Having released acclaimed new album 'Out Of The Black', Boys Noize is now looking to America, where he's currently unleashing his new live show.
At a time when superstar DJs are being scrutinised for whether they actually do anything during 'live' performances, Mixmag talks to Boys Noize about what makes his set up different, how he's using this tour to introduce EDM kids to experimentalism and being holed-up in the studio with Skrillex.
The big thing for you this winter is the new live show, tell us a little bit about it and how did it come to light?
It is very exciting because it’s the first time I’m performing my music live and it’s a big, big production that I created with my friend. So basically I’m standing on top of this big skull which to me looks so cool and I designed it with Siriusmo, he has a very creative mind and is also great graffiti artist. We sat down a long time ago and created a lot of visuals that I control from my end and it’s inspired by the way that Kraftwerk use visuals so it’s more minimal and really reacts to the music I play. I’ve just toured the whole of Europe which was completely crazy. The London show was sold out and it really has been amazing so far.
Again talking about your show, how is it different from your DJ sets? What makes your live show 'live'?
With my DJ sets I normally play music by other people and I always play the newest music that no-one knows. I do of course play my own music as well when I DJ but I guess the big part of why I’m doing the live show is that with my DJ sets I can only play the track how it is. With the new show I have the possibility of changing my songs the way I want them. I have every song stripped down to every element and I can have way more fun with my songs. It’s a lot more fun playing my own music now because I can now alter it so much more.
How do American audiences compare with European audiences? Do you think there is a difference in the way they party at your shows?
I think there is a slight difference. In Europe electronic music is not like the newest thing. We’ve had many raves and parties and amazing music a lot of the time and in America everyone is pretending or acting like electronic music is the newest thing on earth and that it is so fresh. But it is actually really exciting going to the USA and I feel like I’m on a mission to bring the good stuff to them and that’s way I’m playing the tour. It’s cool because there’s a lot of young people who have just discovered dance music probably through more mainstream ways and for me it is a good challenge to show those people a bit more depth to electronic music.
What do you think of the EDM explosion?
I think there’s always two sides of the card. On the one side it’s great because it's taking electronic music very far and I think once the people who like it explore enough and dig deeper they can learn about so many great producers and obviously the more underground stuff. But then at the same time, electronic music is always about the sound so the mainstream music which everyone is calling EDM is still very much like pop music. It is what pop music is now and it's what’s on the radio so for me it’s not that interesting because it’s not all about the sound. It’s an interesting time right now, everything goes so quick and a lot of people are getting very famous and I think now it’s really the question of how it develops.
You recently collaborated with Skrillex on the 'Dog Blood' EP, how did you find that experience?
That was a really funny thing because we knew each other before from festivals and he’s a cool guy, I really like him. He was in Berlin for a show and because I took the whole summer off to do the album I was at home all the time and I invited him to my studio. He ended up staying for two days and crashed at my place. We made some music and it wasn’t really planned it, it wasn’t like “hey let’s make some music”, it just happened. We hung out and showed each other a lot of music. I showed him all of my stuff and I think it was the first time he’d seen a real 808 drum machine. So yeah it was cool, it was like two worlds colliding because he produces in such a different way to me. For me it was very important to make something different from what he usually does and from what I usually make and I think the tracks are really good because of it.
As well as Skrillex you recently worked with Snoop Dogg on your new album. What happened to 'I’ll House You'? It didn’t make it onto the final version.
We couldn’t get the rights and publishing sorted in time. We thought it was cool with everyone. I think the original rights were sold to a different company and that made it really hard for us to clear it in time. I was lucky to have another track down with Snoop though so that’s cool.
You’ve released the album, you're touring your new live show, it seems like throughout your career you have constantly tried to innovate and take your music to the next level. So the big question is, what’s next for you?
I don’t think about it too much you know, I really just want to continue with what I love doing. I think a lot of people were always surprised by the music I make for instance my release on Cocoon. I love to surprise people and I love to surprise myself.
What does 2013 hold for Boys Noize Records? Any big albums or EPs?
Yes we have some very cool stuff coming up. There’s going to be a SCNTST album coming next year. He’s a super young producer and I think I have like 200 tracks of his on my hard drive, it’s insane. So we’re selecting the best ones for the album, so hopefully that will be out in the first quarter of the year. And then I have remixes that are coming out very soon, The Chemical Brothers did a remix for me, Jacques Lu Cont did a remix for me, Chromeo did a remix for me so there’s a lot of cool things going on. There’s going to be some new Spank Rock stuff next spring too, I’m really really proud of him being on the label as well.