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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Deejay dishes on harder sound, club scene

Earlier this week, 7 caught up with James Pants, who’s headlining the second night of Elkfest.

The former Spokane deejay and multi-instrumentalist took time to fill out a quick Q&A via email from his home in Cologne, Germany, before flying back Thursday – his 32nd birthday – for Saturday’s show.

Here’s what he has to say about performing at the 10th annual Elkfest and his past 3  1/2 years overseas.

SR: What can audience members expect to see and hear Saturday night?

JP: I’m going hard. Drum machines, fervor, new songs, shouting, sweating. … Undiluted emotional spray.

SR: Where will this tour take you? 

JP: My Washington “tour” consists of Elkfest in Spokane and a show at 2312 Gallery in Seattle. This is a Washington-only affair. I’ll deal with the rest of the USA later this year.

SR: Our last story about you in late 2010 said in Germany you would be touring and making records for indie powerhouse label Stones Throw Records. How’s that going? 

JP: Still playing a bunch of shows around Europe and Asia. Just finished another record for Stones Throw.

SR: Back in 2010, “Love Kraft” was slated to be released in a few months. How many records on Stones Throw do you have now? 

JP: Well, that was my third full-length but (it was) like my fifth or sixth release on Stones Throw if you count EPs. If you count 45s and 12-inch singles, then it’s more like 15 or something.

SR: How has your sound evolved in the last three years or so since moving to Germany? 

JP: It’s become much more angular and repetitive. I tried to resist, but it happened.

SR: Just read a New Yorker story about the club scene in Germany (“Berlin Nights: The Thrall of Techno” by Nick Paumgarten, March 24, 2014). What’s it like there?

JP: It’s pretty good if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m personally not really a club dude myself, but end up at a lot of these places, of course. The mentality in general is slightly different than the U.S. People really go to clubs to have an “experience” instead of just get wasted. The problem is these experiences last until like 8 a.m. the following day. There are plenty of crap places, too, though. But a lot of cities in Europe have definitely cultivated a music culture more so than America.

SR: Are you still also working with Bull Music Academy, the traveling music workshop where participants hold music labs, give lectures, perform concerts and take shifts deejaying on the its radio station? How’s that going? 

JP: Yep, still there. It’s pretty great. We’re doing our big annual thing in Tokyo this year, so I get to go over every other month or so. My ramen game is through the roof.

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