Interview: The Internet Talks About Touring With Mac Miller, Chance The Rapper, & "Live From Space"

The band behind Mac Miller's newest album talks about going on tour with Mac and staying at Chance The Rapper's manager's mansion.

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Complex Original

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On Tuesday, Mac Miller released his latest project, Live From Space. The album is a combination of new, unreleased material along with live recordings of songs off his last album, Watching Movies With The Sound Off. The live sessions come from various stops on the Space Migration tour which happened over the summer.

All of the live songs include backing from The Internet. The Los Angeles-based, Odd Future-affiliated band has become a force on its own right, thanks to the release of sophomore album, Feel Good. Not only did The Internet provide backing for the live songs on the album, the band's leading vocalist Syd Tha Kid contributed to one of the newer songs on the album, "In The Morning."

We talked to The Internet about tour life with Mac Miller and the making of Live From Space. Syd and fellow bandmate Matt Martians talked about the various people they have seen at Mac Miller's home studio, the wild party that took place at the onset of the Space Migration tour, and sleeping in a mansion for the Chicago stop of the tour...

Interview by Dharmic X(@DharmicX)

How did the new Mac Miller album come together?
Syd: I met Mac through my brother. He came to one of my shows here in L.A. about a year ago. He invited us to his house and we started going and making beats together. Then he invited us on the Space Migration tour. Of course we went. It was the best tour experience ever. The band sounded great backing his music. The other day they asked me and Matt if we would be down to release an album. Apparently, they already had it finished.

Did you guys have a say over which live recordings would go on the album and which ones wouldn’t?
Syd: No. That’s his domain anyways because it’s his music that was being performed.

Matt: Honestly, all the songs that are on the album were the whole live set we did. The band didn’t do his whole set live.

Syd: We only did like nine songs. There’s 14 songs [on the album]. So it’s those nine songs and five new songs that didn’t make Watching Movies With The Sound Off.

Mac is very efficient. He doesn’t waste time in laying down verses. He’s not one of those people who sits on songs. - Matt Martians

But, you didn’t tell Mac, "On this particular day we did a good job with this song compared to another day?"
Matt: No, Josh [Mac’s engineer] is pretty dope.

Syd: He already knows what we want to sound like. We did 38 shows; we weren't going to sit down and go through all of them. We left that to Josh. We’re all working on new stuff now.

You are on one of the new songs on the album, “In The Morning,” with Thundercat. How did that come together?
Syd: We were just chilling there one night. Thundercat opened up a few beats. Mac Miller liked this one beat. Me and Thundercat wrote the hook to it and we just did right there. We recorded some more live bass over it. It’s really one of those songs that just happened in the night. We left his house at seven the next morning and continued about our lives. Until then we were literally in the dark just slaving over this one song. The whole song happened in four to five hours.

What is Mac Miller’s studio like?
Syd: He is non-stop. He can go for hours. Ideas never stop flying through him. And, it’s motivating. It’s driving.

Matt: Also, he's very efficient. He doesn’t waste time in laying down verses. He’s not one of those people who sits on songs. Most of the time we just there chilling, laughing. And, then somebody will go record. That’s the coolest thing about being featured on tour, Mac is a friend to us. We go over there in the morning and we don’t even make music most of the time.

Syd: We’ll just be watching the Lakers.

Matt: When we do make music, we start by goofing around and he just happens to have some beats he wants people to get on and he wants to finish. That’s how it happens. And, that’s how it should happen. That’s the best shit. No pressure.

One thing I heard about Mac Miller’s studio is that you find anybody at this place at the same time.
Syd: Yeah, I walked in one day I saw Ariana Grande. I walked in the next day and saw ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. The next day it’s Vince Staples. The next day it’s Earl Sweatshirt. You can find a lot of random people in that spot.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at Mac Miller’s house?
Matt: We’re not there for a lot of the crazy things that happen there.

Syd: We’ve missed all the big parties so far because we were only going there for music. So, we would go on random days. My most vivid memory was coming home from tour and getting off the bus. I rode on his bus coming back home because I just wanted to sleep on the way home and wake up in L.A. So, I rode his bus. When we got back, his house is on a big hill, we walked all the way up the hill with our luggage and everybody grabbed a couch and just laid out. We had two other girls with us from the last show. I don’t know how they got home or any of that.

Do You have any noteworthy stories from the tour to tell us?
Syd: The first night was [Big] Dave’s birthday. We were in Austin, Texas. We had a party at the promoter’s house. There were strippers and barbecue. We got to see some epic lap dances happen.

How many buses did you guys have on the tour?
Syd: Mac had one bus for him and his team. Then there was another bus for his production team: everybody that did the stage set up, the house sound, the lights, the stage monitoring and all that. An eighteen wheeler with all his stage stuff in it. And, then Chance The Rapper had an RV. That was really tight. He was always inviting us to his RV. And, we had a sprinter van.

Speaking of Chance The Rapper, you got to go on tour with him as his career really started to blow up. What was that like?
Syd: Chance is a really awesome dude. It was great to see that because now he’s doing really great things.

Matt: He’s really skyrocketed. And we got to know him as a person.

Syd: We hadn’t really known him before. I met him for the first time at a Black Hippy show in New York, but that right after the tour was announced. He was a cool dude then, but being on tour with him for six weeks was great.

Matt: He’s a super welcoming dude. He had us stay in a mansion when we were in Chicago.

Syd: We got some great sleep.

Chance's manager Pat has a mansion in Chicago. We all had our own bedroom in this mansion. It had a private beach, jet skis, and all kinds of things. — Syd The Kyd

A mansion?
Syd: His manager [Pat] has a mansion in Chicago. So, when we stayed in Chicago we didn’t have to get an hotel. We all had our own bedroom in this mansion. It had a private beach, jet skis, and all kinds of things.

In Chicago? Where was this?
Syd: Yeah, it was right off the lake.

Another person you guys were on tour with was Vince Staples. You’ve known him for a very long time? What was that like?
Syd: Vince is one person I’m extremely excited to see grow and extremely happy for right now. I met him when he was 15 or 16. I gave him my resources to a certain extent. He always made it on his own and it’s awesome to see that coming to fruition right now. The tour was amazing. And then I did a few dates with him and Earl a little bit after that. That was awesome too. Vince always watches out for me. Always.

Yeah, you gave him a place to crash early on?
Syd: Yeah, my little studio at my parents house. I had a studio in the guest house. He came with some other kids for a session one time and he was the only one who really kept coming through, the only one I really stayed in contact with. We vibed on a deeper level.

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