FAN BASS: TOURING & PARTYING

November 29th, 2011

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Bassnectar in ChicagoWelcome to another Fan Bass session. We have compiled two questions into one post, where Lorin discusses touring, dancing, drugs and more.

You can continue the conversation in the comments below, or if you have any follow up questions, or a new inquiry regarding anything, send it HERE. Now read on, good citizens of Bass Land:

QUESTION:

“It seems like you enjoy touring. However, I can understand if it ever gets monotonous. Honestly, do you ever get tired of touring? Also, how much do you thrive off of your fans at a show? Thanks for all you do!” marie_02

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Short answer: yes it is exhausting, and I love it!

Longer answer: I work obsessively and relentlessly because I love what I do. Whether it is touring, producing, performing, creating events, planning, or working on dozens of side projects, I would categorize it all as “work”. I would differentiate “work” from “personal time”. For me, if I was going to spend a day doing *just* what I wanted for myself and not work at all, I would want to explore Nature or Culture (hike, go to a museum, bike around, get exercise, read a book, spend time with a friend, discuss philosophy or politics or science …enjoy the simple things in life) but it would feel like an indulgence because there is so much work to do. Since childhood, I have been a workaholic (in school, with creative projects, with music, with events, etc) and it is just natural for me to continue this. There is a large part of me that feels like what I am doing is ‘giving back’ to other people. Even though a lot of people who perform on stage appear to be doing it for the glamor and hype, that just is not my intention. For me, it is about giving back to the world around me.

So of course I “thrive off my fans” at shows, but those are your words, I would use different words. For me, it is an energetic give and take on extremely deep levels. It surpasses music, it surpasses everything, and becomes like ghosts meshing together and dirty dancing upon fields of invisible electricity, in slow motion, in some alien time zone across the universe.


QUESTION:

“Do you ever go to ‘raves’ and just party anymore? when was the last time YOU partied and what show was it??” -ziggy <3"

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I work nonstop, and seldom have time to do ANYTHING outside of work. I have caught some good performances lately (Ellie Goulding, Gogol Bordello, etc) but the only raves I have time to attend are places I am playing.

I definitely do “let myself enjoy life” at times, but my natural inclination is not to spend that time ‘partying’. Let’s distinguish between “dancing” and “partying” here.

First, dancing:
I do not get a lot of undisturbed time on a dancefloor, so if i want a good dance experience, I will probably dress up in a fat suit, a mustache, and a sombrero and go somewhere anonymously and just freak the fuck out. I would like to dance to super ridiculous music, or something bizarre and unique. Or to raging drum&bass, in a small room, low ceilings, raw style… As it happens I dance a lot in my studio, and i dance like a lunatic while I am DJing, not as a performance, but as a sincere reaction to music.

Second, partying:
This usually implies drugs or inebriation. The topic of recreational drug use is huge, and I will save it for another time, but I will say that for me, nothing is more marvelous than a clear, powerful, inspired mind. So if I am already bursting with natural enthusiasm and inspiration, the last thing I want to do is dumb it down, or numb myself. I seek clarity, because that leads to a deeper, more profound experience. And if i want a headrush, then i drink caffeine to go up, and red wine to get tipsy. But I just don’t need much, i am naturally high as fuck.
😉

  • Ian Denchasy

    For hardcore Bassheads…

    Soooo, I had no plans this past weekend and a friend in Vegas had tickets to see the show at Surrender. Being an SoCal Westsider who rarely gets beyond the 405, I relaxed my geographical boundaries, hopped something called the Megabus, and was in my friend’s car 5 hours later lounging at a Burner friend’s pool before chowing down in preparation for what I (and my Vegas posse echoed) thought would be a unique experience, perhaps odd given the venue, but nevertheless fun as Lorin rarely disappoints.

    For many of us “old timers” who’ve been following Bassnectar since his early playa days (I caught him at a loft party in New York over a decade ago in front of less than a hundred people and know a person who hired him to score a porn film before that), you know that every show will be at least slightly unique and can run the gamut from inspiring and transcendant – Root Society at Burning Man 2008 when he unveiled his “LSD” remix comes to mind – to downright awful (Basscamp at Burning Man in 2009 ahead of Freak Nasty was horrid) and everything in-between; his impromptu set using an former alias next door to Root Society when their sound system failed before his set was as good a save as you’ll ever see.

    Nowadays, basking in his peak years, Bassnectar has become as huge as one can get without selling out to a label, a beacon for artists born and crafted in the dust storms of Black Rock City that success CAN be found in the default world and that one CAN hold to a standard of principle that allows a good night’s sleep. Only the most shrewd, hard working, and highly intelligent musicians can hope to come close to his level of success through his “tour first” business model. Bassnectar’s level of activity would kill most bands and, deservedly, Lorin now plays to larger crowds in ever larger venues and I have been fortunate enough to catch his act – along with my wife, son (and his friends) – everywhere from the ornate Wiltern Theater and historic Palladium here in Los Angeles, to massive festivals like Coachella, EDC, and Lightning In A Bottle. Like any other musical act with a following, we have enjoyed the experience of rocking out with fellow Bassheads every step of the way.

    And along came Las Vegas to mind fuck everything I’d come to expect from our intrepid long haired Pied Piper.

    First, there was the venue itself. Surrender nightclub is located in the Steve Wynn operated Encore hotel and casino. As a married, just-shy-of-50 year old father, this setting (dress code enforced, no less) alone made me extremely uncomfortable. Bassnectar playing a club plucked right out of Doucheville, complete with young 20-somethings who probably had zero clue as to who or what Bassnectar is? In my mind it had to either be a twisted prank on Lorin’s part or the money must’ve been too ridiculously high to refuse. Did Surrender’s management really expect Bassnectar to suddenly spit out a medley of Justin Beiber mashups to this overly made up, high heel wearing “What stays in Vegas” crowd of reality show wannabes? As I paced the glitzy surroundings, enduring multiple warnings of where I was NOT allowed to sit by the militant security/bouncer types and watching the stripper pole shenanigans, I felt the urge to turn in my Basshead credentials and leave in disgust that Lorin would even set foot in such a cheesy shit hole. It was only the fact that my friend had forked out $50.00 for my ticket that kept me around until the 1:30 am start time.

    Sure enough, as one of the staff verified an hour earlier, Bassnectar hit the DJ booth on the dot at 1:30 and began his set with his usual blast of air moving bass.

    However, something was definitely different. Off, even. Unlike his usual tour stops, his choices of tracks seemed wonderfully… disjointed? Random, even? I looked over at the pole dancers and they were almost frozen, unable to figure out how to move properly to what was pumping out of the sound system. One even threw her hands up in frustration and gave up. Was this intentional on Lorin’s part? His song choices and mashups were almost unrecognizable as well; the well worn crowd favorites abandoned as he kept plowing through – and I DO mean PLOWING. There was no rest, no slowdown, no ethereal pause, no… compromise. He threw down a couple shots – yes, you read that right – and just kept blasting away and the crowd kept getting smaller and smaller. By 2:55 am, which was 5 minutes prior to when his set was supposed to end (according to the staff person I’d spoken to earlier), those still in attendance had shrunk to less than half the original number and the pole dancers had beat a hasty retreat. As is his custom, Lorin thanked everyone left for coming, took the requisite “family photo,” and said he’d play “one more (song)” and we figured we’d be out in 5-10 minutes.

    Oh how wrong we were to think this was just another Bassnectar performance… Because suddenly, magic happened.

    Like a crazed maniac who was playing his first real gig in front of a live audience, Bassnectar suddenly became “DJ Lorin” again and went bananas. Flying around the booth like he’d been pumped full of first time performer adrenaline, he took his “one more song” and threw the kitchen sink at us. He just kept going and going; every time we thought he was ready to wind it up, he pumped out another explosion of sound. It seemed as if he’d gone off script and lost his mind. At one point, he had so many different samples going at once that any semblance of definable music had devolved into the most beautiful mess of, well, NOISE that I’d ever heard. It was so good in fact that I reveled in how bad it must’ve been to anyone not truly versed in Bassnectar evolution. 45 minutes later he was still going and less than 50 people remained, so close to the booth we could slap hands with him (and some did). Mercifully to the Surrender club’s proprietors, he decided to let them close on time at 4 am and turned his volume dials down so they could go home. The smattering of those of us left staggered out through the detritus of burnt out humanity left in the casino, now a heap of smeared makeup and bathroom vomiting bridal shower parties who wouldn’t be going home nearly as high as the lucky few of us who got to witness a truly wondrous artist at the top of his craft.

    In closing, this may have been one of the final times I’ll attend a Bassnectar show, but I’ve said that after many of Lorin’s peformances. What I used to appreciate most in Bassnectar is what I’d thought was lost – spontaneity. Gladly, and in the most unexpected of places, you proved me wrong once more, and what happened in Vegas, um, you know the rest…

    • woo! well put and interesting 🙂 thank you for this

      i think i can sum up my ideas about what you’re talking about here in one word — amorphous 🙂

  • oscar

    hey Lorin any idea of when the immersive tour vid will be out ?!?!?!