. I really had good sensations there.

What’s your “zoo animal”?

Marc: I suppose the animal that would fit me the best would be a bird. When I see them fly they make me free and keep me calm.

If you had to pick one, what would you say is this year’s “Song of the Summer”?

Marc: For me, the summer song would be “Burning Sun” by Monolik. It makes me feel lots of sensations and feelings.

What’s your favorite thing about New York?

Marc: The huge variety of the New York society, its commerces, restaurants, etc… It’s a cosmopolitan one and I love it.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or experienced at a festival?

Marc: I’ve been lucky to be in many festivals, some of them really crazy and surrealistic; Burning Man or Boom Festival. I remember once at Psytrance Festival, a guy completely covered with mud, dancing in the middle of the dance floor… it really surprised me.


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