If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, then today is your lucky day. The electronic music producer has recently opened up in an interview with Westword, where he revealed a less-than-thrilled hot take on the dynamics of the current EDM scene, weighed in on his cult-like following, and more.
In recent years, Bassnectar has garnered a religious following of fans willing to travel far and wide to catch the artist’s sets. In the Westword interview, Ashton vocalizes a personal disconnect between his project and the way the world see’s his work. Speaking at great lengths about a multitude of topics, the artist provides a glimpse into his psyche. Opening up the interview with what he believes to be his place in the industry (or lack thereof), Ashton makes it clear he sees himself as an outsider looking in.
Well, to be clear, I 100 percent don’t feel like I’m any part of EDM any more than I’m part of hip-hop or rock and roll. And I don’t mean that coyly, like I’m dancing around the reality. I really, truly have never felt like I was a part of that.
But not only does the producer feel like an outsider, he’s also revealed that the collective EDM scene is failing to push out distinct content, stating:
I feel EXTREMELY — and you can put that in all caps — disinterested in EDM. There are very few EDM artists who I like musically. There are very few EDM artists who I’m impressed [with] or intrigued by their personality or what they’re projecting. But there are some artists who are making electronic music who are absolutely fantastic. And there’s more and more underground artists who — God knows what the f*ck to call them — are just very talented.
It’s becoming easier and easier to make music, just with technology evolving as it is. So, you know, whereas I used to collect and always collect promos and buy music and go treasure hunting, constantly crate digging for new records, in the last year, I’ll find a lot more good music than I did the year before. I think there’s a lot of good, inventive minds, but I don’t think they’re EDM. And I think EDM is something I just don’t know anything about. But it looks really silly to me.
Continuing the discussion on his disappointment in EDM as a whole, Ashton expressed great disdain for watching DJ’s stand behind a table pressing buttons in front of a crowd:
“I’m not saying this rudely to talk shit on anyone, but I truly feel so unimpressed by the concept of standing in a crowd and looking and one or two or three humans on stage dancing alone to music. It’s not that mind-blowing. Again, I’m not saying that all DJs suck except for me. I’m saying, me included, it’s preposterous.”
EDM is to reality TV era what Freestyle Sessions is to this different daydream. It’s this concept of interaction and participation. I don’t want to create a lot of expectations. I’m not trying to say this is better or it’s going to change your life or anything. It’s something that I know is meaningful to me that I don’t get to do. I don’t get to play music without being a spectacle. And I don’t get to play music to a smaller crowd. There are all these tiny little factors that I’m trying to put together to create this experience with other musicians and for the attendees. A lot of it has to do with the ergonomics of the event, trying to not centralize the focus, not have a stage.
Owning up to the idea that he is largely regarded as a granddaddy of the scene, Nectar offers his own take on how he will work to combat the issues in EDM. Using his event Freestyle Sessions this past weekend as an example, Nectar says:
“I really want to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and go super-special, super-intimate, super-creative, super-old school. It’s funny how many uphill battles you have to fight to get to do that. Getting them to let you play on the floor — like, I want to be on the floor, in a booth, and not looked at — not because I’m hiding. I want to provide people with this experience that I don’t think they necessarily get these days, which is just to be immersed in music and not be at a show, just to be at an event of dancing and immersion.”
Regardless of whether you adore Bassnectar’s music or can’t stand the bass, Ashton’s sincere devotion unto his craft and influence on the genre itself is unmistakable. Read the full interview here.