Bonobo behind the turntables and surrounded by lasers at one of his SXSW shows. Photo: Esther Merono
Give a musical equation that describes the band’s sound.
(RJD2 - soul) + Ratatat + jazz
Most memorable moment?
Well, the first one happened when the guy next to me asked around for a lighter, then dropped to his knees to smoke a crystal pipe. The next one was definitely the trippy combination of trance-like electronic music and hypnotizing visual effects and lasers projected on stage. Hey man, stand up––you don't need no crack to get fucked up at this show.
If this band were an animal, what would they be and why?
Bonobo is a super chill tropical animal, like a neon-colored frog bobbing his head up and down in the rainforest. Bonobo's music feels … wet, in a sweet, sweaty, sloppy, lip-smacking kiss kind of way.
If this band came to SLC, where would you want to see them play?
The sticky floor underneath me at Elysium in Austin made any shuffling nearly impossible without my shoes coming off my feet, so I wobbled my knees in a similar way I would on the dance floor at Urban Lounge. I saw RJD2 play there for the first time, and it was a great show. As long as there's a big crowd, some cocktails flowing and some chill vibes, I think Bonobo would do well at Urban.
What set the show apart from a typical set you might see in SLC?
Honestly, it wasn't much different from a good night at the Urban Lounge, with the exception of the risky drug use––I don't think you could hide smoking THAT stuff in the middle of Urban. However, I'm going to take this opportunity to say that very surprisingly, the crowd's in Austin are so much more cordial than anything I've seen anywhere. Everyone gives each other space, and if you want to make your way to the front, just be polite and everyone will smile and nod you through. No need for elbows or hair pulling here!