Dance music's current hot trend is dubstep, with artists like Caspa & Rusko, Skream, Benga and others continually pushing the boundaries of the sound. Lorin Ashton (aka Bassnectar) has become one of the genre's most recognizable names. Even though tagged with the dubstep moniker, Bassnectar's sound doesn't step into that pigeonhole without a fight. Hip hop, half-step and garage influences are readily identified, while molten bass lines merge with the angst and energy of metal and punk. His latest album, Cozza Frenzy, got major play from XLR8R and Hypem, and the grueling 100+ dates on the supporting tour in 2009 have sated old fans and created scores of new ones along the way.
Fresh off of an explosive set of dates at this year's Winter Music Conference, Bassnectar, is set to bring the controlled frenzy of his live show to Indy this Thursday (April 8) as MOKB, A Squared industries and The Vogue present Major Lazer and Bassnectar. Lorin took time out of his busy WMC schedule to give a short interview late last week.
Rudy: Thus far in 2010, how many days have you been on the road?
Lorin: Well, 2010 has been great, because after the blitzkrieg of last year, we took all of January off, so I've actually had a great year thus far - a lot of studio time. It's more the future that is making me nervous because we have quite the schedule ahead of us. But I'm hyped for it.
Rudy: You've found some time to actually drop a new EP, the Timestretch EP. The new bootleg with Nellie Furtado is fantastic, and the Pixies bootleg that you released last year was sick. Should we expect more of the same April 8 for your live date at the Vogue?
Lorin: Yeah. The traditional definition of a mashup where the emphasis is on the gimmick, and you're like "wow, check it out - here's a Prince track mixed with a Missy Elliott track and here's the Beatles acapella over it". That's less interesting to me than actually taking a work of art that I love and just mutating it a bit. So, I'll take a Metallica song or some kind of track from my childhood that I love and just make it heavier, and thicker, and a little bit more bestial. I've been going kind of crazy on the remixes since the Timestretch EP because I got that out of my system - some of my own music - and it's fun just to play with other people's music. The Nelly Furtado - I almost didn't want to do anything with it because it seemed a little bit too R&B, but by the time I finished it, there was no denying it. I love it as a "third party" member (laughs), just listening to it it was like "fuck! This is a great song."
Rudy: The buzz on this show with you and Major Lazer has been huge. You played here in Bloomington last year to rave reviews, and a lot of those kids are expected to make the trip to catch this show...
Lorin: I had been meaning to get to Bloomington proper for about 5 years. I just had different fans emailing me, they started a Facebook group type of thing and we never really got out act together to get there. When did last time, it was in the middle of the week, and ...it felt like the whole room was in a mosh pit. It was so fun for us .. When we found out we could go out with Diplo (of Major Lazer) in the spring the thought of bringing it to you guys proper in the city and letting the Bloomington heads cruise in... I think it's gonna be fucking mayhem (laughs).
Finally, he added...
Lorin: I forgot to mention we have this custom built sound system we're lugging around in a trailer at the back of the bus and it's enormous. So when we get a venue with like (the Vogue) that actually has proper sound, we team the two systems Up. It's not even that it gets louder, it just gets heavier. You don't need to run everything at full volume - you run it all at half volume but it's spread out and it's like a "bass soup" and it's fucking sick.
As any of the attendees of the Bloomington show will attest, this show is a don't-miss. Bassnectar plays the Vogue with DJ Vadim and Major Lazer this Thursday, April 8.