Mar 07, 2012
Steve Aoki

Steve Aoki is renowned for copious amounts of energy in his music and insane onstage antics. During the New York leg of his Deadmeat Tour, Steve talked to LessThan3 about Holy Ship, the vibe he brings to the studio, and the various injuries he has incurred while stage diving.

Steve Aoki & Lil Jon feat Chiddy Bang - Emergency (Original Mix) [Ultra]
LessThan3: We’ve heard that Holy Ship was a pretty crazy experience. Just how insane was it?
Steve: That was my first cruise. I actually shot video (I bring a video guy with me everywhere I go) and all of the crazy antics are on my YouTube channel. It’s crazy doing something like a dance event on a ship, because you’re stuck in this isolated space with all your friends—Sonny (Skrillex), A-Trak, [Laidback] Luke, Dillon [Francis], Diplo, Zedd, Alvin Risk, Jonathan Davis from Korn—it was awesome. The fans are there but they’re not really bothering you; they’re cool with everything. I definitely want to do it again. We did get stuck in the Bahamas, though. We got stuck over a reef for like ten hours. We had eighteen tugboats pulling at the boat while we were all partying.
LessThan3: What were some memorable moments from the recording of your new album Wonderland?
Steve: The recording of the album spanned over three years, so there were a lot of them. It was over a period of time where music was constantly changing and different sounds were influencing me. As the album was getting closer to completion, I realized how diverse it was and I wanted to keep it that way, so I worked with lots of different producers and vocalists in different genres, female and male. I really took it as an opportunity to showcase my songwriting rather than just doing a bunch of “through-the-roof bangers.” I loved working with everyone on the album–Rivers Cuomo,, RedFoo from LMFAO, Wynter Gordon, Lil Jon, Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, The Exploited–everyone brought something great to the album.
LessThan3: What is the “Steve Aoki” element that you feel you most consistently bring to your collaborations with other artists?
Steve: My sound is about maximal energy. I want to make people throw things. I want people to break their head through a ceiling and go nuts. Artists I work with go crazy in the studio whenever we are working on tracks. If we can’t control ourselves writing the song, that’s a good thing. With Nick (Afrojack), He has such a sick sound bank; all of his presets and plugins are amazing. When we worked together, we were writing songs not necessarily for ourselves, but just to write them and see where they would go. Maybe we would use them use for ourselves, maybe they would be for someone else. One song we ended up giving away was We’re All No One by Nervo. As far as new collaborations go, there’s a vocal version of Tornado coming out in April on Dim Mak with Polina on vocals—we’re premiering it tonight. There will also be a music video.
LessThan3: You seem to be somewhat of a health food nut. Are you vegetarian or vegan?
Steve: I just tweeted this huge T-Bone Lil Jon and I were eating like an hour ago. I eat everything honestly, but I have an affinity with vegan food. I was vegan for five years and vegetarian for fifteen. I’m also a big PETA advocate. I eat crappy food too, but I’m a big supporter of organic food and healthy food and living a healthy life.
LessThan3: Do you ever plan on cutting your hair?
Steve: Not really; I’m OK with it. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to have long hair; I understand what it’s like to be a girl now. It has to be washed a lot because it gets all knotted up. I’m admittedly not the best at managing my hair–I use my fingers when I comb my hair and cut my hair once a year. Somehow, it manages to stay on my head. My girl takes better care of my hair than I do; she picks at it like a monkey.
LessThan3: Have you ever been injured crowdsurfing?
Steve: I have a permanent injury in my elbow; I can’t lean on it at certain angles. That was my own drunken stupidity, though. I did a stage dive and it was dark, I went right through the crowd and landed on my elbow. I’m way more careful now. I’ve gotten close to some pretty scary injuries on my balcony dives, but I can’t help it. I have this adrenaline rush and this neurosis when it comes to heights—I’m always thinking about jumping and if I could survive a certain jump if it were necessary.
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?
Steve: Something by Propagandhi.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Steve: Crazy and crazier.
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