You haven’t really lived until you’ve witnessed a jet of flame or blast from a CO2 cannon that almost knocks you off your feet when watching your favourite act and a good part of the reason why they are a mainstay at various festivals around the world and more often here in Australia.
Cue James Christofides of Aus FX knows a thing or two about both having been officially in the game for some 15 years now (not including dabbling around as a kid without mum knowing) who gives us his take on the allure, the power of pressing that button as well as a big project he’s working on ahead of the Electric Gardens tour that’ll feature some pretty bad ass cannons.
SR: How long have you been involved in pyro/CO2 for? What started it all?
CO2: Officially, it’s been 15 years. Unofficially, closer to 20. I loved to play with fire as a kid, as a lot of kids do. I then realised I could turn it into a job, and from then on you couldn’t stop me. Its hard to put into words, but its something about being able to play with all that energy. And the adrenalin of a gig is something else. It feels pretty good when you press a button and the crowd goes crazy.
SR: What do you think draws people in when it comes to CO2 cannons during performances?
CO2: It’s the intensity of the effect. They’re loud, fast, and always increase the energy of a drop.
SR: Whats next for CO2 and pyro?? Any predictions for fans to be ready for?
CO2: Well we’re making the cryo a little more interactive for Electric Gardens. Get front row if you want a new hair-do. If it’s a hot day, your gonna love it.
SR: How does the Amnesia CO2 cannons stack up globally? Are they the biggest/baddest Australia has seen?
CO2: These are custom made in Australia specifically for this festival. We’ve taken our regular AusJet and made it two and a half times bigger. I don’t know of anyone building anything similar here in Australia.
So there you have it, when watching those beautiful plumes of CO2 blast skyward think of James blowing stuff up as a kid and know that dreams do come true.
As mentioned above, he’ll be manning the Amnesia Stage at this years Electric Gardens festival that’ll feature sets from Patrick Topping (3 hours), Eats Everything, Sigma, Grum and many, many more.