Psychemagik have built a reputation for themselves as the go-to guys where music is vinyl-y concerned. Their vast collection is the product of year’s of hunting and includes multiple rare recordings. It is only natural that they should craft their edits and remixes with the musical influence of the era’s, mere inches from their fingertips. Their recent version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams‘ topped Hype Machine charts for weeks and is only one of multiple re-works that transcend the simple label, ‘remix’. They released an original EP, ‘Lunar Escape’ in December that embodies a disco sound that has been reinvigorated with their cosmic touch.
Leading to their arrival on the west coast and the launch of their USA tour, The Mixster caught up the psychedelic gods of disco edits to get their thoughts on all things vinyl, their approach to remixes, and their top musical picks going into 2013. Read their words below:
Q: So you’re kicking off a nice little 15 date tour at the beginning of next month, what’s one thing that you’re looking forward to seeing/doing/eating in the States?
Psy: It’s gonna be an awesome way to see America…we’re really looking forward to all the people we’ll meet along the way.
Q: You guys have built up your reputation as ‘crate diggers’, or vinylphiles (if you will). Do you make an effort to track down record stores when you are on tour?
Psy: Yeah…definitely want to hit as many record shops as possible on this trip!
Q: Traveling can only add to the uniqueness of your collection. But with such a huge collection, I imagine that coming across rare gems is a little harder these days. What was the last album that you were completely siked or shocked to find?
Psy: Fortunately finding amazing new records is a daily occurrence, it seems to be a bottomless pit, we’re constantly astounded at how many incredible records were made in the 70s & 80s, those were truly golden era’s.
Q: How do you manage to travel with records? I imagine you’d have to buy an extra plane ticket for some of your more valuable ones.
Psy: One of the reasons we use CDs for Djing is to save space for sacred vinyl in our luggage. On the last Oz tour we had to pay for another check in bag just for vinyl purchases and had to Fed Ex a crate home.
Q: On average, how many pieces of vinyl do you guys travel with?
Psy: Depends what we find. The last tour we came back with over 250 records.
Q: What other properties, earthly or beyond, would you say possess or encompass “Psychemagik”?
Psy: Black Gold.
Q: How do you go about playing for new ‘scenes’? Every city seems to have their niche crowds; do you find that some cities are more responsive to your music than others?
Psy: There are a lot factors involved…we definitely do a bit of homework prior to gigs to look for trends if there are any. Sometimes we will tailor our sound for a night but mostly we have found crowds near and far to be really responsive to our sets.
Q: In the studio (or technically speaking), how do you first approach a remix?
Psy: Usually we start by stripping the track back and picking the elements we like and think we might keep. We really like to put our own stamp on a remix so often we don’t end up using much of the original. It’s an opportunity take an idea on a totally new journey so we like to go deep in terms of production.
We’ll throw a load of ideas and riffs at it to start with and see which feels right. Sometimes it’s about reaching a balance between a few ideas and then it starts to take shape.
Feeling and vibe have so much to do with it and these can be completely altered by the slightest tweak. Often the direction will find itself and we just follow the funk!
Q: Your last EP, ‘Lunar Escape’, is self described as a ‘cosmic’ trip which is not too hard to envision when you listen. What do you think it is about the elements used in your music that make it ‘cosmic’?
Psy: Vintage analogue synthesizers help a bit!
Q: You have a track called, ‘Bass Purr’, that is undeniably heavier than most of your tracks. Where did the inspiration for this come from? Any specific influence come to mind?
Psy: We’re constantly playing and experimenting with different styles…obviously this has a Dubstep influence from the Bass sound. We spent time crafting this sound to try to make it unique. As each note is triggered the bass starts mono then spreads and modulates over time…a good headphones experience!!
Q: Which THREE artists/labels are you excited about right now?
By: Shea Kopp
Over the past year plus, San Francisco’s four-tet Helicopter Showdown have infiltrated the bass music sonic domain with fierce production style and shutting down premiere clubs spanning the globe, with unrelentingly, and equally, filthy big room-ready bravado. Although their fully booked up schedule keeps them tied up between coasts and across the great ponds, Helicopter Showdown recently touched down in our sunny city of San Diego, (their second time this year) and I wasn’t about to miss my opportunity to sit down and talk big tunes this time around. With the aid of their kind manager and all-around stand-out human being, Matt of World Audience, I was able to lock down some face time with one of the charismatic mechanics behind this up-and-up bass sound machine, before their set at Voyeur.
It’s another typical 90 degree + Fall evening in San Diego, as I make my way up to the Andaz Hotel‘s rooftop pool. Upon reaching the top, I pass by a networking mixer of some sort, various groups of men and women in business suits and making forced small talk, as I make my way to the far corner of the deserted VIP cabana area. There I meet up with Devan, one of four members of SF’s Helicopter Showdown, who’s sprawled out across a plush daybed in his boxers. Now, typically, on the way over to all my interviews I mentally debate ‘how far I should go?!’ with my questions throughout the course of the conversation, as to not make the artist uncomfortable. But clearly, I didn’t need to worry about that in this case. I was already out-weirded, and the actual interview hadn’t even began. Genuinely disappointed in myself, I found myself compelled to make up for my careless normalcy/professional NOOBiness:
Challenge SHOWDOWN ACCEPTED.
TheMixster: First things first, what’s up the unicorn sex pictures?
HSD: What do you mean? Were there a lot of them?!
TheMixster: No, but one was enough.
HSD: You know we just gotta lotta love for unicorns. We were just trying to let that show, through our candid moments. To be honest, I think I got the most of the unicorn. I don’t think everyone else approved of it, but you know what? You have to take responsibility for your own actions. So that was all me. Unicorn got some lovin’.
TheMixster: You guys have been consistently putting out clips of constructions you guys have been working on, including a couple of collabs with several artists like Kezwik, Document One, and LaMeduza, are these foreshadowing a particular upcoming release? Such as an ALBUM?!
HSD: Yea definitely! We loosely have a group of songs together that were currently pushing and we’re trying to find the most appropriate home for them at the moment. But we constantly try and keep our Soundcloud updated with all the new material that we’re working on and we just clip it out to leave people with a little taste of what’s going on and to make sure no one is fully pirating our music. We have a new EP in the near future, and we’re really excited about it. This [EP] is definitely the most proudest achievement we’ve done together on the production front and we’re happy to share it publicly, because it has definitely been awhile in the making.
TheMixster: There are quite a few of you guys in the group. When constructing a track, how do all four of you guys work together/fit in the studio? Are you guys all in the studio at once?!
HSD: Being that there are four of us, obviously as you can tell from any individual producer, you don’t need four people to make a tune. But we made that choice a long time ago to work with each other and to really develop something that works, especially in the studio sense. We feel like we are four times as productive as any individual producer. Not only are we all starting individual projects at home by ourselves, but when we meet up for our committed time together that we have, which is at least 3 days a week that we spend solid in the studio producing with each other, we’re coming together and we’re rounding out each others’ projects and we’re filling in the gaps. We’re bouncing the creative ideas off each other. And we directly relate all of what we’ve accomplished to the manpower behind what we have going on, based on the fact that we have a multi-person entity and we have different viewpoints to come from creatively.
TheMixster: So, what other kinds of showdowns are you guys into?
HSD: What other kind of showdowns?!?! Specifically ‘High-Noons’ – anything that is life or death taking place at high noon, involving a lot of drinking. We’re absolutely advocating that. That’s the official one. That’s kind of a funny question… I haven’t been asked that before. We really like the Helicopter Showdowns… We don’t venture into too many barn dances or anything like that? I’m not sure if that’s what you’re referring to…?
TheMixster: No. I mean, any type of showdowns. Like food showdowns or…
HSD: Oh! Yes of course. ‘Here we are in kitchen stadium.’ Yes absolutely. That’s actually kind of what our name is played off of. Just the idea of *The Showdown* – that’s kind of an intense fight or flight situation. And that to us is what our bass events are kind of like. You’re there and you get the energy going. And it’s an intense thing. It’s obviously not a ‘Relax Down.’ It’s not a ‘Decomp.’ It’s a showdown, baby.
TheMixster: So like what kind of helicopter would you bring to the showdown?
HSD: Only the most nastiest of like dog-fighter-style Apache helicopter. With the teeth on the side and the big guns and missiles on the wings. That would be absolutely standard. And then if we were going to Kitchen Stadium, then the helicopter would be full of food. Most specifically bacon and any other pork products. And perhaps some Gortex jackets and, even though we don’t wear them anymore, fitted New Era hats.
TheMixster: A question that we ask all of our bass music artists: We hate the term “Bro-step.” Is there another word or phrase that you would use to describe the music that falls into that realm?
HSD: Um, “Derp-step.” ….Um, “poop-face step.” It’s kind of one of those things that we didn’t really appreciate the term either but at the same time we understand people’s reasoning to try and to justify something that they don’t understand. And it’s obviously not Deep Medi shit, so people do need something to categorize it with. So if “Bro-step” is what people are calling it, that’s what they’re calling it. To me, it’s just a little bit more of a tear-out sound, a little bit more of a mid-range balance. It’s not just focused solely on the low-end. To me, it’s more of a melodically-produced dubstep. Personally that’s how I would describe it and it would be the most accurate description I could give you. [As Helicopter Showdown] we try to be just as melodic as we try to be heavy with our sound design.
TheMixster: –SHOWDOWN SCENARIO– Mel Gibson in a power wheelchair VS. Wesley Snipes in roller blades. Who would win?
HSD: O shit… Wait, are we going off these people in their personal lives or who they are on film?
TheMixster: Like who they are based on Star Magazine?
HSD: oh FUCKING GIBSON ALL DAY. After that shit with his wife! ‘I’ll fucking murder you.’ Snipes doesn’t stand a chance. Especially in rollerblades!? DONE DEAL dude! One off-balance swing and homeboy is taking a fruit boot to the helmet!
TheMixster: What’s in your guys’ arsenal right now that’s been getting a great reaction on the dance floor?
HSD: Definitely all this new Document One EP that is coming out/came out most recently, we’ve got a collab coming out with them as well. We’ve been HUGE supporters of the up-and-coming producers, like Keswick- he’s a little dude, no not a little dude, he’s a younger guy who’s been making some incredibly talented, well-produced music. Also, Protohype: he’s been one of the people we’ve been linking up with… We’re just trying to stay focused and like-minded with people that are trying to go places, who are trying to do things. People who keep pushing the sound. This music grows so exponentially it’s hard to say ‘this person is doing this and they’re going to be this person.’ I think that the field is really being blown open right now. We absolutely have our old skool bass relationships we’ve established, but we’re kind of having more fun hanging out with and picking the brains of these up-and-coming kids. We’re trying to see how they’re looking at things, because in all reality, yea they may be 5-10 years younger than you, but that’s the future. That’s the next thing to be coming up behind you. It’s really cool to see the perspective of those people and also, to see the perspective of the people who have been doing it for a long time, because we’re kind of in the middle of all that.
TheMixster: –TRIPLE SHOWDOWN :: HOT SAUCE THROWDOWN– Cholula VS. Sriracha VS. Tapitio: What’s going on your taco?
HSD: DUDE. That’s so unfair! You can’t just ask ME?! As a group I would have to say, Tapitio. But it depends on the item for me specifically. Taco, definitely Tapitio. But any sort of Asian things or eggs, I’m going Sriracha all day. BUT when it comes down to it, it’s Tapitio all day. Every single member of Helicopter Showdown has a 40 oz bottle of Tapitio in their refrigerator.
TheMixster: When you guys are back home in San Francisco, who are you going out to see on a chill night?
HSD: Any of our friends that are visiting. We’re so busy these days it’s hard for us to get out. But. obviously San Francisco is one of the huge hubs of the West Coast bass scene. So anytime any of our peers come out, we always try to show up and support. Half the time, we’re putting ourselves on people’s radar that don’t even know we’re out there! We really are genuinely fans of the music. It’s not like we have one person who we’re gonna go see every time they come around, but really try to make a point to see as much of our peers in music. Also outside of bass music, we go and see a lot of metal and hip-hop. It’s important to us, that we all come from very diverse musical backgrounds. So it’s important for us to feel like we are all still in touch with all of that. Live music and synthetically DJ’d music are two very different things, as far as we’re concerned.
TheMixster: –SHOWDOWN SCENARIO– Nicky Minaj VS. Andy Milanokis: Booty Clap-off.
HSD: Pshhhh!! Nicky Minaj because I don’t ever want to see any of that shit from Mr. Milanokis. Although I have faith in his ability to ‘drop it like it’s hot.’ I absolutely don’t want anything to do with that.. I don’t even visually want to think about that. Even though Nicky’s all fake T & A, I think I’d prefer that, just based on the alternative.
TheMixster: No I mean objectively, who would win?
HSD: Dude homeboy’s got at least 200 lbs on homegirl, what are calculating?! ‘Flappage?’ or ‘Roundness?’ Or ‘Clappage?!’
TheMixster: Overall Expression of themselves.
HSD: I’m still going with Nicky Minaj on that one.
TheMixster: If your music were a toy of animal what would it be and why? (Unicorn not acceptable.)
HSD: As an animal?!? I gotta channel my spirit animal real quick…
HSD: I’d have to say something like an elephant. Like something that’s very forceful but very thoughtful. Powerful, but every move that is being made has a purpose. The music may seem like it’s all across the map, like there’s some off-the-wall shit, but everything that we implement into our production is very meticulously thought out.
TheMixster: What can we expect to see from Helicopter Showdown in the year 2013?
HSD: Hopefully some really big shit! We’re trying to keep it moving forward we feel incredibly blessed and appreciative to have reached the points that we have but we have no intentions of stopping. We feel like we’re only limited as far as the public knows us. We have so much unreleased material that’s it’s just all about playing catch-up and getting it out to the right ears at the right time. Our main focus for right now is to continue making new music. We have so many open projects as is that there will never be a shortage of new music from Helicopter Showdown.
TheMixster: Anything forthcoming from Ultragore?
HSD: That’s the fam! We don’t officially have the songs picked out or slated, but maybe there will be an Ultragore release soon. We’re also headed out on the Ultragore tour at the moment, which started in September. We’re going coast-to-coast all up into Canada, down into the Dominican Republic, a little bit over into Hawaii. We have the dates jammed on that.
10-27-2012 – Honolulu, HI – Aloha Tower Marketplace
10-31-2012 – Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
10-31-2012 – Newport Beach, CA – Ten Club
11-15-2012 – TBA
11-16-2012 – TBA
11-17-2012 – TBA
11-24-2012 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
12-13-2012 – Patchogue, NY – 89 North
12-20-2012 – Tampa, FL – G Bar
12-27-2012 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
+ MORE DATES TBA
Young. Talented. Humble. Determined… Seems like the stars have aligned for Wolfgang Gartner’s latest undertaking, Popeska. Wolfgang took this 19 year old in, and signed him to his label, Kindergarten Recordings. Just the other day, I was able to catch up with this extremely gifted producer and chat about his musical upbringing, his recent TRAMPS LIKE US experience, his relationship with Wolfgang Gartner, + more. Ralf (aka Popeska) is a prime example of an ordinary guy accomplishing extraordinary things. He let us in on many of the factors that molded him and his production. So whether you are a laptop producer trying to make a name for yourself, a music junkie, or a part of Popeska’s rapidly growing fan-base, there’s some wisdom in here for you.
TheMixster.com: What first attracted you to producing electronic music?
Popeska: As a musician, I started playing piano really early. Having started so early—at the age of 5—I just got burned out, you know? When I got into high school, I just got bored of it and was looking to keep doing new things. One of my friends introduced me to STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9), and they mix electronic music with the same organic stuff that I was really into. Eventually, I was like’ this computer stuff is really cool,’ so that new edge really helped me to keep myself inspired.
TheMixster.com: It’s really cool that you played the piano, because listening to your music it seems like you incorporate organic sounding orchestral instrumentation.
Popeska: Yeah. It’s been key dude. My music would be totally different if it wasn’t for that kind of upbringing.
TheMixster.com: So you’re accomplishing some incredible things at the mere age of 19. And with producers like Porter, Madeon, and Arty, it’s clear that age isn’t really stopping anyone from achieving their goals. What do you most attribute to your success at such a young age?
Popeska: I guess it’s just one of those things where age doesn’t really matter. Music comes out of people. It’s not one of those things that experience really shapes, you know? Experience will help you bring out the ideas you have in your head. That kind of inspiration and that musicality inside of you, that’s ageless. I attribute my success to the fact that I made my music because I really liked it. People who make their music with the idea of success, sometimes lose the soulful element in their music. I really don’t care about what it is that I’m supposed to be making. I make it because I feel it. That’s what it comes down to.
TheMixster.com: Music has gotta come from the heart. I agree with that 100%. You can’t force it. That’s how you get the sound you’re looking for, ya know?
Popeska: Yea, totally.
TheMixster.com: How do you feel your taste in music has influenced your production?
Popeska: I actually don’t listen to a lot of electronic music. I was looking at a Beatport chart the other day and had a hard time picking 10 electronic songs that I actually knew. I normally listen to folk, alternative, and indie stuff. I love Phoenix—they’re one of my favorite bands. Modest Mouse. All that kind of stuff. I’m not sure how much it shapes my music but maybe knowing that and going back to listen to my music, you can hear the influences.
TheMixster.com: Totally. Whether it’s electronic or not, if it’s music it’ll inspire you in some way.
TheMixster.com: That tune is actually really sick. How did you and Wolfgang Gartner originally get involved with each other?
Popeska: It kinda started at the end of my first semester in college. Adrian Martinez—who was Wolfgang’s manager—hit me up a while ago and was interested in managing me. It was a long complicated process. But basically, he started managing me. And Wolfgang has had this label for a while and was looking for something to get the fire started. So being under the same managing family, he looked at some of my stuff and was interested in releasing some of it. I’m really flattered that he picked me.
TheMixster.com: The dude’s brilliant. Were you star-struck when you first met him?
Popeska: When I flew into LA, my manager took me to his house the very first day. I met him and he was excited to meet me. He was so down to earth. It was hard to be star-struck by this guy who was so down to earth. You know? So at the same time, this guy is an absolute genius. I’ve always looked up to him. I remember when 5th Symphony came out, and Illmerica. Meeting the guy was obviously crazy, but like I said he was just a really cool dude. Awesome guy.
TheMixster.com: You’ve been in San Diego quite a bit lately. How was your Tramps Like Us experience a couple weeks ago?
Popeska: Tramps Like Us. Man, that was crazy. I met a lot of awesome people. Even being the opener of the show, which is normally like ‘ah whatever,’ the crowd was INSANE. Such a fun show man. The people, the venue, everything.
TheMixster.com: Hell yea! As far as I’m concerned, there are no openers for Tramps Like Us. All you guys on that bill are bangin’, crowd slayin’ artists. Absolute madness.
Popeska: That’s what I’m sayin’ man. It was great. Really awesome experience. The lightshow was so awesome. Like, I didn’t even know I had a lightshow because I was facing the crowd and whatever. So I was just playing and stuff. But I see the pictures afterwards, and I’m like “WAIT WHAT?? I had that behind me?!”
TheMixster.com: That’s awesome.
Popeska: That was a good surprise. *chuckle*
TheMixster.com: So you’ve got your release Karmameter coming out on Wolfgang’s label, Kindergarten Recordings, September 17th. How long have you been working on that release?
Popeska: Um, I started it while studying abroad in Barcelona this summer. I started as soon as I landed in Spain. I probably finished the whole thing in about a month. I really went H.A.M on these songs. I really made sure they were in tip-top shape. Me and Wolfgang spent a lot of time really making it awesome. Like perfecting it. We definitely went back and changed a lot, to make sure it was really good. It took the whole summer to get it to where it’s at. I’m really really proud of it.
TheMixster.com: All the previews are banging. I’m looking forward to it’s release in a couple days. Last thing, do you have a favorite song on the EP?
Popeska: I like each individual one for its own reason. It’s all dance music, but like I said, I really like them for their separate elements.
TheMixster.com: Alright, I respect that. Is there anything else you wanna say before I let you go?
Popeska: Dude, I mean thanks for taking the time to do this. It was really cool.
TheMixster.com: Yeah, of course man. Good luck at your show tonight at Voyeur (w/ Helicopter Showdown). That place is fuckin’ poppin’ all the time. So have a good time, get healthy and good luck with everything moving forward. You’re killin’ it.
Popeska: Really appreciate it man.
Be sure to support Popeska, and check out his bangin’ 4 track EP, Karmameter, available NOW on Beatport!
By: Saro Chalian
In preparation for what we’ve decided is bar none the most exciting thing going on on the West Coast for NYE 2011/2012, SNOW GLOBE FESTIVAL (Lake Tahoe) we were anxious to speak with one artist that we cannot WAIT to see at the event: Venice Beach, CA-based glitch-hop/future-beats producerKraddy.
Kraddy has had a tremendous year: throwing down maverick performances at Lightning in a Bottle, inadvertently shutting down his own release party, and continuously redefining electronic dance music with the integration of live instrumental aspects in cahoots with particularly legendary heroes in his performances. The follow-up to his highly revered future-music EP, Labyrinth, Kraddy’s latest Anthems of the Hero album release has no doubt demonstrated the next frontier in forward-focused and visionary electronic music production.
As one of the founding members of universally-recognized giants The Glitch Mob, Kraddy parted ways with the crew after they all collectively agreed, Kraddy was definitely, at heart, a solo artist; who needed to pursue the unconventional-seeking wavelength of his own mindful direction of sound. And the outcome of this decision, could not have more tremendous, and incontestably positive as a whole for the underground’s mobilization to the public sphere.
Following his gut and a self-compelled duty to shatter existing genre-confines, his 2008 release of “Android Porn” was not only the result of pent up bravado but evidently, the unheralded ammunition that initiated the rise of a pulsing movement; one that was characterized by a hybridized and (at the time) indecisive family of distinctive sounds. Android Porn became the archetypal anthem of the rapidly attention-reaping and decidedly-monumental “glitch-hop” movement, quickly becoming the soundtrack for various Youtube sensations and almost as immediately, was licensed for several TV shows such as “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “America’s Got Talent.”
While Android Porn seemingly flung open the door of possibilities and presented a space for sonic clarity, Kraddy’s follow-up, his Labyrinth EP was an exploration of new musical foreground, incorporating an overflow of “grandiose symphonics, soulful emotion, pounding rhythm and crunching low end.”
Now with the latest release of his third album, “Anthems of the Hero”, Kraddy is yet again hell bent on keeping both his fans and the world of curious on-lookers guessing – left, right, and one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, where he will be going next. In a kaleidoscope wide-array of ideas, Kraddy in essence vigorously shakes the tube and twists the viewfinder until he comes across a hybridization of colors and sparkles that he finds pleasing; and presents an accurate summation of his discoveries in audible forms – ones that he knows will cause crowds to absolutely LOSE THEIR SHIT.
Kraddy was kind enough to take some time and talk to me about all the cool things he’s come across this past year and all the awesome things he has planned for both his upcoming performances in Lake Tahoe at Snow Globe Festival and for the EDM world in 2012. The following conversation will give you glimpse at the eccentric inter-workings of Kraddy’s perpetually-stoked approach to creating future-minded music and his ever-inventive, NEVER to be predicted train of thought…
TheMixster: How did the name Kraddy o Daddy come about?
Kraddy: Well my last name is Kratz, so I had a high school friend that started calling me “Kraddy”.. And then you know how nicknames just start catching on, and then grow into other nicknames, so it was Kraddy, Kraddy o Daddy, Fatty Kraddy, pretty much every variation on it possible. SO when I decided to use it as my website name, it was essentially carved in stone.
TheMixster: At your Lightning in a Bottle and your Avalon shows you integrated the use of live percussion – do you plan on building or adding more instrumental elements to your live performances?
Kraddy: Yea I mean I definitely love having the drummer there for the live shows, I’d actually love to play more [personally]! I was thinking about incorporating a keyboard into the show because I can play piano so I could play a little bit… I think those elements are fun, they keep things interesting.
TheMixster: What was it like sharing the stage with legendary drummer Dave Lombardo of Slayer? That’s kinda BIG time…!
Kraddy: It was fucking awesome. It was mind-blowing, I’m still recovering from the fact that I somehow got to meet Henry Rollins and Dave Narvarro and all these great musicians… And Dave Lombardo is just the nicest guy ever. We had a lot of fun rehearsing it and he’s just a total pro. Just today I was scrolling through the contacts on my phone and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I have Dave Lombardo’s number on my phone.! That is totally cool.”
TheMixster: So if you could do it all over again, if you could choose another live musician you’d like to have on stage with you as well at that Avalon show, who would you choose?
Kraddy: Shit! Let’s mix it up, bring in Ludacris! THAT would be awesome. Why not just like instead of just try to make it like one thing or another, just totally mix it up and do something brand new!?
TheMixster: When composing your tracks in the studio do you keep in mind the huge venues/outdoor festivals you’ll be playing in? How does that affect the way you produce or compose the track?
Kraddy: I’m always thinking about the dance floor and I’m always thinking about the sound system, as far as what’s going to translate over a sound system. Also, what, as far as production goes, like the beat lines and how the bass sounds. And of course about how the crowds react and what really works for crowds. Whenever I’m DJing I’m always paying attention to what works. Even when I’m watching other people perform, I will see what works for them and learn from that as well.
TheMixster: Since you’ve been involved in the game for a while and you’ve been recognized as a pioneer of sound within the EDM realm, who do you think is currently creating the best change or making the greatest impact on bass music?
Kraddy: I hope I still am?! And then other people I admire and I really like what they’re doing – I was touring with Big Gigantic for a while, I feel like they’re really talented. Mim0sa is always really talented, as he’s still bringing in some new sounds. Other people I am digging on…. I LOVE Gaslamp Killer as a DJ. He brings everything from like classic rock to dubstep, and then throws it all together: Just putting together everything that he loves. He DJs the way I have always thought about DJing before I made music. Other people I think are doing game-changing stuff… To be honest the new Drake album, I think is really visionary and it’s pretty amazing. I love the sound of it. Jamie XX is doing some really interesting production stuff that I dig.
TheMixster: If you could choose any three artists to remix your own tracks, who would you choose and why?
Kraddy: Whoa we were just talking about this today! Cause I was talking about Rob Zombie! I love Rob Zombie and I’d love to like work with him one way or another. I just love everything he does. Trent Reznor I would love to like somehow love to be involved with him again, he’s like really visionary and he’s made a lot a of music that’s totally inspired me. Oh, and UNDERWORLD. I love Underworld. I would love them to remix my music, and I’m sure they would kill it.
TheMixster: Looking forward into 2012, what can we expect from you in the way of releases, special projects, collaborations, etc?
Kraddy: I just released Anthems of the Hero, so I have remixes for that. We are going to be releasing one of those a week, starting in the new year. We have some good ones lined up. We’re gonna be introducing some up-and-coming producers whose work I really enjoy, who I asked to do remixes for me. A while ago I did this ‘Labyrinth Project’ with Heavyweight Dub Champion where he remixes my Labyrinth EP in like classic dub style. And I’m just sitting on it, we haven’t found a good place to release it. That has been something I have always wanted to put out. It’s pretty left field, it’s pretty interesting, I really like it.
And then you know, I’m just always writing new songs and I’ve even been working on some stuff that’s “non-Kraddy”; I’ve been working on some other projects that sound like… I don’t even know what to call the style but this slow disco stuff, like ‘chillwave’ type of sound. I’m definitely writing some songs that belong in that world… I’ve also been writing some tracks that are kinda wonky hip hop, off-beat, off-kilter kinda hip-hop sound, and beats… I’ve been getting into all of that. Sooo we’ll see what comes to fruition. We’re also going to be bringing in some productions of live shows, and really revamp all that and do something new.
**Alright so since it’s the last weekish of 2011, and since Kraddy is playing a NYE show, we’re sort of obligated to do a sentimental best of 2011 Q & A I suppose… So I’ve prepared a list of questions for Kraddy, for him to answer with one or more word answers…**
TheMixster: What was your favorite show/performance this year?
Kraddy: Lightning in a Bottle. We were just talking about this today as well! We had flame effects there like pyrotechnics. And the audience LOVED it – but I’m not sure if they knew that I was JUST as absolutely excited as they were to have it! It was so cool.
TheMixster: Favorite track by a different artist?
Kraddy: Hmmm… THAT is a really tough one, there are soo many good ones… Hold on I’m going to look at my iPod and look up by “date added” that’s how I know what I’ve listened to…. Man there are too many good ones…
TheMixster: Alright how about just the last track you’ve listened to?
Kraddy: Drake – Hell Yea Fucking Right
Drake – HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) [feat. Lil Wayne]
TheMixster: Least favorite track by a different artist?
Kraddy: Well I hate to put people down because even if it’s not my taste it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad… The thing is, when I hear terrible tracks I don’t remember the artist, in fact I feel like I try and forget! I was on Beatport the other day previewing some stuff that I thought, “Wow. This is SO fucking bad!” And THIS was a track that was in the Top 10 somehow.. I was just browsing to see what was popular, just out of curiosity. It was a DJ I had never heard of.. And yea, I can get into ANYTHING, but this was just so cheeseball and the vocals…. Ugh, it’s always the vocals that kill it for me.
TheMixster: Coolest thing you bought?
Kraddy: Well I bought a computer this year, that’s pretty cool?!
TheMixster: Coolest iPad app? (music or not)
Kraddy: I am suuuper into my iPad! I play a lot of games on my iPad so I play like “Infinity Blade” which I love. There’s some music apps… But Infinity Blade is so cool, I’m on it ALL the time.
TheMixster: Coolest tumblr you stumbled upon?
Kraddy: The “Girls Who Look Like Skrillex” one is pretty funny. Although I thought it was so stupid and funny… I think it’s amazing that Sonny has become this phenomenon. He started out just like this quirky weird punk rock kid and now he’s like this megastar. I think it’s kinda amazing that there’s a website dedicated to girls who look like Sonny, Skrillex. It’s hilarious.
TheMixster: Best restaurant or thing you’ve eaten in LA?
Kraddy: LA is good! I personally love Hama Sushi, it’s right by my house, I go there all the time. And they always show surf videos so they ‘get me’ there too.
TheMixster: Favorite Surf Movie of all time?
Kraddy: SURF MOVIE?! ummm Point Break. [laughs] Surf videos?! I have a ton of them, but I just watch them, I never remember the names of them. But Point Break is a really cool surf movie. [hahahahahahahahaha]
TheMixster: Favorite Surf spot in LA?
Kraddy: I go down to this place called El Porto a lot. I love Malibu, Malibu is beautiful but it’s always crowded. When we sail a boat to spots people can’t walk to it’s truly the ‘California Dream.’
TheMixster: Something you wish you didn’t do when you were drunk?
Kraddy: O my God… I mean this is a long list too… Ummmmmmm…. None of these I want people to know about…
TheMixster: OK. How about the *COOLEST* thing you did while you were drunk?
Kraddy: [laughs] It’s funny because I think my idea of cool and bad are kinda similar… It’s hard because my job is seen as “cool”… O! Something cool and dumb, I was at an afterparty and I was like “I wanna play!!” and it was like, five in the morning. I had already played, but I wanted to do it again, so everyone was like “yeah yeah yeah go for it!” So I got up there and I started playing all these classic Hip Hop jams that I really love, and everyone just kinda stopped, and the whole place was like, “This is lame..” Like 20 minutes later, I had cleared the floor completely and I finally realized “NOBODY IS FUCKING INTO THIS AT ALL.”… This was in Reno… So that was really cool, and really dumb.
TheMixster: LOL! If your music were a type of animal what would it be and why?
Kraddy: A liger. Because it’s a mix of a couple different… things. And it’s magical.
You can Download the entire “Anthems of the Hero” album on his website, in exchange for yo’ email.
But if you’re gonna download anything, DEFINITELY download this track –>
You can catch KRADDY and his famed sets in Lake Tahoe at Snow Globe Festival (tickets) on Thursday, December 29th between 3:45pm-4:45pm AND also later in the night at the Official After Party along with Dillon Francis & The M Machine at the Horizon Casino Resort hosted by our friends BLAP Productions. (Buy tickets here.)
LA native, Jason Stewart, better known to the greater EDM/hipster-sphere as Them Jeans, has been an integral part of Dim Mak‘s inner circle of trust almost since the label’s very inception. As the main promoter and resident DJ of LA’s infamous DIM MAK TUESDAYS – responsible for curating and hosting some of the biggest indie/electro school night curfew-crushing RAGERS for over 7 years running, Them Jeans is considered to be one of the key proponents and foremost tastemakers in the sonic diversification of LA’s burgeoning underground/hip-centric club scene. His personal arsenal of his own productions contains an eclectic yet consistently floor-flooding collection of remixes and tracks that range from tropical big room to classic indie electro reflips and even to, a more recent, head first dive into techno. His diversified and genre-boundless approach to his sound is reflected in his unparalleled ability to forecast next-level sounds; the personal contribution of which has had irrefutable significance in shaping the Dim Mak empire into the globally-renowned super EDM power that it is today.
Despite the impending chaos of the county-wide BLACK-OUT that had struck the almighty City of Los Angeles just hours prior, Them Jeans was kind enough to sit down inside his LA pad (assumably in the dark) and have a lighthearted conversation with us. With no lack of dry humor and inferred idolization for Diplo involved, we chatted about his new DJ talk show podcast, TALL TALES, the somewhat surprising direction of sound of his more recent & forthcoming releases, his gourmand-approved Twitter, and about being really, really tall.
TheMixster.com: It’s been a minute since we’ve last seen you in San Diego. So perhaps for the peeps who are new to the nightlife scene and maybe haven’t heard you spin before let’s start from the beginning – How did you first get involved with Dim Mak?
Them Jeans: Well I started the Tuesday Night parties then after 6 months or so, I brought in Aoki and we’ve been doing it ever since.
TheMixster.com: How would you describe your role with Dim Mak now?
Them Jeans: I just do parties with them, that’s all! Steve and I have done 100s of parties over the years together and we help each other. He uses his power of being “Steve Aoki” and I use my skills of figuring out what’s cool, who to book, what kind of music they should be playing, and generally making sure that the overall vibe of every party is not lame.
TheMixster.com: Let’s talk about your Tall Tales’ podcast. You just started doing your new talkshow podcast this past August. And you’ve already had some pretty impressive guest hosts on the show– including Justin Martin, Drop the Lime, AC Slater, Felix Cartal among several other high-profile names. What has been the best or the most memorable Tall Tales Podcast for you thus far?
Them Jeans: My favorite podcast thus far is the Drop The Lime one because we got drunk and there was a bunch of people.. Usually it’s just me and like one or two more people and it’s a bit more intimate. But that one was him and his whole band, and all my friends were there. It was more like a big party. Definitely one of the most fun ones for me. (Link to Podcast)
TheMixster.com: There’s a lot of shit on the internet these days. So what makes Tall Tales special? Why would someone tune into your podcast?
Them Jeans: As far as I know I have the only DJ podcast that has no music. It’s 100% talk show only. There’s a lot of DJ podcasts out there, and there’s a lot of talk show podcasts out there. And usually DJs have bad interviews and they’ve been asked the same questions over and over again. Present company excluded of course! (note: thanks for that.) A lot of times you know, and I’m sure you’ve read a lot of DJ interviews with like the same 10 questions over and over again. One my show I ask questions so that discussions gets a little deeper and talk about random stuff [listeners] might not know about.
TheMixster.com: Are there any artists/guests you have lined up already for some future shows?
Them Jeans: We have The Juan Maclean coming in this week, hopefully soon we’ll have Congorock… Kinda really just whoever’s in town, which changes every week. It’s really just when we have DJ friends in town.
TheMixster.com: Is there someone that you get or still get a little starstruck by in particular?
Them Jeans: Yea, I’d say probably… I really liked hanging out with Mr. Oizo and playing with him. I don’t idolize him but I really admire him for everything he does and I’m a big fan of his. Even though he’s not a giant star, he still made me a little nervous. A little giddy.
TheMixster.com: For the most part, you’re known for your endless collection dance floor-ready remixes. Is there one element you look for in particular when deciding which tracks are worthy of a ‘Them Jeans’ reflipping?’
Them Jeans: Well one thing is.. I like to take songs that don’t have drums on them. So that way it’s like working with a blank canvas, one that I can create a new song out of. I just did a remix for Childish Gambino, and [the original version] is a heavy song. The beat is kind of a heavier electro kind of song, and then I made it like kind of girly, mellow, into a nice piano song. I just like showing different sides of tracks that most may have never thought of or noticed before…
TheMixster.com: As the master remixer extraordinare, I’m curious: if you could choose ANY three artists to remix YOUR own original tracks, who would you choose?
Them Jeans: Whoa that’s a good one! Mr. Oizo would be one of them. Erol Alkan… Annnddddd, this is a tough one… Wait for it, it’s gonna come to me… Oh yea, and Diplo.
Them Jeans: Duhhhhhh!
TheMixster.com: What do you have planned for us in 2012? Saw you just put up a track called “Voodoo” about a month ago… Can we hope/expect to see more original Them Jeans tracks or possibly a full release?
Them Jeans: Actually “Voodoo” has not been released yet. We’re waiting on the whole package of remixes, so hopefully it will come out next month, maybe the beginning of next year… I have a remix coming out soon, and I am also working on some techno originals right now but not really sure what’s gonna happen to them yet.. I’ve been into the techno music lately, making original stuff…
TheMixster.com: What! Last time I saw you you were drunk at a small indie club playing hard electro jams. That’s a big change!
Them Jeans: HAHA! yea as you can see I have a problem jumping all over the place…
TheMixster.com:How’s that considered a problem?! You can only tell because you’re like 8 ft. tall.
Them Jeans: (laughs) yea I that’s why I don’t get away with it.
TheMixster.com: Have you ever met a DJ that’s taller than you?
Them Jeans: ummm actually no…. I’ve never met a DJ that’s taller than me. I met one in Australia who was the SAME height as me. But not taller. Haha. I’m the tallest DJ! Woo!
TheMixster.com: What’s one track you have in arsenal that’s been getting a great reaction from the dance floor these days?
Them Jeans: Um…. Well um other than Rhianna and Calvin Harris?! (laughs) One I like to play is the Erol Alkan‘s remix of Metronomy. I’ve always tried and to find a way to fit that into my sets, over the last two months. Cuz I like to hear it. For people who haven’t heard the song before it’s really mellow, and everyone kinda just stands around wondering what’s gonna happen, but when the song kicks in people really like it because it’s like a fun surprise.
TheMixster.com What song have you played before that you thought was going to get a better reaction but didn’t?
Them Jeans: Whoaaaa…! Ummm the new Surkin – “Ultra Light.” It did NOT go over as well as it did in my head.
TheMixster.com: At Dim Mak you guys get first access to some of the best, and well everything else the underground music world has to offer. Who are a couple of emerging artists you’ve found within the last year that you think we should be paying more attention to?
Them Jeans: I like Sam Tiba. There’s this guy SFV Acid from here in LA that’s really unknown but he’s really good.
TheMixster.com: Looking forward into 2012, what genre or direction of sound do you think is going to be the “next big thing” in LA?
Them Jeans: Hmmmm next big thing in LA… Usually I can kind of predict but right now I don’t think I really can! I mean I thought people would get sick of dubstep by now but that’s not happening. Moombahton keeps getting bigger and bigger as well! I think people here are starting to get a little sick of the Dutch House, but I think techno is definitely making a little big of a comeback right now.
TheMixster.com: Outside of the Dim Mak compound what are some of your favorite local hangs?
TheMixster.com: It sounds really authentic.
Them Jeans. Oh, it’s VERY authentic. It’s a truck.
TheMixster.com: Last question – what’s the coolest thing about being “Them Jeans”?
Them Jeans: The coolest thing about being me?! Ummm whoa. I’d say probably my Twitter photos of food. Yea those pics on Twitter, are the coolest thing I’ve ever done. As you can see, I have a very important life.
Catch Dim Mak’s finest, and indisputably, TALLEST, next-level party-provocateur behind the decks at The Loft @ UCSD tonight, along with fellow LA-natives Poolside! Show is 18+/21+ to booze and starts at 8:30pm.
I was just about halfway out the door to a quaint Small Business Law Seminar last Thursday afternoon when I received an email asking if I wanted to interview the world’s most renowned tongue-in-cheek Twitter censorship board nightmare and most unabashedly promiscuous bass juggernaut, BORGORE.
After I replied with a resounding “FUCK YES.” and less than an hour to prepare, I realized just the task I had at hand..
Tel Aviv-born Asaf Borger, aka BORGORE, isn’t well-known for being just another dubstep producer. His brand of sound – self-proclaimed GORESTEP – is the result of not only his own personal celebration of controversy, instigated from shamelessly corrupt and uproariously cheeky lyrics but also, his profound musical aptitude. His masterful dexterity for a multitude of instruments such as the concert piano and saxophone extends to his passion for deathmetal-style drumming and beat-boxing. Definitely not your average musician. Or average human being for that matter.
Since 2007, Borgore has traveled the world, sharing his charismatically offensive daily thoughts with his massive following of loyal revelers he’s rapidly amassed across his social platforms in just a short amount of time. Present day, BORGORE owns and runs his own label, BUYGORE, which features several high-profile international artists including Tomba, Bare Noise, and Bare. Not to mention he has collaborated with top-tier artist, DIPLO, on multiple occasions. His video for his single “Nymphos” alone has garnered over 20 million views worldwide and his tracks are being featured on TV programes like the UK’s hit series “Skins.”
Looking forward into 2012, BORGORE’s forthcoming EP “The Filthiest Hits… So Far” is set to drop in early Spring; and BORGORE who is certainly no stranger to celebration has already begun reveling and gearing up for a cross-country aural assault in the form of a solo- US tour, that is set to land in San Diego at the House of Blues on November 30th, 2011. (Tickets)
It’s hard to imagine what questions this guy has NOT been confronted with: in one interview he was even asked how he makes the flavor of his cum more favorable to the ladies (for you curious souls, his answer was Pineapple Juice.) Thus it’s fair to say there’s nothing this guy hasn’t been asked. SO I attempted to ask him questions I knew he hadn’t been asked before, according to those interviews listed on the first 2 pages of a basic Google search, “BORGORE Interview” (minus a couple shitty 10+ min videos I didn’t really feel like watching.) So, this is what I came up in my 46 minutes of preparation. Enjoy.
The Mixster: You’re typically used to performing and touring around Europe and you’re back know in the states for your solo tour. Do you notice any striking differences between European and American Crowds? And their reaction to dubstep in general?
Borgore: I’ll tell you what. Europe as a whole, the scenes are super different from one country to the other. So. Uhhh. What I’ve seen around Europe, is most of Europe is into the dubstep sound. They love it. Almost more than America. If you have a festival in lets say Belgium or in Holland you’ll get thousands of people. But I feel like dubstep is struggling in its own country. Dubstep right now in the UK is struggling because everyday there is a big show. So it’s just like day after day they can’t be fucked anymore you know what I’m saying? If I want to go see Borgore on this spot, I’ll go see Borgore on the other spot….. And then Skream & Benga is playing the day after, and then someone else is playing the day after that. And everything is one hour away by train. So in the UK it really pretty bad.
The Mixster: In terms of how Americans react to dubstep. Are they more wild are they more crazy or are Europeans on the same wavelength?
Borgore: I believe that there is no difference right now in the world because of the internet. People in Eastern Europe know what the freshest thing in America, and vice versa, the day after it comes out. Everyone is on top of their game, like the kids today in Europe, Australia, everywhere, are on top of their game because ofthe internet?, because of facebook. You’re seeing the same thing everywhere you go. The same songs, certain styles.
The Mixster: You obviously believe strongly in the emerging artists in Tel Aviv’s bass music scene. If there were one thing you think the world should know about the scene, what would it be?
Borgore: First of all. In 2006 we had big big headliners that pulled thousands of people. So Tel Aviv was on top of its game earlier than anyone else.A lot of people think we’re riding camels and we don’t know whats up. It’s just like another state of the US. It’s like LA, we’re on top of it.
The Mixster: Unlike, well every other label, your label Buygore, releases every single onto vinyl. Why do you believe so strongly in supporting the vinyl medium?
Borgore: Because any other media right now is dead. Basically no one is making videos anymore. MTV doesn’t believe in their own media anymore. Everyone knows what goes on the internet. What works. You don’t sell records anymore you sell files. So if you get 20 million views on a video on youtube, you have people coming to the show. I went to a record store in Tel Aviv and I was like I want to have the new such and such record. And they were like “well we don’t have it.” So I tried to get it from the internet and they wouldn’t ship to Tel Aviv. If I live in Tel Aviv or Jakarta I should have which ever media I want. In China or Iran you get whatever you want, I’m saying whatever I should get what I want too.
The Mixster: Why did you chose to release your latest EP, The Filthiest Hits… So Far, on Sumerian Records as opposed to your own label?
Borgore: Why did I choose to do that…? I don’t know, I think coming from a metal world and still loving my background I thought it would be cool ya know? I’m touring right now with a bunch of metal bands. And I play with all those guys. I love it, man. This is where I’m coming from, I’m coming from the acoustic world.
The Mixster: Aspiring artists seem to be SO fascinated by everything you guys do technically as producers. Given your unique background of experience amongst a variety of instruments, I would assume you however approach elements of studio production much differently than your peers would. So how do you begin personally building a track from scratch?
Borgore: Well first of all you need to come up with an idea. It’s always “what am I going to first?” If I’m going to sing on the track then I’m going to first think about what I’m going sing about, or make the intro. If I want a sexy tune, I’ll start with a sexy lead and kind of a heavy 808 drum. If I need to do a remix for a rock band or I need to make a dubstep banger I’ll sit down and find a heavy bass note. So first of all you need to understand what you want to do, then you move forward from there. But you cannot just sit there and play around, from my perspective you have to realize what you’re going to do.
The Mixster: So a question that we ask all of our bass music artists is, we hate the term brostep, is there another word or term you would use to describe that type of music or sound?
Borgore: Do you know where “brostep” came from?
The Mixster: Haha please tell us where “brostep” came from.
Borgore: Basically what happened is that drum & bass in the beginning was cool and then they started doing all this “bro” drum & bass. They’d only pulled bros to shows. So when dubstep got a bit heavier like when people like Datsik, Flux Pavilion, and myself popped up, they started saying “oh you guys are ruining dubstep it’s gonna be brostep there’s gonna be only boys in the show.” And basically we brought the hoes so they can fuck off.
The Mixster: So you’re OK with the term brostep?
Borgore: I don’t care; they can call it whatever they want. Ya know what people these days, I swear to God. My friend calling me, “yo listen to this dubstep version of this tune.” I’m like “man this is not dubstep this is proper electro or house or whatever.” But you know you can whatever EDM now dubstep. So you know titles are… I don’t know; fuck titles. If they wanna call it brostep I don’t mind.
The Mixster: What’s in your arsenal right now that you’ve been getting a great reaction to on the dance floor.
Borgore: I’ll tell you what. There’s so many tracks that get a great reaction that I just cannot listen to them anymore cuz I listen to them every night. But I’ll tell you what makes me jump the most in my shows. There’s a remix of Modestep‘s “To the Stars”. The only problem is I don’t remember who did the remix. But it’s my favorite. But there’s so many great tunes right now. There’s the Knife Party remix of “Crush on You” and the Killsonik’s remix of “Crush on You.” I don’t know there’s a couple great tunes that just came out. I’m pretty happy with my own remix of Hollywood Undead’s “I Wanna Die.”
Modestep – To The Stars (Break the Noize & The Autobots Remix)
The Mixster: If GORESTEP, your own brand of dubstep, were an animal, what would it be and why?
Borgore: A French Bulldog. Because they’re cute.
The Mixster: I’m not sure if the word “cute” is the first word that comes to mind when I see a video like “Nympho.”
Borgore: What are you talking about!? “Nympho” is SO cute!
The Mixster: Alright it’s so cute.
Borgore: Oh my God. I’m working on a new tune that’s gonna be fucking ….. if you thought you heard bad lyrics before, I’m gonna really fuck with feminists on this one.
The Mixster: SO… the lyrics are gonna be extra cute?
Borgore: Yeah they’re gonna be extra EXTRA cute.
The Mixster: If you were to redo your “Nympho” video over again and you could choose any one woman to be in the video, who would it be and why?
Borgore: Man I would just bring the whole Victoria Secret roster cuz they’re SO fucking hot.
The Mixster: Hell yeah. Well hopefully they’ll be on Google and they’ll find this. Plant the seed…
Borgore: Well give me a year. One year from now I’ll do a video with those chicks. I’m not even kidding. I’m shooting a video right now with Richard Farmer.
The Mixster: For what single are you shooting your new video for?
Borgore: A tune called “Flex.” It should be out soon.
The Mixster: In your opinion, who are some artists we should be paying more attention to these days?
Borgore: ummmm I dunno. There’s plenty of them. I don’t want to name one cause then I wouldn’t give the rest the credit that they deserve. Just be open you know. If you listen to me or Skrillex or Flux Pavilion. They’re big and they’re being pushed right now. Just keep exploring further as a whole. Don’t just stop at UKF just keep surfing.
The Mixster: So you’ve been working with a lot of artists these days, but if you could choose any 3 artists to remix your own tracks, who would they be?
Borgore: Let me give you a different answer. If I could work with 3 producers to produce my own tunes it would be Lex Luger [Or maybe Lex Luther?], Mark Ronson and Bangladesh.
The Mixster: we’re looking forward to seeing you here in San Diego. Is there anyone tune that your definitely going to play when you get here to San Diego?
Borgore: All of them. There’s too many to name
The Mixster: Thanks for taking the time today to talk with us Asaf, see you in SD soon!
SAN DIEGO GORE HEADS!!! BE SURE to nab your tickets for BORGORE’s upcoming SD show, going down this WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 30th at the House of Blues!! Ticket quantities are running pretty low so don’t get stuck buying your tickets off some shady dude on Craigslist, buy your tickets ASAP!! Buy tickets Here. Show is 18+/21+ to get wasted. LET’S DO THIS.
After witnessing Minnesota’s tremendously fun bass earthquake of a set at Abstract Festival this past September there was no way I was going to turn down an opportunity to sit face-to-face with one of the freshest American bass music producers to date and the only dubstep DJ I’ve ever seen smile from the beginning to the end of his set. Stone cold bros no more!
Thus being the very professional Mixstress that I am, I came prepared to do our interview on Halloween night: donned in a VERY homemade MAJOR LAZER costume (with makeshift foam lazer gun no doubt) and brought with me my homie along for the adventure, ULTRAKNOCK who naturally decided to dress in the most unapproachable, shifty-looking reaper frock and extra lurky cheap gold sunglasses. After a long spiral of crowded hallways and mazes, we met up with very-normally dressed Minnesota in his hotel room at The Keating Hotel in San Diego before his headlining set at the Halloweird party (presented by Night Access) happening just below us.
Against all odds Minnesota was able to take me seriously enough, right after I swapped out the lazer gun for my microphone of course, to chat with us about his feelings about the current state of bass music, some of his favorite artists around the EDM realm, and why ostriches, are the future.
TheMixster.com: This is the second time you’ve been back to SD in last 2 months. How do you like San Diego’s bass music scene?
Minnesota: I’m not super familiar with it. Actually I have a twin sister that lives down here, so she’s at the show tonight. I’m pretty new to the scene down here, but I’m always glad to be down here because I can see her and party with her ‘cause she’s just getting really into this kind of music. I remember like two years ago I was going to raves and stuff and she was like, “what the fuck is this music?” and then six months ago she got super into it and at this point she’s even more into it than I am. She goes to like every fucking show there is, so straight up, she’s on it.
TheMixster.com: Outside of San Diego, what’s the most exciting show you’ve played this year?
Minnesota: I’ve played a lot in the last two weeks, I’ve been on a tour with a group called Big Gigantic, they’re really dope. Kind of a electronic/jam band, they have a drummer and a saxophonist. I just played with them in South Carolina, it was a sold out show for like 1200 kids, in Charleston. That was definitely one of my best shows, at least in the last month. It’s hard to remember my other ones. Charleston fuckin’ threw down, it was fun. It was dope.
TheMixster.com: What do you have coming up on the horizon, you’ve had a pretty exciting year, and I’m sure you have a couple new EP’s coming out?
Minnesota: I have some stuff I’m not supposed to talk about, but I’m basically just touring the next two or three weeks, and after that I’m taking December and January completely off, doing a few random shows, and then hopefully… that’s the shit I can’t really talk about.
TheMixster.com: Okay well in that case, what sound are you trying to achieve in your secret upcoming stuff?
Minnesota: I’m really just trying to push melodic heavy dubstep. That’s basically my goal for the next few months is just to bust out some really melodic bangers, and we’ll see if I can get those out.
TheMixster.com: What’s the difference between what you’re going to do and brostep?
Minnesota: I do appreciate the heaviness of brostep, and like going to the club and just fucking slamming it, but I really want to infuse a lot more melody into it than there already is. My goal is to make really melodic, “stadium”, stadium just means like really BIG dubstep tracks. That’s my goal. I don’t really know how to describe it.
TheMixster.com: So what’s another word you’d use to describe brostep? I hate that term so much.
Minnesota: I don’t know if there’s another term, I mean I don’t like the term either, because I do play like a few “brostep” tracks in a lot of my sets, and I do make a few tracks that could be classified as that, but at this point that’s what it’s called. At first I was kinda pissed, I’m like, “this name fucking sucks”, but if that’s what people are going to call it… I don’t know what else you’d call it haha.
TheMixster.com: I thought as an insider you might have heard some funny ones…
Minnesota: Like what?
TheMixster.com: I’ve heard beardstep from J. Rabbit, that’s probably my favorite one.
Minnesota: Hahaha, that’s better! Brostep I feel like just has a negative connotation, but like really if you’re gonna go out, I mean I hate sets that are just like 100% brostep, but it’s fine to slam a few fuckin’ bangers.
TheMixster.com: Okay so, all encompassing of your sound, if your sound were a type of animal, what would it be and why?
Minnesota: Well… I’m gonna have to say a bear. A bear is aggressive, like brostep, but at the same time a bear can be like, peaceful perhaps? And mellow? So that melodic side… mel…?
TheMixster.com: Like floating away on an icecap?
Minnesota: Exactly! That’s pretty sad, but kind of! ‘Cause I make some songs that are definitely a little be sadder. It’d be like a polar bear floating away on an icecap, to die. God, that’s horrible.
TheMixster.com: Like sad polar bear step?
Minnesota: Save the fucking bears. Hahaha, I’d say a bear though, definitely a bear.
TheMixster.com: So what can we expect from you in 2012? Other than the stuff you can’t talk about. Unless you want to talk about it.
Minnesota: Haha I can’t unfortunately. Other than the stuff I can’t talk about? Um… after January…
[Either as part of a brilliant "change the subject" strategy or a mere bizarre coincidence of the moment, a strange documentary on Ostrich riding appears on Fuel TV, with equally LOLable attempts of FuelTV bros trying to bareback ride ostriches, with little, VERY little success. So obviously, we took a break from the interview to bask in the delightful clusterfuck that appeared before our eyes.]
Minnesota: Actually I take the bear back, my music is like an ostrich! [Laughs] Basically after January, I’m just hopefully touring heavily, playing a lot of shows, and other than the stuff I can’t talk about, that’s pretty much it; playing a ton of shows around the country, hopefully.
TheMixster.com: Aside from what you can’t talk about, if you could pick three people to collaborate with, who would it be?
Minnesota: Big Gigantic is one of them, the group that I was touring with the last two or three weeks. They’re closer to a live band than they are to a DJ cause they have a drummer and a saxophonist, but the good part is they infuse that with a DJ set because they play their original songs, and then they throw slamming dubstep into it. Touring with them, I did seven dates with them, and every single show was fucking super consistent, and the crowd went crazy for all of them. They just killed it. So yeah, Big Gigantic is definitely one of them. So I need two more… ah fuck… I really dig the new stuff that MiM0SA came out with, so MiM0SA would be dope, and I really want to get back in the studio with Marty Party. Before, I did some collabs with him, and still he was like one of my favorite producers. So those would be the three I think.
TheMixster.com: Why is Marty Party so fun to work with?
Minnesota: I feel like we’re pretty similar on what we want to put out. We both like very melodic stuff. When he first hit me up and we did our first collab, I was just like way beyond stoked just because he had been one of the key producers that got me into dubstep and stuff. It was a lot different than a lot of the other dubstep that was out there and I just feel like he’s a very innovative producer.
[Side Bar: Are the ostriches gone? I don’t know what’s going on now, but the ostriches are gone. I’ve only done a few interviews, but all of them have been like, no script, I had to write everything down. I don’t know how you guys do it.]
TheMixster.com: HA! Very carefully… So why the name Minnesota? I feel like you’ve been asked this a lot, but answer in a different way than ever before?
Minnesota: Well I don’t know if that’s possible, because there’s one truthful and direct answer. It’s good to get the record clear to as many people as I can, ‘cause I’ve been asked this many times….
TheMixster.com: Probably because it’s really hard to Google…
Minnesota: That’s something I need to work on, unfortunately. I grew up in Minnesota and I moved to Santa Cruz, California about four or five years ago. When I moved there, the people I met, the people I started working with, just started calling me Minnesota. When I started producing/DJing I couldn’t think of anything really cool, like Bassnectar or something, that’s a fucking bomb ass name, like how do you come up with that? So I came up with Minnesota, I was just putting music up on Soundcloud, not expecting too much of it, and that’s just kind of what stuck and I haven’t thought of anything cooler since. And it sucks, because when you Google it, you’re not going to get anything. So everyone, just Google “Minnesota dubstep” and you will get something, hopefully. I need to plug that, minnesotadubstep.com, go to it, I just launched it, it’s awesome!
TheMixster.com: Direction of sound…2012, where do you think it’s going?
Minnesota: I have no fucking idea haha.
TheMixster.com: What about bass music in general?
Minnesota: I’m just hoping that bass music will not die out. Like electro/electro house has kind of died out, when I first got into electronic music, that’s what I was into, and it hasn’t “died out” but it definitely hasn’t grown really? I’m hoping dubstep and bass music won’t do that, and I don’t think it will, because I think it has the capability to evolve in a lot more directions than electro does. So I’m hoping it will just keep going in a ton of different directions and it will keep getting bigger and bigger so that I still have a job and I can still pay my bills.
TheMixster.com: Well we hope you’ll be part of the evolution.
Minnesota: I hope that too, but you never know! We’ll see, we’ll see. Fingers crossed. Fucking ostriches, people riding them, that’s great, that’s what the future is.
We couldn’t have said it any better. Fucking ostriches.
One of bass music’s finest, Sugarpill, has been on a constant journey — from playing top 40 tunes in Florida clubs and sweating balls while working in a warehouse to, now, absolutely murdering massive crowds with original firepower. A man who compares his music with the likes of a mongoose is surely on the right path to bass stardom. This glitch-fueled Headtron juggernaut—armed with bass cannons few have seen—will make your booty shake and eyes quake. And get this! He’s coming down to sunny San Diego on Oct. 29th for what is about to be one of the most Earth-shaking fiascos of the year.
Fortunately, I was able to catch up with the busy producer and discuss forthcoming releases, past experiences, and his insight into the music world. You’ll see that he’s a really down-to-earth and mild-mannered fellow but when he steps onto the stage, he undergoes some sort of Decepticon-like transformation. So y’all need to hide your kids, hide yo wife, and hide your husband cause he’s murkin’ everybody out here!
TheMixster.com: Although I wasn’t at this year’s Coachella, your set still looked pretty damn amazing. Was the experience of playing at Coachella pivotal as an artist on the up and up or was it just another day in the life of Sugarpill?
Sugarpill: I would say that it was definitely a really important show. There’s a lot of people and a lot of energy when you get all those people together. It was particularly special because I had a lot of my friends on stage with me for that one. For some of the other bigger sets that I’ve played, that hasn’t necessarily been the case just because of the way the stages were set up and who was allowed to be there. There was definitely a lot of energy on stage.
TheMixster.com: Was it particularly different from your Burning Man experience? How would you compare the two?
Sugarpill: Well, at Burning Man people are all over the place and I never really know who I’m going to see at what particular set. But at Coachella, everybody that I knew there stayed close to the DO LAB stage and I just ended up seeing a lot of people concentrated at the same stage.
TheMixster.com: How did you end up starting working with the DO LAB?
Sugarpill: I guess friends of friends mostly. Just kinda within the same social circle in life.
TheMixster.com: In the past, you’ve collaborated with fellow bass music producers Stephan Jacobs and ChrisB. What initially drew you guys together and how have you all influenced each other’s growth?
Sugarpill: Stephan asked me to do a remix for him, about a year and a half ago. And I guess we got together in the studio because I had some trouble mixing some of it down. So I headed up to his studio and hung out with him for a little while. There was definitely a good energy between him and I in the studio and it just turned into us creating stuff. We shared some tips and tricks and stuff like that and turned it into a song.
Same kinda thing with ChrisB. I think the 3 of us, just like Gladkill and a couple other artists, have this song club thing where you share new stuff you’re working on. There’s people who can be critical and you don’t have to take offense to it. So it’s kinda what we have going and it’s really nice to be able to work off what each other is doing as you go through the process.
TheMixster.com: Do you feel like you need to vibe well with fellow producers out of the studio to be productive while in the studio?
Sugarpill: Sometimes. I think the collaboration is a really interesting thing. It’s kind of more moment to moment sometimes. Sometimes you’ll be vibing really well in the studio and maybe not outside of the studio. I mean, these are like my closest friends so there’s definitely all sorts of actual stuff that goes on between us that’s not, you know, music related. I think it plays into the vibe and how it comes out altogether.
TheMixster.com: I think it’s really cool that the proceeds from your most recent track, Trouble Blind, went to charity. And this wasn’t your first time on the Bass From Above mixtape. Why do you think it’s important to take this donation-based approach instead of simply giving away or selling the track?
Sugarpill: I think it has its place amongst just giving stuff away and also selling some of the stuff. I try and stay balanced on hitting all of those different angles. For Bass From Above Vol. 1, we raised about $1000 for the Japan Earthquake Disaster and for this one [Vol. 2]—I don’t have the exact numbers—but I believe it earned that much in the first couple of days. So it’s just really cool to be able to give back in a way that feels good with the track that didn’t really have a place on anything else. A lot of times, the compilation stuff just kinda goes off into the wayside and you never really hear about it again but with the Bass From Above you know it’s going with something that’s pretty awesome.
TheMixster.com: Yeah I think it’s a great thing that SubSynthesis is doing. Anyways, you weren’t always Sugarpill. So Evan, what was the worst job you had before starting your production career?
Sugarpill: Umm, worst job. I dunno, I worked at Starbucks for a week. That was pretty bad. Not for any other reason than they get you so hooked on coffee during your shift that on your days off you go in there and have way more coffee than you’d normally want. Before I moved out here, I used to work in a warehouse—a shipping department—with no air conditioning all summer in Florida. It was pretty rough sometimes.
TheMixster.com: What was the turning point in your life when your music career took priority over everything else?
Sugarpill: Music has always been a pretty important part of the things I do. I played in all kinds of different bands and a couple of different instruments. I played bass orchestrally. My passion for music has been around for a long time but I think moving out to CA from living in Florida really made it a lot more viable focus; where I was actually interested in what I was doing, as opposed to playing some things in Florida that were not exactly what I wanted to be doing. But out here, people just really embrace what they hear. It’s pretty exciting and I definitely have a lot more drive off of that kind of feedback.
TheMixster.com: So, your music is special in the sense that you fuse bass with glitch without losing your sense of melody. Has living in LA influenced your direction of sound?
Sugarpill: Definitely. Those were elements that I was trying to go for prior to moving out here, but I didn’t really have the embracive people at the time, like I do here in LA. It’s nice to have the positive feedback that you get from people when you’re doing those things that you want to bring together. It’s just a really powerful way to keep moving forward and to keep doing those things.
TheMixster.com: So where are you from originally? How long have you been living in LA?
Sugarpill: I lived in Florida for 14 years before I moved out here, and I’ve lived in LA for 2 ½ years now.
TheMixster.com: So was it around the time that you moved to LA, when your music career started taking off?
Sugarpill: Yeah. Prior to that, I wasn’t really that interested in putting out original music. Because living in Florida, as far as DJ stuff goes, I was doing a lot better getting booked by playing top 40 things and all sorts of other music to get a gig. But once I got out here, it’s a place where people actually wanted to hear the original stuff more than the jams that everyone else has. I didn’t really share a lot of the original stuff with people prior to coming out here.
TheMixster.com: A question that we ask all of our bass music artists: Is there another way to describe the term “Bro-step” because we hate that term?
Sugarpill: I don’t really like the term either. I don’t like the sweeping generalized terms. I think a lot of people still call it dubstep and I don’t really hear the dub influences in a lot of that music anymore. I don’t think you have to call it bro-step, you kinda know what’s happening when it’s happening, I guess.
TheMixster.com: How do you personally refer to it?
Sugarpill: When it’s like beat on your chest and chainsaw sound I definitely call it bro-step. There’s a lot more to it than that. I don’t necessarily not like that sound either. I don’t like any sound that just happens consistently over and over again for 4 hours. I’m more interested in hearing someone change it up. I definitely flipped back into some stuff that I was playing before, that I guess would be called bro-step now. It’s like that heavier in your face, kind of mediated “end of the world” sound going on there. And it’s cool, definitely. I liked it but I like to change it up too. I don’t like the term Lovestep just as much. Both those terms are not super cool for me.
TheMixster.com: If your music was a type of animal, what type would it be? And Why?
Sugarpill: Oh wow. Maybe like a mongoose combined with a wedding because it kinda gets crazy and then sometimes falls off a cliff.
TheMixster.com: I don’t think I could have put it any better haha.
TheMixster.com: If you could collaborate with any 3 artists on the planet, who would they be? And why?
Sugarpill: That’s pretty tough. I’m not sure I would feel comfortable collaborating with my heroes really. I mean there are people that I’d really like to meet. I’m really into fusion jazz sometimes. I’d really like to meet Bill Bruford, who plays drums for ‘King Crimson’ and ‘Yes.’ I’m just really interested into doing poly-rhythmic drum stuff. I’d also really like to meet Tom Jenkins from Squarepusher.
TheMixster.com: In all honesty, what do you expect from the “More Champagne” collaboration between ChrisB. and Gladkill?
Sugarpill: Haha! Umm, I dunno… I’ve experienced More Champagne, so I think they are going to be continuing to do what they do. We’ve convinced them to put a lot of bottles of free champagne on their riders. So, the possibilities are endless there if you’re thinking sexy party.
TheMixster.com: Yeah. Like Steve Aoki style, right? I’m excited to see what those two do.
Sugarpill: Yeah. I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. I mean, I have a lot of fun with it and I think a lot of people do. At Burning Man, they had some pretty epic sets that people were just going crazy for. They’re very excited about it.
TheMixster.com: The style of those two mesh together really well.
TheMixster.com: Do you have an EP coming out soon?
Sugarpill: I have a lot of new tracks. I haven’t scheduled an EP coming out soon probably because on the next one I’m thinking about releasing a bunch of tracks for free around Christmas. That’s kind of what my plan is right now. I just released one on Simplify Records and I have a tune coming out on the Acid Crunk Compilation from Muti Records and another tune coming out on Muti’s end of the year compilation. The Headtron crew is putting out a compilation that will be out in early January, as well. I think I’ll release a mini-EP with some free tunes, probably as a Christmas present.
TheMixster.com: What direction do you plan on taking your sound on those forthcoming tracks?
Sugarpill: Definitely, I’ve been getting a little more of that melodic pitch thing going on. Some of the bass sounds that I’ve been making have been going for a little more figure and delay-oriented, so it’s either like you’re in space or you’re being squished underwater. So there’s a bunch of newer sounds.
TheMixster.com: If a tourist asked you, what places in LA would you tell them to check out? Or where do you like to spend your free time outside of the studio?
Sugarpill: (Laughs) I spend a lot of time in the studio. I don’t know. When people ask me what to do in LA, it depends on what’s going on that week. Everything is so all over the place with what’s happening week to week. There are some weekends here, as far as going out and doing stuff, where I feel like it’s just like any other city where people are working on stuff. I really like Two Boots Pizza. That place is pretty awesome, in Echo Park.
TheMixster.com: Ok Evan. It was good talking with you. We are looking forward to seeing you down in San Diego at the Kava Lounge on Oct. 29th. I think it’s going to be one hell of a show.
Sugarpill: I’m pretty excited. I’ve got a lot of new stuff to bring down and try out on y’all!
Catch Evan aka SUGARPILL and the SUBversive SD crew at Kava Lounge this Saturday October 29th.
SUBversive Presents: SUGARPILL (LA) at Kava Lounge | October 29th, 2011
2812 Kettner Blvd, San Diego 92101
Buy Presale tickets Here.
Play Me Records‘ J. Rabbit just recently made the move back from NYC to sunny SoCal – but he isn’t quite able to settle into his new desert abode just yet. In the midst of his tour with Into The AM (touching down in SD this Thursday) and revved up to embark on an undoubtedly wild cross-North America bass excursion in cahoots with DILLON FRANCIS as part of the Mothership After Party Tour, J. Rabbit doesn’t have a spare moment to catch a breath. But why would he want to?
J Rabbit‘s brand of sound integrates a vast variety of pupil-dilating wobble, searing trill-erating bass, and even a hint of melody for the ladies. His vicious peril-impending DnB side is heavily doused with lip licking oscillated growls and sweaty head 808 kick drum overdrive. While the majority of the elements of his audio arsenal are about as nurturing as a steak knife, his careful integration of bouncy synth pitch shifts, and quirky vocal samples keep things fun across the floor.
We were able to catch up to J Rabbit earlier this week and have a quick chat to him about some of his particularly exciting forthcoming releases, gather some of his well-attuned insight about a handful of next-up break out dubstep artists we should already be listening to, and we even learned some new slang that will help save us a few coins around the swear jar.
TheMixster.com: You have a track, a remix for Le Castle Vania that just dropped on Beatport this week so congrats on that… But you’ve also got a newish track titled “Hello Stan” that’s going to be featured on Dim Mak’s upcoming compilation set to drop this early October. Is releasing a track with Dim Mak an accomplishment for you or is it just another days work?
J Rabbit: Releasing for Dim Mak is definitely an accomplishment! For as long as I can remember I never saw aggressive underground electronic music have any type of mainstream pull at all. Dim Mak, even though they’re not exactly “mainstream, mainstream” Steve Aoki is still, you know, one of the biggest icons for electronic music. I guess for me it’s kind of like the merge between underground electronic music and what you could call ‘mainstream electronic music.’ So yeah, definitely being featured on a label of that caliber is an accomplishment.
TheMIX: The forthcoming Dim Mak compilation is called “New Noise Volume 1” –to those who have not heard more than a mere sample of “Hello Stan” yet, in your opinion, why would “Hello Stan” be considered ‘New Noise?’ What elements of the track differentiate it from say what is considered the “current noise”?
J Rabbit: Well you know I mean I haven’t thought of how “Stan” I guess would be considered part of the new noise… I just wrote it the way that I would write everything else; just tried to blend popular noises of dubstep right now. And opposed to, you know, making this what I want to make and then hopefully having people like it. “Hello Stan” is also like a slang term for “haters” or for “elitists” or people who make other people feel not welcomed. “Hello Stan” is a reference to the songs where nobody likes you throughout the entire song. So I suppose that little friendly jab would definitely be a new element in the new noise.
TheMIX: So the track name isn’t a South Park reference?
J Rabbit: No, no definitely not. When I first posted a mix on Mad Decent, anyone that had anything negative to say, all the moderators were just referring back to them as ‘Stan’ “Be quiet Stan,” or “calm down Stan.” It’s actually funny because then later the ‘dubstep episode’ of South Park, the one kid who hates everything is incidentally Stan, the one character that by anyone’s definition, is a hater. It was coincidental that it worked out that he was a character, but no, it’s just a slang term.
TheMIX: Do you have any more releases coming out before the end of the year that you’d like to tell us about?
J Rabbit: I have a couple on Digital Terror coming up that I really can’t talk about yet…. But I do have some remixes coming out for Terravita’s ‘Up in the Clouds,’ I think there are a couple other ones for Le Castle Vania, but definitely working on some more blending with ‘mainstream’ artists I guess you could say, or you know, more underground mainstream electronic artists.
TheMIX: You’ve recently made the move back to California from NYC. Generally how does Cali’s bass music scene differ from NYC’s?
J Rabbit: In California, the production value is… I mean there’s a lot of money to be thrown into a party, and lots of people that can do it, so it’s not just one or two [parties]… On the East Coast it’s more up to a big production team that can do everything. Obviously there are big ones out here like Insomniac and what have you, but even the small parties out here will still have 2,000 people at it, which is an extremely large party for the East Coast. As far as people, people are the same wherever you go, some people are nice, some people are not, you know what I mean? Some clubs are good, some are not, some have good sound, some don’t. The general consensus is that more people come out to [to parties] in LA. I don’t know if it’s the space or the fact that we have buildings out here that can house 3,000 people and New York really doesn’t, but it’s definitely more viable out here than it is on the East Coast. Still just as loved and people are still just as passionate, but there’s just so many more people out here that come out.
TheMix: So there isn’t exactly greater support for Bass music in CA, we just have the best venues to support it?
J Rabbit: Yeah the difference in venue, difference in size. I mean I’m sure if they had a really good show lined up at Yankee Stadium people would come. But there’s no way that would ever happen. You have to go upstate or out of state for bigger shows like that.
TheMIX: You’ve been touring around a bit lately, and you’re set to go out for the Mothership After Party Tour soon along with Dillon Francis! What is your absolute favorite thing about being on tour?
J Rabbit: When I can DJ and not think about [anything else]. When you just go from city to city, it becomes a lot more fun and a lot less like work. If I haven’t done a show in a week and then I gotta get all my shit together and get on a plane and fly across the country, just to play one or two shows. It’s hard to get back in the groove and by the time you’re back in it, the weekend’s over. So to go on an extended tour from big state to big state, you get in the groove, and then not to mention it’s just a constant party everywhere you go. I guess my favorite part would just be being with all my friends and playing shows, doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
TheMIX: Do you have any weird pre-show/tour rituals?
J Rabbit: None that I can think of, except just like smoke cigarettes up until the very last second before I go on. Typically I like to make sure that I have a ‘bubble’ when I play. As long as nothing is interfering or encroaching in my little two-foot space I’m good. Shoes on, shoes off, it doesn’t make a difference.
TheMIX: What’s in your arsenal right now that’s been getting a great reaction on the dance floor?
J Rabbit: There are a couple mash-up’s that I have from Trevor and Ludachrist that do really well. But there’s definitely a Terravita remix of Datsik and Bare’s ‘King Kong‘ that I don’t think people know about – that there even is a drumstep remix of it out – so when they hear it they’re extra surprised. [That Terravita remix] is just a very very well done remix that has lots of bridges and builds, and then it also transitions back into dubstep too. And also ‘Mistadobilina’ remix, for the people out there who remember the original.
TheMIX: Who’s on your top 3 wish list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future and why?
J Rabbit: Top 3, let’s see… Number one would be SchoolBoy. He did a remix for Porter Robinson like a couple months ago. He also had a tune last year called “Checkmate” that got a lot of play. Yeah, not a lot of people know Schoolboy, but he’s very good. He’s very good at song-writing, he’s very good at designing sounds and it would be awesome to work with him. I’m trying to think of people that aren’t just highly recognizable, you know what I mean, cause obviously working with people of high caliber would be great. Working with Trevor of Terravita, they’re kind of like ‘how to make electronic music to begin with,’ so in a way they’re indirectly responsible for all this for me. Any collaboration that I could do with them, I would love to do. And then, Dillon Francis or Dave Nada, people with different genres, like this 109 BPM thing (Moombahton) they’re definitely pushing.. It’s fun to work with dubstep artists but [it's important] to go further and try your luck with other genres. I think people first search things anywhere from Diplo or Swedish House Mafia,but then they hear something else and they still like it, so I think it’s just all kind of helping the electronic music period right now.
TheMIX: A question that we ask all of our bass music artists: We hate the term “Bro-step”, is there another word or phrase that you would use to describe the music that falls into that realm?
J Rabbit: Sometimes me and Matt (from Terravita) will call it “Bearded”. You know like a guy can have a beard so instead of bass music it’s ‘beard music.’ Guys with beards fucking love it, not too much females, but ‘beards’ just flock to it. Then also when they stare at the DJ and don’t dance or do anything, they just watch and usually stroke their beard, you know? So yeah, ‘beard music.’
TheMIX: Are there any new break-out/under-the-radar artists that you are particularly excited about these days?
J Rabbit: Yeah actually, two of my really good friends Nerd Rage and Obsidian. Their tunes are getting better and better, and they’re getting more and more steam. I’m watching them trying to work with agents and different shows, and they’re traveling now and people are becoming more and more interested in their tunes. And SchoolBoy, those would be the three. SchoolBoy, Nerd Rage, and Obsidian, I mean, SchoolBoy kind of has a name for himself, but still they’re all very, very talented artists.
TheMIX: What’s one track (aside from one of your own) that you will definitely play at the Into the AM show in San Diego this Thursday?
J Rabbit: Aside from my own? Let’s see, the “Crush on You” remix by Knife Party. Yeah that’ll definitely be played. [It's] probably one of the best-written dubstep songs I’ve ever heard. It’s really, really good. Knife Party is gonna be huge I think.
Catch J Rabbit at On Broadway in San Diego TONIGHT at SD’s only 18+ bass music monthly with Tryxx and Gum-B on support bringing you a forward selection of DnB and dubstep selection as well. Party is 18+ (!!!!!) and you can get your tickets/RSVP here.
And be sure to look out for upcoming drop of “Hello Stan” off Dim Mak Records on their “New Noise Volume 1” compilation on October 4th!
The Juggernaut are seemingly elusive throughout the interwebs – unsure whether it’s because they’re overly modest or it’s because I’ve refused to get on the Google+ bandwagon and now the search engine has turned against me, but either way it’s completely unacceptable, if not slightly unsettling. OC two-piece THE JUGGERNAUT made-up of members Erik Tinajero & David Gill are emblems, if not key members of SoCal’s steady-rising bass music scene, and certainly deserve to be recognized as such.
Erik kindly took the time to chat with us about The Juggernaut’s recent tour with SKRILLEX, their forthcoming releases, and gave us his thoughts about the West Coast’s dubstep movement.
TheMixster.com: You guys just finished doing a few tour dates with Skrillex – how was it?!
Erik (The Juggernaut): Pretty much anytime you play a show with [Skrillex] it’s going to be the best shows, just because of the crowd he brings out. I’ve played with Sonny [Skrillex] a bunch, I was friends with him before the whole Skrillex thing… So luckily he’s carried on our friendship through the years and now bringing us along for shows! It’s always a great time.
TheMixster.com: What was your favorite city/most memorable gig to play on the tour?
Erik (The Juggernaut): Wow I dunno Scottsdale, Arizona was really good, because the venue looked like you were playing on Main Street in Disneyland! It was probably one of the coolest venues ever. Oh, and EDC of course.
TheMixster.com: OK so you guys have some pretty exciting releases coming out soon, including an upcoming EP! Give us a breakdown.
Erik (The Juggernaut): On our [Noble Dream] EP it’s kinda mix of everything. Like general heavy kinda stuff and then there’s the more melodic stuff. Then we’ve got a track with DELL: he’s the guy from Atlanta who raps a lot with AC Slater. And we have a remix on there from Figure and as well as a remix from J. Rabbit. We’re hoping to get the EP out, probably by Fall or Winter!
As for releases, we just had a remix come out for Getter, it was a track called “Vile Orchaestra” that came out recently, just over a week ago. And we also just gave away a track for free to our Facebook fans, it’s called “Good Grief” and it’s a bootleg of the Charlie Brown “Peanuts” theme. We also have a remix for Dawn of Ashes coming out soon as well! You know how labels are, the song has been done for 6 months but it hasn’t been released so…
TheMixster.com: I hate the term brostep. So what term would you guys use to describe your sound?
Erik (The Juggernaut): HA! You know, I just call [our sound] “generic space music.” I don’t really like to define anything because at the end of the day it’s all really coming from the same tree. That’s pretty much where it’s going these days because the lines of genres have become so blurred and everything is just becoming just a mix. In the end it’s all a great thing because before it used to be, if you went to a dubstep show you couldn’t play anything else except dubstep. Because like, people would actually hate it. And when you played an electro show, and you played dubstep, people would you know, throw things at you. (laughs) It’s great to see that nowadays you can go to any show and hear so many different styles of music, all in just one night.
TheMixster.com: How do you guys feel about SoCal’s Bass music scene in general?
Erik (The Juggernaut): I think it’s going great! I think, just from traveling around, it’s one of the best I’ve seen! On any given night… It’s the best and the worst simultaneously, I will say that! Because LA, even though it’s the best, sometimes you have TOO MANY events, rather than a city where you can only have one event a month, altogether. It keeps people hungry for more. I think LA has a great scene and so many great producers are living here in LA, so the scene in general is really good.
TheMixster.com: So you guys live in Orange County is that correct? What’s it like to party up there?
Erik (The Juggernaut): There’s only a few really good ones. The main one, that put Orange County on the map, is Dubtroit, and that’s run by 12th Planet. And that’s pretty much the best one out here, aside from monthlies and off-shoots. Flinch throws a night called HEAVY which was really good, until it got shut down by the cops. (laughs) But right now I think they’re trying to find a new venue for it.
TheMixster.com: So they’re aren’t just a bunch cougars up there?
Erik (The Juggernaut): (laughs) HA! O no there is don’t get me wrong! But on certain nights you can find some good things, but as a general “is there something to do every night?”… No. It’s a once a month/twice a month thing.
TheMixster.com: You guys have also played in San Diego at Dub Dorado before – How would you compare Dub Dorado to other events you’ve played?
Erik (The Juggernaut): Oh I loved it! I still talk about that show to people when we talk about places to play in San Diego. I always tell them to hit up Corey (Mr Biggs) or Joe (Headshake) because the scene, and the crowd is fantastic! I like smaller venues, with high energy crowds. I used to play in hardcore bands so those are the kinda shows we like better. I think that mentality sticks to this day. So those shows to me are much more fun than the bigger ones we play.
TheMixster.com: So EDC was kinda overwhelming huh?
Erik (The Juggernaut): EDC was great for the experience but I was so far away from anybody! I was so high up the crowd looked tiny from where I was. It was great and I’m totally grateful for the experience of playing at EDC but as far as crowd interaction goes, it wasn’t at the top…
TheMixster.com: Why the name THE JUGGERNAUT?
Erik (The Juggernaut): Well we started out making electro under the name DMNDAYS and I used to have a residency out here in Orange County. The residents were me, Flinch, and 12th Planet and we were making electro. Then Jon (12th Planet) started getting me into dubstep and showing me all this new stuff and everything and from there we decided to make a few dubstep tracks ourselves. So we made two tracks: the first was called “Rape Escape” and we did one that was the original bootleg for the Charlie Brown theme. And “Rape Escape” received way more reaction than we expected. It was getting played by Borgore, 12th Planet, etc. But then we couldn’t get any shows because [under the name DMNdays] people thought we would only play electro. So that’s when we decided to change the name and our manager always had said that “The Juggernaut” would make a great name for a band. Which, I’m pretty sure there is one out there, but we just don’t know about it. (laughs) So we decided to go with that name.
TheMixster.com: So it’s not because you guys are undercover comic book nerds?
Erik (The Juggernaut): No… People always ask us if we’re big X-men fans and I hate to burst their bubble but nooooo… I didn’t even know it was Comic Con in San Diego this weekend until a friend told me yesterday!
TheMixster.com: You guys have been working hard in the studio and have been producing a slew of remixes for huge names in the Bass Music realm as of recent. Who are the top three people on your guys wish list to remix your own tracks and why?
Erik (The Juggernaut): O man! I would think Skrillex, just because we’ve been friends for so long and I’d love to be able to see what he could do with it. And my personal favorites are Skream & Benga, and Emalkay. If I could even meet Emalkay one day, I’d probably freak out (laughs) I’m very into the UK production. US is doing its own thing and everything but the sound I enjoy the most is the sound coming out of the UK.
TheMixster.com: What’s one track (aside from your own) that you’re definitely going to play at MAINLINE this Friday?!?!
Erik (The Juggernaut): The newest tracks Sonny (Skrillex) just finished, a couple of tracks that are going to be on his new album! Which are phenomenal! I don’t think they even have names yet…
TheMixster.com: And you excited to see/play with ajapai this Friday? Have you played with him before?
Erik (The Juggernaut): I’ve never seen him before! But my buddy Jeff (J. Rabbit) he played with [ajapai] not too long ago and he said he’s one of the nicest guys and he buts on a great show.
Support West Coast dubstep and join our SoCal crew taking over – unleashing top-notch bass music this Friday night, July 22nd at Spin Nightclub SD (2028 Hancock St.)