Joshua Steele Deconstructs His Ego Flux Pavilion In iEDM Exclusive Interview
The idea of a masked or helmeted producer is no longer as unusual as it was a few years ago. With producers like Marshmello, Deadmau5, Malaa, Daft Punk, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more all donning masks and helmets, covering one's face is almost fashionable in EDM.
Some producers take the idea of an alter-ego a step further and don different names when they produce music. Oliver Heldens with HI-LO, and Dillon Francis with DJ Hanzel are just two examples of producers with alter egos. But there are a few artists who take it even one step further and completely separate their stage identity from their true identity.
Joshua Steele is well known by his stage name of Flux Pavilion, but behind the trademark turquoise hair and silver glitter, Joshua Steele and Flux Pavilion are two different people.
I had a chance to sit down with Joshua and chat with him about who Flux Pavilion really is.
iEDM: In a previous interview, you made a point about differentiating between Flux Pavilion as an identity and who you are as a person. Why is it so important to have that kind of alter-ego separation?
Joshua: It’s always been that way for me, it’s not a new creation. I feel like now with the look of Flux Pavilion, Flux really is a wizard, he makes mad things happen and so it seemed like a brilliant choice, extending the idea of what Flux Pavilion is a separation.
It all began when I first started, I wanted Flux Pavilion to be bigger than I could ever be. I don’t want to be a celebrity or all about image, as a person I never wanted all that, but I do really enjoy characters and I wanted to create a personality to surpass what I’m capable of. Flux Pavilion is something that could be an out of this world character that makes mad things happen through music.
iEDM: Flux Pavilion as a wizard definitely makes sense. He has one of the most identifiable looks in EDM, with the blue hair and the glitter. What inspired that?
Joshua: Quite simply, this is what Flux Pavilion looks like. It’s not really a look, it’s an existence. For me, I’ve always been really fascinated by sound as an energy. It doesn’t actually exist in a physical form but we understand it. Sound isn’t a physical entity as we understand it, but it has so much power. It can make people completely lose themselves; run around, jump around, something that has so little real-world impact and is such a powerful thing. For me, the excitement of being able to control this invisible power brings Flux Pavilion into existence, I can’t see it but I can feel it, and I can feel it taking over myself.
iEDM: Wizards make magic and there's a lot of people at Flux's set who would agree with that. You finished your North American leg of Around the World in 80 Raves. Anything that stood out to you or any favorite memories?
Joshua: It's hard to think of one, the whole thing has been a really awesome experience and a journey into Flux Pavilion, this tour has helped me take everything seriously by not taking it seriously. Expand the world with Flux Pavilion and being a separate entity. The tour felt like he expanded more and more, working on new music. As an expansion it's been awesome.
iEDM: You had some great artists with you on your tour. Moksi, G-Buck, Kayzo, Spag Heddy and a number of other really great artists were featured on your rotating cast of supporting artists. Do you have a dream back to back with anyone?
Joshua: In dubstep? Rusko. He is the idol/hero of dubstep for me. I remember seeing him in Room 3 at Fabric in London. He had this hat that was like a chicken on his head with his crazy hair coming out and he was jumping around on a little box. He used to play with no shoes on, so he'd just slide around and in dance music culture, that didn't exist. I never really connected with DJ culture because you had to look and dress a certain way, whereas dubstep culture was something I could be more engaged in. So I went to see him play and watching him made me think that I wanted to do that. That's how I wanted to live my life, like a lunatic on a box, jumping around.
iEDM: Definitely, if he got you inspired with dubstep I can see how he would be the perfect back to back. Do you have any future projects or surprises for your fans?
Joshua: Maybe. I don't know. I feel like Flux Pavilion is quite eclectic as a thing. I don't just do one thing over and over again. I change things as much as possible. At this stage I feel like there isn't that much I can do to surprise fans anymore, which is great. I love my fan base, they're great. And whether I'm singing or doing some hard dubstep or something warm and musical, everyone is always there and they always come out to the show to see what I'm up to. And that's a really great thing. So I don't feel like there's anything that would really surprise anyone. But then again, who knows what I'm going to write next. I don't even know. I just started to work on a new album now, I'm not sure how it's gonna come together yet, but a lot of the ideas I've had so far are quite odd. So we'll see.
Joshua: Today's set was hard, as hard as I possibly could. I felt like people needed to let off some steam after the rain.