I was lucky enough to sit-down with the bass-music legend, Rusko when he played in San Diego at Bassmnt Nightclub this past Saturday. Read what he has to say about his college experience, his newly released EP, and his thoughts on the claim “Dubstep is Dead”.
1. Amplified Access: Tell us a bit about your college experience and how it shaped you as a DJ/Producer.
Rusko: It’s a bit of a funny story, I went to Reeds College of Music for about 4 months and then they kicked me out. But they have been advertising me on their website and on their Wikipedia page as their star pupil. But yea, they kicked me out after a few months for never going to class.
2. AA: What are your thoughts on continuing education for DJs/Producers at places like ICONN Collective?
R: It’s tough, really. All I wanted to do was spend as much time at home making music. For some people, school works. Back in the day, I started this label with Caspa, which I ended up selling the other half to him. We also did a radio show for 2-3 years as well. So if you do end up continuing on with school, you can’t really maximize the amount of time you spend making music.
3. AA: What is your absolute favorite place in the U.S. to play? Why?
R: I would always say that my favorite place in the U.S to play was Chicago, but they just shut down my favorite venue in Chicago; the Congress Theatre. That’s where I filmed my Somebody To Love video. It’s just always been one of the most amazing places for me to play. I’ve done a couple of New Year specials there. But yeah, they shut it down unfortunately. The kids in the crowds are amazing. Hopefully they will open another venue in Chicago that will be amazing, but nothing will ever be as good as Congress Theatre.
4. AA: Compare Europe to U.S; the crowd, music style, and overall vibes.
R: In the UK, in the top 40 charts, is a Drum N Bass tune. There are always quite a few of these in the top 40 Charts in the UK. So that’s an example of how things are in the UK in comparison to the U.S. You turn on the radio in Europe and hear 10 EDM songs for every 2 pop songs, and the charts reflect that. Over here, the mainstream charts are still the mainstream pop charts, and EDM is slowly breaking into it. In the UK, EDM is the mainstream charts. How the music is perceived in the U.S and Europe is the biggest difference. As far as the producers and the music being made, there’s no difference anymore. Anything that has sprung up in the past 10 years hasn’t really had a unique sound from somewhere.
5. AA: Dubstep is an umbrella for a bunch of difference sub-genres. What is your favorite sub-genre of dubstep?
R: Well, the reason I started making dubstep was because I used to be a huge fan of 2-step. The kind of 2-step-Garage sound is what led me to dubstep in the first place, it was my first love. It disappeared for a while but is now coming back. I would say that’s always going to be my favorite because its what I grew up with.
6. AA: What are your thoughts on the popular claim, “Dubstep is Dead”?
R: It is! Totally dead. Its great, wonderful. Jungle and Drum N Bass died for a while, and now its back stronger than ever. Everything’s got to take a breath for a couple of years. Even next year I’m actually taking off; no shows or anything. It’s going to be all studio for me. It’s the same thing, I’m just taking some time off, resetting, restarting and will come back stronger. Right now, dubstep is taking a breather. Everything comes and goes. But it would continue to get worse and worse if it was in the mainstream like it was 2 or 3 years ago. It would continue to get shitter and shitter if that continued. Right now it’s taking a bit of a dip, its getting its strength back. But it’s a good thing, it means it’s going to survive.
7. AA: Describe the styleand inspiration on your new EP, Volume 2.
R: The idea for each track was to have them at a different speed, a different tempo, and a different sound. I wanted each track to be completely different. It makes it really hard for me to DJ and play all the songs because I have to speed it up and slow it down. I think having everything be different makes it more interesting as a whole. I actually got ride of more tracks then I kept. Anything that sounded too familiar or like one another I took out. So the tracks that you hear are the “weirdest” ones, and I purposely picked the oddest ones.Photo Credit: Bobby Reyes- eventvibe.come