Louis The Child at Gov Ball 2019
Photo: Nate Hertweck/Recording Academy
Louis The Child Talk Exploring New Sounds On Each Song, Debut Album & Remixing Death Cab For Cutie
Chicago-based dance music duo Louis The Child was one of only a few acts able to play on Sunday at the recent Governors Ball, in between torrential down pours taking over the final day of the fest. Despite the change of plans - and the shortened set length - Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren were calm and friendly just before their set, more than ready to hit the stage after how much time they've been spending in the studio lately. That's right, Louis The Child are working on an album, and it'd debatable who is more excited about it, the duo or their fans.
Before they got the crowd dancing during their high energy Gov Ball set, the Recording Academy caught up with the pair to learn more about their return to the N.Y.C. fest and what they've got brewing on their upcoming debut LP. They also talked about recently throwing down during DJ sets at the brand-new state-of-art KAOS club in Las Vegas, setting the bar high with fun merch offerings, and more.
Have you two been busy working on music lately?
Freddy Kennett: Like every single day for the first time in three years because we've been traveling so much.
Robby Hauldren: We're still in the studio when we're home all the time, but-
Kennett: Well, yeah, but for the first time in like three years, we've had actually a good amount of time in one place to just be working on music. Like, this Gov Ball we had a month and some change before this, where we just working on music and didn't have to travel. That's so nice.
Hauldren: Yes it is.
Kennett: We love touring and playing music for people, but we also love making the music and that's important too.
It's gotta be kind of like culture shock to get out of the studio and back out in the wild with all these people.
Kennett: Get a little tan maybe.
Hauldren: I forgot what it's like to be around people.
What do you guys think about Governors Ball? Was it your first time?
Kennett: We love Governors Ball. This is our second time being here.
Hauldren: I think the last time we played here was like three years ago and I remember we had like a 12:45 p.m. time slot or something. I remember showing up and being like, all right, well prepare for nobody to be there. And then like we got up on stage and the tent's like half full. By the end of the set it was packed and I was like okay, Gov Ball doesn't mess around.
It's cool to be back now and be playing like a nighttime slot and you know, have all this other music that we've put out since then. And you know the festival itself even looks different since the last time we've been here. So I'm happy to be back.
Kennett: It's a beautiful field. I love it.
Hauldren: Beautiful field, great grass.
Kennett: Great grass.
Speaking of new music, the Death Cab for Cutie remix you did recently is really cool. Can you tell us how that came together?
Kennett: We sent them an email asking them if we could remix it. Well actually, I asked Matt, one of our managers to go and send them that message because we love that song. And I just heard it and I was like we need to be doing some more indie remixes this year. I mean, we need to put out some more of that because we love that. Like doing that and just that vibe. So it was really fun to make it and it took probably like a month to finish up. But then like we got a little mix done and then it's out now and we're stoked about it.
Hauldren: We're playing it tonight.
Kennett: Yep, playing it tonight.
What can you tell us about the new album? How does it feel and sound to you so far?
Hauldren: It's still in a pretty early stages. Only a couple of songs are done and we still are creating a lot of music along the way. It's cool to be making more stuff as we're trying to finish it, because we can kind of fill in all these gaps and we have a much better idea of like the concept of it and the idea of the album going into writing stuff.
Kennett: We do have the full concept of what we want it to be about pretty locked in. And we won't share that just yet. But it's really cool because we've been wanting to make an album but we haven't had a full concept that we're like this is the debut Louis The Child concept album. So now to have that and to kind of know what we want to be saying, know how we're feeling, it's really cool to be able to put that into music.
Can't wait. I heard you guys are doing a Vegas residency. Can you tell me a little about it?
Hauldren: We are.
Hauldren: We actually, we just had our first show of the residency two nights ago.
Kennett: At KAOS.
Hauldren: It was really fun. The club itself is insane, like crazy production and everything.
Kennett: Crazy sound system, great visuals.
Hauldren: It's fun to play out there because every show out there is like two hours sets and between the two of us, we kind of go into it just being like, "All right let's start here and we'll see what happens."
So it's fun. It's an opportunity to play a lot of stuff that we don't get to play in our normal shows and show people a little bit more of like what our music taste is and stuff. I'm enjoying it so far.
Kennett: It's fun. It's definitely a different mixing style than being at other places. And it's fun to dip into that for a minute.
One of the things that strikes me about you guys is I think you're kind of pushing back against genre.
Do you think we're in a genre-less place or at least for Louis the Child, are you guys in a genre-less world?
Kennett: I think every song we try to do something new and branch out. Like we'll hear something really cool from 20 years ago and that inspires us to do something new that sounds kind of new for us. But yeah, we're always just trying to like move our boundaries a little bit with each song and each song to be a different kind of mixture of genres in its own unique way.
Hauldren: I feel like the modern day music listener like has access to so much music and everyone just listens to everything. So it's a time where artists can really feel like they can do whatever because they know that everyone's kind of down with hearing everything.
Kennett: And at the end of the day it's really about the rhythms and melodies. If the rhythms and melodies make you feel something or not, or if they make you feel the way that it was intended. So, aside from the music.
— louis (@LouisTheChild) May 30, 2019
That's going to make for a great first album. So, your merch is really rad. How important is the visual look for the band?
Hauldren: The merch is definitely very important to us and I think we're even trying to level up even more on the merch. I mean it's cool. I feel like a lot of artists merchandise these days is not just like the straight logo on a shirt, like basic stuff. It's almost like a fashion line now, you know, with your merch. So it's cool that people are down with that and it's cool to explore that like avenue of our creativity with clothing.
Kennett: We're still just at the beginning of that too, diving into the merch world because we definitely have way more ideas than we've been able to execute just yet. Because everything just takes time, getting to a place where you can, you know, do what you want to do.