Chicago duo Flosstradamus has been well known in the DJ scene for more than eight years but through recent production efforts on labels such as Fools Gold and Mad Decent, their fan base is rapidly expanding. They debut a new live set in SF on Thursday, April 19 at Manor West.

We chatted with J2K aka Josh Young about their Chicago roots, why music should be free and excitement over the new live set.

Your style is often a mix of hip hop and electronic music, what about your backgrounds led to that?

For the most part, the music that was around us growing up. I come from Chicago where house music was born. It’s like a combination of ghetto and urban music mixed with electronic music. Curt [Cameruci aka Autobot] comes from Kalamazoo, really close to Detroit with Detroit techno and ghetto so those styles have been around us since we were growing up, it was pretty natural.

Chicago’s a giant city but has this kind of low-key small town vibe and everyone’s really down to get together and have a good time, kind of barbeque style. It’s the birthplace of house music, of dance music, of party music. We bring that vibe to the stage.

You’ve started performing a live set instead of DJing. What’s the difference and why did you make the switch?

We’ve been DJing with Serato for the past seven or eight years now. We have a lot more original music out now and want to figure out a way we could live remix it and play it in more of an interesting and different way. We switched over to Ableton Live and it’s still a DJ set since we play other people’s music as well but remixing and reconstructing our own music is the new live element on our end of things.

What has been one of the most memorable experiences on tour lately?

SXSW was rad. We played the Fools Gold party, one of the first times we did the live set. We were super nervous because we hadn’t really seen how it would work in front of a live crowd. The kids were so stoked.

We haven’t experienced much of having the crowd react the most to a song that is ours. We’ve been DJing for so long and we might have a song that is our favorite to play and it gets the best reaction, but it might not be our music. It’s nice to have people give the best reaction to our stuff. We got to see a lot of that at SXSW.

Major Lazer “Original Don” Flosstradamus Remix

There have been a lot of new tracks and remixes put out by you guys lately, what made you start to increase the amount of music you’re producing?

In 2011, I kind of took the year off and didn’t book many shows. I really wanted to learn and become proficient at Logic, the program I use to produce music. Through that process I helped develop a style for us and kind of got the direction for us.

It started out that I was just going to make some tracks for rappers and try and shop beats to people but in the end, the individual releases and instrumentals we’re putting out as Flosstradamus tracks is the most rewarding part.

What’s next for you guys this summer?

We’re dropping a remix with Usher and Diplo for “Climax” and then releasing more music. We’re gonna do another EP on Fools Gold and keep putting out music for free for all of our fans. Between Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook we just want to connect with everyone so we’re just gonna keep putting out free stuff all summer long.

That’s what music should be right now; you don’t have to sell records. We’ve never really sold records and we make a successful living off of this. If you’re willing to hit the road and go out there and be one on one with your fans then you can give away your songs for free and let people just enjoy your music and not worry about paying ninety-nine cents for an mp3. I think that’s ridiculous.

Flosstradamus “Total Recall”

Thundergod presents Flosstradamus live set at Manor West on Thursday, April 19.