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On the Road, for the Record: Ross from Friends

Felix Clary Weatherall, more commonly known as Ross from Friends, is the British DJ making waves in the electronic music scene. Last weekend, he played a sold-out show at Elsewhere in the midst of his North American Tour, alongside guitarist Jed Hampson and saxophonist/synth player John Dunk. Despite the rigor and skill it takes to perform a live set of that caliber, the artist trio captivated the entire audience, while being fully immersed in their own world. The three joked and laughed on stage as they masterfully transitioned from one song to the next. “I think we just enjoy our own company so much that it’s nice to just keep it to us three,” explains Clary Weatherall, when describing the touring party. 

Having just dropped his latest 12”, Epiphany, via Brainfeeder, the DJ focused on tracks that fit well into the club scene. “I constantly wanted to take a step back and think about the structures in a more conventional sense. I spent a lot of time making it sound like it could be played in a club.” We caught up with the DJ  to speak about the importance of structure and routine whilst on the road and got the scoop on their favorite tracks to perform. 

Curious what they’re listening to in the tour van? Listen here: 

What is the biggest misconception about being on tour?

The biggest misconception about being on a tour is the partying side of things. It’s pretty hard to just go mad every night for weeks and still be able to play well. Plus I think I’d lose my head if I did that kind of thing too much. Instead, me and the boys go for runs and play escape rooms and that kind of thing. There will definitely be times when we party, but it’s not as much as people might think.

From opening acts to digital techs – who is on the “Ross From Friends North American Tour” and what role do they play?

The touring party literally just consists of me, Jed (guitar) and John (saxophone/synth). We sort everything out ourselves. I think we just enjoy our own company so much that it’s nice to just keep it to us three.

What are the biggest differences in crowds you’ve toured with – from country to country, or even city to city?

There’s always a bigger crowd in the bigger cities. I know I have more of a fanbase in New York or LA for example. But there are some places that always seem to surprise us. When we were in Toronto, there was such an incredible atmosphere. I never thought that the music would connect there compared to other places, but that was a brilliant show in 2018.

What are your green-room must haves?

We’re all vegetarian so having some nuts and fruit about is always a hit. Especially if we’re rushed around and don’t have time to grab some food before the show. 

What track are you most excited to perform at the moment? 

I love playing Epiphany from my latest EP. It’s really hard to get right, so it’s like a fun challenge when we’re playing. Also when it does go well, I can really feel an energy shift in the room. Like all my hard work has tangibly paid off.

What’s the most difficult?

Project Cybersyn is a challenging one mainly for John. He has to switch so quickly from this keyboard line straight into playing saxophone. At the end of playing the synth line, he has his saxophone in his mouth ready to play.

Last question – what advice do you have for musicians that are about to go on their first tour?

I’d say that make sure you’re exercising and drinking loads of water and resting as much as you can. Those things will help you enjoy it so much because it can get seriously exhausting!

Images courtesy of Kevin Lombardo with Photo Collaging by Bethany Yeap

Stay tuned to Milk for more from the road.

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