Hailing from Bournemouth, UK, Funtcase (the man behind the mask, James Hazell), came out to Ohio to throw down at Lost Lands Festival. As stacked as the festival lineup was, this was one name we weren’t going to miss. Being a Circus Records veteran, odds are that you know his tunes and without a doubt, are familiar with his notorious mask. Fresh off stage after an epic set, were able to sit down and get weird with the man. Check out the unabridged and uncensored interview below.
DB:Real quick, keepin it simple, how are you doin right now?
FC: Im stiff. Haha. Im stiff, I’m in pain, my body is tired, I’ve burned many calories off, but I’m doing fucking great. What a life I live
DB: Haha, well hey, fair enough. So today I don’t want to do the traditional, non sense questions. I want to keep it fun. So the first thing I want to do, I want to run thru ‘this or that’ with you.
So first things first, Coke or Pepsi?
DB: Coke? Alright
Blondes or brunettes?
FC: Uhh, brunettes. I’ve always been a brunettes guy for some reason. You know why? Because most blondes have such light features that when they wake up their face looks like they haven’t got eyebrows and things like that. You know what i mean? They have to color that shit in
DB: Haha yep
FC: Darker haired girls, you know, their eyebrows are there, their eyelashes are there, so they wake up looking better. That’s the trick
DB: For me, I love the happy medium, I love those dirty blondes
FC: Ooh you’re a dirty blonde guy
DB: Yep yep. Now in general, UK or USA?
FC: You mean musically? Or just to live? Or in what sense? Because I live in the UK, but I come to the USA to make money and to do my thing, so
DB: Well then let's do it this way, which one do you have more fun in?
FC: Oh the USA. Yeah definitely. You know what, the UK is like my comfort and the USA is like my fucking amazing time. With like my work and everything.
DB: This one is tough, garage or DNB?
DB: WOAH! Lightning fast! Yeah Tony was like ‘hmm’ he had to think about it.
FC: Tony’s the gayest man alive
FC: The thing is, I was Drum & Bass before dubstep and I was pure Drum & Bass like I wanted to make it in Drum & Bass. I came to dubstep and I still play Drum & Bass in my sets, usually, so yeah. Garage is good, but I’ve always been a DNB guy, always. No contest
DB: Flat earth, or sphere?
FC: Sphere. Yeah, I don’t believe the flat earth theory. Go to the edge of the earth
DB: Where is it? Well, find it!
FC: First of all, find it. Secondly, you can see 24 hour NASA images on Apple TV. You can literally look at the earth as its happening. You can see flights goin’ around and shit. And, someone came up with a good theory, I forget who. I think it was Jericho, or some streamer. He said, what if the earth was round, but the suns flat. Just a big flat ball of fire. Like, why not?
DB: Interesting. A flat ball? Haha
FC: It wouldn’t be flat like 2D, as in you turn it sideways and it’s gone, it would have like a little bit of a thing but it’s just like a big disk of fire.
DB: A big disk of fire
DB: Alright, that’s actually a good answer, I like that.
FC: The thing is, everyone tries to do the flat earth theory with the whole gyro and the stars, but the thing is, the earth is tilted and the reason that we see what we see is because we’re this, not this. We spin like that, and we see the same shit
DB: And how you can fly AROUND the world
FC: We don’t go ‘na na na na - voop - na na na’
DB: Hahaha yeah. Alright, Star wars, or Star Trek?
FC: Uh, Star wars. I was never a star trek guy. It was a little bit geeky. Star wars had a little bit more credibility to it
DB: Now here’s a big one, on your pizza, pineapple? or no?
DB: Oh thank goodness
FC: Pineapple does go on Pizza!!
DB: Yes! Thank you!
FC: I love pineapple on pizza
DB: Yeah me too
FC: I argue it to death. I’ll take pineapple to the grave
DB: Now I’m gonna list off a few artists you’re familiar with. When you hear their name, I want you to tell me what character comes to mind. It can be a cartoon character, a children's movie character, or an adult movie character. So obviously, first off, Excision.
FC: Uhhh, I don’t know. He kind of reminds of like a cheesy american man. It’s the way he looks. He’s got that goatee with the soul patch. Like an alabama farmer or something
FC: I’m sorry Jeff, I’m so sorry
DB: How about Flux?
FC: Flux reminds me of.. Uhh.. So he’s quite intelligent, but he’s very eccentric in the way he looks. So who would be like that?
DB: He is, he is. He has a very unique look
FC: He’s an eccentric looking, not an eccentric person, he’s an eccentric looking, intelligent guy. So I don’t know really who you’d associate with that
DB: Thats well thought out, I cant argue with that
FC: I dont really know anyone who is like that. I think Flux is Flux.
DB: Doctor P?
FC: Haha Oh fuck. So many names. Doctor P. He’s quite a somber, not bothered character. Hes got a bit of a beard. Moans alot. I don’t know. He reminds of like an adventure time character.
DB: YEAH! right right
FC: I couldn’t name one specifically, but you can imagine they’re goin’ around adventurin’ and they stop, there’d be a guy sittin’ next to a bush goin ‘uugghh’ Thats Doctor P.
DB: Hahahahaha alright. How about Tony? Cookie.
FC: Hmmm, Cookie. I don’t know. He used to have a skin head, so he kind of looked like someone like a punk. Like an old punk from the 70s or something. You can imagine him in like dungarees or something haha
DB: Hahaha yeah yeah. Here’s a good one, how about Deadmau5?
FC: Deadmau5? Yeah idk, he’s like a rich troll. He’s a troll who made it. There’s no trolls who made it. He can get away with being a troll, people would just be like ‘oh, it’s Joel’. If you were to say the same shit he says, they’d be like ‘Holy shit, hes fuckin out of order, fuck him.’ You know? But whatever he says is usually quite valid, thats the thing
DB: And the guys wicked smart too
FC: Yeah, exactly yeah
DB: And Virtual Riot?
FC: Virtual Riot. German, intelligent, very perfectionist when it comes to what he does. I've sat at the board with him for a track so I know how much of a perfectionist he is and just how much he tweaks every little detail. Hes a bit like a mad scientist
DB: Haha okay, so who would be like a mad scientist? Could you relate him to the mad scientist from ‘Back to the Future’?
FC: Yeah but he’s kind of more eccentric. Virtual Riot is a very somber guy. So maybe he’s like a stoned ‘Back to the Future professor’
DB: Hahaha fair enough, right on.
So, for our readers, for the fans, any sneak peeks? Anything to keep the eyes open for?
FC: I've been doin remixes. I've done a few originals and collabs and stuff. I'm doing more collabs because I'm inspired by what other people are doing right now. Theres alot of people still doin the same shit. Its boring. And then theres those underground guys comin in makin a cool different sound. Wooli, I like Wooli at the moment.
DB: We saw his set. It was so good!
FC: I'm doin a collab with Wooli, thats comin out. I'm doin collabs with people all over at the moment. I'm doin some remixes for the club for Phiso. Just a few bits here and there, ya know? Just to keep myself inspired. Because it's hard to stay inspired when everythings so... you either get a moment where eveyrone sounds the same, or a moment where theres so many amazing new artists, you just feel a bit insignificant. You just think ‘fuck, what am I gonna do now?’ So yeah, just why not embrace it and just try and work with ‘em.
DB: Well done. So we have one more for ya. What do you think about this festival? It’s the first festival of its kind in the US.
FC: It's pretty amazing. The thing is, the thing I love about it is, it’s run by a DJ. So everything a DJ wants at a festival, this is what it is. He sent us an email and was like ‘there's catering there, we’ll give you any amount of dinner tickets you want, if you want a ride back to the hotel, you can have a ride any time you want, you don’t have to be exact.’ It's everything we want as a DJ to be at a festival.
DB: This is like the first dubstep focused festival here. I know you’ve played rampage
FC: That's Drum N Bass as well. But here it’s good because its only two stages. It’s not a million places everyone can run around to
DB: That’s what I love, there’s no major overlap
FC: You can just enjoy it. So yeah the whole thing just works right now
DB: For their first festival, I think Jeff did a great job
FC: I said it on the mic, he’s done a fuckin amazing job for the first one. There’s a 120 foot brontosaurus outside.
DB: I KNOW!!! That thing is EPIC
FC: AND, they take us on stage, they go, 'By the way, there’s a big red button on your left, press that and smoke will fly out the tyrannosaurus rex'
DB: That’s that button?
FC: Oh yeah, I was like ‘dssshh’ this is awesoommee. Yeah you know because honestly there’s lighting guys and stuff, they’re doing stuff and they’ll press smoke but at the wrong time. There’s some tracks which don’t drop when you expect them too, there’s another bit of a build up, so like now I can do it.
DB: Well hey, that’s all we have for today, thank you so much bud
FC: It’s been great, thank you!
Interview and article by Barrett Hoffer
Photos by Ashlyn Fulton Photography