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Talking Tunes, Tours, and Life on the Road with Hippie Sabotage

hippie sabotage
Image courtesy of Hippie Sabotage
Kevin and Jeff Saurer aren’t just brothers — they’re bandmates. Successful bandmates, that this. The duo out of Sacramento, California, has been making catchy, genre-spanning electronic dance music (EDM) since the early 2000s as Hippie Sabotage.

The official discography dates back to 2013 with the Vacants EP; Hippie Sabotage is now on its fourth full-length album, Drifter, which was released in 2017. In that time, the twosome has collaborated with a wide range of producers and rappers, from Chase Moore to Alex Wiley.

Hippie Sabotage is best-known, however, for its intense, on-stage energy and high-octane live performances, both crucial elements to the Saurers’ music. “People understand the music more; they’re more accepting of the evolutionary changes we’re making in our music,” Kevin tells The Manual. When asked about where their music would fall on the spectrum of EDM, they say that the in-person element “allows us to be on both ends of the spectrum at the same time.”

“Our shows are really hype, and our music is known as being really chill, so the live aspect … gives us more artistic freedom,” Jeff elaborates.

As much fun as it is, the Saurers can take a beating during their live performances — especially their clothes. “You sweat a lot, a lot of trash cans get thrown around the place. The clothes get wrecked each night. Honestly, you can tell how great the show is by how wrecked our clothes are.”

hippie sabotage
Image courtesy of Hippie Sabotage

The Saurers are about to kick off an extensive tour across most the United States, which eventually wraps up in March. That means the brothers will be on the road during the coldest months of the year. So how do they prep for a long trip, especially when it’s so chilly?

Simple: cheap, easy-to-replenish essentials. “We make a lot of Wal-Mart trips for cold weather gear, because you can get $6 sweatshirts,” says Hippie Sabotage.

The key is not to spend too much money on clothing that’s going to get ruined anyways. Instead, the Saurers splurge on daily indulgences, from the stuff that gets you going in the morning to brand-new undergarments. “White tees and boxers. Coffee and weed. And socks! We like to get new pairs every day,” they say. “Puts you in the mood to say hello to the world. You feel like a new man.”

The most important essential for a tour (or road trip, considering most of us aren’t touring musicians) is the tunage. “We love road trip music. We listen to whatever is new, to be honest. There’s this wave of younger 18-year-olds that we love right now,” says Hippie Saborage. Standouts for them include The Lemon Twigs, Steve Lacey, and Young Dolph.

But you’ve always got to make room for the classics, especially on the road. The Saurers’ faves range rock gods like The Doors, Cream, and Pink Floyd to old-school hip-hop from Wu-Tang Clan and Dr. Dre (specifically The Chronic and 2001).

“It depends on what mood we’re in,” says Hippie Sabotage — and who wouldn’t agree? As the Saurers put it perfectly, when you’re driving through the forest, you want something more “relaxing,” but if you’re driving “through the desert and smoking a blunt,” you need something more upbeat.

“The question we get asked more frequently is life advice,” the Saurers elaborate. “What we say is stay positive and enjoy your life. Focus. Keeping that positive perspective will keep you moving forward. It’s the mindset we have for playing music, being on the road.”

With four albums and countless EPs and remixes, it’s hard to know where to start exploring Hippie Sabotage’s music if you’re new to the band. We asked the Saurers for their top picks for new listeners: Jeff suggests “Righteous” and Kevin recommends “Waiting Too Long,” “Devil Eyes,” and “Om.”

However, we propose starting off with the newest single “Save Me,” which just dropped on November 10. You can give it a listen here:

Images courtesy of Hippie Sabotage.

Nicole Raney
Nicole Raney is the former Managing Editor of The Manual. You can also hear her on older episodes of The Manual Podcast, a…
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