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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Skrillex, Former S.F. Resident, Talks Free Music, the Origin of His Name, and What Movie He'd Soundtrack

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:00 AM

He looks like a Skrillex, doesn't he?
  • He looks like a Skrillex, doesn't he?
With his newest EP shooting up the iTunes charts, many wonder where the phenomenon Sonny John Moore, better known as Skrillex, came from. But look into the barely 23-year-old former San Francisco resident and you'll realize he's been making music for over a decade. Formerly a member of the post-hardcore band From First to Last, Moore debuted his first EP, My Name is Skrillex, this past summer; he dropped the second, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, in October. Skrillex plays in S.F. on Saturday, and though Wobbleland 2011 (featuring Nero, 12th Planet, Kastle, Skrillex, and many others) is sold out, we advise you to begin bidding on tickets, become best friends with that person you've always hated, or do whatever is required to get inside. Ahead of the show, we speak with Moore about his surprisingly fast rise, why he's not a recent convert to electronic music, and where the name Skrillex came from. 

When did you break from being in a live band into electronic music?

That's always the first question I get! I never really decided to do it, so there was never really a break from anything. I've been making electronic music my whole life, since I was 13.

Why didn't you just keep your name Sonny -- why go with Skrillex then?

That's a good question -- because I left my old band to work on a record signed to Atlantic that was an electronic/rock/pop-heavy hybrid of different sounds that I was singing on, called Sonny. That was solo thing, and I have like three records' worth of material that was shelved and wasn't released. So I made another alias to do on the side where I would just release stuff for free, DJ, and tour on my own for free while Atlantic was just kind of shelving everything. I just had to call it something else. The name Skrillex doesn't really mean anything; it was just an old AIM alias.

You just released Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Why did you decide to give the whole EP away for free with the optional donation route?

Just 'cause it's cool, and that was another record for Atlantic that we made. We actually approached them to release the Skrillex stuff from the beginning and they wouldn't. So we said fuck it, we'll give it out for free, and people are going to get shit for free anyway, so we just went with the donation thing. 

If you could set your newest EP as a soundtrack to a movie what would it be? It does have a lot of cameos of noises and screaming.

Uh, that's a hard one. What would you put it to?

Godzilla vs. King Kong?

Oh, I like it.

And who is the person screaming "Oh My God "on the track "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites?"

Just type in "cup stacking girl" on YouTube and that will speak for itself.

You'll be playing in S.F. with Nero and Kastle. What's the best part about playing with a whole bunch of people at these events?

How big is this place?

Around 1,500 capacity, and it sold out super fast.

Whoa that's weird; there are so many major headliners in this group. That's an expensive bill. I wonder how much tickets were.

Well it's sold out now.

I'm sorry, what was the question? I'm excited to play, yes.

What's the best part of playing with a whole bunch of headliners?

It's hard. Luckily, I have a lot of material of my own so I'm not just playing all these guys' tracks. I just play 80 percent of sets with my own records, anyway. I love those dudes and they're all my good friends so that will be fun. 

Do you see that your fan base has been different since you've branched out?

Yeah for sure. I can't really explain how, its just kids that are growing up and going to raves mixing with college kids.

Anything you're looking forward to doing in S.F.?

I'm actually kind of a native. I lived in S.F. from age 2 to 12, in Forest Hill right by West Portal. Yeah I love it, probably going to be hanging out with these boys Pance Party.


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