Dirtybird Campout has grown past a simple gathering and into a phenomenon that has gained national interest. Claude VonStroke and his flock have created a truly unforgettable experience that harkens back to childhood memories while also offering an immersive transformational festival experience — complete with an endless supply of rage-worthy music. 2018 marks a milestone year, in which the Campout ventures eastward for its first time to enjoy a sunny jaunt in Florida amidst the winter months. Ahead of its East Coast debut, we assembled a batch of artist “counselors” from the roster and grilled them on camping memories, their careers, and more.
Since the inception of her teeth-clenching RAAR techno imprint alongside Maelstrom in 2015, classified as “a techno label for punk rockers, a punk rock label for techno-heads,” the French luminary Louisahhh has transcended the modern techno space and situated herself as one of the most unique, hauntingly evocative acts in the world.
Louisa Pillot is unmistakable in her earth-shattering deliverance, intertwining brutal, blistering elements of punk rock and techno not for the faint of heart. Her releases frequently splice her own vocals throughout, where she delves deeper into the cataclysmic world from which she exudes.
Presently, Pillot’s surpassed the aforementioned adverse nature of her previous tunes with a new EP, RAAR08 – A Trap I’ve Built, which acts dually as her heaviest sonic embracement and deepest introspective work to date. It’s lead single, “Trap,” for example, wades through the dark cultural aspects many pass on confronting entirely in dance music realms. Pillot, rather, chooses to directly confront elements of rape culture, addiction, masochism, and deprivation, respectively. These are the very worlds through which Louisahhh!’s music explicitly bleeds, in fact, in spite of. Louisahh’s music is a sonic ambush.
“It is my intention that listening to these songs[her new EP], or DJing them, should be an experience that leaves the audience a little shaken up, something they can feel in their teeth,” she said of A Trap I’ve Built.
Louisahh will be shaking up listeners at the Dirtybird Campout East this year. Ahead of her performance, she took the time to chat with Dancing Astronaut about her sonic inspirations, some defining moments, camping essentials, and even shared a gnarly camping memory.
What has been your proudest career accomplishment thus far?
“Starting the label RAAR with my partner in noise and disruption, Maelstrom, is probably the thing I’m most proud of thus far. I feel like being forced to live by the ethos of the label (benevolent anarchy, disruption for progress, creative innovation) makes me behave in a way that is more courageous and has more creative integrity.”
Where do you find the most inspiration to create new music?
“Life is always the engine for work; it’s been a slow learning process that I must go out there and live in order to have fodder for new music; that it’s important to be ‘in life’ and not just on the job constantly. At the moment, all the songs seem to be about sex and death and what it means to be a spiritual warrior.”
Describe a defining moment/time that inspired you to keep going down the road of electronic musicianship?
“Getting kicked off the decks in South Beach, Miami, on New Years Eve 2012-13 was really eye opening. I was still playing all vinyl and the promoter told me I wasn’t playing commercial enough after 3 tracks, and booted me. This was quite painful, but it really helped me assert why I do this, (and it’s certainly not to make bottle service clubs pop off), ultimately pushing me farther into making music that is challenging and brave and beautiful and aggressive, not just crowd-pleasing. This experience also made it clear that I couldn’t say no when the offer to move to France came a week later.”
What essential camping items can you not live without?
“I’m both a total wuss and a bold ruffian; as long as I can go running and stay hydrated, I’m pretty happy, but I don’t like bugs or carrying things. I’ll go with sneakers, water, and shelter. Maybe a kindle would be nice also; it takes forever for the batteries to die so one could be pretty content for a while without electricity.”
How would you survive if you were stranded in the woods for a week?
“I actually spend a lot of time thinking about this! I’m a vegetarian, so I eat mostly leaves anyway – the most important thing would be to find a fresh water source and make sure to check for ticks. I would try to use the time to write songs, meditate, work on my tree-climbing skills. If I could find a horse to befriend/steal, I might never go back to civilization.”
What are you looking forward to most about Dirtybird Campout East?
“My dad told me yesterday that he might join me in Florida for the campout, which if real, will be totally nuts. If that doesn’t happen, I’m really looking forward to spending time with peers and heroes and fans and spending time away from abysmal Paris winter.”
What is your craziest camping memory?
“Speaking of dads, we used to go on an annual father-daughter camping trip in Delaware with my school, and I brought home pet frogs twice (Tenta and Friday were their names). There was also a hectic canoe trip in which joyous leaps overboard were interrupted by the realization that the water was teaming with eels! Nightmare!”
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
“I am a huge fan of Tiga and Green Velvet, so they’re at the top of my list. There are so many friends playing that I’m pretty certain that there will not be a dull moment, musically or socially. I’m super stoked.”
Photo credit: Marilyn Chambers