All photos courtesy of Hippie Sabotage’s Facebook page
Brothers Kevin and Jeff Saurer have been making music together for over a decade and there’s no sign of them stopping. With over 7 EP and album releases in the last 5 years, the musical combination of electronic, jam, and hip-hop have landed these guys on some major festival lineups. From Bonnaroo to Buku to Global Dance, this high-energy duo is traveling across the country to showcase their talent and we got a chance to sit down and chat with them.
Festival Squad: Your sound is very unique. There’s not a lot of brother-producers that also use instruments & their own voices. At what point did you two know you guys wanted to incorporate that into your music and shows?
Hippie Sabotage: We never thought we’d be singing or using our own vocals. It started when Jeff was going to music school at UCSD. His final project had to be based on your worst skill set, and that was singing. We created an alias called Johnny Long Chord and put out an EP of all singing songs and that’s how we started using our own vocals. Instrument-wise, we’ve always incorporated live instruments whether we’re playing them or we bring in other musicians. We listened to a lot of DJ Khalil beats growing up and his production was the perfect mix of hard-hitting beats with live instruments.
Festival Squad: Your music tends to be more melodic and acoustic. What inspired the darkness of Save Me?
Hippie Sabotage: We had been wanting to make a song with a darker more metal sounding guitar riff. We had this hook and beat for about a week with just drums and vocals then Kevin told me to play something gritty one day and that’s what came out.
Festival Squad: Your live shows are insanely high energy, what keeps you excited and willing to exert so much?
Hippie Sabotage: We know that this doesn’t last forever and we are forever grateful for our fans, so whether there is one person in the crowd or a couple thousand we give it the same energy every time. Also, what’s better than hearing your music on insanely loud big speakers and seeing peoples reactions?
Festival Squad: I’m obsessed with Supa Bwe, Black Aladdin is magical. What else can we expect from the production side of Hippie Sabotage?
Hippie Sabotage: We got a ton of songs we produced coming out in 2018. Supa Bwe is homies with Kembe X, and we all linked one day in LA and made that song in, like, an hour. We just dropped an EP with Azizi Gibson called Hentai and, of course, we got a ton of originals in the bag were gonna drop once we get back home. Whatever we feel, we put out.
Festival Squad: You clearly embrace the laid back, glorious, ganja-loving hippie persona, so I have to ask— Indica or Sativa?
Hippe Sabotage: Sativa for working. Indica for sleeping.
Festival Squad: If you had to choose one song to play on repeat for 24 hours, what would it be?
Hippie Sabotage: House of the Rising Sun – The Animals.
Festival Squad: Your tradition of having people jump on stage during Stay High shows how much you truly care about incorporating your fans into the experience. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened with someone on stage after bringing them on?
Hippie Sabotage: We’ve had people crowd surf on the stage during the stage rushes. Our first show ever in London the stage got so packed the table collapsed and our tour manager had to sit under it and hold it up for the rest of the show. It was awesome.
Festival Squad: Considering you’re from NorCal, are you ever tempted to incorporate Bay-based artists or tracks? If you were to consider, who would you feature?
Hippie Sabotage: Definitely, we come from the hip-hop scene in NorCal and we used to work out of the studios in Sacramento where a lot of the bay cats recorded. Our first placement ever in stores was with Yukmouth. We had three songs and the title track on his album Free At Last. We also got a song with Larry June were sitting on and a bunch of joints with Plus Money.
Festival Squad: On your current Path Of Righteousness Tour, aside from your musical evolution, what sets it farthest apart from your very first tour? I was at the San Francisco stop it was unreal.
Hippie Sabotage: Our visuals have gone from 0 to 100 real quick in the last two years. We started with no production and now we’re buying gigantic video walls and are currently about to triple the size of our production. Shout out Matt City Lights our production team! They’re crazy. Also, the set has progressed in so many ways from adding guitar and singing to learning how to mix and interact with the crowd better. And hell ya, San Francisco is always a good show. Our parents were at the Warfield and our dad got in the mosh pit. Good times!