When we were first asked to cover the Bass Kleph show at the Hive in Denver, we went on with our week thinking just that. A few days later we were asked if we’d like to do a meet and greet. Of course we obliged, as we always love connecting with the artists we support. Then while we were waiting for him at the bar around the corner from the hotel, we decided to conduct an impromptu interview. Sometimes these things have a way of happening. And we’re glad they did.

After a whirlwind of laughs, drinks, and some errors due to the lack of preparation, we concluded and headed to his show. If you’ve never seen Bass Kleph live, you’re missing out. While we’ll admit that a lot of DJs out there working on just CDJs can impress us, Bass Kleph takes his live performances to a whole new level. The combination of the three CDJs and his Maschine make for an incredibly entertaining live performance.

TMN: We know that Australia has an incredible music scene and puts out a lot of talented artists. How would you compare each individual city’s music scene to a city in America?

BK: Melbourne got some cool smaller clubs that have some great underground music. They have some mainstream stuff too, and they do it really well, but they have cool underground clubs where they do great tech house until all hours. It kind of reminds me of some of the after hours parties you guys have in the states, only if you could imagine a whole city full of them.

TMN and BK: (Stop interview to order drinks)

BK: Sydney and Melbourne probably make up the most of it. Brisbane has a pretty good scene too. The sound of Brisbane is somewhere in between Sydney and Melboune; it’s almost like a combination. It’s got a great party atmosphere. The people are always really into it, and I love playing there.

Let’s see…where else…Gold Coast is like our mini version of Vegas. Perth has got some incredible underground stuff going on, especially drum and bass stuff, breaks, and dubstep. That’s where Pendulum and Knife Party are from. Adelaide has got some pretty good parties too. It does shift around a bit, but Melbourne and Sydney are probably the main two.

TMN: From our personal experience, we feel that Australians like to party a bit.

BK: (Grinning) No…no…

TMN: We post a lot of indie rock on our blog in addition to all the EDM. Australia has had some amazing indie bands to come out of it like Angus and Julia Stone. Are there any indie bands from Australia that you like to listen to?

The rest of the interview & two tracks after the jump…

BK: One of my favorites, although he’s not really “indie” anymore, he’s massive – Gotye. He came out of the indie underground scene, and was someone I worked with as well. We had actually done some tracks together back in the day. Hopefully we can end up getting them out. He’s incredible, man, and always has been since the first stuff I ever heard. He’s a really good drummer too.

Actually I used to play in a band as well as a drummer. The band was called Loki, it was kind of a pop-rock kinda band. Before I became a DJ as a full time thing, I was a full time drummer. We did a few albums, music videos, TV and all that sort of stuff. Did the whole mainstream thing. So going into dance music was more of an underground step. I sort of wanted to be out of the limelight, where it’s all about the music. It’s kind of interesting because you see a lot of people getting into dance music for the opposite reason nowadays.

TMN and BK: Pause to cheers aforementioned ordered drinks.

TMN: What made you decide to use your Maschine live instead of just using CDJs?

BK: It was actually a suggestion by my manager because I played drums. He was like, “Why have you never thought about bringing your drumming talent to your live show?” I used to actually play completely live electronica stuff on an ableton rig with drum machines, samplers, and way too much equipment. I was finding that at that stage of my career, for the amount of effort I was putting into making this live set and rehearsing it, most of it went over everyone’s heads. I would be working so hard and people would come up and request whatever was top 10 on the dance charts.

I was like, “You don’t understand. I’m making this right now. This is a once in a lifetime set.” It made me go back to DJing and writing tracks in the studio. Which I love. Anyways, when he suggested that I thought, “maybe I can do a happy medium, between DJing and bringing some live component as well.” I practiced a lot and worked at how I could do it in a musical way. I wasn’t sure that I’d like it at first, but it ended up really growing on me. Now I don’t want to play without it.

Now I run three CDJs, and on the fourth channel I run my Maschine, which is like a sampling drum machine. I can either write drum beats, melodies, bass lines, vocal chop stuff, I can take bits from other peoples songs, sometimes I program it, and sometimes I fingerdrum live. My favorite thing about it is I can improvise. A lot of things I do with it aren’t pre-worked out.

TMN: Ok, here’s a little change of pace. What’s one thing about America that you love? Is there a certain type of food or a restaurant that you don’t get in Australia, that you love here in the states?

BK: There’s a lot. There’s so many things I love about this place. I’ve been touring here for about three years now. Usually I come over and do a two-week tour, sometimes up to five times a year. Eventually I said, “What am I doing? I should just live here and tour everywhere else.” It’s so globally central, and there’s so much going on in the scene.

Plus, I love Mexican food so much. You guys have the best Mexican food. The weather in Los Angeles too, and being right near the beach in the capital of the entertainment industry. The main reason, though, is the shows. Playing all around America the shows are so much fun, and the people are so receptive. They just get into it so much. There’s really an awesome positive attitude that everyone’s got. I mean you get positive people all over the world, but not like here. People seem to really band together and get into things a lot. And outside the clubs, in the working environment, people are really supportive of each other.

Between the attitude and the shows, it feels like a good place to be.

TMN: Do you have something from Australia that you bring with you when you tour?

BK: I don’t think so. I don’t think I have a non-functional thing I bring all the time. My laptop, my BOSE headphones and my Maschine. I didn’t bring a lot of stuff with me from Australia. I sold most of my things and re-bought everything over here. A lot of that stuff, like furniture or whatever else, isn’t really that important to me. Music is so much more important.

TMN: So with your Maschine, do you trust the airlines? Do you check it or do you always carry-on?

BK: I carry on every time. Airlines are okay for not damaging stuff, but they do lose stuff all the time. If I’ve got a really tight deadline when I arrive, and only have a couple hours before the show, if I’ve lost the bag, then I can’t play. DJ Manufacturers out there need to make sure that all their stuff will fit in an overhead compartment.

TMN: If your musical style was an animal, what would it be?

BK: (Laughing) It would be Animal the drummer from The Muppets. Just improvise-on-the-spot mayhem with a little bit of headbanging.

’Bass Kleph – When You Were Deep (Vacation Records)’
’Bass Kleph and Travis Emmons – Electrical Funk (Vacation Records)’
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