FAN BASS: MESSAGE & MAINSTREAM

February 15th, 2012

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In the latest edition of Fan Bass, Lorin responds to two questions that touch on his mission and mainstream success.

Please get involved in the conversation in the comments below, or if  you’d like to submit a question that could be answered in future Fan Bass posts, send it HERE

QUESTION: “You continue to make extremely raw, highly energetic, deliciously beautiful sounds and I love it, but I feel like the message of revolution is a little distant recently. I’m all about having songs on the other side of the coin, but we need to keep the fight alive and we need to educate all these fresh new fans that I love so much. I have no doubt you are still on point with it off the stage, but I personally believe a portion of it needs to be on the stage.” -innavibemusic717

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Thanks for that question. I assure you I have lost no steam in my vision or intentions. I will definitely say that I am searching for the most *effective* ways to contribute to the world, and currently I have more questions than answers.

I am very interested in sharing myself and my inspiration with other people, and giving back to a world that has given me so much. But since I want my actions to be effective, I am more interested in the Ends (making a positive impact in the lives of others) than the Means (doing it via politics, or music, or neither, or both). Politics are divisive, misleading, and confusing. I like to find creative ways of connecting with other people, and helping them connect to each other. Currently I am more interested in “humanistics” than in “politics”. I am more interested in helping to empower other people though education, community, health, and by encouraging self critique, self optimization, and proactive communication. It is hard to speak about in a concise manner.

Also, when addressing such a large amount of incredibly diverse people, communication becomes very difficult and almost disfunctional. Limited character space, and limited attention span are subject to misunderstanding, and very few people think critically of themselves, or want to look outside the box.

If I were to suggest that my fans read “The People’s History Of The United States” or watch the documentary “Why We Fight”, I would likely have to deal with more arguing and ignorance than I can engage with. There are so many disagreements and differences of opinion, so many preconceived notions. And I find most people want to talk more than listen. I am interested in truly open-minded discussion, but I have not yet found the best terrain for a meaningful exchange of information and perspective.

When I read that book, and watched that documentary, it ignited fury inside of me, a fury toward injustice and unfairness. I am dedicated to standing against that injustice, but how to be most effective? It’s simply a question which I cannot yet answer. So I am moving forward in the meantime, with a wide open mind and heart.


QUESTION:

“Lorin, there has been a lot of speculation going around saying you are going mainstream and selling out. How does this make you feel?” – Nicholas Whetstone

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Short story: I have not sold out, I have not lost sight of my vision, nor have I compromised my values. I never will. I am doing what I love, and it is an uphill battle to navigate all the ups & downs in this crazy world, but I have never lost sight of my core values.

Long story: This topic also deserves it’s own novel. But as the number of people tuning in grows, I am sure I will have to keep responding to it. So let me say a few things:

1. I have very strong personal standards, I have very clear artistic visions and moral intentions, I have a strong sense of integrity.
2. I do not compromise my integrity or my standards in exchange for popularity. I might make necessary compromises when I feel the need, but I will never compromise my core values.
3. “Selling Out” is a tricky phrase with a double meaning, and this makes the topic confusing.

MEANING ONE: In a negative context, “selling out” means compromising your core values, which I will never do.

MEANING TWO: In a positive context, it means having success (selling out shows, selling tons of CD’s, whatever). Bassnectar is growing in exponential popularity and “selling out shows” which is a different thing, a positive thing. It would be negative if i sold out my beliefs and my identity in order to make money, and that will never happen.

WHAT IS “MAINSTREAM:” There is a difference between “going mainstream” and being popular. There is a a difference between changing yourself to become mainstream (diluting yourself to appeal to the largest audience possible) and being pursued by the mainstream (doing what you do naturally while large amounts of people naturally respond and gravitate towards you). On some level if vast amounts of people gravitate toward your art, it does not signify a lack of quality (The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Chapelle, Mozart, Stevie Wonder, Bjork, Radiohead, etc).

People who accuse me of “selling out and going mainstream” are misinformed, incorrect, and not paying attention to what I say or think… Their accusation contains negative conotations that suggest I have compromised my core values like a cheap bitch, and whored myself out for money. They are incorrect, because I am more commited than ever to my goals. And I am stronger than ever, more experienced, with more connections, and an increased ability to make an ever stronger social impact.

As I mentioned above, the biggest problem is that people’s attention spans are too short, thus preventing an adequate, intelligent conversation on the matter. This makes it difficult to discuss the intimate details of philosophy and intent, although I am happy to do so. In the meantime, I continue moving forward. So someone sees me being successful, and lazily assumes the worst, which is a shame. But I think it is important to know yourself, and try not to worry too much about other people’s misconceptions. I am already my own worst critic, and since I am hyper critical, I will be the first to judge and critique myself if I do something wrong.

Again, I could write another 15 pages on this, on the deeper intricacies of my intentions and how they have weathered the storm of this journey, but I’ve written enough for now.

  • JimiJons

    At this point I don’t even care if you sell out, Lorin. You’ve created such beautiful artwork that the freedom to choose to step aside should be bought and paid for wholly through the merits you’ve earned already. If you choose to start doing shows with Justin Bieber, that’s cool. I may not prefer to go see those shows, but I’m not going to judge, especially since I’d just slip Vava Voom back into the CD player.

  • I have been listening to You since “California Sunshine” and to me every new release has been a more effective force of change… While some of your music has explicitly clear messages, i.e. “Inspire the Empathetic”, that inform and call our minds to attention, it is your music that touches deeper, to our hearts, that I believe is changing the world. I believe that change begins on the inside and I feel your newer music climbing deeper and deeper, especially your newest, HOLOHGRAM, INFINITE, BREATHLESS ( but of course timestretch, dubuasca, parade into centuries). Instead of addressing our problems through the current systems, fear based and failing, and inspiring protest, opposition, these songs inspire me to Love, offering a new way to live that does not require us to fight the old, only to let it go. As vicious as they can sound to some, just throbbing noise, to me (and my girlfriend) your frequencies slaughter my thought; your vibrations drag my consciousness from my head and invite it to play… From my roots to my crown, your sound charges me, and a fully charged human is a force to be reckoned with, With so much Love, Kelty

    • I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing.

      🙂

      • yeah, especially breathless hologram dubuasca parade into centuries, those tracks penetrate every cell of my being. it almost feels nostalgic yet it’s all still happening and ahhhh bassnectar music gets me so good.

        • Alex Kohlman

          amen to that. His music just touches the soul in so many ways. A beautiful connection between mind, body, soul, and song. I have never had another artist who has inspired and changed me before. It is true art in its purest most elegant form to me. Music is magic.

  • If I wasn’t in love with Lorin before I am now

  • Olivia

    I recently just had the honor of experiencing your performance at the Bridgestone Arena on New Years 2013, I obviously loved and was inspired by your music already but I wasn’t aware of the person you truly are at that point. So after the show, I have made it a priority to see that my interest in you expand. To say that I am inspired by you is such an understatement. I love the way you express yourself and know who you are. SO many people do not. I love your idea and meaning of life. I would identify myself as an optimist and I feel like you are the best example of an Optimist AND a realist. You’re basically perfect in my eyes, from what I know. I just want to take the opportunity to share my opinion. I am so thankful that you give fans the chance to express themselves to you. You are truly a role model and inspiration! I am so thankful that you are on this earth with us and share your beliefs, interests and ideas!

  • OneLoveMessenger

    Lorin has agreed to play at my wedding party/ bachelor party/ family party over the summer! He truly is an amazing soul! Thank you Lorin!

  • fester revolution

    game over everyone will be made of stone the human creation station nashville 2011

  • rasta hair

    BASSNECTAR come to avila, in cali. WEEZ LOVE THE BASS

  • Mike Way

    I just wanted to show my appreciation for the care and patience that is put into your music, your shows, and how you voice your beliefs. Stopping and really looking at yourself is a difficult thing. Many of the little and less dramatic things that I see still manage to have a big effect, when you look at them from the right angle.

    “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded
    that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

    Ghandi

    I think just the process of bringing people together, getting them to pay attention to now, and just enjoy themselves, is really challenging. I also think that when we manage to do that, so much of our pain, and our issues fall away.

    So my point is, maybe its enough to make great music and to really love doing that… because maybe in the end, all we do need, is love.

  • pedro

    wow.. !!

  • Fletch Lockwood

    Lorin- I never paid much attention to Dubstep, Reggstep, etc. until I heard your music for the first time two years ago. Your sounds have ignited a new passion for music in me that I thought I had lost. I’ve since purchased every one of your songs and went to Veld Fest in Toronto just to see you perform live. (Coincidentally, I found myself in one of your concert photos with probably the biggest smile on my face since I was a kid. I’m 36 now.)
    Your sounds are unique in this (surprisingly) vast genre, which is why I have become such a fan of Bassnectar. Let the haters hate, but don’t let them change you brutha. With sincerity – Fletch

  • Dylan

    I mean they probably decided that he no longer does Shambhala but has a residency at Surrender Nightclub… I will be a nectar fan for life, I have nectar inked on me, but there are some things you just can’t ignore and we would be bad fans if we blindly followed all he did like he was the second coming of Christ.

  • Josh Sorensen

    Hey i know this is random…. But I seriously would love it if you remixed Shakira “Empire”…. I’m not a Shakira fan but I feel like the crowd could go absolutely apeshit if he did it…. the potential could be filthy!!!!!!!!!

  • Julie Miller

    I’m writing you because I am a fan in hopes of getting some help. recently I got into some trouble at work and I stole some money. I have a drug addiction. last week I actually started to get treatment because I wanted to get help. but it was too late. my job is being very nice about it and they’re giving me until Monday to come up with the money. I’m reaching out to everybody I know in hopes of not going to prison. if you I think there is a slightest chance that you can help me please reach out to me my email is Jamiller1985@gmail.com

    • hey julie, i havent seen this til just now, wanted to let you know im sendin much love your way and the best of wishes on your road to recovery <3

  • Julie Miller

    ‘m writing you because I am a fan in hopes of getting some help. recently I got into some trouble at work and I stole some money. I have a drug addiction. last week I actually started to get treatment because I wanted to get help. but it was too late. my job is being very nice about it and they’re giving me until Monday to come up with the money. I’m reaching out to everybody I know in hopes of not going to prison. if you I think there is a slightest chance that you can help me please reach out to me my email is Jamiller1985@gmail.com