May 19th, 2015


Image courtesy of Jake Jarrell via the BASSTUMBLRWe get a lot of questions through our Ask A Question form, this one came in today:

I love you, but I just saw your song on a commercial for the lamest movie: when did you become such a sellout!? It says “‘all you need is a laptop, some talent, and one track” – how can you be about that??

OK, lots to say about this!

First off, that slogan is super lame,  and frankly so is mainstream EDM culture! That slogan is the epitome of mainstream cheese, and you know I’ve never been a part of that. My music is eclectic and comes from all directions, and I have one of the most complex live shows going on at any festival I play at. And although I play at EDM festivals, I’m an experimental DJ who loves all kinds of music: just like I’m not a rock band because I play at rock festivals. Just like Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop artist, and is not EDM just because he plays at a festival… This movie is glitzy & goofy, like many mainstream movies, and I’m hyped to license a track to it. If it has some stupid quote about how phony mainstream DJs are, that’s their choice. An artist can license a song to a movie which has nothing to do with them:

Was I promoting meth use when I licensed a track to Breaking Bad? No. Was I promoting zombies when I wrote a custom song for Resident Evil? No. Am I claiming to be a stunt-man flying cars through buildings because I license a track to Fast & Furious? Hell no, I drive a 2002 Camry!

I think it’s awesome for artists to have a chance to license their music to film, tv, video games etc. I would happily license any song I’ve ever written – it’s an great opportunity, especially when so many fans just download music for free! Where is it written that if you love an artist you want them to be poor? I think that’s absurd. I work nonstop, and I am glad to license music: I hope it continues.

Did you know I licensed “Enter The Chamber” to a Buick commercial in 2006? Did hell freeze over? “Above & Beyond” to a Northface commercial: I was excited!

Am I selling out? No, but as an artist in the music business, by definition I am selling music. My music is for sale on iTunes: does that make me a sellout? My tickets are for sale, am I a sellout? Would you prefer I work 90 hours a week and live in poverty? No, of course not. Just be happy for an artist you say you love! 🙂

When I heard they wanted to license “You & Me” for a Zac Efron movie about being a DJ I did not expect some touching piece of dramatic cinema, I expected something loud, cheesy, and electric: it’s about some kind of frat boys becoming electro house DJs!

While I haven’t seen this movie, It looks like it’s portrayal of modern day EDM DJs is both accurate and thus annoying: fame chasers who are only in it for the glam and think all they have to do is hit a button. But I’m also not a huge zombie fan or a meth fan: licensing your music is a very good way for artists to make money off their hard work: so next time you see my music in a trailer, don’t be shocked

I have seen a lot of cheesy DJs do a lot of cheesy things, and I haven’t done them: I’ve forged my own path, I’m not corporately sponsored, I give every last drop of love and attention to my music & my community, and it’s all been built from the ground up. So if some cheesy electro house DJ is just pressing play, go complain to them (or stop going to their shows). I work hard, I do what I love, and I think this movie looks hilarious. Will I see it? Probably not. Would I license a track to the sequel? Sure!

Now why not spend less time complaining about something trivial, and go read my latest blog about thinking critically and helping to make the world a better place! You have time to criticize something that ain’t hurting anyone – how about spending some time participating in something positive?



  • Jordan

    Awesome post, Lorin. That last paragraph is perfect. I think people are just willing to complain about you and the bassnectar project because they care about it SO MUCH. Most people don’t complain and rally against real, serious problems because they’re not as passionate about it (that’s my guess). If you look at it that way, it’s almost a compliment.

  • Yvon Robert

    those who do not truly appreciate what you are as a artistic being , must be given instructions on how to successfully perform the task of cranium fornication with ones anus ………….i beleive in what you are mr ashton ……..forgive spelling

  • DB Montana

    “I feel sad when the scene I love devolves into a mockery of corporate sellouts making fast-food commercials, or disrespecting women & objectifying them as sex objects, or acting like other clowns on stage and punching other DJs, or desecrating the art of music into some self-gratifying orgy of ego & glam, or trying to be famous instead of enjoying the honor of getting to play music for other humans.” – Lorin Ashton aka Bassnectar

  • Nick

    I heard she craves spirit and the gods crave matter. That gave disaster and chaos the laughter. e-Bfree… Nicky G

  • Deeanna Bennett

    Love love love so much love

  • Katie Hall

    I really dislike when people are so quick to label things as “mainstream” now. When I think of “mainstream,” I think of an artist who doesn’t write or compose their own work and only wants to profit from it. Just because a track is in a commercial, blockbuster movie, etc. does not take away from the piece of work itself. I personally am so excited to hear a Bassnectar song anywhere because it means good music is being used in something, whatever medium it’s being used in. My life was changed for the better by Lorin’s music. It has brightened many a dark day for me and lifted my spirits in times of great stress. And that is because not only is it “good” music, but it it music where I know the artist has poured his time,effort, heart, and creativity into it. It is original,and I also know how much his fan base is appreciated. So do I give a shit where I hear it? Not at all. Because I know what kind of artist Lorin is and what kind of awesome community surrounds his music. That is all. Much love, Lorin, and all Bassheads out there. <3

    • YES!! 🙂 hit the nail on the head right there.

    • DB Montana

      “When I think of “mainstream,” I think of an artist who doesn’t write or compose their own work and only wants to profit from it.”

      Ohhhh man the irony is soooo real right now.

      • Chris Basscrew

        How so?

        • DB Montana

          I was angry yesterday. I’m not interested in spreading negativity or running a smear campaign. Gonna back down from any drama. Don’t mind me. Much love to Bassnectar and crew. 🙂 <3

  • Chris

    it is so hard to make money in the music biz. more power to you. cant wait to your set at bisco. the shots ive seen from your tour so far look mind blowing.

  • Nati J Lee

    Lorin is a sellout, he sells out every venue he touches !!

  • Nati J Lee

    Cincinnati need’s Bassnectar !

  • luke ramsey

    i love your music bassnectar thank you for your inspiring works of art

  • Alex Kass

    Hey Bassnectar, I’m an independent filmmaker and longtime basshead who wants to use some of your music in an upcoming project. How should I get in touch to discuss licensing?