One of the highlights of Coachella’s first week was when French electronic duo Justice took the main stage on Sunday evening, just after sundown. Gaspard Auge and Xavier De Rosnay played for tens of thousands of fans who yelled in excitement as their trademark giant cross surfaced onstage. They’ll repeat the scene at the festival’s second go-round this weekend, and again in August at Lollapalooza.
“It’s amazing for a little band like us, while under the radar still, to be playing main stage at both Coachella and Lollapalooza,” De Rosnay tells Rolling Stone.
Can a group that’s big enough to headline two of America’s best-known festivals really be considered “little,” though? By Justice’s definition, yes. “Being under the radar is pretty simple,” explains De Rosnay. “It means that while we’re lucky that we have an audience, the music we do is not played on the radio, and we don’t have big press coverage. We sell a lot of records according to the type of music we do, but we don’t sell millions of records. So this is what we call being under the radar, and we’re very happy in that place.”
Auge and De Rosnay don’t really see themselves as part of the current EDM scene. “We make electronic music for sure, but we don’t really make dance music,” De Rosnay says. “Some of the tracks are danceable, but whether it’s on record or live, we’re not attempting to make dance music.”
The duo’s rock influence is part of what makes them such a big draw at live music festivals. “Since the beginning, we’ve always been the rock-ish band at the electronic festival and the electronic band in the rock festival,” De Rosnay said. “At our shows, our audience is diverse. We don’t just have techno heads – it’s very broad.”
After their summer festival circuit, Justice plan to return to the U.S. for another run of shows at the end of the year. And if there’s an opportunity for a co-headliner to join them, they’ve already got a clear favorite in mind. “We’d love to tour with the Hives, actually,” Gapard Auge said. “They’re our favorite live band. And they already have the best outfits, so it would make no sense to try and compete with them.”