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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kaskade on the Rise of EDM, What He Really Does Onstage, and Missing San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

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There's been a discussion lately about what dance DJs and producers are doing onstage when they're actually performing. What are you actually doing up there, and what do you think is reasonable to expect of an artist given the technology that exists today?

This is such a hot topic right now because there's so much growth and so much tension on this, and it's a lot easier to wonder what's going on when there's one dude onstage instead of a band onstage. I think the dialogue started because Deadmau5 really was trying to make a point in his Rolling Stone article, and I don't think it came across right. But for me ... look: I'm seven albums into my career. So I have my hand on a lot of music that people associate with me -- these are words and melodies that I've written, in many cases. People have the lyrics tattooed on their body; that's something that I thought of at four in the morning in a studio somewhere in San Francisco, you know? So everything came from me.

At my concerts, what I'm doing is I'm blending premade songs to weave and create like this fabric or environment. But these are all songs that I've all written and produced. This is my music, here it is, much like a rock band would go on tour and play their songs, except my instrument is a laptop and two CDJ1000s. So it's creating and weaving these prerecorded tracks to create something that's a longer, bigger piece of music.

There's still a lot of educating going on, because look -- people call me a DJ, and you also hire a DJ for your daughter's 16th birthday. I'm always like man, we need a different word. I mean I respect and love the word DJ, it doesn't bother me because I grew up loving and knowing what DJs did and respecting the art, but I think nowadays it's so much different. I'm more of an artist and a songwriter than I am a DJ. That word seems a little bit -- well, it doesn't really describe what I do.

What do you like to do in S.F. when you come back on tour? Any particular places you like to go?

I'll definitely go to the Mission and get a burrito. I miss my San Francisco Mexican food so much. Yeah, I'll hit Taqueria Cancun, that's one of my spots. You know I lived right across the street from the baseball park there for the majority of the time I lived in San Francisco, so China Basin, I just miss that whole neighborhood. If there's a game in town that afternoon, that would be the freaking ultimate, 'cause every time I was in town I would always try and catch a game. And it was great living across the street. I didn't even have to pay attention to the schedule -- I'm like 'Oh, sweet, traffic's building up, there must be a game! Alright, I'll walk over across the street and catch it!'

Where are you based now?

I'm in Los Angeles. I moved down to L.A. almost three years ago now. But it's weird -- the three years that I've lived in L.A., it's like, honestly I've been on the road. I left my house two months ago ... and I haven't been back, not even for like a night, and I don't go back for another two months. People say, 'You've left San Francisco. I'm like, 'Yeah, I did kinda, not really.' I mean my mail doesn't go to San Francisco anymore, but really, since I left San Francisco, since I sold my house there, the touring has just been nonstop. So it's weird, when I go back to San Francisco, the few times that I've done shows there since leaving, it still feels like I live there. It's very, very strange for me. That's where my daughter was born, at UCSF. I have this huge attachment to San Francisco. It's like a love affair.

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