Florian Tonello was born in Paris, France, and grew up in a musical environment with both of his parents being musicians and music teachers. In 1998, Forian attended the Music Conservatory (Conservatoire de Paris) to learn drums and percussion. A few years later he created the alias Fluxxx derived from one his biggest inspirations Fluxus who he also sampled in his later work. After immersing himself in the music for the majority of his life but still not having much success in Paris, Florian decided it was time to move. With the advice of a few friends and his ambitions of expanding his music to a new level, Fluxxx was off to the city of San Francisco for a fresh start.
During my second to last semester in the Graphic Design program at Sac State I had the pleasure of interviewing Florian Tonello for my magazine Duotone which is a magazine exploring San Francisco’s most thriving neighborhoods. My team was designated to Haight-Ashbury. One of my favorite places to visit when I hit up the Haight is Amoeba Records located at the end of Upper Haight. With this in mind I decided to write my article on local a artist of the Haight. Amoeba’s website has a section called Homegrown which is where I first discovered Fluxxx. He was kind enough to meet up with me for an interview and photo shoot.
R: What would you label your music as? Genre?
Electronic, composition, experimental, analog
R: Did you find out about The Haight before or after you moved to San Francisco? How did you hear abou the neighborhood?
I had only heard a little about the Hippie Movement before I moved.
R: Has the Haight influenced your music in any way?
It has opened my mind to new styles of music…at first I was really hip hop.
R: Do you mainly perform as a DJ?
All I do is perform as a DJ right now. When I am ready I will perform my music live…all I need is three more songs.
R: Do you collect Vinyl? What are your favorite record stores in the Haight?
Mainly Amoeba for everything, Groove Merchant in Lower Haight specializing in rare groove and other rare records, Rooki Ricardo who specialize in 7″ records…oldies, funky soul, and Twinkin for electro, techno, and experimental.
R: What has your experience been like with Amoeba records?
I always enjoy buying records from Amoeba because they have a large selection of music, that’s what pushed me to present them with my record and which was accepted by them it right away under their homegrown local artist program that included an add on the guardian paper and distributing my record in SF and Amoeba Berkley. I had a very nice experience with an Amoeba team member, very good communication.
R: Would you recommend other mucisians or people in general to reside in the Haight?
Yes. You can find pretty much anything you want here. Life is mellow here and people are friendly.
R: Who are some of your influences? Favorite musicians?
I’ve been influenced by all kinds of music, i realy like Charlie Mingus, Sun Ra, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, The Pretty Things, Silver Apple, Coxson, Lee Perry, King Tubby, Skatalites, Tommy MC Cook, Antony Red Rose, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, Too Short, Ultra Magnetic MCs, Fela Kuti, Clarence Reid, Eddie Bo, Arthur Russel, Liquid Liquid, Glen Branca, Joy Division, Liars, Joe Battan, Willi Colon, Armando, Lil Louis and many others check my podcast http://www.radio1730.org for live eclectique music.
R: I was reading your bio on Myspace and I noticed that you released an album a while ago called the “Flying Machine”. Can you tell us about that work?
Flying machine was a hip hop instrumental album I did in paris in 2001 basicly a time travel over the hip hop age from 80’s to 2000 that I produced and distributed myself.
R: What primary equipment do you use to make your music?
I’m using analog gear, Moog Synthetizer, Roland SH101, TR 909 Drum Machine, TR 606, space echo effect, boss pedal Effectjuno 106, Micro Korg, Casiotone, mpc 1000 sampler, and electrique guitar. I record on 8 and 2 tracks reel to reel and many others instruments like percussions.
R: Where have you performed in the Haight district?
I’ve DJ’d at Mad Dog but I forgot if there was any other places. I am also planing to do something over the Peacock Lounge very soon.
R: Where do you like to hang out at night in the Haight?
I would say the Mad Dog in the fog for rocksteady, Northern Soul Nights and that pretty much it, I don’t go out that much.
R: What are your long term goals with music?
Having enough gear to record, produce my music at home, start doing more live shows, producing other records like a series of 7 inches and try to collaborate with other musicians. I actually just finished a project called the vinyl object.
Check out his music on Myspace.
Check out more photos from the shoot on my Flickr.