Kaskade: “I will never ask you to make some noise”
If a 55-date tour with a new stage show is giving Ryan Raddon reason to sweat, he’s not the guy to let you know. With six Australian interviews already ticked off by the time inthemix gets on the phone to him, there’s no sign of his patience fraying. He’s probably in an airport lounge or sitting in traffic, but his voice suggests a guy reclining poolside in the Californian sunshine.
The 55-date trek in question is Kaskade’s Freaks Of Nature Tour, which sees the headliner city-hopping around North America over 10 weeks, packing out venues with his new DJ podium and a battalion of LEDs. In between those shows in amphitheatres and concert halls once reserved for top-line rock acts, he has been flying out for club slots in Ibiza, London, Barcelona and Mykonos. As the man himself puts it, it’s turning out to be “a ridiculous summer”. Despite his graduation to huge stages in the U.S., Kaskade’s motto-of-the-moment is “let the music speak”. At the recent Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, he set himself apart from his cohorts by taking the mic to promise, “I will never ask you to make some motherfucking noise.”
The reason we have him on the phone, though, is to talk about our own ridiculous summer, which sees Kaskade on the Boiler Room bill at Big Day Out 2013. Despite his regular jaunts down here, this will be the DJ’s first outing with the 21-year-old festival. He’s sharing the dance stage with The Bloody Beetroots, Nicky Romero and Pretty Lights, but he’s quick to admit he hasn’t had much time to think about the trip. Life’s not giving Kaskade much downtime, but you won’t find him complaining. Here’s how our ten minute chat with the house hero.
Things are pretty busy for you, right?
I’m in the middle of the Freaks Of Nature tour – 55 cities in ten weeks. I also did Wireless Festival in London with Calvin Harris and Madeon. I’m going back to Ibiza that closing weekend and playing Ushuaia. My management wanted to stack a few European dates in and make sure I was there.
I was over in Las Vegas for Electric Daisy Carnival in June, and saw you on the mainstage, which is obviously this huge spectacle with the music to match. How has your sound adapted to those settings? Did it happen organically?
For me, it’s happened organically. I’ve had to be very aware and conscious of it. I think this is why my sound over the last 10 years has gotten a bit tougher around the edges. 10 years ago for me, a big room was 500 people. Now a big room is the mainstage at EDC. So…yeah, things have changed and I think that’s affected my sound. Obviously I’ve learned how to play to those crowds over the years, but it’s taken some getting used to, for sure.
I feel a question you’d be asked a lot is where America is at with dance music, as you’ve seen it go through the decades. Is that something you’re constantly being asked to weigh in on?
Ah, yeah! I’ve just done six or seven interviews in a row and I think probably every single one of them asked about it. But it makes sense, because I’ve been DJing for 20 years and touring in this country for well over 10. I understand why people want to hear what I have to say on that subject.
Kaskade @ Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas
It’s been big for you here in Australia for at least 10 years.
Yeah, there are some comparisons there. But the thing with America is, we’re 350 million people so the sheer size of the country I think changes things. Whereas, what are you guys, about 25 million? There are so many cities here. When I go to Australia for a nationwide tour, I play five or six cities and that about covers it. Here, I’m doing 50 cities and I have people complaining that I’m not coming to their town. I’m like, “Are you kidding me? I’m trying to hit everywhere!” So I think the size of it, and the fact that America took so long to take to electronic music, is interesting.