Father John Misty On: Captaining The Coachella Cruise & DJ Culture

Posted January 8

If we learned anything about Josh Tillman of Father John Misty during a backstage chat at last month’s Coachella cruise it’s that, 1). His sense of humor is dark and deadpanned deadly, 2). He is most certainly not a DJ — although he is what he plays (more on this below). In fact, he’s not too keen on electronic music culture as a whole.

For those of you who opted to remain on dry land this Christmas, the SS Coachella festival took place on an extremely fancy cruise ship over the course of two legs: one that traveled to the Bahamas, another to Jamaica. The event featured performances from bands like Yeasayer, Pulp, Girl Talk and more, as well as off-kilter events like Bingo with Grimes and a Gilligan’s Island-themed pub crawl with the Black Lips. In short, it was a weird, weird, weird event whose success we’re still waiting to gauge (facts and figures forthcoming).

Tillman, it seems, had a wry outlook on the whole shebang. In the video below, he recounts an experience on the boat from one of his performances. Father John Misty was the middle of a particularly fervent show — many mic stands were broken — when a stranger approached one of Tillman’s friends who happened to be singing along and dancing. The stranger, emboldened by the concert-goer’s apparent knowledge of the band, inquired, “Who is this DJ?”

The event made an impression on Tillman — who is decidedly not a DJ — causing him to ruminate on the phenomenon as a whole.

Ruminate along with him below and then head to the comments and let us know: How do you think digital music translates to a live setting?