Azari & Ill
Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly the case. Madonna had actually fingered Avicii to open for her, which left Dinamo Azari, Alixander the Third, Starving Yet Full and Fritz Helder with some unfortunate explaining to do.
"We were quite intrigued and never got to the bottom of that one," Alixander the Third tells Spinner. "Avicii is touring with her so maybe people got all confused with the As, Vs, and Is. It could be that. You'd be surprised how quickly rumors fly. So many people were like, 'I got tickets. See you there!' But we were like 'Uh, we won't. But enjoy Madge.'"
Madonna oversights aside, Azari & Ill might be the best (and creepiest) deep house and techno live act to break out of Toronto in years. The BBC is certainly on board, same with folks like Cut Copy and Friendly Fires, who've collaborated with them.
The band's self-titled debut album has was released over six months ago in England, but it's just launched in the U.S. on Dim Mak (Planet Turbo in Canada). The retro house and R&B sound fits well with the label's recent attempts to expand their sound past the traditionally abrasive electro and dubstep its label head Steve Aoki is known for. It also fits with old school method of album distribution.
"It's a bit like how a British act would take a while to make it to America," Azari says. "Sometimes they would rebrand the first record with a couple extra songs for the U.S. release. What's happening with us is like the good old days of having import records before they were released as imports."
One of the songs on that album, "Hungry for the Power," features a video with an unsettling combination of sex, drugs and violence all topped off with a touch of cannibalism.
A censored version exists, but the original music video was quickly yanked from YouTube for portraying a voyeuristic Bret Easton Ellis styled businessman popping pills, playing with a gun, and hiring a prostitute while sitting around in a dark office.
A rambunctious Alixander the III confessed during our call, "we just wanted to come out with something that said 'Hey, David Cronenberg is from Canada, we can make our own little 'The Fly.' We are the fly. We're weird sticky, creepy night people caught in a web of who knows what.
"During the creation of this video I realized I don't like sex. I've seen too much porn and it makes me sick to my stomach.
"That's what that video is about."