With the exception of one aborted festival set, this summer is turning out to be one of Bassnectar’s best. After delivering his new album Noise vs Beauty in June, the producer has launched headlong into a non-stop tour of Europe and North America.
In the midst of the madness, the man otherwise known as Lorin Ashton sat down with Insomniac.com’s Katie Bain for a revealing one-on-one. (At Insomniac’s flagship festival EDC Vegas this year, Bassnectar blew up the HARD arena on Sunday night while the likes of Above & Beyond, W&W and Axwell ? Ingrosso manned the main stage.)
As ever, Ashton makes for an excellent interviewee. In the feature, he praises Insomniac’s ‘experience first’ ethos, which treats big-name DJs as just one part of a bigger picture.
“The more faceless that these DJs can be, the better – myself included – because we’re just playing music that we love,” he reasons. “We may be innovating and doing it really well, and that’s great for what we do, but it’s so silly to me to have 30,000 people facing and worshipping this one dorky human who’s lucky enough to be playing music for everyone else.”
When Ashton discovered the rave scene, he immediately gravitated to the left of center. “I wanted to get out of the main room and into the side room and into the obscure shit, or the intelligent shit, or the frightening shit,” he recalls in Insomniac’s interview. “Just the weird stuff, so it would almost be bragging rights.
“I do think that’s a bit of an immature attitude – to like something because it’s weird – but that was where I came from. Something that I loved about bass music was that it was deep enough, heavy enough, and weird enough that it resembled some kind of alternative. As it became popular and mainstream, it became difficult to balance the two.”
On the topic of the EDM mainstream right now, the man pulls no punches: “At this point I think the dust has settled, and we’re back into where I think of EDM as basically house and trance. To me, it’s really that mainstream sound with the cheesy, schmaltzy guy who sings some barbaric pop lyrics at the chorus; and I feel grateful that that’s what’s blowing up, because it allows bass music to creep off into the side stages when necessary.”
This fall will see Bassnectar tick off a career milestone with his headline show at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. Under the banner of ‘Bass Center VIII,’ the October 4 event finds Ashton joined by an all-star cast of special guests, including Colorado’s Paper Diamond, bass music shapeshifter Rusko and live collective Big Gigantic. You can read the full interview over at Insomniac’s website - it’s well worth your time. [Article photo by Rukes.]