From Sonny Moore to vocalist of a post-hardcore American band to now, the biggest dubstep producer in the world, Skrillex is easily one of the most revolutionising artists in the music industry.
Fresh from a successful Jack Ü tour with Diplo, and a much-appreciated stint as the producer on Justin Bieber’s new single, the producer is finally in India, after much yearning, for the Vh1 Supersonic Arcade. The Sherp caught up with Skrillex as he spoke to us about his upcoming India tour, his musical influences and much more.
Hey, we’re thrilled to finally have you in India. A concert long due, don’t you think?
You know what? That’s a good question. The world is so big and the best answer I can really give is that we plan so far ahead and we’re building in certain places, and I feel like right now is the right time for us to come. I think its better that we came now than before. I’ve heard even from other artists that there is a great big fan base there. The sort of infrastructure to kind of do our type of show wasn’t ready yet, so I think now it’s a really good time to go. So to all my fans get ready for Vh1 Supersonic in your city.
So Sonny Moore, lead singer of a screamo metalcore band, ‘From First to Last’, becomes Skrillex, one of the most recognisable electronic producers on the planet. How did that shift happen?
I don’t have to say anything about it other than it was just something that, like I said, I think if in life you just choose the next path that’s going to keep you busy and going to keep you motivated and hungry and productive, you’re going to be where you need to be. And that’s all I did in my life and that’s all I continue to do, just continue on and not stop for anything, not wait. That’s what I did, I wanted to leave home so that I could make music right away and that was the first place, the quickest solution to do it, but still do it from a real place as well. So there’s nothing really to say, other than that.
Skrillex is easily one of the most well-known names in global music. Does that much recognition bode well with you?
I don’t really think about it that much, other than its really nice to have more opportunities to be able to collaborate with people I really want to work with. That’s really where all the hard work comes back to you, whatever the karma is, the fact that I can just do more. People can trust me now, I can call someone up and they know I’ve done something, it’s there on record. That’s kind of the cool thing about it.
What do you feel about the intense commercialisation of dance music as it is today? Would you say there is a certain amount of ignorance about the music, even?
EDM is basically just a platform for making music, it’s not a genre. People said it was going away a couple years ago… When kids stop using computers then I think electronic music will go away, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon. It’s just a tool. At the end of the day as an artist, it’s not really about doing something for the sake of it. You get inspired by a tool because it gets you from point A to point B. And that’s what electronic music is. it’s a platform for how you create something, it’s a palette.
I remember reading about your love for Aphex Twin, who is a dynamically different kind of an artist. So what is your music spectrum really like?
I feel like all my musical influences have been people who have done things differently or come from an alternative side. I grew up listening to everything from hip-hop, to metal, to punk and IDM. I first heard Aphex Twin when I was really young and I realized that you can do something all by yourself, and let your imagination run wild and use a computer or electronics as an instrument. That really inspired me to become a producer. And then when I heard Michael Jackson I wanted to be a singer, and when my dad took me to see Metallica when I was 9 I wanted to play guitar.
My sound is a collage of my travels and experiences. That’s the best way to describe it. Just because I’ve been exposed to so many different types of music and travelled for so many years at a young age- I think that’s what makes me who I am artistically. I’ve never settled and I’ve never had a destination, it’s always a journey for me. That comes from travelling a lot and that’s one of the most important reasons why I love to travel. It’s part of who I am as an artist.
You also collaborated with Diplo for Jack Ü, which was very positively received, and that saw you go quite lighter with your sound. How was working on that?
We come from a very similar attitude of music. We do music because we love to do music, and we want to be rebellious and think of new sounds and not do things the way other people do things. I think that’s why we both match so well.
You’ve worked with Justin Bieber on the Jack Ü song ‘Where Are You Now’ and his new single from his upcoming album ‘What Do You Mean’. A lot of people are wondering about how this collaboration happened? What would you say?
I always respected Justin Bieber as an artist and the fact that he was so young, and doing what he did, and just his natural charisma and just him as a being, a person. I was always really intrigued by him. When it came to Jack U, the whole point that me and Wes like to do together, we don’t really have any rules on who we work with or don’t work with. It’s just all about what vibes are right and what feels natural at the time. We ran into him in a very kind of organic situation, so, it was awesome and I think Justin is just one of those talented people in the world.
Lastly, what can we expect from your India tour? We must add that your fans are bloody excited!
I’m always a very spur-of-the-moment type of guy when it comes to what I want to play and what I want to do, so I’m sure I’m going to be getting influenced by my surroundings and by the sounds and traditions. That’s probably going to come out musically, but I don’t know how.
Skrillex will be hitting the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi on the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th, respectively. You do not want to miss him action. Grab your tickets here.