Rise at Night
Armed & Dangerous feat. MC Zulu (Datsik Remix)

Last weekend, Datsik came tearing into Colorado putting on two incredible laser crazy shows reminding every person in the audience what grime dub can sound like. I was able to sit down with him Saturday before his show to get some insight on his past, his love of hip-hop and even a little on Mark Ruffalo.

TMN: I have the pleasure today of sitting down with the crazy producer of dubstep, Mr Datsik, thank you taking the time to talk to us tonight before you show the Mile High City what is up.

D: Of course.

TMN: Let’s start from the beginning when you were young. Was there any music in your household or did you take any musical lessons when you were a kid? You’ve told the great story of your dad giving you a surround sound system and saying, you make it, you can keep it. Were there other musical stories like this?

D: I’ve actually never really had a musical background I’ve always kind of been into the more technical side of it I guess. So that’s why making dubstep and cool noises appeals to me and I’ve always kind of been into making the darker stuff ya know? When I was younger, a teenager, I was into dark hip-hop stuff which translated into what I am making now.

TMN: What was your first tape and/or CD that you owned?

D: Shit. Um, it must have been, I think it was an old Beastie Boys tape or something like that. I’m trying to remember I got it from my brother and that is the first one I can remember. I had one of those big yellow walkmans too (laughs) you know those?

TMN: Oh yes, I had one of those too.

TMN: And what was the first concert you ever went to?

D: I went to a Snoop Dog concert when I was fifteen and I remember we rolled up like twenty joints.

TMN: (Laughs) You kind of have to, it was Snoop Dog.

D: (Laughs) Exactly! So we filled this little container and we snuck it in and we didn’t have floor seats but we rolled up there was five of us and we sparked them and smoked them all at once. I was definitely in a haze when I left.

TMN: On numerous occasions it has been written that you were and still are a giant rap and hip-hop fan, Wu-Tang Clan was your favorite. What was it about this type of music that you loved and still love so much?

D: I guess again, the dark shit. That has always been my niche, the darker side of hip-hop and I liked how it didn’t feel overproduced so everything felt grudgy and edgy. I think the imperfections is what made it perfect for me?

TMN: That being said, what do you think about the rap scene today? For example, Kanye West pretty much just declared himself a “God” in that department, how has the rap scene changed and what are your thoughts on that?

D: Well I think before I answer this we should distinguish that rap and hip-hop are two different things. Rap is the rap game you know about money, cash, hoes whatever. Hip-hop is more about an intellectual approach and getting a message across. I’m not that into rap but I am into hip-hop because it is telling a story. Kanye West, I don’t know it is kind of Hip-Hop because he is telling a story but he is bragging about how cool he is. I mean whatever you know, it’s cool, it will get on the radio.

TMN: Now, you have said that you decided to start making dirty beats after you saw an Excision show that just blew you away. Can you describe for us what that show was like for you? What you saw and felt and heard that changed you?

D: Well what actually happened, I didn’t make it after I went to an Excision show I had been making beats before that but when I went and saw Shambhala, I got to hear dubstep on a massive system and it finally translated for me. When Excision played, he played a killer set and his darker shit, and all weekend I had heard good dubstep but it just wasn’t up my alley but when I heard him play it was heavy and dark on the biggest system and that is what changed it, and I was like oh my god. That’s when I stopped making hip-hop and started making dubstep, it was super inspiring.

TMN: And what about five years from now, I know sometimes it is hard to see that far ahead because music is changing constantly, you are trying new things and ideas come out of right field. But in five years where would you like your music to be?

D: Honestly, it is so hard to tell but I’m just going with the flow. I’m obviously, genres come and go but its important to remain true to your original style. As long as I do that, I don’t think it matter what type of genre I am playing, dubstep, trap, drum and bass, 110 any of that kind of stuff. Moving forward, I really like the fact that the minimal element is coming back into dubstep. I noticed last night when I was playing it wasn’t the biggest tracks that got the huge reactions, it was the minimalist tracks and that is such a good feeling especially coming from dubstep. It is funny like North American we started with the nosier stuff and now we are kind of moving backwards and in the UK they started with the minimal and moved to the nosier. I think the introduction of trap into the EDM world was the best thing that could have happened to dubstep because now it has people opening their minds to more sounds of dubstep.

TMN: Before we go onto some fun questions, let’s talk about your label quick Firepower. I believe it is a lot of artists’ dream to have their own label. What do you hope to provide with this label for the artists who you sign?

D: I originally wanted to create the label as an output for my music but I was stumbling across so much talent and kids were sending me so much good music, I couldn’t really pass that up. Every single release I put out I totally believe in and I would totally play in one of my sets. And that’s the only stuff I am going to release and in doing that I can have quality control. I think we are on release twenty-four now and it has only been a year and a bit? So it is moving really quickly, we have four releases a month, one every Tuesday and we don’t try to force it, it just happens. We are backed up with so many good releases and by making sure we only send out quality stuff we get more submissions because people want to be associated with a good quality label that doesn’t just put out whatever. So, it is kind of interesting, and is crazy and the label is the best thing I have ever done. And it allows me to do these crazy tours and bring all my tour buddies with me and for the kids who have not toured it is crazy for them to go on a bus tour and see what it is all like. (Laughs) I think it was Recoil when we were on tour, he was like man, I can’t believe I have to go home and work my shitty job after this, he was so bummed. I hate my life right now, he was on the tour for 2-3 weeks then he went home and hated it.

TMN: (Laughs) He was like, take me back please.

D: Yeah once you are on tour and a taste it is hard to want to do anything else.

TMN: And now onto the part of this interview where we hope for a few smiles and laughs. Who do people say is your doppleganger (aka twin)?

D: Mark Ruffalo

TMN: I can see that.

D: And Paul Rodriguez, skateboarder.

TMN: What are three things you are never on tour without?

D: Coconut water, vitamins and sunglasses.

TMN: Fan moment that you will never get out of your head no matter how hard you try?

D: Ok I think I was in Chicago?

TMN: (Laughing) Oh man that’s my hometown.

D: No Chicago is the shit, it is the best, I mean besides Denver. But Chicago is number two for real. Any Chicago readers, I still love you. Anyways this chick was standing in the front row and every time I played an original track she would just start crying, it was super super weird. She would start crying and mouthing, oh my god. At the end of the show I give the front row high-fives and I gave her one and she freaked out, at that point I was like whoa. I’m thankful for that fan but you know, different. I mean what is so special about me?

TMN: Now, rapid fire question time. Don’t think, just answer ok?

TMN: After listening to my music for ten hours straight, I want to…

D: Kill myself

TMN: Snapbacks or tattoos (the answer is both)…

D: Snapbacks

TMN: Girl crush…

D: Alicia Keys

TMN: Man crush...

D: Leonardo DiCaprio

TMN: Titanic? Is that what got you?

D: (Laughs) Ummm, sure.

TMN: Music I secretly listen to but would never admit to it…but to us you will…

D: Ace of base.

TMN: If I could trade places for anyone for a day it would be…

D: Could it be an animal? I would be a bird, so I could fly around.

TMN: And the final question we ask all artists, if your music were an animal, what animal would it be and why?

D: It would be a sloth mixed with a tiger.

TMN: Do you know how many artists say their music is a sloth?

D: (Laughs) Really? I guess dubstep is kind of slow ::makes this wonderful dubstep sounds::

TMN: Troy thanks for taking the time to chat with us today and best of luck this year we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

D: Cheers!

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