The 405 met up with party starting superstars Major Lazer ahead of the release of their upcoming third album. Fresh off the back of playing Paris Fashion Week and hours after a tiny pub show in Dalston, the crew were all set to fly to Panama to kick off a massive South American tour.

In a swanky London hotel bar we sat down with Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire to talk about collaborations, emulating Hulk Hogan and why Kanye's recent interest in grime owes everything to Major Lazer.

So the new album has been announced and it's sounding amazing, but the word on the street is that it's going to be one of two in 2015?

Walshy Fire: It is!

Diplo: Got that scoop!

The new album is a lot more feminine than your previous work and you've got a lot of big name features from artists like Ellie Goulding, Mø and Ariana Grande. Was it a conscious thing to have so many big female collaborators?

Diplo: Not really, there were not a lot of male artists we could have worked with on this album. I worked with a lot of female artists with the reggae stuff in the past and overall it's probably half and half.

Walshy Fire: Big up to the female artists; crushin' it, killin' it.

Jillionaire: Yeah mon.

Do you have your eye on anyone to collaborate with on the next album?

All: Rihanna

Diplo: We really need to get a Rihanna record for sure.

Jillionaire: Also Junior Gong.

You played a tiny surprise show last night in The Victoria pub in Dalston, how was it?

Jillionaire: A lot of fun.

Diplo: Always fun to roll up in the pub.

Jillionaire: It's always good to play in a sweaty pub in Dalston on a school night.

Have you guys played many pub shows before? How is a pub different to a festival or bigger show?

Walshy Fire: Ah man well it's chaotic, unorganised.

Jillionaire: I think every time me and Walsh' come to London we play the sweaty pubs! It's fun though, you get way more grassroots fans coming to a shitty bar in East London than you would anywhere else. Just people who like music in general would see us at a big festival or a show at the Roundhouse you know?

The social media reach of Major Lazer is insane; anything you post has fans responding from Bolivia to Japan. What is it about Major Lazer that attracts so much worldwide attention?

Jillionaire: People flew in from South America for the show last night!

Diplo: We never really had real radio play or we never had any real push from a label but I think that we were really good at accessing the internet. Also marketing ourselves and our shows and the music itself. Also with our music we play with rap music but we're not a rap group, we mess with pop but we're not a pop group, we do dancehall and reggae - that's the only thing we can attach ourselves too. We dabble in what people are excited about in electronic music.

Jillionaire: I think the shows elevate it. For us coming from the Caribbean it's like, okay, but all three of us have high standards so we're like 'it could have been better'.

Diplo: It has to be a really good show for us to be happy.

Jillionaire: People are always like 'woah that's the craziest thing I've ever seen son' so there's always that mysticism around going to these shows. We have so much more craziness compared to a regular DJ where there's a light show and Jesus posin'.

As you mentioned you guys really do it on your own with regards to the label and promoting yourselves. Is having creative control important for you?

Walshy Fire: I guess it's not trying to do anything but what we know is good. We're not answering to anyone really but ourselves. When the three of us come to together and say 'yo this is dope' - usually it's gone through a whole lot of stuff to get to that point.

Diplo: And these guys [Walshy Fire and Jillionaire] are hard on me too. Walsh' is a little easier sometimes.

Jillionaire: I don't fuck around.

With so many people like yourselves and Odd Future choosing to do it all on their own, do you think that the role of brands in music is going to become more important? You have Red Bull reinventing what it means to be a drink by putting on shows worldwide and the whole Red Bull Music Academy thing.

Diplo: Those kind of brands that need to reach our demographic. For them, investing in music is important to reach people and I think also the fact that the way they do it - they don't just support pop acts. My nephew could be on Red Bull shows. We've done a lot of stuff with them when we were coming up like the carnival four years ago and that got bigger and bigger.

Walshy Fire: And Soundclash.

Diplo: I don't even remember man - it's been two since then? And people don't even remember we did the first one!

How can Major Lazer get bigger? You've just played a fashion show in France and now you're off to Panama to tour South America.

Walshy Fire: Man! There's so much more to do. Look at where Major Lazer is and look at... Cher.

Jillionaire: I wasn't gonna choose Cher but I feel you.

Walshy Fire: There's lot more work to do, we stay true to our friends.

I can see Major Lazer with a Vegas show. Would you get Cher on stage? Hook up with Cher?

Jillionaire: Yeah man, I'd hang with Cher, definitely.

Diplo: Cher looks nice! Women in general look so much better when they're older nowadays and I know when I was a young boy I'd be like, you know when grandma tries to kiss you? [motions backing away from Grandma].

So we've got love for Cher, but if you could have anyone from history to be your Major Lazer hype man on stage who would it be?

Diplo: Hulk Hogan. No, Macho Man Randy Savage.

Walshy Fire and Jillionaire: Yeah, yeah!

Diplo: ...or Ultimate Warrior.

Walshy Fire: What's his name with the Jamaica shirt on again? The kid?

Jillionaire: Prince Charles?

Diplo: Prince Harry? Does he get live though?

Jillionaire: Does he get turnt up?

Oh yeah for sure, he's the wild one of the family.

Diplo: I'm down with Prince Harry

Jillionaire: What about Abdullah the Butcher! Definitely Abdullah.

What you think about Riff Raff hitting the gym and working on becoming the neon Hulk Hogan and moving to WWE?

Diplo: We're working on that. If it comes to fruition then it's probably the biggest thing that's happened in any of our lives. I remember one time, Hulk Hogan sat down with us, he actually had dinner with us - he was like, 'Jay Z did sold out Madison Square Garden three times out but I sold out Madison Square Garden 30 times brother'!

You guys ever considered a move to WWE as a wrestler?

Jillionaire: Hell yeah, look at me!

Diplo: I'm down.

Jillionaire: [to manager] Can you email WWE?

Manager: Oh yeah. I actually have a contact there.

Diplo: It's on.

The Mad Decent Soundcloud is so popular - in many ways you own the platform. Who do you have your eye on now? I notice you hype Jauz, who is British?

Diplo: [Laughs] he's actually not! He's from the frickin' valleys. I first heard his music and I was like, this guy's the most-up-and-coming and probably undercover secret guy but the dude's literally three blocks [away] from our studio. He's super normal but his music is on fire right now.

His whole sound good is really on the money with the UK scene at the moment.

Diplo: That's true but I don't think anyone from England could do what he does 'cos it's got a little more hip-hop aspect that keeps it cool. I was with Disclosure on tour in Australia and I'd play his records and they were like, 'what the fuck this is!?'. I think for Jauz and the whole squad we owe it to Paul Devro who's our only A&R crazy person at Mad Decent. When something comes out new, like social media, we always go at it hard like Soundcloud - Mad Decent, Major Lazer and Diplo - we're three of the biggest people on there.

So finally, Kanye has been getting into grime recently...

Diplo: What has he actually done for grime apart from bringing people on stage? I know Diplo produced Kano records back in the day and Diplo used to perform at run the road and Major Lazer performed at carnival and with BBK.

Jillionaire: And we had the clash with BBK.

Diplo: We've actually been doing stuff like that for a long time.

Jillionaire: You think Kanye is trying to come with us?

Diplo: Grime's kinda definitely peaked many years ago and we don't know any grime records now that... a lot of them don't sound like grime. They're more joke songs, like the Lamborghini work out songs - they're not aggressive inner city London songs. It's teetering on pop - the resurgence is there, but it doesn't feel like a London thing anymore. It definitely feels like a hybrid. But yo: always been a fan of underground London music like Fuse ODG, Skream, Benga, Joker, Mumdance - all those guys had releases on my label - champions you know, love that stuff. Also [jokingly], shout out Kanye for always focusing on brand new music and taking it to a bigger platform even though a lot of times it takes artists like us to help him do that stuff.


Major Lazer's 'Lean On' is out now.