Some artists team up because it’s strategic. Other times, collaborations are a natural fit. But on special rare occasions, creatives become embedded in each other’s DNA after breathing the same artistic air. And that’s why LA-based trip hop group The Internet are still here, together.
Through their time with Odd Future and the release of their trio of supremely soulful albums, the collective amassed a major cult following that only seemed to grow and expand once the major players broke out to deliver solo projects of their own this year. While Steve Lacy’s Demo offered welcomed guitar-based funk from an iPhone, the band’s ultra-chill spearhead, Syd went on to receive critical acclaim for her debut solo studio album, Fin.
High-popularity and high-demand could have easily pulled the close-knit collective into different directions, with tours and deals all their own. But solo success has only brought them closer together. Here they are, on two separate couches, laughing with mounds of energy in the green room after putting the sun to bed during an anticipated set in Toronto. Completely content.
Tell me about your journey here and just travelling together as a group.
Matt: We know rappers that travel with more people that we do. We’re a band and we travel with two or three extra people, maybe. But, getting to Toronto wasn’t that bad. I came from Atlanta, because I live there. Well, I’m really bicoastal. But it was a two-hour flight and I ate a big-ass burger before I got on there.
Syd: Me, Chris and Pat flew together from LA. And then Steve came later, because his sister graduated.
Steve: Yeah. And she’s going to college. She’s taking biology or something.
Are you happy she’s not taking a creative route?
Patrick Paige II: She’s coming for the throne, boy.
Syd: She’s still doing music too.
Okay, so she can do it all. Kind of like you guys. You put out your solo work but still learn each other’s stuff and perform it live together. Tell me about the process of learning each other’s work to create this timeline play that fans can experience live.
Syd: It was really fun. First, we were going to do the set list differently. We were kind of going to scramble it all together based on what sounded better going into what song but then our manager Dave suggested that we give everybody our own set within the set. And it was a good idea. It was cool. It was fun learning everybody’s songs, because we’re all fans of each other’s stuff. As an artist, most artists don’t really get the opportunity to learn another artist’s music, y’know? I did that with Odd Future in the past, being a DJ but it’s cool. It’s a one of a kind experience.
Matt: I think it’s cool, because you want to play really good for your friend’s set, because they want you to play good for their set. I love being able to just groove out and adlib as well as do my set. That shit is fun. I think it’s rare to find people that can do that. We’re legit fans of each other’s music so it’s not a task. It’s music that we actually listen to on our spare time.
It’s sick, because Steve and Syd, you guys just put out your solo projects recently this year, so it’s not like you’ve done a full solo tour. You’re sharing this experience. What’s that been like for you?
Syd: It’s funny, because I never even really thought about it really until you asked the question. I think honestly, it was only right that we did our first solo performances with each other. When you’re used to performing with a group of people, there’s a chemistry that kicks in after a while. It’s not always there at first. Sometimes it is. With us, we always had the chemistry but then you click in with people. You learn how people perform. You learn when people are ready and when they’re not ready. It was just more comfortable I think for us to all perform together at first
Matt: And I think it just makes a statement. At some point, we’ll all have our own tours and have different bands to perform with. But it makes a statement like, we all did our first solo stuff together, so you can’t really take that away from us. Whereas, a lot of bands, they go and completely go aloof. We can always do stuff with the band and we can always do stuff with other people. That was the most important thing about it. We can do it together.
It solidified the bond.
So, what is next for you guys?
Steve: More solo music. More tours. We’re trying to do both.
Matt: And even stuff like TV and art. We don’t want to just limit ourselves to being in a band.