For our Philadelphia readers, could you give them a general background? Names, how you two met up and where you currently reside, ect.
I’m Manila Killa, and my partner Candle Weather and I met in middle school, actually. We were both attending the International School of Jakarta located in Indonesia. We weren’t that close of friends but we vaguely remember being on the same intramural basketball team! Candle Weather now lives in Los Angeles and I currently reside on Washington, D.C. We make the whole collaboration thing work via online file sharing tools such as Dropbox and Wetransfer, so it’s a pretty simple process.
I’ve been obsessing recently over one of your remixes. So much so I had to reach out to your manager to tell him at 7am in the morning. Kiiara “Feels” remix undoubtedly gave me just that. Can you tell us a little bit about this production?
M: This remix was so special to us. We heard the first demo of it back in May, and it was THE song we all played at pregamesbefore heading out at night. And when the track finally came out in August, we went straight to remixing it, even without the proper vocal stem. Eventually we went back and forth with Kiiara and ended up finally releasing it last month. What went into the production was a lot of influence from a kind of house music Candle Weather and I really enjoy but don’t get to apply in our own productions. At the time we were listening to a lot of MaceoPlex and Solomun so we were excited to see such a receptive response to a kind of style we normally don’t put out.
C: I think the feels remix is our best song yet because we're so close of friends with the people who made the original that we really connected with the song. we wanted to stray a little bit from the usual "soundcloud-house" formula by venturing into non-house music beats and instruments. we both enjoy all kinds of music and we're always trying to take influence from seemingly disparate parts of music.
Manila Killa & Candle Weather, you two are opening for Robin Schulz this weekend at Philadelphia’s Fillmore this Friday. What’s your experience with “The City of Brotherly Love” (Philly)?
M: I love Philadelphia. I’ve been here a few times before, and over the summer I took a day trip to Philly to visit the Lego museum with my girlfriend. It’s honestly like a tiny, quiet New York City. It has the big buildings and city vibes but also has enough space for you to breath. I’ve also played here before, at an art gallery space called Goldilocks Gallery with my solo project’s collective, Moving Castle. The food choices in Philly are really great, too.
C: I've only been to Philadelphia one time, when I was much younger. But we have a lot of friends and colleagues in Philly so I've been excited to make it out here ever since we started the project.
The Fillmore is no doubt Philadelphia’s crowned jewel of venues. With a capacity of 2,300 and a 32 million investment behind it, what’s it like being invited to that stage/platform to perform on?
C: It's an honor! Thankfully most shows we play are at lovely venues with great crowds but this one is particularly special because it's the first show were playing in our managers hometown. I'm very excited to see what happens.
M: The Fillmore is a venue I’ve been familiar with for many years, and it’s crazy to me that we’ll finally be actually be playing it. I’m really excited to be performing in a piece of music venue history. I’ve never been there before either so it’ll be a great first experience in the venue.
Will there be time for Thanksgiving dinner?
M: If we get there early enough, we should all grab some leftovers from someone and make some sandwiches to throw out in the crowd yolo.
C: there's always time for thanksgiving dinner, even if it's the day after. But I know we have that Cheesesteak party before the show!
Your “Lost In Motion Tour” is coming up starting in Houston Texas on January 28. Noticed you guys will be back at Philly’s Coda on February 12th. What should fans expect from this tour?
C: Ah yes! I'm so excited for this tour. I love Amtrac's music and he's also just a great human being. we got along really well the first couple times we hung out at the same festivals so when the offer came up it was an easy decision to join the tour. I think the tour is going to give people a better idea of what to expect from us as far as original music goes. We're hard at work on our singles and potential EP and they're coming together nicely. The tour is an all fly-date tour, which means I won't get much time to work on music at home but Chris and I thrive working remotely so I'm sure it'll work itself out.
M: A lot of our new productions and different kinds of house music that has been influencing our sound. Candle Weather and I listen to a huge variety of music and our styles are constantly evolving so what you hear during this set tonight will probably be different from the February one.
I counted 18 tour stops from January to March. Logistically and taking time management into consideration it looks as though you guys will be traveling by bus starting in February. What’s the game plan?
Eat, sleep, vitamins, repeat.
Do you guys plan on working from the road? What would you say is in store for 2016?
Yes, we’re always working no matter where we are. From hotels to buses to planes, the work never really stops. What’s in store for 2016 are originals (finally!).
I was speaking with your manager Brett Blackman the other day on the diversity of Hotel Garuda’s sound. I’m curious how you guys would describe your own music?
M: Hotel Garuda’s music is a mixture of cultures and influences we’ve collected throughout the years, all bottled up into a neat house music package. We gather influence from many different sources of art, whether it be musical or visual.
C: both of us like a lot of the same music and also a lot of different music as well - some things we connect on are catchy, poppy melodies. we don't want to limit ourselves to a specific part of music, but I will say there is continuity in our approach to producing Hotel Garuda music.
Considering Brett Blackman is a Philly native and we used to work together, I gotta ask the question of where you found this guy?
M: It’s kind of a funny story. I was working for a blog in 2011/2012 and it just so happened that Brett was hired to work for the same blog. We met through there, he liked my music, and he began managing me since. Eventually when I started Hotel Garuda with Candle Weather, there was no question that Brett was going to take that project on too.
C: I actually used to work for Brett, shooting concerts for this blog Daily Beat. When the Garuda project started, he was already managing Chris's solo project Manila Killa and so it kinda just happened by accident that he ended up managing us. A happy accident though!
I heard you guys are on this year’s Snow Globe NYE celebration. Are you guys particularly excited for this one?
M: I’ve seen videos of past Snowglobe performances and I’m so excited to be ringing in the New Year at the festival. It’ll be fun to bundle up and play in the snow while DJing! We actually just put out a mix a few days ago for it!
C: Very excited for Snowglobe. A lot of our good friends are playing the festival, as well as some of my favorite artists. I'm the most excited to see Bob Moses, I've been listening to their new album non-stop for the last month. Gonna be cold AF though so I'm also very stoked to wear my long johns and carry a thermos of hot cocoa around with me.
Don’t you all have history working together in the past?
M: Candle Weather and I were music buddies for a while, swapping music back and forth. But eventually when he wanted to start learning how to produce, he hit me up… and that’s how Hotel Garuda was formed.
Philadelphia is a huge sports city so I’m kind of wondering if you two rep any teams on the West coast we can all hate on you for. Don’t you guys like the Lakers too?
M: LOL. I used to really be into sports, and the Washington Wizards was my team. I’m actually not a fan of any teams from the west coast, but I do enjoy watching the Lakers play ;)
C: I'm not a big sports guy myself, I don't have the attention span for sports haha.
Have you ever had a Philadelphia cheesesteak?
M: YES. I had my first Philly cheesesteak in August of 2014, and it was incredible. We went to Brett’s favorite spot, ordered it for take out, and then hung out in the park nearby. It was a great first Philly Cheesesteak experience.
C: Yes I have one time, but not in ages! very excited to put food in my mouth.
Written by Kiel Sterling