FAN BASS: MESSAGE & MAINSTREAM

February 15th, 2012

194

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

=======================================

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

=======================================

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.

Comments

194 Responses to “FAN BASS: MESSAGE & MAINSTREAM”
  1. Kyle says:

    Lorin/Basscrew…..  You Kansas City at the Midland show will be the kickoff event to my friend’s bachelor party.  What do you say to easing him through this rite of passage with enormous amounts of !BASS!   

  2. Joey107 says:

    Hell Yeah !! No selling out going on here, tell em Lorin:) Bass Forever

  3. Adam says:

    Dear Bassnectar,

    I keep hearing YOUR SOUND in the main stream….I think they are calling YOUR SOUND dub-step or something like that? Anyway, though you wanted to know other people are making money on your creation… I guess you are like Jazz.

  4. Wzrlygd says:

    Dude! Talk politics to us again! For every person bitching at you there are 10 of us who want to know more and silently go home and look into it. I remember pledging to do 5 hours of community service at your show in Burlington and doing it, and I know other people did as well. You can’t make a positive impact while you are stymied as to the correct path to take, push forward against the naysayers who would dissuade you and derail your cause!

    As a side note: The shows visuals seem to be going downhill too :p I don’t want to be a negative nancy but I remember seeing the visuals and having to stop dancing so hard (not easy) so I could watch them and just go w…t…f am I seeing right now??? Don’t get me wrong they are pretty cool looking now, just not as thought provoking or disturbing. Maybe Its just me getting older…

    • Eric B says:

      I have to disagree as far as the visuals part goes, the whole light rig has stepped up SO much. Its bigger, badder, brighter and so much more complex! Check out the lighting rig in all its glory in Nashville for NYE 2012, it was wiiiiild!

    • robot_bass says:

      i agree that i love the political messages. i love hearing that stuff, both listening at home and i think it would be awesome to hear it live too. lorin was tweeting that he would be remixing so butterfly on this tour, so maybe we will hear some of those interview and speech samples again 🙂 but he has also said that he’s become more focused on community outreach, education, inspiration than on politics lately. and i think that’s reflected in the light shows and how they have evolved. and that’s all just part of the amorphousness of the bassnectar project 🙂

      but personally i think the light shows have still been very amazing and thought-provoking, perhaps in a different way than in the past, but i don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that. new years eve, in particular, was an amazing production, lights, sound, everything. the bass team blew the roof off that place.

  5. robot_bass says:

    diggin the new logo & bassnectar strike-through business goin on at the top of the page 🙂

    what does it meannn

  6. Joey107 says:

    Lorin! you should consider mixing that “Mr. Sandman” song from the Kia commercial and bring me a dream, just a crazy idea.

  7. Zeej2020 says:

    I am a man and I fucking love you Lorin. 

    I find it so funny… I’ve always loved your music, at least since I discovered it at Stubbs in Austin in May 2010, but others, when i first turn them onto it – without seeing you live – find it to be a bit polarizing, before at some point finally embarrassing and loving it. I’ve seen this with so many people i feel like.  And I find it funny because in my opinion you and your music are anything but polarizing – your perspective and your music is something that everyone can connect with. I know its changed over time but I for one respect people that change as the grow and learn more about the world. And your message and core values are so fucking legitimate it amazes me.  Please always keep them this way and always keep striving for success!  I wish you the best. 

  8. Emoore27 says:

    Lorin,

    I think you explained the difference between becoming popular and going mainstream really well. I think there are a lot of people that loved you as an underground movement, making “underground communications” and hate to see you get popular. It’s a double edged coin. In theory we should want more people to become involved in this. On the other side of things, us “old fans” will miss you in small venues where you thrived so well!

  9. Anonymous says:

    completely random question… your t-shirts. what brand are they? also are they 100% cotton? 50/50? they’re like, perfect…

  10. wake up says:

    Whatever you pay to go see Bassnectar isn’t enough. You know that every night, with Lorin you are going to get the greatest concert of your life.

  11. Kyle says:

    Ed/Basscrew-

    How long after ordering until the runner up prizes arrive for “guess the tour dates”?  Generally.

  12. Transam455 says:

    everyone read about this http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/a-mother-like-no-other if you saw what lorin put on twitter and fb of the pics under a microscope, its from the same website. one love, dont hate

  13. A Olson Dc says:

    WHERE IS VAVAVOOOOOM

  14. Rabbi Gabe says:

    An excerpt from Lucretius – “On the Nature of Things”

    “Nothing is more delightful than to possess sanctuaries which are lofty, peaceful, and well-fortified by the teachings of the wise…From there you can look down upon others and see them lose their way here and there and wander, seeking a road through life, struggling with their wits, striving with their high birth, exerting themselves night and day with outstanding effort to rise to the level of the greatest wealth and to have mastery over things.

    O wretched minds of men, o blind hearts! In what darkness of life and what great dangers this little span of time is spent! Don’t you see that nature cries out for nothing except that somehow pain be separated and absent from the body, and that she enjoy in the mind pleasant feelings and be far from care and fear?

    …Therefore we see that there is need for very little for our bodily nature, just enough to take away the pain and also to spread out many delights before us; nor does nature itself ever ask for anything more pleasing…[than] when people lie in groups on the soft grass beside a stream of water beneath the branches of a tall tree and at little expense delightfully tend to their own bodies, especially when the weather smiles and the seasons of the year sprinkle the green-growing grass with flowers”
    (p. 31-32)

  15. Loveu says:

    I fully respect and agree with everything you say, but I think the more “humanistic” and emotion-bringing and bringing of people together in general/humanism is more successful with more melodic and emotional songs from your older albums as opposed to Bass in your face… not very humanistic but a dope song for sure. 

    All i’m saying is play some damn music from your old albums. Everybody wants to hear that, especially people who were more part of your underground movement (beginning/whatever), who, most importantly, have continued to fully support you even though the music at your shows is much heavier now (makes sense due to technological increases, etc., just saying). 

    I just think you should play more of your own music in your sets, and play more from your older albums. 

    I respect everything you say, so can you respect that? I mean let’s be real, Underground communication and mesmerizing the ultra legitimately impact people with musical emotion and are melodic in ways no other producers have touched on. I love listening to those albums, musical books man, MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT. Please respect your olderr fans and albums as well!

  16. spaceylacey says:

    maybe you should do a fan base on why every set isnt filled with all your old stuff. and remind folks that u usually throw out a few old school jams. i love um just like the next head but im always ready to slurp up whatever crunchy juicy tasties you serve, old and new ish.

  17. T Clark2302 says:

    Well lorin I myself have been blastin your tunes almost nonstop since 2008..in that time many doors have opened up for me. A few I had to swat kick. The first time i played ‘when I grow up’ off cozza frenzy at a work place (a warehouse) all the guys there stopped to gather around the little speakers.some of the roughest dudes I’ve ever met literally wept….I asked if they liked what they heard, they all responded with a story about self enlightenment and went on and on about their aspirations in life.. on my next break I went to my car and pondered what had happened… it was the fact that all human minds filter out what is and is not important to them..but that moment we could not hide or deviate from the thought that drives us.I believe no matter what opinions fly back and forth ,your message and beats expose the real person we are. I’ve seen it! That person cares for others before ones self, shows love and compassion not to the accumulation of material items but to others. I believe you know a whole hell of a lot more about this. Helping people care for others may be our biggest challange to face I the future. How will you contribute to humanity in your future? Raw and in ones face? Or planned with a pure underlying message?

    • Shasta Lee says:

      <3
      your story of when i grow up carries such a strong message and understanding. i really like how you explained all of that too, cause i definitely agree with you and I've found myself trying to word it similar to that. 🙂

    • robot_bass says:

      i also agree 🙂 lorin may expand on your additional questions later if you drop them in the form on this page https://www.bassnectar.net/2011/02/new-discussion-feature/

    • Eric B says:

       Helping others care for one another is, in my opinion, one of the core values shown at all of his shows. The ambassador’s help all our brother and sisters out and that vibe is continually reciprocated and expanded upon during and after the show. Its a small step, and many of us only see the effects of this at the show, but it really does resonate with people and grow within them.  Nectar shows really are moving in more than a audible/visual sense.

  18. Slamb2212 says:

    mmaan, I love the your answers to things lorin, there so well though out and strategically worded.  well done, sir

  19. Noh8redleft says:

    With an annointing on your life to be able to minister to the masses through the media you continue to master, I would love to see and hear the word of God interspersed throughout your contribution to music.  Have you any thoughts or words in reply?

  20. Thank you so much for this lorin. It seems to be a constant argument these days w/ your growing popularity that you have lost your core values and goals and lost sight of your original message of self-education, slight rebellion to main mass media, and awareness of controversial issues in our current society.  It is good to hear that this isn’t the case and that just because your shows are selling out (ticket wise) you are still in essense the same musician/artist I started listening to years ago.  I won’t lie, I might have been loosing a little faith in it all, but your response to both questions has lifted any doubt that might have been building up inside me.  Looking forward to continuing this journey w/ you. Thanks again.

  21. Benjamin Winn says:

    Just wanted to say i love your music…been listening since “Mesmerizing the Ultra”…it’s been a while since I’ve been on the scene(doing the grown-up thing and all)…I never got to see you “live” in all the years i was on the scene…the awesomest girlfriend ever bought me tickets for Valentines Day to see you at the National (Richmond Va.) on April 25th…SUPER STOKED to finally see you perform!!!

    PS…Thank you for the countless hours of spine chilling bass and sweet musical nectar to my ears that help me through all of life’s ups and downs. Keep up the good work(as long as your having fun doing it)

    • Eric B says:

      Get ready to fall in love all over again!! I’d listen to him for years, heard all the albums and mixes countless times before I made it to my first show. After seeing him live I fell further in BASSlove with the nectar, if that was even possible. The music is obviously amazing, but the crowd always has the absolute best vibe!!

      Hope to see you raging out there my friend!

  22. Tsonaty says:

    Well said on both topics Lorin, I dont think further explaining is necessary. You make beautiful music and attract some of the best people your fan base is transparent to that. Keep killin it brotha!

  23. Lance says:

    Lorin, one of the many reasons i love you as a producer and musician is that you put messages into your music and shows that get people to think both political,i feel like spiritually as well,retrospectively and introsepectively. i am so glad to be basshead because for me its more than listening to music.its a way of life. so keep those nassty basslines coming and know your loved by hardcore fans and new to tha scene’ers.

    • Eric B says:

      Are you in BNF homie? Community is a huge topic for Lorin and we’ve got a super special group of amazing bassheads in BNF, I think you might enjoy chatting and raging with us!

  24. Theleinad911 says:

    I was just jamming out to some summer time vibes due to the first streak of warm weather my area is having this year, and then thought about how im attending basscenter in philly in april. and then i thought about how amazing it would be if there were such songs that had a summer-feel but also created with a juicy variant of bassnectar, merged together. that would be the shit

    • Eric B says:

      Make the trip out here brotha! You never know what surprises Lorin will have in store for our eager ears. Its a Basscenter so I’d expect some very tastey treats, especially with Va Va Voom coming out only ten days before! BCV is going to me teaming with bassheads ready to get down in the beautiful spring weather!!

  25. Carressa says:

    Bass i love your music so much!!! i just wanted to say that your sound is beyond amazing, your music has helped me threw so many times in my life.i love it so much i could never get tired of listing to you!!!! and i would love to see you live every night of me life!!!!

    Peace <3 
    Carressa 

  26. Joshtheillest says:

    LORIN and crew, your team is doing awesome… and your vision is alive still.. i see it on stage every time i see you (3 times a yr) haha nothing but heart,progression and positive impact! peace and much love!!

  27. Guest says:

    random question… i got the divergent spectrum tshirt and the bass owl tshirt. what kind of shirts are those made on? there wicked thin i love em!

  28. Setroxel says:

    if anybody has an extra ticket for philly 4/20 LOWER LEVEL GA – please respond to meh -__- i have ONE memember of my regular bassnectar family left out and its NOT OK!!!!!!!

  29. MattG says:

    Does anybody have an old ticket stub from the Bassnectar concert at the Washington Armory on April 23, 2011 in Albany, NY? If not, does anyone know who the promoter for the concert was? I seemed to have misplaced my ticket while dancing at the show, and am really missing it. This is the only stub I do not have for my collection from concerts I have attended. I would do anything to replace a copy of the ticket, and finish my collection of stubs.

  30. Jordan D. Jensen says:

    AWESOME. So pumped you finally discussed the difference between selling out or being mainstream and being popular. There is such a distinct difference and I your popularity and dedication to not selling out is something i really charish.

  31. Csl says:

    Read A People’s History of the United States!

  32. Jessica says:

    I just have to say, Lorin you changed my life. You say everything I have never been able to say because I just couldn’t find the words but you have found a way to send the message straight to the hearts of millions and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done.

  33. Matt says:

    Dude what is the reason for putting chronological out takes on your VaVa Boom album?

  34. Sheliab43 says:

    Lorin, I have followed your music like a puppy dog. Im very satisfied with your way of constructing a whole new enviromental feeling. Lately I just cant seem to bob my head to the new album 🙁 I am confident you will listen and understand your fans. You are a man of response on delicate matters. You are the most creative person I know when it comes to music and making somebody move. So my question really is….how come I dont feel the vibe from the new album? 🙁 I am still following you because I know you have the drive to be a unique mastermind. 🙂

  35. Ris says:

    anybody selling tickets for the Kansas City show tonight

  36. Andrew Vilar says:

    Lorin you are the man! Your shows and music really do bring people together, in a way that I haven’t seen any other artist do before.

  37. tobin747 says:

    back in February or March you posted something on your facebook of what different dnb samples were. it was just a link to a website where you could download different drum samples and was pretty cool. i recently got into djing after seeing you live multiple times and those beats would come in handy! i think it was jungle beats or something with jungle in it haha. i cant find it anymore if you still have a link to the website id love to have it, along with any other links to samples you may use when goin live! thanks man 🙂

  38. Michaelnavy18 says:

    Possibility of anybody knowing where to get the pre show photos from april 26th in knoxville tn?

  39. Jayallday says:

    Do you guys only have those pictures of the vavavoom tour of those places? or what about the other shows, im waitin to see phillys 4/20 show photos up!

  40. Harmile B. says:

    Please come to Orlando!!!!!!!

  41. Aimee says:

    Hi there Lorin,
    I’m going to highlight you on my radio show tomorrow and will offering to the listeners a very small window into your philosophy of life, music, community, revolution etc. by paraphrasing some of your musing. Please keep the flame for change burning bright through your music that reaches mostly the young people of this planet who are in the trenches dealing with injustice, inequality, rape and pillage of the planet and it’s people. There will need to be many “arab springs” in the future days, weeks, months and years. Please keep translating this higher calling through your music and writing. We need you. 

  42. Zach Lemesany says:

    Lorin–

    I love reading your responses to fan inquiries. I completely understand your curiousity about effectively implementing your total vision, and when and how to do so. What amazes me is the huge platform and fan bass you have, and yet you still continue to grow as a conscious being and nurture the fans at your shows.

    I have seen you a few times and loved every one of them. That said, after attending last night’s June 1st show at Red Rocks, I would hope you will be more careful of selecting opening acts in the future. I am talking of course about Diplo, who has completely changed his once filthy, bass-heavy catalogue and become yet another one of many fist-pumping Jersey Shore tribute artists.

    To be completely honest, I could not have been more disappointed with his set. After 4 songs, realizing he wasn’t going to actually drop any bass, I sat out and texted friends. I have never left a crowd at one of your shows before–every time in the past you have done a great job selecting other artists & I dance the whole night.

    You say, beautifully, that you hope to eventually attract a crowd that can think critically about  themselves and the world around them, while listening to other people in the process. By signing on with artists playing a setlist similar to Diplo’s, it is my opinion that you discourage any such conscious crowd.

    Every Diplo song last night was about mindlessly rubbing your dick or vagina on someone at a club. Seriously, what gives? Music like that is the anthem of people who do nothing to nurture their core identities, and instead follow blindly the destructive, selfish tendencies of popular consumer culture.

    Nonetheless, you killed it. You and Keys N Crates, who I had never heard, made my ticket totally worth it. Thank you.

  43. bassfaced says:

    Lorin or bass crew, where can i find/buy the paging stereophonic/ blue state riddim? can’t get it out of my head since friday

  44. Patrickdowcett says:

    hey man your best you’ve changed my life with your sounds love u brotha

  45. Chad says:

    Your show at Red Rocks had been my dream concert for two years, and I finally made it out for both nights on your VaVa Voom tour….absolutely life changing. You are so far ahead of the rest electronic industry in unreal. Great show, I’ll be chasing your shows across the country!

  46. Tory S says:

    Time to read “The People’s History of The United States!” Damn! They’re all checked out though. I’ll start after next week when I can pick up a copy. 🙂

  47. Tristin W. says:

    Lorin, you have truthfully been the most inspiring humanbeing to walk the Earth! I am 14 and to say the least dumbfounded by your ability to do your shit. I have been to two of your shows. Red Rocks 2011 and 2012! And i want to say thank your for helping me through everything! Your music, You and your live experiences are absolutely incredible! I look forward to meeting you one and getting to tell you all the stories about how i have cried listening to your music and my father pulling you through backstage at sea of dreams 2010! You are the best thing that probably ever happened to me. Your BIGGEST BASS FAN!

  48. The people who label you as a sell-out really just want to cut off your hair and wear it to their birthday party. Rage on, your true fans love you more than you know. By the way, you should write a book. I’m interested to hear your long winded views on things… particularly politics. You definitely send messages through your music and live performances. If you pay close enough attention you can pick them out. (I spotted the wall street bull on the monitor for that one split second and it comforts me to know that there are higher profile people supporting the good fight).

  49. Bryan Jaycox says:

    On the note of question 1: How about simply the https://www.bassnectar.net/audio/index.html link that you pushed in the interview here:
    http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/bassnectar/2687904

    It doesn’t have to be a divisive matter, but putting the information out there for those that would look is a powerful thing. There are fans like me scouring the internet for information about the small snippets of Noam Chomsky quotes that you wove into your songs and fueling that is huge! Simply trying to find clips of “mesmerizing the ultra” to pass along to friends can be near impossible.

    “We have enormous freedom. That’s not a gift that was given to us, it’s a legacy that was left to us by centuries of struggle.
    By centuries of people that most of whose names are completely
    forgotten, the ones who created the freedom and the rights we now have,
    and that will be taken away unless you constantly defend them.”
    -Noam Chomsky

    Defending it may be a difficult task, but it is the only way to live and thrive under the assaults of tyranny. With the policies that are being put into place these days with the NDAA and
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-13-2012/newsleaks?xrs=playershare_fb
    we need a rallying point for idealism moreso than ever in recent times.

  50. ONE DISAPPOINTED-ASS FAN says:

    Hey, so i used to think that Bassnectar was life and could not stop producing beautiful AND hard-hitting electronic music. . . then you stopped bringing out the real issues of life on stage and started caving in to DUBSTEP and all of its bath salt craving fans. Im curious to as why you would do this. I don’t listen to you at all anymore, saw you at the Forest and walked half way thru your set cuz i was so damn disappointed. havnt been listening for the past year or so.Iknow of many old fans, friends of mine, that will still listen to the album work of TimeStretch and previous to. But never will we listen to what you do nowadays.

    You have disappointed many who made you come as far as you have today.

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