Netsky on “Work it Out,” His Upcoming Tour, and Nobu’s Black Cod [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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At this point in the game, we would expect nothing less than a jam-packed, busy-as-hell 2016 from our Resident Artist. Tours, festival appearances, a new album, and some free time in the kitchen will most assuredly max out his calendar for the next 11 months. With that in mind, we fired over a few questions to Netsky to get a better understanding of what exactly is on the way.

TMN: Hey Boris! Thanks for coming onboard for our Residency Program we’re excited to have you. Let’s kick things off by talking about what everyone is anxious for “Work It Out,” which is your second collab with Digital Farm Animals. You guys must have a good rapport. Talk to us about working with him.

Netsky: Hey! Thank you for having me. Nick (Digital Farm Animals) has to be one of my favorite writers/producers to work with. He’s got a unique take on vocal production. We both share a love for using crazy effects and techniques on vocals. I have a couple more songs with him in the pipeline and with every single song his voice sounds completely different. I love that!

TMN: The tune is simply gorgeous. What was the process like for this particular song? Melody first? Lyrics first?

Netsky: Nick wrote the chorus when he was in LA and showed it to me. I absolutely loved it from first listen and started working on the production straight away. The song started off as a 80s rock influenced half tempo track. It took us a while to realize that it sounded good on a drum & bass beat. But after a while it started sounding exactly like we both wanted. I think I’m gonna work on the original version to play live with the band.

TMN: You also have a DJ tour coming up, which is playfully named “Netsky & Chill.” You’re hitting up 16 different spots in a short amount of time. Are there any shows you’re looking forward to in particular?

Netsky: I think this whole tour is gonna be legendary. One of the venues I can’t wait to play again is Beta in Denver. That has to be one of my favorite spots. I’m also really excited to play 88 Palace in New York, it’s a dim sum place in China town haha! I want to play a broad variety of music throughout the tour and I’m bringing some friends along to help me with that (like DJ Craze in Denver
for example).

TMN: Are people encouraged to come in their PJs? If no, can we still come in our PJs?

Netsky: Yes!!!! That would be awesome. We need to do a group picture with the PJ crew 🙂

TMN: We talked to you not that long ago, back in 2014. You talked about how you got into music at a young age, but not who some of your early DnB influences were. We’re curious did you ever listen to the harder/more industrial acts? Or did you lean more towards the liquid acts more?

Netsky: I was into a lot of different genres and styles when I was younger. I remember loving an EP which had a Spor, Ewun and Counterstrike song on it. I definitely went through a phase where drum & bass couldn’t be hard enough 🙂

TMN: The first time DnB blew my mind was listening to the dual CD The 6ixth Session from Dieselboy. Do you have a song/mix/moment that made hooked you on the genre?

Netsky: One moment I still remember like it was yesterday was hearing High Contrast’s remix of Gold Digger at a club near where I grew up in 2006. That song changed drum & bass forever for me. It made me realize there are ways to speak to a wide audience with what I always thought was a genre for the underground only.

TMN: Back in the day, there were drum n bass stages at every major event in the states. Somehow that stopped. How did this storied genre seemingly skip over an entire generation in just the US? We know that’s not the case over in Europe.

Netsky: Drum & bass saw a rise in the states when Dubstep became big but it never really peaked as a genre. Which is a good thing I think! Drum & bass has always had a steady following with very loyal fans. There haven’t been any crazy ups and downs in the time I’ve been in the scene and I’m happy with that. I do hope that some of the bigger festivals will start taking more risks in the future. I’ve been very lucky with festival bookings in the US but there’s so much good stuff in Europe right now that doesn’t see the light of day at American festivals. I grew up going to festivals to explore new music and the only way I was satisfied was when I found out about a new band or DJ that I didn’t already know about. I don’t know if I could still do this at big festivals today. It seems like almost all mainstream festivals are booking all the ‘safe’ options that everybody knows already.

TMN: You’ve been a force for bringing these sounds into major festivals, which is greatly appreciated. Do you have some younger up and coming producers you’d like to see on more festival bills?

Netsky: Thank you! There are so many cool new artists around atm. Couple of my favorites: Mura Masa, MXWLL, Dombresky, Pomo. In drum & bass too: Bensley, Rameses B, Keeno, Ownglow.

TMN: Switching gears a bit, this has been a rough year for music lovers. We lost Lemmy from Motorhead and David Bowie back to back. Who are some of your musical heroes?

Netsky: Lemmy and Bowie were legends. I was really emotional when I listened to Blackstar for the first time. What a way to leave us. Two of my musical heroes must be Elton John and Prince. “Rocket Man” is my most played song
ever I think.

TMN: Speaking of legendary music, if you got the green light to remix any song, which would you pick and why?

Netsky: I was thinking about this a while ago. I love remixing songs but I couldn’t remix a song that means too much to me. Sometimes classics are better left alone. Collaborating is a different story though 🙂 If I could choose anybody, Adele.

TMN: As you probably remember from our last interview, we like to shift gears and ask some random questions at the end. We’ve noticed you’re quite the chef, so we’re creating an all foodie section of questions. First up what’s the first thing you want to eat when you get home from a long tour?

Netsky: Ah! Now it getting interesting ;) There’s a restaurant in Antwerp called Pazzo, their specialty is simple Italian dishes with really cool use of truffle. Great wine too. This is my relax zone for when I get home.

TMN: Say you’re trying to impress with your culinary skills. What do you serve your guests?

Netsky: The stuff I cook and put on Instagram is very basic. I look at cooking as a way to relax and clear my mind. But if I’d have to impress I would try and make Nobu’s signature black cod. I think it takes a couple of days of preparation, though.

TMN: Every DJ has a secret weapon for their sets. What’s your secret weapon in the kitchen?

Netsky: Truffle and soy sauce (not together though haha). I love salty flavours and there’s so many interesting ways to use soy sauce in dishes you wouldn’t expect. And truffle is just sex on a plate.

TMN: Name three things that are always in your fridge, no matter what.

Fruit, Soy sauce and Grand Marnier 🙂

TMN: This is a bit morbid, but if you could pick your last meal, what would it be?

Netsky: So hard to decide… Tuna sashimi or a great steak.

TMN: Last but not least, please complete this sentence. When I tour through the states, I can’t wait to eat…

Netsky: Black Cod at Nobu.