Q&A SESSION – MAY 13th 2014
Hey folks! i’ve been essentially off the grid for months now, working on my record, preparing for festival season, etc: i wanted to plug back in with a Q&A and catch up so leave your questions below in the comments & i will try and get to as much as i can 🙂
UPDATE: that’s a wrap for today. Thanks everyone for all your questions. We’ve created an archive of all answered questions below.
DrConversano: “Do you ever get stressed out while on tour? If so what do you do to combat that? Do you have a “happy place” you go to to unwind? Can’t wait to see you at RR and TomorrowWorld this summer.”
haha yes indeed it does get very stressful being on nonstop tour. I have definitely amalgamated to it, and i have an amazing crew of people on the road with me so it is plenty of fun as well. I think that previously my tours were kind of like nonstop lifestyle…never-ending road travels…
with this last break in the action (essentially 6 months at home in California) I got to really replenish and catch up on normal life…as well as get really creative. This is the first year I haven’t had a Spring Tour since I can remember (in at least 10 years) and so its kind of a new fresh format. We are kicking off a new release and then slamming out into basically nonstop festival season (planning a road tour for the Fall) ….and festivals are so different from road tour shows…. in fact there are so many anomalies and unique events upcoming…
Stephanie Renee: “Lorin, I know this is not the request line and I’m truly sorry but I have to hear Where is My Mind with the piano intro at Waka. I’ve only heard it live once in NYC 2013 night 1… It saved my life..I need to hear it live again… Please oh dear god please play it for me and my love at waka. Ok real question. How does your fame effect your day to day living when you are not touring? What exactly do you do other than making magic in the studio? What do you like to do for fun? Hiking, rock climbing, etc. Things of that nature. What centers you and brings you back to your core? 🙂 I love you”
That’s a great question.
For one, i don’t feel ‘famous’…i am a naturally social person, but I can also be shy, reclusive, and strange. I think sometimes it looks like i am part of that EDM scene of DJs because I am slotted alongside them at festivals, or because we commit similar verbs (like DJing, performing, producing) …but I don’t seek out the famous lifestyle, I don’t want fame or to be a part of the cool club. I don’t really like mainstream pop culture (i don’t feel attracted to it…it kind of makes me feel sad or odd or isolated) and I will admit to you that it’s one of the biggest struggles in my life, balancing what I set out to do from a very artistic, authentic, underground intention, and having to navigate this gnarliness of the music industry, the insanity of the entertainment industry, and everything that comes along with popularity…So it affects me a lot. The best thing I can do to escape it is to unplug. Honestly being off of twitter all these months was AMAZING! It feels like detaching from a big machine….and being a real boy again 🙂 To answer you plain and simple: i love hiking, being outside, reading, thinking, spending time with friends, exercising, and focusing on what is special to me in life
David Giovannini: “What were some of your influences on your upcoming album?”
On this latest album, each song is so different from the next, and many songs are amalgamations of several disparate ideas, so they are complex (at least to me, as their creator) in part due to the amount of influences for each song. Many times i am influenced by a thought or an idea, and many times I am simply just writing music and things begin to unfold…. I noticed that I can be influenced by something beautiful or inspiring (and reflect back beauty towards it) or i can be influenced by something negative or annoying (often replying with something to counteract that)….
Ni Colette: “What advice do you have for new and growing artists?”
I absolutely would have tons of advice, but it would depend entirely on who you are and what your intentions are as a person and an artist. For me, I never wanted to be famous or cool, I was just in love with music, I was fanatic about the underground rave scene (and before that the underground death metal & punk rock scenes) and I simply wanted to be a part of it. I didnt want to be the boss or the leader, I just wanted to contribute. I wanted to volunteer. I had a lot of fun giving to other people, (you should watch a french movie called Amelie, I am mega influenced by her) and I approached all events and musical experiences collaboratively. I trained musically in bands with my friends, and I shared a studio with friends. We helped each other and learned from each other. I put on special events with my friends. I wasn’t just walking up on stage in tight pants and trying to get famous. Back then if someone had just stood up on a table with their arms in a V while their laptop played music and then stage dived and tweeted about it….it would not have been very popular 😉
So anyhow, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of cooperation…but you learn from people, you reflect, you become a part of something. If you want to be famous, i think you should probably appeal to the lowest common denomonator: look cool, act cool & unnaffected, tweet about offensive or careless things, make fun of people, be overly sexual, and don’t stir the pot. just play it safe, be good looking…just like the popular crowd in high school 😉
if you want to make art: that’s a whole other conversation 🙂
Shepheard: “Do you think that today’s touring artists should be more vocal about world issues like Income Inequality, and widespread bankster fraud? Great artists galvanized the message of freedom fighters in the 60s, I think it’s time for that again.”
“Should” is a hard word….I have difficulty getting behind “people should ____” because even though we want them to do something or not do something…everyone is so different and opnionated….its always a clash. do i wish people were more vocal about their opinions? YES AND NO. Many people online are vocal about opinions which I disagree with, and I don’t want to tune into their noise because it feels shallow and not well thought out. Some people have a lot to say, and they are intelligent and critical, and so i tune into those people. You asked about artists. SHould artists do X, Y, or Z? I don’t know. I wish ALL PEOPLE would spend more time thinking critically, discussing meaningful issues and ideas, and interacting in things which matter on a large scale. Too much time spent making small talk online, or going to parties, and I lose interest 🙂
But I also don’t think artists should go around trying to make a social impact if that’s not their calling, because being good at art doesnt necessarily mean you are an intelligent communicator or a social activist. To each there own.
For myself, I feel constantly confused how to even approach the idea of making an impact through art because there is so much noise online….it’s difficult to have intelligent conversations. here is a BIG ISSUE i would point you to right now:
CHECK that OUT 🙂
Hunter: “I’ve been wanting to know for awhile now… Why did you call colorstorm.. Colorstorm!?”
i just thought it was a cool word. sometimes when i look out at a crowd while i’m playing music the lights feel like a gigantic explosion, or almost a hurricane of color…like a storm. i just thought it was a cool word, and it described a really intense, spiralling experience 🙂
Paramaz Petrosyan: “I remember a long time ago in an interview, you mentioned you sometimes produced music in your dreams and/or heard music in your dreams and it was the most beautiful music you have ever heard so when you woke, you would produce it. What are some examples of songs you have made with this technique and do you still lucidly create music in your dreams and experiment with bringing those sounds to the real world?”
the final sounds in the song “Mesmerizing The Ultra” is the best example of that experience 🙂
Whitney McCoy: “While you were off the grid, beside making new music what was your favorite thing to do with your free time?”
I kind of claim like I took this big break and got all this downtime, but the reality is, I worked over 10 hours nearly every single day with a few exceptions. some days I worked much more than this. 7 days a week. I am not sure why or how this happened, other than I am a mad man and a fanatic when I get into the studio…i get hardcore. 🙂 that said, I liked taking walks and being in the sun. California weather has been immaculate and even in january or february, i would take a bike ride (i have a rad beach cruise) and just zoom around and think
Lauren Ireland: “As an ambassador it was an honor to help distribute and enjoy Ephemeral with my closest friends and Bassnectar family! What inspired you to release it like that?”
well for one, I love giving music. And that song has such a special and tender vibe to it…it’s so euphoric and sparkling… There were so many times over the past months where i ALMOST just posted it to twitter and said “HERE ENJOY” haha but I held back. So it was just waiting to happen. Then I thought It would be nice to give something to the ambassadors and friends of friends. My friend Paul who is helping me with logistics of releasing this record suggested I just give a song straight to my fanbase. I didn’t want to put it on BNF, because although i have a lot of love for many people on that page, it’s not official. I see it as misinformed, and over dramatic a lot of the time. I wanted to basically avoid all the confusion and just give it to individuals, and let THEM give it to their friends. (i dont mean that rudely about BNF, just literaly. People think it represents me but it doesnt. I like the indviduals, but I wanted some kind of way to give something to the individual people….and also people who werent on there. So this felt right)
I don’t think of BNF as having anything to do with the true network or family. I think that network is much larger and more respectful, and I like to communicate and give direct, while bypassing drama and confusion. I had some listening parties with some of the moderators of BNF, as well as some of the ambassadors and thought: why not just have Hasan give the song to 500 ambassadors, and let each of them give it away to all their friends. Seemed to work out niceley.
Joe Ryan: “It seems that when you were younger you were extremely self driven, have you always been this way? Did you draw inspiration from others, were you pushed a lot by your family to explore what you ultimately discovered you loved doing? What advice can you offer to the younger generation to become more self driven?”
Yes, I have always been obsessively creative, fanatic, inspired, and just HELLA DRIVEN. 🙂
I wouldn’t tell people “just follow your dreams” in some schmaltzy catch phrase cliche. I would advise that you balance what you love with hard work and sacrafice. If all i did was enjoy life, have fun, party, and kick back I don’t think I would have ever been able to create Bassnectar. I think hard work is incredibly inspiring, and I love working with other hard workers. 🙂 I tell anyone who asks that You should not expect to love your job, or to love your work. Hard work is excriciating and exhausting. but WHAT IT YIELDS is something to be enjoyed. Whether its artwork or creativity (and then the art can be enjoyed) or maybe its simply a “real job” working at a restaurant or mowing lawns or whatever…and in that case what it yields is money: and you can spend that money on free time. Time enjoying what you love like music, good friends, good weather, hobbies, past times, family, fun, whatever…. I literally think that is a key to happiness. Embrace the fact that hard work is necessary, and learn to work hard at a job, and then HAVE FUN outside of that job by exploring your passions. Maybe it looks like I have a dream job and I’m simply “doing what i love” (and i do love it!) but i work SO HARD, and have given way way way over a decade of my life to just simply GRINDING 🙂 And I love it. I wouldn’t change a thing. All i am saying is: hard work is crucial. Haha. I’m long winded 🙂
Joe Ryan: “It can be seen on a daily basis and not just with you but what advice do you have for people who fall victim to scrutiny on various aspects of their lives. Does it take a toll on you? What techniques have you developed to combat that and not allow it to detour you from your vision and ultimately who you are?”
Yes, I started out eons ago hoping to use music as a battlecry for progressive issues and concepts which I thought were important to enriching culture and the general health & happiness of humans. But the level of whining, misinformed, argumentative, complaining discourse online is something I never expected. And i mean that everywhere: in politics, on CNN, on youtube, on Facebook, on twitter, everywhere…. I am pretty sure it’s just an aspect of human kind: we all get rude & aggressive when we are driving in traffic (at least sometimes we do) and we don’t usually treat people who we hang out with in person the way we treat strangers in traffic. There is a level of road rage online which disrupts productive communication….but it doesn’t make me sad…it bores me. It just makes me lose interest in being online.
Meghan Hennessy: “Hey Lorin! If you had to sum it all up in one run on sentence, what would you say is the Bassnectar Mission Statement?”
That’s hard, partly because I am typing mega fast, in one run on sentence, so it is hard ot kind of get specific like that. In general, I am inspired by life (i am in AWE of life) and I just want to give back. My actual focus or intention seems to evolve a lot…lots of shapeshifting, lots of seasons….but overall, this is me just giving back to the world because I am grateful to be alive.
Jimmy: “I know you are a huge metal, which is actually how I started listening to your music…who is your favorite metal artist? Is there any chance that you would ever go on stage with like a Metallica or Slayer considering you have remixed Seek and Destroy and Seasons in the Abyss?”
I’m not sure what I would do onstage with those amazing bands! Haha, I would actually just love to go to some more metal shows…preferably underground ones! I am also very interested in forming a band with a few friends, not for shows, just to enjoy playing music and going nutso 🙂
Kai: “Hey Lorin, What are some organizations you support, maybe even some people you see doing good for the world. There are a lot of charities, a lot of initiatives, a LOT of fights to fight in this world.
It’s hard where to know where to start sometimes. See you at RR and Waka!! =)”
This is timely and today-only. Direct action for the FCC proposal announcement this week. Easy explanation with actions to take below it. Pass it on!!!!!!
Jordan: “I wanna start by saying the way you released “Ephemeral” was absolutely amazing and it makes me proud to be apart of such a close-knit and loving community. I was wondering, how are you preparing for this upcoming tour since all of your new tunes are unique and have different styles? How are all of these different styles going to be coordinated into your sets?”
So this new album is called “NOISE VS BEAUTY” and the basic theme is that widely diverse dynamic between extremes. This is a metaphor for many things in my life right now. The spectrum between highly opposing extremes like the noise of pop/mainstream EDM (which i feel alienated by) and the beauty of deep, meaningful music which stirs your soul. The noise of the music industry VS the beauty of music. The noise of online whiners and moaners and haters and trolls VS the beauty of genuine, angellic, wonderful fans. The noise of the internet VS the beauty of inspiration and art. ….those are all metaphors where “noise” has some negative conotation…but then there is noise as HYPE: like the noise of some fucking hardcore crazy tune which makes you fold inside and then explode…and the beauty of a soft lullaby, or wind chime… In some cases the NOISE represents the crowd…it represents that feeling of abandon and wildstyle euphoria…and the BEAUTY represents refelection, or transcendance, or vulnerability. In some ways NOISE is power and action, while BEAUTY is meaning or intention…. And on and on and on… 🙂 So each of the 15 songs on Noise Vs Beauty (which i call NVSB for short) represents a different point on this spectrum. There might be a song which is completely downtempo, or their might be a hip hop song, or a total bassline banger, ….there might be a song which sounds like a live band, or like a ballad. There are beautiful singing voices and crazy screaming voices and basslines and guitars and pianos, and all different attitudes and vibes and styles…. so piecing that together into a set will be quite an interesting experience….
Anna Miriam Lepsy: “What do you think is the most important thing that our generation can do to inspire positive change in the world?”
I think each person alive always has a lot to learn. I aspire to remember how much I have to learn, how much room there is for improvement. Even though I love to give back, and even though I love to collaborate with others, I feel it is essential to always think critically…to ask questions, to question answers, to question myself, ….to strive to improve and enrich your mind and your world. That’s vague and general, but I think it’s the most important 🙂
Mike: “Is the frog song on the next album!?!?”
Haha RIBBBBBIT 🙂 Nope. The frog song is one of several hundred totally exclusive bootlegs I have created for my DJ sets… almost every song I play is customized somehow (either remixed, remastered, layered, looped, chopped up, edited, etc)…. And that piece you are calling the Frog song was never intended as an album track. It’s more fun that way 🙂
erica: “are u a wizard”
Well i always loved the character Gandalf in LOTR…
Broy: “Will there be a basslights in hampton, VA this year?”
I have a good feeling there will be many more. Derek & I are both super busy, so coordinating is a wild time but it is most definitely on the road map to make these happen as much as possible
Nectar24: “Do you see yourself still touring 10 years from now?”
Honestly, I doubt I will be touring in 10 years. I hope in the future, I have vanished into the mist…
KevRocks: “Can we expect to here some of the new album at Red Rocks?”
Absolutely! Red Rocks is a chance for me to go mega deep in all directions. Festivals are usually short Power Blasts of big anthems and wild/immediate/loud freakouts. Red Rocks is a chance for me to go deeper. 2 nights before Red Rocks, I am playing DJ sets at the Belly Up ( a small room, no more than 500 person capacity) and I am gonna go completely freestyle with low cielings – all dubstep, drum&bass, trap, bass music… I miss that extreme: just making people dance. making them freak out on a purely dance music tip…no show…nothing cinematic…no downtempo, nothing chill. just mayhem. That’s the belly up shows 🙂 Then Red Rocks, I can slide that whole spectrum of Noise VS Beauty….from all the most ethereal songs to the raunchiest…from the most special downtempo and beautiful songs to the darkest and most powerful explosions of sound 🙂
gutenmorgen: “I’ve always been interested in how you tailor each show to the venue and energy of the crowd. When making this album, did you already imagine playing certain songs in certain venues or in a festival setting?”
Absolutely. I would 100% visualize each second of a song, being heard by someone else in a pair of ear buds, or on a sick car stereo, and of course at a show: I would kind of mentally visualize how they would feel right at the drop, or how various aspects of a song would affect a bass head at a future show… I always think about that.
stella: “where do you get all of your inspiration when coming up with your album and track names?”
I have no idea where my inspiration comes from… the ideas literally just appear in my mind. It’s actually a bit unsettling because I usually have about 4 or 5 completely different tangents or topics going on in my mind at any one time, and there is a radio station in my mind which is ALWAYS on, sometimes playing multiple songs at once…
Chris Mossel: “When Is the last time you went to a show that you weren’t playing”
Last weekend I went to see the Glitch Mob @ The Warfield in SF and had so much fun out dancing in the crowd. Boreta gave me a headscarf which i wrapped around my head and was like a wandering lunatic (bumping into walls 😉 and just dancing and having so much fun. Last month I went and saw The Knife @ The Fox in Oakland and that was incredibly unique and fun. But I’ve also been out exploring and just finding interesting scenes (not EDM) where the music feels unfamiliar and I don’t know anyone (that’s actually the most fun)…. I also went and did research at a few TOTAL “models & bottles” type of cheesy mainstream clubs…just to study and see what it was like (atrocious, depressing, insanely weird, completely unfullfilling, ha) but left me with an even deeper GRATITUDE for the amazing community of people who come to BN shows. I LOVE YOU ALL.
Broy: “Hey Lo!! With the new album coming out, what is going to happen to the songs that weren’t used on the actual album? Also, have you ever considered releasing other artists’ music on your amorphous music label?!”
Honestly, they will just take on new forms. Either they will get released in the future, or they will stay under wraps as exclusives for the shows. Or they will get ransacked for parts and become versions of new creations. Like “Ephemeral” was a song which I started years ago, over a decade ago…and it just never made the cut on any album, and I would always change it or update it or tweak it…. There is SO MUCH material left over, partly because on NVSB I was writing each song as if it was a completely live band playing it. And then i was remixing myself, so the creative process was extremely messy. And fun!
Alex: “What collaborations can we expect to see on the new album?”
I collaborated with so so so many humans on this record, many of whom are underground, some of whom are even “non-professional” (in that they aren’t pursuing music careers), and some of whom I am strong fans of. Some of the most hi profiles collaborations did not even make the cut in the end (saved for future projects of course) because I chose each song very carefuly…. I wanted to release only what I felt like was the best to my ears: the most developed, the most impactful, which served some kind of super special purpose. It was actually really hard in several cases where I worked with someone for over a month on a song or a vocal or a piece of music, and then in the end it didn’t make it to the album. All i can say though is I would not change a thing about NVSB now. To me, it is perfect 🙂
I don’t expect anyone to like it as much as I do, but this album was 100% customized to my very particular tastes and I abandoned asking friends or colleagues “what do you think”…. I made this one truly for my own mind, although I am very fucking excited to share it with the world. I just don’t care if anyone else likes it 🙂
Bassfreak2: “Whats your favorite movie?”
i have a lot of favorite movies:
American Beauty, Amelie, Donnie Darko, Inception, The Matrix, 12 Monkeys….
I am huge fan of Terry Gilliam.
Lauren: “why are you a .net and not a .com”
because i started bassnectar.net in 1998 and thought “im here to network, not to be a commercial”…. however I think that was a stupid decision on my part 🙂