EDMTunes Interview: I Am Legion


Maybe you haven’t yet heard about I Am Legion, but chances are you’ve probably heard of the two artists that make up this new supergroup – Foreign Beggars and Noisia. The former being the UK rap group that tends to collaborate with dubstep producers, the latter being the Dutch trio that creates such a unique variety of sounds it’d be impossible to list all the genres they could fall under. The two groups have collaborated in the past, but now they have created their own unit under I Am Legion, and released a full length self-titled album in September that’s already getting more and more massive.

I Am Legion headed out on their first tour last week. Set to cover large portions of Europe and Australia, the expedition started last Thursday at the Village Underground in London, UK. Saying the show was wild would be an understatement – the crowd broke out into a mosh pit, and everyone was chanting along with incredible force. EDMTunes had the opportunity to check out the first ever I Am Legion show, and talk to Foreign Beggars vocalist Pav “Orifice Vulgatron” Mukhi. Check out the interview below.

EDMTunes: First of all I just wanted to say that that was an awesome show on Thursday night. It was so exciting to hear you guys say that it was the “first I Am Legion show on Planet Earth”. And you’ve already played two more shows this weekend. How does it feel so far?

It’s so sick, our team is wicked! During rehearsals we had a lot of technical shit we had to sort out but now the shows are going really wickedly and everything is coming together.

EDMTunes: Foreign Beggars and Noisia have been producing some powerful tracks together over the years, like ‘Contact’ and ‘No Holds Barred’. What made you all decide to take it to the next level and produce a full LP?

We had great chemistry and we were joking about producing an album together in the beginning. We put out those tracks like ‘Contact’ a few years ago, but our schedules are so different it’s hard to get together again. We didn’t want to let more new tracks continue to come out later, more spread out, and not sound fresh anymore, so we continued to just make up a lot tracks. The things we make together aren’t like anyone else. The way we work together in the studio is a real pleasure because all five of us are in there, working on every part of the track, the beats, the lyrics. We wanted to make something special out of that chemistry. And between them and us, they have a wicked live show, we have a wicked live show so we figured why not take that on the road together as one group.

EDMTunes: More and more collaborations that have their own name are popping up. Why do you think it’s important to create a separate name for the project, rather than just using your individual artist names? You guys both already have big followings on your own.

That was one of the last decisions we made in the project. The name itself, I Am Legion is never really quoted in the lyrics anywhere, we kind of just came up with it. we just wanted to do something completely new and special. We could have called it Beggars and Noisia, something like that. But I Am Legion is its own concept. I Am Legion is stronger than just an album name and it’s slightly different from what Noisia does, slightly different from what Foreign Beggars do, so it just worked really.

EDMTunes: Not a lot of electronic artists these days are putting out full length albums. Will the performances on this tour focus mainly on the new album, or will you throw some older tracks and mixes?

The main focus of the show is to showcase the album. We actually play every single track on the album almost exactly as it is, in its entirety, plus a few extra bits. We add a few remixes, like an edit of Current Value’s remix of our older track, “Soul Purge.” We even remix a version of Excision’s remix of “No Holds Barred”. Those are some of our older tracks, but it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t play the old stuff ‘cuz those bits were intended to be I Am Legion tracks anyway. So we would just be shortchanging people if we didn’t play them.

EDMTunes: You guys have played big shows and festivals in the US. For our American readers, and drawing from your tour experiences, what do you notice that’s different about the way Americans handle ‘EDM’?

There’s been such a history of the culture here, in that dance music has been so much a part of people’s lives for years. So people approach raving slightly differently, in a much more normal and casual way. Scenes that are very different, like garage and house, have more of a widespread crossover in the states. It’s just a younger culture there really, and that’s come with the exposure of dubstep over the past few years. Obviously house music and techno have been very influential forms of electronic music from places like Chicago and New York, giving us that more developed and mature sound. But yknow, over here, you don’t really see any glowsticks. The whole kandi raver thing doesn’t really exist here.
And people are less used to rappers being a part of that scene in the US. There were a couple of places in the US where we could tell that people weren’t really sure what to make of us when we were on the Skrillex tour. Every place has a different response, city to city. The kind of promotion and culture going on in a place creates those different responses. But for us, the most important thing is the energy we receive. It’s very much an energy thing – people feel it and then give it back to us.

EDMTunes: Thursday night was the first night of a long European and Australian winter tour. Is it more fun to play to smaller crowds who know the music, or do you prefer huge summer festivals?

I love the energy at both of them. The more intimate places – the vibe gets really poppin and its get crazy. Both of them are just as special.

EDMTunes: Another curious thing – what’s up with the street art around London? Is it just promotion for the new single, or does it have a bigger meaning?

Noisia always used to write graffiti together, so for I Am Legion, we just decided to something special like that too. It wasn’t just London either, it was all over the world. We did a collaborative thing together where we painted the streets in LA, New York, Paris, and London. We filmed the painting with a preview of the new song for promotion, mainly, but also it was just a way of promoting through an art form that we all celebrate.

EDMTunes: The show was so awesome on Thursday – that energy was absolutely incredible. I’m sure our readers would be dying to catch a live I Am Legion show of their own. Any chance you guys are coming to the US soon?

Oh yes, we’ll be there in February!

I Am Legion is out now on OWSLA Records. You can stream the album on their Soundcloud here!

Image courtesy of HungryVisuals