DJ Times: What is the full setup for the Galantis live show? You’ve got Pioneer CDJs up there—what else?
Karlsson: The Roland SPD-SX [sampling percussion pads] are really important for us. We got crashes and big drums. It keeps on changing a little bit if we have synths and what synths—it’s more about filters and stuff, actually. We might do a little bit of synth work, it’s not a big portion at all. Triggering samples and treating samples [is a bigger part]. The way we trigger samples is with drum sticks—it’s just something that feels natural to us. We also like to be able to control the dynamic of the song: swooshes and uplifters and build-ups and stuff. In that way, we’re sending something out from the SPD that goes into the mixer, so sometimes one of us is triggering stuff and the other one is treating it. Sometimes if it’s a longer sample, you can trigger it and then move over and treat it yourself.
DJ Times: You mentioned having one foot in the door and one foot out when it comes to playing live and DJing. For a set like Coachella, how much is planned and how much can you improvise?
Karlsson: The whole thing isn’t improvised because, of course, we rehearse a lot. There are always moments where you’re like, “We don’t want to go here, we want to take it elsewhere!” We might have a couple of options—we’ve already rehearsed so we know we can take it somewhere else. The more touring you do, you have other moments that you’ve done previously and you can be, like, let’s go to that if it fits for that night—that we might do on the fly. If we’re doing big changes, like really spontaneous ones, we need to talk to each other so we know. That’s it! Otherwise we’re open.
DJ Times: You’ve got Coachella coming up. What’s it like to come back to the festival that launched the live show three years later after so much success has come your way?
Karlsson: It’s big. It was such a big moment for us. It was like two weeks after we released out first piece of music, basically, and Coachella is such a special festival. We felt it went amazing, so it feels really great to go back. We’re already starting to prep.
DJ Times: At the end of the day, Galantis is just one project of yours. How do you compartmentalize the Galantis success and creative process so it doesn’t bleed into Miike Snow or solo projects?
Karlsson: This is the focus. It’s fun to sometimes have other vehicles, but this takes up so much of our time—because of the success of Galantis there’s just so much to do. I think both me and Linus creatively, we don’t think about what we’re doing; we just do. If we do something, we may go, “This isn’t Galantis,” and either give it away to someone else or we have our other side projects. It’s just good to have options. I don’t think we’re thinking much about what exactly it is when we’re creating it.
DJ Times: What else do you have planned for the year? Is there more touring coming up? Is the album coming out this year?
Karlsson: There’s a lot of touring. We already announced some stuff, and we’re going to keep on announcing. It’s going to be our biggest year in terms of touring, and it’s definitely going to be our biggest year in terms of releasing stuff. We’re going to release more music than we’ve done previous years. It’s all happening in 2017!