Your EDM Interview: Dillon Francis, On The “Say Less” Music Video & “What Would Diplo Do?”

The wait is finally over, the music video for the Dillon
Francis & G-Eazy collaboration “Say Less” is finally out!



The video, featuring both artists in their respective roles, as
well as a surprise cameo by Westworld star Luke Hemsworth,
seems like your typical warehouse afterparty but the tables are
quickly turned in a twist no one saw coming.

Especially for anyone thinking that the music video seems
rather bland for Dillon Francis… just wait for it.

The video was premiered last night in Los Angeles at
YouTube Space LA where Dillon and
director Tomás Whitmore spoke to fans about their history
of work together, which includes videos for “Without U” with
T.E.E.D. and “Coming Over” with Kygo, as well as “Candy” and
“Get Low” with DJ Snake.

Before the premiere, I had a chance to sit down with Dillon
and Tomás and ask a few questions about the video itself,
as well as Dillon’s role in the forthcoming
series What Would Diplo Do?, and even some rapid
fire questions for Dillon at the end (because I just had to).

Check it all out below!

How did the idea for the DEA sting come about?

Dillon: I sent Tomas the song – it’s crazy, I was thinking
about this today, this is the fifth music video we’ve done. The
first one was Without U, then Get Low, Coming Over and then
Candy.

Since this is your fifth video together, I assume you guys have
a pretty good rapport, pretty good chemistry behind the scenes.

Tomas: Yeah, it gets pretty slapstick-y. But as also pretty
considered, as well. Dillon is the class clown, but he’s the
most genuine one.

Dillon: Anyway, I sent him the song and our initial
conversation was, “Hey I love this thing, blah blah blah.” It’s
funny that Luke Hemsworth is in it, cuz I didn’t even think
about the first ideas we had. I’m just having this realization
right now in this interview. We were trying to think of an
almost Westworld-y type idea where people would connect into
different parties and G-Eazy and I were gonna be the actors in
it and the kids could do whatever they wanted. He didn’t really
like that sto– we liked that story, but felt like it needed to
go somewhere else.

So then, we finally came up with the original idea: we have
this party and it gets raided by DEA, and G and I are the DEA
agents.

Tomas: I think it was once we decided and locked in on the
idea of how to play into the whole excitement and desire to get
to some party. We decided to end it on a note when everyone was
getting their asses busted.

Dillon: I really wanted to get Kate Hudson to do it
[laughs], I asked her she said, “Ah, I appreciate it, but I’m
working on a film right now.” Trying to get an actor to be in
this was one of the hardest things ever; you kind of just send
it out and you’re at the will of everyone’s schedule. That
happens with me as well if there’s any TV stuff I have to do, I
have to rearrange everything —

We’ll get to the Diplo show later.

Yeah, yeah. But yeah, so, we were trying to think who could
be someone awesome and perfect for it that no one has ever
really tapped. Because, no offense to Terry Crews, we thought
about him, I wanted to use him really badly, but he’s already
been in the Major Lazer one, he’s been in a couple others I
think–

He’s already been a cop, he’s in Brooklyn 99.

Exactly! Exactly. So then maybe people think it’s just a
spin-off of that. But then we came up with Luke Hemsworth and
we asked him and he was like, “Yeah! I’m down! Let’s do it.”
And I’m like, “Holy shit I can’t believe Luke Hemsworth said
he’d be down to be in this music video!”

I seriously love that guy so much, because we kept him an
hour later than we were supposed to, and we didn’t pay him
extra. [Sorry, Luke.] And we even threw in the little improv at
the end that him and I riffed on, he was such a good sport that
he let me do that. It was honestly just supposed be G and I
beating the shit out of people and then I was like, “Look, I
can definitely beat the shit out of people, but I don’t think
I’m going to be that convincing on camera, because my arms are
lankier than ever… and I’m not a big dude.”

Is that how you got into the whole bottle smashing part of it?

Exactly! We wanted to make me look super inferior to him,
because all the people [Luke] is beating up… I’m going and
smashing bottles on their heads.

I didn’t even notice that!

Yeah, the dialogue didn’t really work when we were trying
to get that in, like, “You were just smashing–” but anyway,
it’s supposed to make me look like this really wimpy piece of
shit, just double tapping people.

At the beginning of the video, you have people mouthing along
to the lyrics of the video. And it’s done in such a seamless
way, was that an idea that just came to you, or was it just an
idea to incorporate the lyrics into the video somehow?

Tomas: That was something that Dillon brought to the table,
actually. That’s an interesting conversation we have any time
we’re getting into a video, there’s always some point of
discussion around where music videos are, what’s happening in
them, pulling as much inspiration from far-reaching points of
what’s interesting. And for me, when I ended up seeing it on
camera, it was actually in the color session, the colorist was
like, “This feels like a musical.” And I was like, “Yeahhhh, it
kinda does.”

Dillon: I saw Lil Dicky’s song “Lemme Freak,” and that was
what inspired this like, “Yo, we should try having people talk
to each other.”

Tomas did it better than I even thought it could happen. I
was thinking like, “Oh what if we had some person like ‘don’t
spill on me, that’s Margiela’” like just one-liners. But he
took a more egregious step like, “Let’s do it all, man!” And
also, this motherfucker, I was sick, and jetlagged. I had just
gotten back from Australia that day and I was trying to get
wrapped, and he wouldn’t wrap me until 7 am. I re-got-sick,
because they put the heater on in the trailer and the heater
clogged my throat; but that was actually the best part, because
that’s when I did all the bottles. Also he sent me the first
cut like a day later and was like, “Don’t worry, it was all
worth it.” And it was.

Tomas: I felt so bad. Like you were traveling immediately
again the next day. [laughs]

What was the total shoot time for the video?

Dillon: We started at 7pm and went until about 8am the next
day. It’s crazy, I couldn’t believe we did it in that
time.

Your whole character, even off camera, you’re this fun, goofy
dude, is it something that you fall into easily or do you have
to– like for Need You, you were the DJ in the backyard, that
took a bit of tweaking, but for this, you’re just a fun dude
breaking bottles over people’s heads.

I mean, come on, who doesn’t– that was my first time being
able to use the breakaway bottles, and it was so much fun. So
when he told me I could break a bottle on everyone’s head, I
was like, “Fuck yeah, let’s go.” I hope people don’t see it as
a crutch or anything, I just always gravitate toward comedy
because I love laughing. I love it. It’s my favorite thing to
do. When I make people laugh, it makes me feel like I made a
new song. That’s the type of euphoria I get from making people
laugh… when I finish something that people listen to and
they’re like, “Oh, I fucking love this, I’m gonna listen to
this forever” — IDGAFOS is my favorite song I’ve ever made just
because of the melody. I remember making it and standing up in
my room like, “Holy shit! This is gonna be awesome!” I get that
feeling every time someone laughs at something I do or
make.

That’s awesome. It’s a really cool, like communal, like, “I
wanna make you feel good” mentality. That’s so sweet.

[laughs] Thank you.

Moving on because we’ve got a time limit here… So, you play
yourself in “What Would Diplo Do”?

No, actually, I don’t.

Okay, cuz it wasn’t really clear from the trailer.

Yeah, I wish they had explained that a little bit. When you
see the show, they call me “Jasper” the whole time so hopefully
everyone’s like, “Okay, his name’s not really Jasper.” But
yeah, I play this character Jasper, he’s like the #1
ride-or-die for Diplo. To give a lot of backstory, the
character grew up with him back in Florida and Diplo kind of
took care of him; I guess you would say he’s like a cat you
find on a freeway, and his arm is kinda fucked up. Like, he’s
that but as a human. He’d come over and Diplo would feed him
half of his ham sandwich cuz his parents didn’t do that for
him. And then when Diplo blew up, Jasper was the guy who was
always there for him so he brought him with him to Los Angeles,
because he’s the guy who would literally take a bullet. Like
he’s the shittiest secret service that Diplo has. Because… he
can’t fight. For sure. But he thinks he can.

Is there a fight scene in it?

No, there isn’t. I wish. Hopefully we get picked up for
season 2. It’s really funny. I don’t think it’s going to be
what people think it’s going to be. It doesn’t really have a
lot to do with any music production stuff or anything.

Is it even loosely based on Diplo’s life, or is it just a
parody of who he is?

It’s everything surrounding the music stuff that no one
ever sees, but it’s all fiction. So it’s just making fun of
everything. I’m trying to think of the best way to put it,
would be like… The Office meets Curb Your Enthusiasm meets
Workaholics. I don’t know if I’m doing it justice but
[laughs].

So I gotta ask you a question about YouTube as well. You’re
premiering the video on YouTube and responding to questions in
the comments. YouTube is also notorious for trolls in the
comments.

Oh yeah, and I am one of those trolls, so it’s going to be
fantastic. What’s better than reading the YouTube comments? The
only thing I can really compare that to is reading Yelp reviews
on Panda Express. If anyone ever wants to check that out,
please do it. It blows my mind that there’s anyone who has a
Yelp account that’s going to Panda Express and thinking, “I’m
gonna Yelp this later.” Because you’re going to Panda Express,
okay??

Anyway, YouTube has always been a great place for me. I
actually looked back because I had been using VEVO for a long
time and now that I’m an independent artist I have my YouTube
fully– I mean, I’ve always had my YouTube but my VEVO was the
place I put all my videos and everything. I looked back at all
the old stuff I used to do and it was really the place I
started out. I remember I had a recap of Ultra on there, but it
wasn’t even a recap of Ultra. It was me doing karate. And I
look at the camera and go, “Ultraaaa.” And that was my Ultra
2012 recap.

Amazing [laughs]. So this would be a waste, with Dillon Francis
in front of me, if I didn’t do some rapid fire questions.

Let’s do it. I’m ready.

Bagel or English muffin?

Ooooh, that’s fuckin good. Where are we, are we in New York
or Los Angeles?

Los Angeles.

English muffin.

HALO or Call Of Duty?

Call Of Duty.

Redheads or brunettes?

Both? [laughs]

Come on!

Brunettes.

Shower or bath?

Shower.

Preston or Greg?

Preston.

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram.

Dang. I should have asked Instagram or Snapchat. I fucked up
there. Moving on, Tinder or Bumble?

Bumble. Yeah, you feel really bad about yourself when no
one starts talking on Tinder.

Fidget spinners or vapes?

Oh… oh fuck. Fidget spinners.

Doritos or Sun Chips?

Doritos, hands down.

Should have seen that one coming. Alright last question: Would
you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

Horse-sized duck. Wait, no no! The other way! I want a
hundred duck-sized horses. I would just windmill the shit out
of all of them. But I feel like they would keep getting back up
too. I think either way you’re kind of fucked. At the end,
you’re under a dogpile of tiny fucking horses… and you’re just
in this cage. And unless you just Neo them out, you’re
fucked.

Your EDM Interview: Dillon Francis, On The “Say Less” Music Video & “What Would Diplo Do?”