Bassnectar: Make it raucous

It’s fair to say things are pretty nuts for Bassnectar in the US right now. Having honed his production smarts working across a wide spectrum of electronic music, the producer’s hybrid sound is now filling huge spaces. Take, for example, his New Year’s Eve party to welcome in 2012: an all-ages arena show in Nashville that pulled a 10,000-strong crowd. Those kinds of numbers are by no means a one-off, either.

This summer sees Bassnectar return to Australia for the Big Day Out, where he’ll lead the bass charge alongside Nero in the Boiler Room. He’s also scheduled a couple of club shows on the side, playing in far closer quarters than his US touring schedule ever allows. In conversation, the long-haired rabble-rouser is unmistakeably American in his earnest commitment to the cause. We bailed him up to hear why he’s loved up on Australia.

Your New Year’s Eve party looked immense, with 10,000 mad bass heads rolling up. Do you consider that a crowning moment in your career so far?

It honestly felt like home. If you had put me in front of that crowd ten years ago I would have been hella nervous, but at this point it just feels natural and delightful.

You’ve made a few trips to Australia over the last couple of years. What have been some of your standout memories from those tours?

Blood! Seriously! I was stunned at how people get down with such chaos and mayhem. I remember wrapping up a set last year in Perth and everyone’s faces in the front row were bleeding but they were all smiling and cheering. They were just a raucous crowd.

Every single show we did last year had way more people packed into it than should have legally been allowed. That is something I really missed from my old school days: tiny, overcrowded intimate shows. It was really a pleasure. But I am expecting some bigger crowds and bigger systems this year at Big Day Out which will also be quite fun, I am sure.

When I interviewed Datsik recently he said, “When you talk to people from the UK, they say Canada and the US are all about noisy dubstep. So it’s really hard to get some of these big UK producers who started the genre over to the US, because kids have never heard of them.” Do you see a divide between the US and UK scenes in bass music?

I see divides everywhere. But I focus on the connections. I never thought I would see electronic music gain such intense levels of popularity in North America.

Regardless of genre, people love to go buck wild to big, bass-heavy music, and I think the more an artist can balance the extremes of hard and soft, dark and light, or masculine and feminine, the better. Nothing feels good without diversity, and I think people across the planet might have various differences in style, but I am focused on what brings people together.

What do you see as the next step in the evolution of dubstep?

That term is so loaded; it has lost its meaning. Too many people disagree on the definition. Since it is just one of the many colours in my palette, I am just focused on making the music I love, alongside people I love, and broadcasting it to people who love it.

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