We sat down with Lee Foss & his girlfriend Chloe Holmes.
Interview and Photography by Christopher Brown
What does spirituality mean to you and how does it tie into your music?
L- Spirituality to me means being at peace and having true balance in life. That is a constant challenge, but the times in my life where I’m most successful and am truly happiest involve my mind, body and soul all being engaged. That means making sure I’m constantly reading and learning about the universe, sleeping and eating well, exercising, working and making music, plus spending time with friends and family. It’s a lot to do to keep up with all that, run 3 record labels, DJ/produce/remix, and have to be in a couple bands. It’s challenging because I’m a big picture guy and a utilitarian so it can be easy to upset my own personal balance for the greater good. To me music is the essence of spirit…it is our only universal truth the two are already inextricably linked. I’ve found that songs I write will come to life or later I’ll notice the song title of my old songs was a subconscious expression of my state of being at the time when I wrote it. It’s funny to look back with context and see how personal and emotional the creation of music is but art imitating life and vice versa are absolutely true.
Chloe, you are the creative director of Lee’s Repopulate Mars party series. Is this something you two collaborate on or something that you take full creative control of?
C- When it comes to creative direction for the parties it is mostly my decision and direction although I do keep Lee in the loop for the big decision making & budgeting :). Repopulate Mars is very much a blend of our two worlds of music and fashion and I believe that becomes apparent in our bigger shows. I’ve always envisioned it as a party that also can be perceived to some as a mixed media art show & immersive experience for fans. We have big ideas and plans for the future & our guests experience as our party and brand grows.
“The times in my life where I’m most successful and am truly happiest involve my mind, body and soul all being engaged.”
What would you say are the benefits of working creatively as a couple?
C- Lee and I work well together in the sense that we both have big dreams, similar vision and drive to make it happen. It always helps that we can discuss work at literally any point in the day as we live & often travel together. Lee also really inspires me to follow through with all that I wish to accomplish career wise. He goes out of his way to push me creatively & genuinely wants me to succeed.
L- I mean the benefits of working creatively as a couple are an increased respect for each others craft, more time to spend with each other, to help bring your partner’s ideas to life and to gain income from a shared pursuit. However, the downside is that work involves stress and relationships already carry inherent resentments that can carry over. Overall, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
Lee, your instagram features many travel photos from Bali, Oman, Mexico, Utah and so much more. How do you two decide on where to go next and is there a special place in the world that you have a strong connection to?
L – Our travel schedule is primarily driven by work but we are lucky that we have a lot control over where that work is but we’ve always have our eye on somewhere new we’d love to go explore. Full disclosure, the best part of our relationship is that I now explore the places that I go to tour as a musician but I definitely did not used to do so. I went to Peru 9 times before I went to Machu Picchu!!! Being with Chloe has opened me up to the joy of truly experiencing the travel I was doing already and I’m now much more cognizant of exploring the countries I visit. I think it’s a great reciprocal relationship with your audiences too, because as a DJ the communities I travel to become more invested in me when you take a genuine interest in their culture and places of interest.
“I’ve been so much happier since I’ve focused on nutrition, good sleep and exercise when I’m home because the reality is life on the road is often unhealthy.”
Are there any places you’ve visited that you would love to play?
L – Our favorite place in the world to visit is Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Brazil, where these epic sand dunes form 80,000 naturally occurring freshwater lagoons during the rainy season. It’s an incredible place to ride horses or take quads out to the dunes and explore with the world’s most amazing sunsets. To me, it is so remote and precious and naturally beautiful that I have an itch that I want to scratch to throw a party in the town nearby, but truthfully I’m happy to keep it as a heavenly pipe dream.
As a couple, how do you manage to balance your professional and personal life together?
L- I try to set aside time for our personal life and that can be challenging for me but it does lead to greater overall balance and happiness. We don’t always manage it and we aren’t perfect but I think it’s just an area where we hope to continue to grow and communicate better. I know that nothing makes me happier than being home with Chloe and our dogs in Topanga.
C- It definitely takes some commitment and dedication to each other to make sure we make time for just us. Sometimes after a heavy month or several weekends in a row of touring, Lee will take some days off during the week and we will go camping, hiking or on a day trip outside of LA…. Something I enjoy (usually it involves nature) :) Thankfully, my schedule is generally something I can easily plan around & can take off blocks of time when need be. Lee and I both have careers in areas that at several points in time have kept both of us away from home for extended periods; we both know what it’s like to have been in past relationships where our SO’s constantly had issues with our careers & ultimately in my case, ended up being the reason behind the end of mine. We try to keep communication open & make our limited time together memorable when it’s busy.
As a duo who constantly travel, it must be difficult to manage your health and wellbeing. Do you have any rituals to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
L- I love going to farmers markets and have made nutrition a hobby/passion and when we are home generally we exercise via Classpass or do a hike or a run with the dogs (would love to get in a basketball league if I had time). I’ve been so much happier since I’ve focused on nutrition and good sleep and exercise when I’m home because the reality is life on the road is often unhealthy but if we live right at home we can do our best to balance it out. Number one recommendation is invest in a great bed.
I also love doing the hot tub cold plunge at my house!!! There is nothing in the world that resets my balance that jumping into freezing water and back into a hot tub at sunset. (as is probably obvious from my repetitive instagram stories (laughs))
C- Yes, I have been through the ringer when it comes to my health & travel. Thankfully I found an amazing alternative medicine doctor in LA who I see regularly that keeps my immune system in great shape. I rarely get ill when I am following his regimen. I also take oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract & apple cider vinegar daily when in third world countries & that is literally a miracle elixir for any kind of bug or bacteria.
In terms of my physical fitness, I have Classpass which works in most major cities. I always try to hike whenever I am somewhere beautiful & if it’s somewhere sandy and warm, I will usually spend all day doing some sort of extreme sport in the water. Also, meditations! I have just gotten into doing a 10 minute meditation every day. I love the balance & zen it has given my mental health.
“Home? Anywhere with my dogs, Lee, an amazing sunset, good food and some strong wifi!”
You guys have a history of rescuing a number of dogs. What is your opinion on pet rescue?
L – I mean pet rescue is great, obviously I was cut out to foster dogs. Chioe has a great passion for rescuing dogs and I enjoy it too, I just try to make sure we are doing it when we have enough time to do it and give the animals our time and love.
C- I would think of rescuing dogs as my passion project that Lee puts up with & has learned to enjoy :) hehe.
Our two dogs have been shelter adoptions & medical cases that without our intervention would have been euthanized. Unfortunately, our society puts an emphasis on buying pedigree puppies and while that may be the answer for some families that want a certain look or capability in a dog, most are doing it out of habit. Thousands of wonderful dogs are put to sleep every year because of people who didn’t care to take on the responsibility of all that comes with dog ownership & finally after seeing one too many sad Facebook videos, I opened our home to fostering and promoting pet rescue & will never look back (smiles)
Lee, you have a number of shows coming up in December/January. Anything you’re looking forward to getting back on tour?
L- yeah I’m headed to Brazil, Cartagena and Tulum after Xmas and I’m sure all of them will be magical
What does home mean to you two?
L- I’m very happy in Topanga and it truly has become home but like Chloe says anywhere we are with our pets and together feels like home now.
C- Anywhere with my dogs, Lee, an amazing sunset, good food and some strong wifi! I’m easy!