Jan 28, 2013

We sat down with Gladkill at the King King nightclub in Hollywood to learn about his recent tour with Bassnectar, who he’s listening to, and the state of electronic music today.

Gladkill - Distance (Original Mix)
LessThan3: We loved your set when you opened up for Bassnectar at the Hollywood Palladium.
Boris: That was crazy! It was also Gramatik’s birthday party so everyone got super wild, yelled at, in trouble, but in the best way possible.
LessThan3: Sounds like you enjoy touring life?
Boris: Oh yeah, touring is amazing. It gives me a new perspective and shows me how big this rabbit hole can get. It was crazy to be with someone like Bassnectar on my last tour; to be traveling with someone on that level is like being with the rock bands I used to listen in high school. The quality of production they had for the Bassnectar tour rivals the production that major rock acts have.
LessThan3: When touring, do you prefer touring with performers that have a similar or a different sound than your own?
Boris: I like playing with more unique producers that don’t sound exactly like me. With Bassnectar, I didn’t exactly mix with his current sound, but his old stuff is so pretty and so was a lot of his set, so I understood why I was there. On the other hand, I want to play with my friends like the Headtron crew of LA, and we all have somewhat similar sounds.
LessThan3: How did you come up with your name?
Boris: It’s actually a play on my last name, Gladkikh. I’ve been in a lot of bands, from punk bands to metal bands to indie progressive stuff and everything in between. I was in a Misfits cover band with some friends of mine as well; we were terrible! It was pretty hilarious.
LessThan3: Who are some artists that you’re following these days?
Boris: New music right now is exceptionally good. I’m finding so many new artists and learning about so many artists who are branching out and doing their own thing now. For example, Kastle has set up a label, Symbols, that allows these forward-thinking musicians to do their thing.

Lately, I’ve been into Sinjin Hawke, Thriftworks who’s got an insane new album coming, Russ Liquid, Shlohmo, Giraffage, XXYYXX, Rustie, G-Jones, Starkey–I could go on forever. I used to be less interested in checking out my SoundCloud feed because of all the brostep bangers but now when I check it out, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. I draw inspiration from everyone–Hudson Mohawke, the new Deftones album, all the up-and-comers, and even these random SoundCloud producers I’ve discovered like this dude named Lindsay Lowend. I’m going to play a track of his called Brian Williams tonight that’s a banger. Also digging Anthony Ellect who we’ve added to the opening slot of the lineup today; I found him from some homies and he’s making some super chilled out, James Blake style tunes.

LessThan3: You mentioned Hudson Mohawke–what do you think about his trap project with Lunice, TNGHT, and trap music in general?
Boris: Trap music has been around for a while under different pretenses, but now that it’s been picked up by the underground EDM scene, I think this isn’t a fad that’s going to pass or stay in the underground, especially now that it’s influencing UK producers to make trap-sounding music. The TNGHT EP was really cool. At first I was a skeptic, because what do these kids know about trap? I don’t know anything about trap. I never grew up in a neighborhood like that or been to a legit trap house. But it’s fun’ you can only hate for so long until you give up and realize you don’t know what you’re even mad at anymore. If that’s how people want to express themselves, I’m down with it. It’s good to embrace everything because you never know where your inspiration will come from.
LessThan3: Tell us about your upcoming releases. What can fans expect?
Boris: Right now I have a bunch of songs made, and I’m working on putting together an EP and then a full-length album with some of the tracks. Currently I’m focused on creating the product before starting to label it and do this and that. I’m just in the studio not writing for anything, just writing.
LessThan3: You’re well-known for a lot of your hip hop and R&B-influenced remixes. Did you grow up listening to a lot of hip hop?
Boris: I was big into ’90s hip hop and R&B, and I love a lot of the stuff coming out now, but you gotta look for it a little harder. I really remix whatever I can get my hands on, though now you can hear a lot of artists using the same a cappellas, so I gotta stay creative with what I’m using in the studio.
LessThan3: Speaking of working in the studio, have you learned any production techniques recently that you wish you would have known before?
Boris: It’s all about looking at the piece of music as a whole instead of showcasing a sound or a certain thing. Back when dubstep was taking off, there was too much focus on the bass; what about the song around it? It’s important to keep the final product in mind and make sure everything sounds complementary with everything else. Cut out frequencies and let everything sit in its own space; Don’t let sounds get on top of each other because even if you’re not hearing the frequencies, they’ll be creating some harmonics that will make things sound weird.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Boris: Metallica’s Ride The Lightning; that’s just a really good song to go out on. That would probably be the best apocalypse soundtrack ever.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Boris: Sexy F*cking Music.
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