When Bassnectar isn’t busy digging out of the vault each year for new albums, curating new immersive experiences for his cult family following, and headlining every major U.S. festival along the way, Lorin Ashton makes time to engage regularly with fans over social media. Yesterday, June 28, the Bay-area producer stopped by r/IAmA for a very special Q&A — special since it was his first AMA in over 4 years. Ashton got candid on a variety of topics, ranging from side collaborative projects, his overall creative process, and his upcoming special events.
Here are 8 things we learned from Bassnectar’s Reddit AMA:
1. His “heavy duty” collaboration with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello also features Big Boi and Killer Mike.
2. His manager mentioned how impressive the rate at which his “hair” comments came.
Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”
3. There’s a new Colorado camping event in the works for 2018, which is being talked about as the new “BassCenter.”
Ashton finally spoke up about why he wasn’t going all in a large-scale Colorado-based festival this year, especially after last year’s massive success with 25,000 people in attendance. As Ashton explained, he doesn’t want to “conquer the world” or “go bigger;” quite the opposite, actually, Lorin wants to go more small scale for his events in order for them to feel more underground. Less lights, more focus on the sound.
Ashton also explained that a “Mothership” event at Hampton Coliseum just seemed to fit better, especially since the venue asked him to return (a rare feat for any Bassnectar event). It’s no secret that a huge Bassnectar fanbase resides in colorful Colorado, and with the record breaking numbers of BassCenter 9, the biggest show of Lorin’s career, it comes with great relief that the “King of the Sound” is bringing his set-up back to the Rocky mountain region. Hopefully the Bassnectar team are shooting for a camping site outside of the city this time around.
4. He delves into his inspiration for his Mimi Page collaboration, “Was Will Be.”
Ashton goes into a unique stream-of-consciousness dialogue that gives fans a deeper look into his spiritually-driven creative process. He first explains how he meant for the song to build upon 3 previous tracks, then moved toward tapping his usual favorites for the vocals. Ashton elaborates, “Lupe Fiasco, Zion I, Rye Rye, all kinds of people made really interesting concepts to it, but the one Mimi came up with was so haunting” that it “was super powerful to [him].”
5. He speaks in depth about the concept behind “Freestyle Sessions.”
The event sounds like it’s going to be an alien playground of sound. Since this is the first event of it’s kind, Ashton explains he’s been focusing on the music non-stop, and that it’s going much deeper than a main stage set at Electric Forest or Bonnaroo, for instance. “Its what would i play if it was just you and me on a road trip, or if it was just us and a dozen friends drinking wine in a tree house.” Eventually, Ashton plans to roll out the concept to small rooms in cities across the country, with no lights, just loud bass music in the dark.
6. Coming up with his set lists are “insanely time consuming,” but an intense matrix of endless possibilities.
7. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be doing another road tour anytime soon
Lorin explains how difficult (indeed, physically impossible) it had become to move his massive collection of equipment on the road 4-5 nights/week. He further alludes that his current iterations of “tour” stops (e.g. “family gatherings” or “special events,” as they’re deemed) is where he is at currently in life. Perhaps that may change in the future.
8. He won’t stop playing music until he is dead.
Read the full Reddit AMA here.