BFS: As both a producer and the owner of an event company, which do you feel requires the majority of your time?
“Well, they both go hand in hand but I think producing the festivals and working at Live Nation takes up the majority of my time. But I couldn’t do what I do as well if I didn’t make music and DJ. It's really one thing."
BFS: Did your love for music and desire to become a DJ precede your efforts to produce music festivals or did it come after hosting events?
"When I started I kind of did both at the same time. I started this club called The Sermon and I really couldn't afford a DJ so I just kind of did it myself. I kinda always did both at the same time, sometimes one more than the other though."
BFS: I know your first event was thrown at a water park in Irvine, CA, where ironically enough I used to go often growing up. How did this first event turn out and what got you to keep creating new music festivals?
“That event was called the Holy Water Adventure. I always tried to produce shows that were something different, not the norm- so instead of putting people in a warehouse in downtown LA I thought, well it’d be better to be at a water park. That whole story is pretty interesting, there’s an article that came out in Beach House Magazine called "A Woodstock of Their Own", you can look it up it’s written by Ripe McNeal. It kinda tells you how we ended up at Wild Rivers cause that wasn’t our first choice but it ended up being incredible and that definitely led to me producing more events. But I kind of went into the record business and kind of got away from doing events because dealing with the people at the events was kind of tough. Then switched back to HARD because people didn’t buy records anymore, so there was no way to really have a business having a record label with this kind of music. But yea Wild Rivers is awesome I love that place- we did two events there. That was definitely the beginning of something special. We reached out to them to do a 20year anniversary but they weren’t interested. It was even the same lady that rented me the park 20 years ago."
BFS: How do you adjust between playing huge main stages like you do at your own HARD events and small clubs like you will on Thursday at Beta? And how does your music/set differ, if at all?
“I mean, I think that the club setting is more my speed- more what I prefer-what I enjoy cause I can kinda do what I want to do. At a big festival you gotta hype it up and play high energy and it’s a big crowd so you wanna see the crowd moving. But I definitely prefer the club- I have different ideas depending on where I’m playing. You could get goin' on one thing, thinking you’re gonna do this… Then it doesn’t work and you have to completely change to something else. It’s always changing when you’re DJ-ing, you kinda do stuff on the fly- it’s pretty cool."
BFS: I was really stoked on your set at HARD Summer last year, it didn't sound like you were simply playing a festival pleasing set.
“Well that was good cause I had the rappers… I knew they were gonna come so I was able to build and build to like a crescendo with them instead of having to just deal with the track. But I definitely felt like people were getting a little bit like… ‘all right, when’s he gonna drop the hammer’, you know? But I held out. I don’t want to do what everyone else does. I want to promote my music and what I’m working on. At BETA I I’ll be able to just do what I want- I love that place. I played there not long ago... maybe a year ago with Alex Metric, I really like that spot.”
BFS: I’ve noticed you have been incorporating a lot of G-house/ Deep house in to your music as well as your HARD line-ups; do you see yourself completely enveloping yourself into that genre?
"I'll always play a bit of everything so I don't think it'll always be hip-hop and house but right now I'm kind of on that tip you know and I'm promoting my record. But you know with HARD we always try to have hip-hop in the mix."
BFS: You’ve greatly helped facilitate electronic dance music into America’s music industry today. Did you ever doubt you would be this successful and how did you overcome that?
“I never doubted myself but I just thought that I guess the people here weren’t ready for it. I mean there was definitely a point where I was about to throw in the towel, and then I thought, well I’ll give it one more shot and that’s when I started HARD, and here we are- so it all worked out!"
Interview By: Melanie Gordon with Gary Richards
*Note none of the photos/videos used in this article are property of Bass Feeds the Soul and belong to their respective owners.