For his 30th birthday, Joe Depace — one half of the Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury — celebrated in a way few are ever able to: performing at Chicago’s Lollapalooza for the first time.
The DJ duo, comprised of Depace and Andrew Fedyk, made their Lollapalooza Chicago debut Saturday, Aug. 3 after playing festivals around the world this past year, including Lollapalooza in Santiago, Brazil. Since emerging to the electronic music scene in 2017, Loud Luxury has since sold platinum, released its hit song with Brando, “Body,” and debuted a North American tour — visiting Chicago again in November.
After their set — where the crowd at Perry’s stage went wild for Depace and Fedyk, dancing with abandon in the sweltering heat — the two sat down with The Phoenix to talk about music festivals, their hit song and fan reactions.
Emma Sulski: How are you guys?
Joe Depace: Doing good, how are you?
ES: Good! Are you guys having fun?
Andrew Fedyk: First time at Lolla Chicago. We played all the Lollas so far this year — South America and Europe — but everyone told us nothing compares to coming here and playing Lollapalooza. So we’re here! The show’s amazing, my shirt is soaked, but I couldn’t be more grateful. And my shoes are on life support. Everything’s amazing.
Emily Rosca: That’s great! We were actually at your set and were so excited to see it live.
AF: What did you think?
ER: From the crowd, the reaction you could get from them was incredible.
AF: It’s a really good crowd.
ER: What I was thinking was I went to Tame Impala [Friday] and Rufus Du Sol [Thursday], and they’re DJs but they did live sets. The crowd just doesn’t compare.
JD: [Live sets are] more chill. I saw circles of just people and … people just going crazy.
AF: We’re super energetic people, so it just comes out of us naturally. I could never perform and it not be super crazy and fun and hectic. So it was great.
ER: And the crowd wasn’t even on their phones. Normally, I was thinking, with live sets everyone’s recording, they’re talking, they’re chatting. I looked around and people weren’t on their phones.
JD: That’s great.
ER: When a musician can manage that in their audience, there’s really nothing better.
AF: Thank you — that goes to show how good of a crowd Lollapalooza is.
ES: Also the fact people are standing out there in the heat because they want to be out.
JD: Yeah, seriously. That’s why I asked them [during the set], “If you’re as hot as we are make some fucking noise.”
ER: And then with the fire you guys had coming out of the stage…
AF: Oh that cooked us.
JD: That was so scary.
AF: I had to check my eyebrows a couple times to make sure they were still there.
ER: When you’re standing in the sand and you have the heat radiating from above you’re kind of trapped. It’s an experience.
JD: You can feel it.
ER: What have you guys liked about playing Lolla internationally? I don’t think we’ve talked to anyone who did all of them.
JD: Oh, my God, it’s so sick.
AF: I like the fact we’re part of the bigger picture. It’s incredible playing dance festivals and we love hanging out with out DJ friends, but here it’s like you’re part of a mosaic of different music and vibes.
JD: We’ve gotten to meet some of our favorite bands like The 1975 and to see them — I’ve never seen them before. … A lot of people [were saying it was their first time at Lollapalooza] and we were like, “Shit, you guys are way bigger than us but this is our first time here.” We were so stoked to be a part of that and we got to see so many places that we never would’ve gone to otherwise.
AF: That’s hands-down the most special feeling. That’s what I feel stands out for me.
ER: Have you guys noticed any kind of shift in the world of festivals? You hear all these talks of what’s going on with Lolla — decline in sales and all.
JD: I don’t know about decline in sales but I think Lolla is a great example because it mixes so many different genres together and that’s what I really like about it. I think more festivals should do that. I think it should be more broad.
ES: I’m assuming you guys are pretty close. What’s it like getting to work with a friend?
AF: Oh, yeah. I couldn’t do this alone. It would be way too hard and lonely, frustrating. It’s fun to do this with somebody.
ER: Your hit song “Body” has more than 500 million plays on Spotify, so what was your reaction when you saw how that song took off?
AF: Shocked. We didn’t really expect it.
JD (laughing): I mean, I check every day on the statistics of how the songs are doing, and it’s still like, “How is this happening? This is crazy.”
ES: How did you guys get the idea to do “Body”?
AF: We moved to Los Angeles and met [singer-songwriter] Brando at a random bar. He was playing this open-mic thing. It was super out of the blue. We just really liked his vibe. He was a hip-hop writer first and foremost and had never been on an electronic track, and we felt strongly he’d be really cool on an electronic track.
ER: What’s the best memory you can detail for us that you’ve had from your time playing music festivals?
JD: Every time. Today is huge — it’s my birthday today.
AF: Probably the best birthday party, having the whole crowd wish you happy birthday.
JD: Yeah, I got to play Lollapalooza — a festival I’ve always wanted to play on my birthday — a marquee festival. Marquee Lolla. This is such a cool feeling.
ES: Have you guys had any special moments with fans since you started?
JD: As early as today. There was a fan right after we played — they were all yelling my name like, “Joe, happy birthday!” … We went over and a girl, I kid you not, had a bathing suit that had a picture of my face on it.
AF: It was pretty impressive.
JD: It’s hilarious. I was dying.
ER: Where do you guys see yourselves in five years?
JD: Making music. Still doing the same thing. Hopefully not deaf.
AF: Honestly, just happy. We take it day by day. There are new challenges and new opportunities, and that’s what makes it exciting. We try our best to stay present and live in the moment.
ES: If you guys could choose one person to work with musically, who would it be?
AF: One person?
JD: There’s so many people. Right now, the top of my list, I want to work with Drake.
AF: I think Drake’s an all-time favorite so if I had to pick one it would be him.
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Loud Luxury will return to Chicago Nov. 8 for a show at Concord Music Hall (2051 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Tickets are available starting at $25. The duo’s music is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.