Rob May and Ian Macpherson are two talented young lads from LA who are collectively known as the Bixel Boys. The two have become known for making “underground tunes for big rooms” and have developed quite the following since their start in early 2013. The duo also has records out on Sweat it Out!, Nervous, Main Course and Armada Music already, not bad for only being active for a year. We’ve been tracking their progress for a while now, watching ’em being announced on the Splash House lineup and EDC Las Vegas lineup, checking em out in San Diego and covering their latest release ‘Empire‘; saying we’re impressed with their work would be a bit of an understatement.
These guys aren’t here in a small way, they’re here to make some waves. To help with this, they’ve started the #FREELIFE movement. To help us and all their fans understand it we asked where this idea came from and how it relates to their production and lifestyle:
“…we’re sorta all over the place, the point of free life is freely expressing yourself. We never feel compelled to put our sound into a specific genre or do a specific sound. When we’re in the studio we just do what we wanna do in that moment, and that’s more healthy for creativity in the long run. Not forcing yourself into a box but rather just expanding yourself, doing a bunch of different things and not caring that there’s a bunch of consistency in your work.
What’s awesome about if you just listen to Bixel Boys and what we’ve done, you’re listening to a learning process…you’re witnessing our growth…a lot of artists have that grace period where they’re not heard or seen very much and they have time to develop and evolve their sound. with us it’s sorta like people are seeing that live.
That phrase is something that all of us were saying. …it’s about being comfortable. it’s about being yourself.”
Pushing this movement is big because it lets aspiring artists free themselves from any parameters they might see, to fuel creativity and nurture the creation of big better music. Hearing that kind of compassion they have for creativity is pretty cool, especially given the state of music in general and the constant craving (and demand) for new unique sounds. Really though this could be used as just a life principle; being true to one’s self it the best way to accomplish your goals and enjoy doing it. With the rapid success these two have had, it’s apparently not a half bad mindset to live by.
Their quick success has them traveling to Australia soon. Like now soon. The two leave for the land down under Thursday July 10, a day after the time this was written. The tour will have 5 stops, including: Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. The Australian scene is fostering some pretty incredible dance music creation, so bringing their unique ‘big room underground’ sound should be really well received. What’s so special about that style is that it manages to bring together two colliding worlds in a mixture that’s….well almost intuitive.
“Big room underground for us is incorporating that style of sweep up but giving that more diverse drops and keeping them intriguing. Where as big room and pop songs, you know where it’s going to go. We try to do songs that are…not anti-drop…but they are songs that are more weighted in the breakdowns.”
Their song structure isn’t formulaic, like standard big-room but it’s not off the wall or peculiar like experimental underground; instead they present a nice middle ground with big pulsations and visceral sounds, but in a setup that keeps crowds guessing and keeps them actively thinking. That’s how they kept their EDC crowd so immersed in the music.
The Australia tour should be an equally great success, and who knows who they’ll run into or network with along the way. During our interview they mentioned how great the roster was at Sweat it Out!, including Yolanda Be Cool who said if Jesus were two guys he’d be the Bixel Boys (paraphrasing here); the two duos should be hanging out in Sydney.
“Those guys are a big inspiration to us. We’re lucky and also a little blessed that they decided to take us under with their whole and to even have this opportunity to go to Australia.
To tell you what kind of guys these guys are: when we first signed our stuff over to Sweat it Out. They hit us up and were like “we should go celebrate let’s go get dinner”. We’ve never met ‘em. …and we’re going to quote-unquote dinner.
We go in. It’s like a models party. All free booze.
…tequila was dinner that night.”
So the guys definitely know how to have a good time, and they’re sure to bring that youth, energy and excitement with them all throughout the Australia tour. If you missed them at EDC, or haven’t planned to see em yet, make sure to check em out when they return to the state-side; they’ll be playing in San Francisco and San Diego at the end of this month and HARD Fest in August. We’re excited to keep up with Bixel Boys as their career continues to evolve, and are looking forward to sharing it all with you the readers.