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Lorin Ashton, aka Bassnectar, is one of the key artists taking dance music to the masses Stateside at the moment. Like many of his contemporaries, his first dalliance with music came from introductions to US rock behemoths Metallica and Nirvana before taking influence from the likes of Orbital and Aphex Twin. His new album 'Vava Voom' lands on August 20 and looks set to cement his reputation as one of US dubstep's leading lights.
Bassnectar hits Europe this month, bringing his spectacular live show to 13 dates across the continent (tickets here) and as well as chatting to us about the tour, he has put together a very special Mix Of The Week for the occasion. Read the interview in full and download the mix below.
What can we expect from your forthcoming EU tour?
I'm incredibly excited about my upcoming European Vacation, which includes 13 shows and 13 chances to broadcast bass music to new and diverse audiences. I've been on tour since March and it runs rock solid until December, so I am bracing myself and looking forward to the future. Plus I will be showcasing some of the new bits of music from my forthcoming 'Freestyle' Mixtape.
What equipment will you be using on the road? Any special tech or lighting gear?
I have a pick-axe, a stripper-pole, a magic carpet, a sock puppet and an invisible cloak. I am ready for anything.
How are the songs from your new album sounding like live? Has the new record been getting a big reaction?
Yeah, it gets a big reaction, lots of singing along, lots of moshing, lots of freaking out. These songs were designed and created for a live broadcast on massive sound systems. They are some of the loudest and most massively mastered songs in my collection, like sonic weapons.
You're about to go on a massive Autumn tour. How do you cope with long bouts on the road? What gets you through a big set of dates?
Coping doesn't really come into play, I am utterly obsessed with creativity and touring and music and it's kind of a non-stop carnival ride. It's been well over a decade that I've had this schedule so it feels like home, it's a kind of beautiful mayhem. The numbers back home have been getting absurd. In the spring we averaged 20,000 people a week on tour and this fall will be even larger. I'm looking forward to these European dates as a kind of a wild card where anything goes and I get to perform out of my element.
What's behind your stage show? How do you like to present yourself live?
I enter the stage naked, in my invisibility cloak. I laugh at how nobody can see me so I strut across the stage or sometimes moonwalk. Then I perform a series of show tunes alongside my friend Raul, who is usually drunk, and the whole thing gets belligerent by the third song. So I usually change it up and try to challenge the biggest audience member in the crowd to a wrestling match but every single time I chicken out, because I'm actually not very good at wrestling.
The US is going nuts for your music right now. Do you think the transition to Europe will be difficult? Are we ready for Bassnectar?
No not at all. I think music is universal and it's like Black Flag hitting Europe or the Sex Pistols hitting the states. It's a thrill to play music for new audiences, and I've actually played a lot of sets in Europe over the years which were all bananas!
1. Si Begg - Intro
2. Random Rab - Beethoven's Filth
3. Bassnectar - The Matrix ft D.U.S.T.
4. Modeselektor & Ninjaman - "Weed Wid da Macka" (Bassnectar Remix)
5. Metrik - Your World (Bassnectar Remix)
6. Bassnectar - Ugly ft Amp Live
7. Bill Posters & Deckscar - Face Off (Bassnectar Remix)
8. Bassnectar - Cozza Frenzy ft Seasunz (aca)
9. Bassnectar - Vava Voom ft Lupe Fiasco (Bassnectar Remix)
10. Run DMT - Sugarcube (Bassnectar Remixxx)
EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
August 17 – Pukklepop, Kiewit, Belgium
August 17 – Lowlands Festival, Biddinghausen, Netherlands
August 18 – Open Air Gampel, Switzerland
August 23 – Strand, Stockholm, Sweden
August 24 – Rust, Copenhagen, Denmark
August 25 – Reading Festival, Reading, UK
August 26 – Leeds Festival, Leeds, UK
September 1 – Gretchen, Berlin, Germany
September 2 – Electric Picnic Festival, Stradbally, Ireland
September 6 – Roxy, Prague, Czech Republic
September 8 – Koko, London, UK
September 8 – Bestival, Isle of White, UK