Hippie Sabotage On Skaters, Kendrick Lamar, And Unicorns In iEDM Exclusive Interview
Whoah, dudes. The week is winding down. You know what that means. It's the perfect opportunity to do a throwback, flashback, or whatever you want to call it, with two guys who iEDM really, really digs.
Hippie Sabotage, consisting of brothers Jeff and Kevin Saurer, puts their blood, sweat, and tears into every passionate performance.
Gearing up for big shows in Honolulu on October 12, and New Orleans on October 26, the dynamic duo is ready to rock your face and show you why their music resonates with fans who are looking for something different. As creatives, the brothers are giving a refreshing boost to a genre that is desperately seeking authenticity.
iEDM had the chance to speak with Hippie Sabotage in an exclusive interview. The brothers discussed their laidback California roots, and the magic of unicorns. Seriously. Get ready to chill out and learn more about two guys who just love to skate and create, man.
iEDM: Guys, thanks for sitting down and taking the time to talk. Being brothers, what's it like playing in New York City for a festival together, being from the other coast?
Jeff: It's crazy. It's one of the biggest cities in the country. Playing a festival here is always a special environment. I think from the second you get off the plane, and drive into the city: it puts you in a special mood that you don't really get anywhere else. The hustle is prevalent in New York.
iEDM: It's true. I'm a born and raised New Yorker. I love all the places that I visit, but there is a different feel to this city that you can't find find on the outside. Switching gears a bit, I know that you guys get pumped for venues like Temple Denver. I hear for all intents and purposes, it's one of the real fun spots to hit up.
Kevin: I would say Denver, and Colorado in general, has a very sophisticated electronic music listener. Because of Red Rocks, you see a lot of large variety of acts. It's such a cool and interesting place.
iEDM: Besides the diverse music scene, just breathing in all that fresh air must be a nice change.
Kevin: Of course!
iEDM: Speaking of taking a breather, when you guys have a moment to chill out and relax, what do you really enjoy doing? For me, just sitting on the grass and looking out into the sky is okay by me.
Jeff: We live in Venice Beach, California. We just go to the beach, and smoke a blunt. Or something.
Kevin: Even when it's super touristy, it's nice to have everyone around. Like I was saying, it's great to feel the mood in whatever city we are living in. Venice has it's own mood. We grew up skateboarding. A lot of legendary skaters came out of Venice, and the southern California area in general. We get to feel the kind of energy we grew up on.
iEDM: That's awesome. A lot of the crowd I grew up with were skaters. They lived that lifestyle, every single day. Who were a couple of your skating influences when you were growing up?
Kevin: Tom Penny, for sure.
Jeff: Stefan Janoski, the dude who's got the Nikes--he's from Sacramento. We used to see him at the parks.
Kevin: There's this guy Brandon Biebel, who's a legendary skateboarder who we also used to see. We grew up idolizing these guys.
iEDM: As you guys developed your name and your sound, have you ever linked up with your skating heroes? Did any of the guys that you admired eventually reach out to you?
Kevin: We met this guy--his name is Erik Ellington. Jeff went and took a picture with him. I felt like I was 15-years-old again when I saw him. I got too nervous. I might of seen him from afar, but skateboarders in particular, I get nervous about.
Jeff: It's like, meeting the Beatles.
iEDM: Now that I think about it, anyone that you looked up to during your younger years will always invoke an emotion that brings you back to a certain point in your life. It is a little bit different from talking to a random person on the street.
Kevin: These are childhood heroes, you know?
iEDM: When you guys hit the stage, the energy is always there. People get really into it. What kind of preparation do you put into your performance? Does it depend on the venue? The vibe?
Kevin: I'd say, a week before we do any type of [festivals,] we just have a general dialogue throughout the week about the performance. Do we want to change this moment? Thirty minutes in, do we want to make this instrumental section slightly longer, with a little more transition? I think that is how we prepare. The night before, we test everything before we make our final decisions.
iEDM: That's whats up. In a festival environment, you see everybody and anybody. That comes with the territory. In your careers, thus far, what's the craziest outfit or situation that you've seen that you never thought was possible?
Kevin: I've got a good one. We were playing the Snow Dayz tour, in Colorado, where we were playing six resorts, in a week. There was this really nice guy, and really nice girl. They were a team. The girl was dressed up like an elf from Lord of the Rings. And this guy was dressed up as this big, unicorn on stilts. Think big, unicorn head.
Jeff: He was already, like six feet tall...and then on stilts.
iEDM: I'm painting the picture.
Kevin: It took some dedication. He walked around, it was part of the performance.
iEDM: Was the girl on top of him?
Kevin: No, she was just making sure he wasn't going to fall over. But, she was in costume, too.
iEDM: Yep, that sounds insane. I've seen my fair share of craziness during festivals like Electric Zoo.
Jeff: He was a super nice guy.
Kevin: He was enjoying it.
iEDM: As we are hitting the fall months, are there any particular upcoming shows that excite you guys?
Jeff: Instead of playing just LA stuff, we go to towns that people don't really think about it.
iEDM: Did you guys pick those places in particular?
Kevin: Yeah, it was our idea to do that. Especially since we didn't do a hometown show on our spring tour, we want to get home--at least once a year. Do a show for our core fans, and pay homage to our hometown and surrounding areas. We don't forget where we came from.
iEDM: A lot of times, people get so caught up with the money and fame, they forget where it all started. Mad respect, guys.
Kevin: We spent our formative years in Sacramento, in the studio, working with local artists. Just learning who I was as both a musician, and an artist. I think it's important, as you were saying, to remember that.
iEDM: In your experience, what are the main differences between the west coast, and the east coast when it comes to how people view the music?
Kevin: I would say that our music is meant to be consumed. You are supposed to feel emotional, and relaxed. You smoke a joint and reflect. I feel like that culture might be a little stronger on the west coast.
iEDM: Good vibes, that's what it's supposed to be about. Heading into a new year, do you guys want to work with anyone in particular that's on your radar?
Kevin: Obviously, we would love to work with Kendrick--the greatest rapper of all time. Like I said, we are California kids. Anytime we get an opportunity, we are down to do it. Working with more artists artists that are making noise; we love that. We are working on building out our sound.
No matter what coast you represent, there is always another festival around the corner. Make sure you check out Hippie Sabotage's next set with our rave wear. Browse iEDM's Festival Collection HERE.