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Bassnectar: Clubs + Festivals + Intelligent discourse

    It’s hard to fathom how quickly Bassnectar’s reputation arose in Columbia, MO. It wasn’t that long ago he played this town’s small club, Mojo’s. Now he’s performing at the Blue Note to a sold out crowd of 850.  As we wander aimlessly downtown before the show, we run into Lorin Ashton, a.k.a. Bassnectar, who looks like a hip hop hessian in a hoodie and backpack.  After a few hugs and hellos we head to the show.  A few fans scream out “Slayer!” or request “Womp, Womp!” The crowd outside is eclectic and contagious. The door guy outside is giving Lorin a hard time getting through the back door. Even after explaining to him that Lorin is the headliner, he still gives the shaky head. Luckily, one of the techs on tour with Lorin shows us in the back door and we duck inside, straight downstairs to the dressing room. Suddenly we notice the door guy has followed us in and realize he doesn’t work at the venue at all. Instead of throwing him out, Lorin grabs three Maker’s Mark whiskeys and we’re toasting to the night. As quick as we’re down there the excitement moves upstairs to prepare for the three hour set. After a confrontation with the tour manager, the imposter door guy’s presence is in jeopardy. His only escape is back into the mess of wild ravers. With a quick handshake and thank you to Lorin he is escorted to the main floor saying “My friend’s are never going to believe this. “
    As Lorin takes the stage, everyone jumps up and screams in excitement. The chaos ensues. The speakers fill the room with the familiar guitar riff from “Welcome to the Jungle” Gn’R style, but this is no ordinary intro. While it hypes up the crowd, the riff takes a sudden scratch into Lorin’s adaptation and he makes it hit like a gyrating smack in the hips. Lorin orchestrates the circus of party people with broken basslines and sticky drum beats. This is when the barrage of glow sticks fly into the air. Above Bassnectar is a 50 foot long projection of glitch riot footage including break dancers freakin’, boom boxes exploding, minds warping, etc. After a generous mix of breakbeat grime step, Lorin turns a 180 and pulls the crowd into a soundtrack of the twilight zone. The dancing slows in motion then picks up again just as they hear Pow! Boom Boom Ka! The crowd loses it again. Scandalous girls in the balcony are spinning their glow stick necklaces around their neck while guys in the pit are throwing their shirts off. The people outside are freaking out as well but in entirely different ways. A beautiful Vietnamese girl dances around cars while playing her feather covered flute across from a guy playing melodica dressed in a kimono. The subs can be heard pulsating throughout the streets of Columbia, and it’s irresistible to stay out much longer. Venturing back through the mass of sweaty freaks, there is a sample of Cool Kids and a multi-faced Ghandi rides on top of a bear running through a dream-like forest on the projection screen.
After the show Lorin was able to expand on some certain aspects of his music with a quick interview.

What track of yours is getting the biggest response at your gigs right now?
Hmmmm…well I go in cycles with the music I create. Right now I’ve been making heavy crowd-response shit, jump-up woo-haa type stuff. Heads Up was great over the past months, same with Superstylin’, and lately the remix of Product 01’s Ready To Rage (they are all on the latest podcast!)

How do people’s reactions differ when you play indoor clubs during the fall/winter compared to outside festivals during the summer?
Well festival type shows are just a different schematic. I find it is kind of like grandslammer anthem style…REALLY stand out epic shit, where as the live shows on tour allow for more deepness, oddball experimentation, and just freeform expression…it’s like you kind of grab people’s attention at festivals and if you hook them, then they come out on tour where it can be more intimate and in-depth.

What other artists are out there right now do you enjoy or may find influence from?
Oh So Many!!!!  I have a big list of names on my MySpace page…I hate this kind of thing though cuz I don’t want to leave anyone out. Most of the artists I really like are buddies who I am collaborating with (Audiovoid, Babylon System, Excision, Jantsen, Wiseproof, Mr Projectile, Si Begg, iLL Gates, etc)

I’ve heard you speak on the mic about political issues and taking action while everyone is at the peak of dancing and partying. Is this the ideal state you want your fans to be in?
The ideal state I would like to see people in is one of balance and awareness. Literally. Those aren’t catch words. Awareness, meaning clear, smart, inspired, strong in thought (the brain is an amazing muscle!!). Balance, meaning its great to party, rage, freakout, achieve meltdown, whatever…. but I think it is key to BALANCE that luxury/privilege with some work, and we are all really capable, privileged people.

It is crucial to not preach at people, nor be abrasive. I actually do think the potential we hold inside is EXCITING, and that’s what I like to share at a party, but I actually do it less than people think. I might go 10 shows without saying much, but I will speak my mind if I feel it. You going to tell me Black Flag should have shut up and just played music? No. There are no rules.

All that said, I think there are way better formats for intelligent discourse, so its more about forging a connection by any means necessary and leveraging that connection later through other avenues.

What components of your music do you feel connect the listener to your vision?
Too broad a question

Your music is a very tangible amenity to people’s lives. Whether they dance to it or listen on their mp3 player does the interaction end there?
I hope not.  I like the word “omni” more than “multi”. Building networks, community and experiences that go beyond music.

What track (other than your own) is getting the biggest response at your gigs right now?
To be honest, Nirvana’s “In Bloom”.

Any new projects, or remixes in the works?
Absolutely. go help yourself, lots of free music there. Always working on new material, but most of it ends up heavy in the live sets, releasing music is such a hassle, and we are blessed to have an amazing outlet for music right now which is wall to wall freaks at the live shows smile

And finally cake or pie?
Spirulina Smoothie smile

As one of the forefront DJ’s of his time, Lorin is hooking a lot of people rapidly and effectively pushing them to rage within this new joining of cultures. Whatever comes next in this underground revolution? Perhaps it will happen at the next show.

written by Dan Leist

Reader Discussion

Political speeches?? Why can’t this guy just shut up and play music? Its just like the flobots when they were at the power and light. Im sure this guy is all over Obamas nuts while he is destroying everything our country stands for. This guy is nothing more than a filthy hippie and I am sick of him and other musicians trying to push there political misconceptions onto our impressionable youth!

you sir, are the prime reason why John McCain couldn’t beat a black man named Obama. You sir are a prime example of why the Republican/right-wing mentality and belief system is apart of a dying breed of “Americans.”

If you cannot bring yourself to change and grow with the rest of America and humanity in general, then you shall fade into the sad, lonely remains of dead thoughts and old philosophies.

You are missing the point. You are blind to the future and the bigger picture. Please wake up or end your life. Seriously. Choose one.

p.s. Bassnectar goes hard. Great talent. Great interview as well.

I look forward to the opportunity of seeing this guy live.

Big up!

while i’m appreciating his music more and more i agree with the first comment on the board. personally, i dont’ give a damn what he has to tell me about his political views, i dont’ want to hear it. the scene he plays to is highly liberal anyways so he’s just bumping his gums to hear himself speak on his soapbox.

i don’t want to hear Colins (DJ CVaughn on 96.5 the buzz’s Liquid Buzz Saturday nights) anti obama babble on the local KC forums, i dont’ want to hear bassnectar’s pro obama views. i just want to hear good music.

I like Obama, a lot…but again, stfu and play music.  end of story.

This is ridiculous.. it’s their not there.. k thanx.

You all are retarded for missing the point entirely. He’s a DJ who plays music and actually has a philosophy behind the sound he creates. Name one person who actually made you dance while giving you an intellectual high at the same time.

eTard, i’m glad you have a DJ to spoon feed you your political views.  i do not need his ideas or opinions in my head.  just my own.  that’s individuality my friend, i think it is in fact you who are missing the point.  i go out and figure out what’s right and wrong and what i believe from multiple media sources both right and left sided.  try it and have an opinion of your own, it will be the best “intellecutal high” you’ll ever attain…i promise

You guys are all missing this one thing: Whether or not you agree with him, it’s not a political rally. It’s a party. I don’t pay money to listen to someone talk about what they believe…whether or not I agree with them. I pay money to watch some badass DJs play some badass music.

It’s not just youth who are impressionable, it’s everybody! If we’re talking politics for instance…  Right wingers have Rush Limbaugh, left wingers have Bassnectar.  Who would you rather listen to political preaching from?  A racist wealthy conservative addicted to pain killers and slandering those who don’t agree with him, or a bass hungry DJ who promotes political awareness along with his music.
I respect Lorin for his desire to make people aware of what has been happening in our country politically.  Music is a form of art, and art is a form of expression.  He chooses to be passionate about political expression within his music.  He’s not telling everyone you are either with me or against me (like a certain ex pres).  If you don’t agree with his statements, why throw a fuss?!  Just enjoy the womp!

One thing straight: If you don’t like it, don’t come.
I admire Lorin for speaking his mind, especially in front of a large crowd. He does not push his ideas onto people..He shares them. Take it or leave it, it does not matter.
What matters is that you are having fun and being safe:)and getttin down with ya bad self!
Speaking out when he feels like it or when he is inspired is something Bassnectar enjoys and it will,more than likely, happen again at future shows.
So,bottom line iiis: if you dont like it, dont come.




Blah blah blah
Bassnectar yay!

The show rocked, my friends believe me now!

adjectives cannot describe his delicious beats. simply put, the show was amazing.

I heard him doing his political soapboxing at the granada

I wasn’t impressed with what he was saying.

no one wants their political views influenced by a stoner dj

I prefer to get my information from credible / reliable sources

mixing 2 records together doen’t qualify you for political punditry

my 2 cents

Fact of the matter is, Obama’s a hell of a lot better than what we had prior.
Thx lorin.

Wow… you people have been in Kansas WAAYY too long…

He’s a DJ, who plays music for Christ sake. He is using his music as a forum for something positive. Lorin Ashton does not press any agenda on anyone! He speaks his mind and tries to make other people THINK. His whole mantra is “Resistance is Fertile.” There have been a million other artists who have done the exact same thing (Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, Black Flag, etc).

I have to beg the question, “If you took all of the politics out of their music, would it still be the same?!?” NOOO!!! It wouldn’t. A Bob Dylan song wouldn’t be a Bob Dylan song if you took out all the shit about the Vietnam war and the United States government. Public Enemy would not be Public Enemy, if they had not written “Fight The Power.” Come on meow… if anyone here has ever taken a music history class, you know what I’m talking about. You can listen to a song or a piece of music simply for the music aspect, but you are totally missing a huge element of what the composer or songwriter was trying to say. Why? Because it isn’t in context!!! Music historians think like this. They know that you can’t listen to any piece of classical music without putting it into context… without looking at the political, social, ideological background/turmoil in which that work was created.

Of course, you people aren’t music historians or anything close to it, so I wouldn’t expect you to understand that. You see… I’ve got you all figured out, just like you think you have me and my friend, Lorin, all figured out. You’re what’s wrong with this country. You hang out at Power & Light every weekend and think that you’re the center of the universe. You get your news from Fox News and the Kansas City Star. You’ve read the WSJ a couple times, so you think that makes you an expert on everything. You are totally that guy who stands in the back of the club, acting like you are too cool for everyone. You look at other people having a good time, so you decide to talk some shit, because you don’t have the balls to standout.

You just wanna give this guy a bad wrap because he’s from San Francisco, has long hair, and a bunch of dreddies like his music. I love the one person’s comment about how no one wants their political views influenced by some “stoner” DJ. I think that is exactly what’s wrong with Kansas. It is a bunch of ignorant people, who would like to generalize every semi-liberal person into being some sort of drug addict or hippy. That way, whatever they are “babbling” about, doesn’t REALLY matter, because who cares what a bunch of hippy, stoners think… right?

I’ve been thinking about it and you know what I decided? I don’t want people like this at the show. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME. It’s people like you who ruin it for everyone else. You are the fun police. You pay your $20, stand in the back, and criticize everything that everyone does. You are the same people who listen to horrible techno/house and think, “That’s great electronic music!” You are also the same dueshbag who will pay $100 to see a Tiesto or Nickleback in concert. You are a drain on society and my time… Go fuck yourself!

P.S. - He’s doing more then mixing two records together… if you really knew what you were talking about, you would know this.

Music and words as an artist. dont even have to say anything logical to draw interest. you people who judge the points of view are not realizing the role it plays in the expression. ART FEEDS of FEELINGS and the media portrays an image that artist react to. It does not even have to make any sence at all. However there is a deeper meaning that you may never see. And if you only see on drugs thats not real .

Another thing,  You do not realize.  It is an honor to hear the words and expression of lorin and bassnectar. I see more “hope” there in the purity and quality of the samples hear regard for the “work to be done”. What this is is for you and done for you and me. So i say THANK YOU…

I think Bassnectar is a great act. I’m so sick of negative people…

Listen to what someone has to say and decide if it is useful information. If you decide it is not, then move on with your life and don’t worry about it! Nobody has ever been killed by listening to new ideas and viewpoints!

I for one love it when someone can party and have a good time, but also entertain thought provoking ideas and conversations. Keep up the good work lorin!

SO i have to say, props to Ryan for that eloquently put speech…I would also like to put in that Lorin puts on one hell of a show. If you don’t like it, GO THE FUCK AWAY!!! We don’t need you in the scene, and if you think that hes just mixing two records together, fucking open your ears. Have you ever heard music like this? These delicious beats are a product of Bassnectar and Bassnectar alone. I must give Lorin Mad Props, this is some sick shit.
We aren’t all crazy hippies, although there are a lot from SF, and us kids here in Eugene can totally get on his same level obviously some of you other “Americans” (i.e. not the west coast).

Oh, and another thing, if you don’t like what he has to say about your god or if he doesn’t say what you want him to say, you can GO FUCK YOURSELVES! Its just an idea. Because Lorin doesn’t push his ideas onto you, unlike a lot of you Christer bible thumpers do to us, he doesn’t push his religion onto us, he just extends it and we gladly follow. He teaches us individuality and peace, harmony and respect for out fellow human being through pure, sweet music. Plain and simple. We find what it means to each of us, through our own expirimentation and soul searching we can come to understand ourselves a little better, our family a little bit better, and our community a little bit better. Not by some jackass preacher unloading bullshit into our heads as we sit on pews of bullshit, just eating the lies right up, the lies god tries to force feed you through a man telling you the word of god….. yet we are God and man wants to supress that feeling, with drugs and sedatives, pesticides and pharmeceuticals. Man wants you to beleive in God, beleive in this false idol that has you to beleive if you revel in the beauties of life, if you splurge and self indulge and do things thought glutinous and selfish, once in a while, you are labeled a bad person…ad god will punish you forever. Yet we fuck up, but who has the right to say they have power and control over me…..THe fuck you say? Man has no more power over me and what i do than my mother, whom i haven’t seen for over two months.

Back on track, who is this god? Most people think its some dude sitting on a cloud far far above us, watching everything. Whatever, i wont argue. But People don’t get it, God is much much more. You are your own God, and Lorin’s music is a way to more greatly understand that concept. It goes against everything our society tells us about everything, because Religion is very personal for a lot of people, and you don’t fuck with people and their religion, you just smile and nod.
Long and short of it, Lorin doesnt need to say anything about shit, he just answers questions when asked. He doesn’t push his religion onto other people, he doesn’t need to. We thrive on the sounds he creates, and we love him for showing us, in turn, who we really are, as human beings with no inhibitions or worries, or cares, about anything. Words cannot describe how his music has impacted the lives around him, yet no one needs to say anything, because we already know. We Recognise.

If Lorin wants to share his political views then why the fuck shouldn’t he?
If you all are so into his music then at his show surely you would be too busy being mind fucked by the awesomeness to even be aware that Lorin is speaking.
You have your opinions and Lorin has his. Don’t hate on him for expressing them.
You guys are so narrow-minded jeeeeeez.

Lorin you are fucking awesome, don’t let shitheads bring down your positivity.


If you just wanna hear music and not pay for his outlook on shit don’t buy a ticket. That’s the thin I love about lorin is that when I buy a ticket it goes to a conscious being not someone with there head in the sand. Obamas got 80 to 90 percent of his campaign promises done already just get us out of the wars and close gitmo an we good all the while the GOP diggin their heels in cause they’re racist fucks like hailly barber or whoever that dude is in ms.

Not everyone that likes bassnectar and goes to his shows is a democrat or hippie or whatever. I freaking love Lorin and the steriotypical mississippi redneck.I am so tired of hearing people slam on each other from different views. Of you don’t agree then you don’t agree. It’s that simple.

this is about a music artist. Lyrics come in many forms, just cuz his are random and pointed doesnt make them any different from any other musician. Content is rarely noticed because there is so much of it thats mostly the same. When he speaks i think its justa conversational aside, a relevant monlogue to the unspoken dalogue between the dj and listener that is created when music is heard.

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