Thanks to my new, and, rapidly becoming, dear friend, The Music Ninja, I was given the opportunity to take on the young blood, dubstep pioneer himself, RUSKO. Fortunately I was able to talk with him just literally hours following his MASSIVE show in San Diego, during the ever strange and undeniably colorful Comic Con weekend, and nursing a severe yet well worth it hangover from the sweaty debauchery that was RUSKO’s full-on set for the completely chaotic and totally packed club of twisted comic coners and fanatical Mad Decentites alike. Comically pressed against the glass of the DJ booth all night long, there was little to no concern for my personal well-being once RUSKO took his reign over the decks. One cannot deny the power of the magically hypnotic power of the WHOMP WHOMP.
Or, if you can’t bear to tear yourself away, here’s a taste of that utter filthiness below:
SO now – for what you’ve all come here for no doubt, the interview with one of the most outstanding, interesting, and “jolly” human beings I have ever had the pleasure of conversing and bashing trance with: RUSKO.
WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP.
Q: How are you?
I’m actually on the freeway driving back to San Diego.
Q: Oh that’s great I’m actually in San Diego, I saw you last night and you did a great job!
Yeah one of the cd players was busted, so I don’t know what happened, I hope I covered ok.
Q: I saw that you went to comic-con today, what did you think of it?
It was a lot of fun actually. It was really really cool. I met with a lot of people so you know, hopefully there will be some Rusko tracks in some cool movies and video games too. It was a really cool place I couldn’t believe it, it’s the ultimate sci-fi geek fest.
Q: I wanted to ask you a few questions about Mad Decent and Dubstep of course, so why don’t we get right into it: Your label Mad Decent is arguably one of the most forward thinking ground breaking labels: Always manipulating genres, fusing together music cultural influences, even creating new ones. How do you see yourself as an active piece of that puzzle?
Well, I have been friends with Diplo and Switch for a long time so being part of the camp was obviously a logical progression. One of the cool things about it is that I get to tour with those guys so I get to see my friends when I’m on tour which is really cool. But really it kind of is all about good vibes, you know. I think that is really why I wanted to be a part of it. My music is not particularly dark or aggressive like a lot of Dubstep is. It’s kind of a bit more fun and jolly and that’s really that thing: Fun and party vibe kind of mad decent, right?
Q: Absolutely It’s Mad Decent! California in particular is usually the last to get everything in the electronic music world and Dubstep is pretty huge here at the moment as you saw last night…
…Oh my god, yeah! I am playing Audiotistic tomorrow. They actually just moved me to the main stage right after Kid Cudi, I was headlining in the dance area but they were worried the security and the area wouldn’t be able to handle THE RUSKO!!! So the moved me to the Main Stage!
Seriously, It’s even overtaking the house crowd now which is insane. When it over took the Drum n’ Bass crowd Im like ‘yea this is really good. It’s doing really well’! But when Dubstep is pulling the same numbers as house DJs… That’s crazy! Because house is always the kind of dance music really. If we can sell more tickets and get more people than house DJs, that’s really cool.
Q. I remember seeing you at Coachella and it was 2 :30pm in the hottest day of the afternoon of the third day and it was just nuts!
That was a lot of fun though. It was so weird because I seriously just had gotten out of bed, and it was kind of like I opened my eyes, had a cup of coffee, smoked a cigarette and all of the sudden I was on stage. It felt totally weird when I first stood up there. The first five minutes were the most bizarre five minutes of my life, getting out of bed and standing at Coachella, it was like: Wow!
Q: California is usually the last place to to get stuff, do you think Dubstep is progressively growing stronger? Do you believe it is starting to faze out in other parts?
It has totally been growing stronger, just literally in the amount of messages I get, the amount of music people send to me. And I’m just loving the amount of people at the shows. It is definitely growing strong especially on the West Coast. In like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver– I have humongous crowds, HUGE, HUGE crowds in all those places. It is absolutely crazy how the West Coast of Dubstep is just on another level. That’s why I am here of course!
Q: Absolutely, We love to have you here, so keep coming back!
I gotta represent for the home team. I am about to watch a Lakers game tomorrow, I am going all in.
Q: That’s exciting to hear I am a huge Lakers fan.
The first basket ball game I ever watched was actually the Lakers final. I didn’t even understand the whole touch/stop thing, I don’t even know what that is about but I did enjoy it. It was the most exciting thing ever. I was watching the World Cup final two weeks ago and I was like “This is shit! This is so boring, I wish I had been watching the Lakers.” And it was then when I realized, “Damn, I really am an American now.” That game was 10 times more exciting than any World Cup football game, and I’m supposed to be English!
Q: Giving your most recent release of RUSKO 2005 THE LOST DUBS (PART 1) series, I am wondering why would you put something out that was five years back, as Dubstep is constantly moving forward, what role does that play in kind of the oldschool Dubstep release?
Well, back in the day it was pretty much mostly vinyl releases. There were only about 3 or 4 main labels so releases were really slow releasing just a couple of tracks a year. Not a day goes by where a someone comes up to me asking, “Whatever happened to this track and that track, when are you going to release it? Are you ever going to release this?” There were a lot of tracks back in the day that I could never release now because they are just so old. There isn’t really anything groundbreaking or anything like that but I get so many messages from people asking for these tracks so this is mostly a way to say “Thank you” and give something cool to the fans.
Q: That’s really cool and I can appreciate that. Aside from Dubstep what do you think it is another genre that is up on the horizon?
Ah! That’s a tough one. (What’s that One-step kind of Island-Style stuff…!?) Yes! Cumbia! I am all about it! There is a tiny little monthly Cumbia night in LA that I still have, and there is probably 3 other places that do it. There is one in New York as well.
Q: I love the Cumbia! we have a ton of them here in San Diego every weekend.
Q: Yea we are right next to the border.
Oh yea, totally. I am all about it. Even when I am in the car with my wife I love putting on the mariachi station. It really annoys her listening to mariachi in the car so we end up going back to listening to the cool stuff. haha.
Q: I am thrilled to hear that you love Cumbia, you literally made so many people smile just now, including me. I am just so happy you didn’t say trance!
Oh no, well. Although I didn’t say it, I do think there is a bit of a trance resurgence. I do see it being more popular at the moment. I do not know why but it’s not going away isn’t it? It’s still around, trance will never die. I don’t know why.
Q: Until we find a cure though, If your style of Dubstep were a type of animal what would it be and why?
Wow! That is a good question. That is a very good question. I need to answer this very well. I think I would be a big, massive dog.
Q: Why is that?
Well because I can be vigorously big and disgusting and bite you and go “AHHHH!”, but then really I could be your best friend and lick you.
Q: Ha! Giving your recent collaboration with mainstream artists like Lady Gaga and these recent MIA tracks, these MIA tracks in particular are typically more mainstream for, well, the both you and MIA. There isn’t really that much Dubstep integrated into the track really. Does this have any reflection on where you see yourself in the future as a producer?
Yes, absolutely. When I’m a producer, I’m Christopher Mercer the producer. It really comes down to what the artist wants. If the artist wants the album to sound a certain way, obviously I will incorporate my style, but when I’m being the producer I’m not necessarily tied to “Rusko.”
When we were doing the MIA record we really wanted to do something that sounded like it was from outer space. The point of doing the record was to do something that no one had ever done before, in terms of sound and style. Dubstep would not have fit in the bill, we had to make it crazier.
Q: You’ve worked with so many people and you’ve remixed a lot of big names in the past, do you have any other future collaborations planned with anyone else in the near future?
Well I am currently still working on some British stuff for the next few weeks. I would really like to work with Cypress Hill. I have gotten in touch with them about doing some collaboration I think it would be really cool, doing some really low slung West Coast, like 1992 Dr. Dre but with B Real rapping on top. I just want to make some cool California music, I will get some Mariachi band phat 808 beat and get B Real to rap up something in Spanish haha. I’, gonna make some LA music, haha.
Q: That is fantastic, not planning any collaborations with deadmau5 I assume?
Haha. No, no deadmau5 collabos.
Q: What’s up with that have you guys resolved anything yet?
Yea it’s kind of all over I think, I hope. It’s cool. I’m just a jolly person. For me its all about good vibes. For me it was just something of a “pit stop”. I’m just trying to put out the good vibes again.
Q: Good. Would you give him a hug If you saw him?
Q: So what are you listening to these days?
I am listening to a lot of really crazy noise rock stuff. I have been listening to this band called The Locust from San Francisco. And a band called An Albatross from Pennsylvania kind of weird synth metal in a weird way. I listen to a lot of weird stuff. I get bored easily haha.
And for the electronic albums, I have been listening to the Netsky album on Hospital Records, and it’s like my favorite electronic album. He just released an album. He released like 10-12 singles last year and both the A-side and B-side were absolutely amazing.
Q: Can you elaborate a bit on how you engage with your fans and the blogosphere, things in particular like Hypem, how does that help you to better interact with everyone?
It is absolutely necessary. Like when I am at the shows hanging out with other DJs people will totally feel comfortable coming up to me, and I totally go out in the crowd and get CDs from producers and people asking me questions, reproducing specific sounds I do. I have actually put some Youtube videos of tutorials so yes, I’m all about interacting with my fans. Just like giving away my 5 year old songs, I am totally open.
Q: That is really great! One last question! How did you get to be so fucking fantastic? This interview was so much fun.
Haha Really? Thanks. The Dubstep animal question was a really good one.
Well thank you so much. Come back to San Diego Soon. Please.
Rusko will be back in town again September 11th, 2010, along with other heavy hitters from our favorite Mad Decent crew, at the ABSTRACT FESTIVAL at the San Diego Sports Arena, buy your tickets NOW.
BUT what’s even more EXCITING: RUSKO will be at ELECTRIC ZOO FESTIVAL IN NYC!!!! And The Music Ninja AND TheMixster.com have your exclusive pass to all the filthy goodness right there on location!!! (We were literally just confirmed 10 minutes ago… HOLLLLLLAAA!!!
Thanks again to the Music Ninja for making this all possible — he is AHMAZING and certainly a true homie to TheMixster.com. If you haven’t been to his site before, you are not new music, electro fiend I thought you were. GO THERE NOW.
UP NEXT: The Music Ninja and TheMixster.com present: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE GLITCH MOB!!!!! — stay tuned Mixsters and Ninjas.
By: Taylor Doms aka THE MIXSTER