It’s all about the spheres. Every single person at Paradiso could be heard talking about Infected Mushroom’s amazing stage and show. “We saw the Amon Tobin show and we were blown away. We wanted to do something with 3D mapping, but not do cubical things like Deadmau5 or Amon…so we said ‘Let’s do spheres.’ We took this idea to Heather [Shaw of design firm] Vita Motus (who built the Amon Tobin set) and we said ‘Let’s build some spheres.’ We built that, then V Squared Labs for the 3D animation. We took a year and built the Fungusamongus show and then integrated the music into it.”
Speaking of the Fungusamongus Tour, a raging success that has swept away music and technology fans and writers alike – does the name of the tour harken back to the 1995 Incubus album? “Absolutely not. When we named the tour, we started seeing Facebook posts of people saying ‘Are you referring to Incubus?’ No, we just came up with Fungusamongus. We have no issues with Incubus, but we didn’t know their first album was called that. They stole our name. They went back in time, and stole it.”
So how did these long-standing psytrance pioneers (and victims of time travel thievery) get started making music together? “A mutual friend of ours introduced us. We did some horrible tracks in the beginning, and that was about it.” And the scene when they got started in the U.S.? “It’s great [now]. We’ve been able to do events like Paradiso all year long. When we came to the U.S. 9 years ago, there was nothing here. There was Kaskade and [Steve] Aoki playing for 200 people.” Erez and Amit both take a moment to laugh nostalgically. “Now it’s become this huge phenomenon. It’s a blast. We’re so happy to be a part of it.”
Being a part of it, in the case of Infected Mushroom, seems to be living in an ever-changing area of the fringes, taking cues from modern EDM artists and effortlessly combining them with the rock-influenced, vocally-driven psytrance sound that has so much crammed inside it almost everyone can be a fan.
There were many sources of inspiration for Army of Mushrooms (our latest album). Mainly from the young kids doing EDM. Kill The Noise, Porter [Robinson], Zedd, a lot of glitch hop artists…a lof of the stuff we’ve heard in the last few years came into mind on this album. We had fun doing it. Now we produced Friends On Mushrooms. This album is taking it more to the limits of our exploring different genres.
In the end, Infected Mushroom’s success is attributable, more than anything, to the fact that they truly don’t sound anything like the Beatport Top 100. Their sound is always fresh and unexpected, and their sea of fans at any given show is a cross section of all music fans, not just the current EDM class. “Mainly for us it’s about carrying into the new generation without losing our own sound. You have to always pay attention to what’s going on in the dance world if you play dance music. That’s what we try to do every year, produce as much music as we can. Some will be good and some will be bad. We just try to have a good time.”
The sun set and we traded the intense heat for an unparalleled audiovisual experience. When the intensity of live vocals, bright lights, stunning graphic overlays and mashed up musical masterpieces was over, we couldn’t help but think back to what Erez and Amit had to say right before we left them. “We fucking love this. We couldn’t fit the spheres on the main stage, but next year we will. And we’re doing FreakNight again this year. It’s great to be back in Seattle, and to see USC Events getting bigger and bigger. We hope everyone has fun at the Fungusamongus show!”
If the reaction of the crowd and the amount of talk happening the next day was any indication, October can’t come soon enough for Northwest Infected Mushroom fans, and they’re sure to have something brand new when they return.
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.