The Black Sheep Interviews: Midnight Conspiracy
- Article by Jessica Sommers
- August 10, 2012
It should come as no surprise that chatting with Louis Kha, half of one of EDM’s most promising groups, Midnight Conspiracy, was as fun and enjoyable as one of their shows, minus the heavy bass and dancing. Our conversation centered around the increasingly popular genre of music, from where electronic music has been to where it rages on today. You can catch Midnight Conspiracy at the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago this Labor Day. Tickets are available at northcoastfestival.com
The Black Sheep: How did Midnight Conspiracy come together, and when did you start playing music?
Louis Kha: I met Mikul because I was dating his ex-girlfriend, which was a little weird. He was throwing underground parties at the time and I was trying to get into DJing, and he actually got me my first gig at some dirty, illegal, underground loft party. So we just started doing stuff together, throwing a lot of loft parties. The big one that broke us was this Justice after-hours party on New Year’s Eve in 2009. It all just started out as a way to party and for us to get together and have fun, and the idea of Midnight Conspiracy came together right then and there.
TBS: So just like your career, EDM has blown up in the past two years. Why do you think this genre has become so popular?
Louis: Well if you look at the late 90s, electronic music was really huge and the whole rave culture was really big, and in the 2000s it died out and indie bands took over. I just think that music goes in cycles, and we’re on an up-wave right now, similar to the 90s when everyone was decked out in neon and their rave toys and kandi.
Going around to college campuses this year versus last year, I’ve noticed a huge difference in what people are listening to. A year or two ago, most college parties were listening to hip-hop; they still are but there’s a lot more electronic beats. Electronic music has always been around as underground, but it’s reached the masses right here, right now. It’s a pretty simple reason why, [college kids] all say that it’s a fun, good vibe. You don’t see fights breaking out at EDM shows, just popping champagne bottles and having a good time.
TBS: Have you always been into electronic music, or was that something that came about in the past several years?
Louis: Even when I was young I always liked the electronic elements of music. I was really big into Pink Floyd. That’s not electronic music, but they were using synthesizers. It’s the same thing with a lot of new wave music; we were really big into Depeche Mode and The Cure. I think I’m just attracted to what you can do with electronic music and the sound of it. I mean, electronic music is everywhere; it’s been around for decades. More recently I got really into the whole indie-electro and electroclash movement in the early-2000s, and that’s what got me really into that kind of music.
TBS: What’s it like playing big festivals in your hometown, Chicago?
Louis: Well, growing up we were huge fans of Depeche Mode, and one of the documentaries that inspired us was the Depeche Mode 101 tour. It was about arena rock back in the day, where bands would show up at these massive arenas to huge crowds and just rock out.
TBS: What can someone expect from one of your live shows, like at the upcoming North Coast Music Festival?
Louis: We have a new space set up called Eye Live; it’s something we’ve been working on. We designed and built it ourselves with help from friends; it’s a 16-foot version of our eye logo laid in with a bunch of LEDs and lasers. It’s there to give you this whole audio/visual experience. We control all the lights, too. It’s basically an orgasm of lasers.
TBS: So can you talk about the inspiration for this Eye Live, and your eye logo in general?
Louis: The eye logo is based on the Eye of Providence, which has become associated with The Illuminati. Its true meaning lies in something more positive, and that’s the meaning we take from it. Essentially, we just want people to open their eyes to our eye and be free thinkers, and look into more than just making an assumption based off of a pop culture trend. I mean, at the end of the day we’re just here to party and have fun, but if you want to look deeper into it, that’s cool too.
TBS: Explain to me the vision of your Dead Fame clothing line.
Louis: Dead Fame isn’t meant to be about Midnight Conspiracy, it’s cool designs that we would want to wear. Mikul is a screen printer and a designer, so he designs the shirts and he prints them himself. We want to push it out as a legitimate clothing line, and we’ve been in talks about getting it out into stores and whatnot. They’re not going to be neon rage EDM tanks, it’s going to be cool, hip, dark designs. We have a bunch of designs for sale online, and we’re trying to get them into stores late this year or early next year.
TBS: On any given night, what’s your drink of choice?
Louis: Coconut water for sure. We picked them up when we toured in South America. They party like crazy in Brazil, and we always wondered how they did that. You can get a huge coconut on a tree there for like $1, and if you drink the whole thing you’re golden.