If there's a more appreciative, team-playing, music-loving producer than Kill the Noise, we've never talked to them. Dude shout-out at least 10 guys he's been working with in the past few years with nothing but praise and admiration - and we only talked for about 30 minutes.
He's got a huge network that includes some of the most experimental and legendary styles in the scene, and he's spent the last year digging in the studio, trading tricks with his buddies in search for the new exciting sound that can keep him interested and tear up a dance floor.
As co-head of Slow Roast Records with Miami's Craze, he's ready to release a ton of new tunes from old friends and new. In 2014, he's got a new eight-track EP, but don't expect to hear the same old song. He promised to serve what he's cooked up Saturday at Grand Central, but we got him to dish up as much as we could.
Crossfade: What spawned this tour? It's been about a year since you released your last EP, Black Magic.
Kill the Noise: The one at Grand Central and the one I'm doing in New York are an opportunity for us to do something as a label. They're branded as a Slow Roast thing, and the lineup is just Slow Roast guys. It just happened that Klever is in town in Miami. I don't know if he's going to come out and play some records, but I know he'll at least be out.
You guys have a lot of work coming out this year, right?
Yeah. We just put out the Brillz stuff, which has done really well. We've got a lot of stuff on deck that we're ready to put out and some ideas that we're playing around with, too. We've got this new guy, his name is Ape Drums, from Houston. We think that he's got something special for sure. Our next release is going to be from him. We've been trying to find some new guys. There's a lot of cool shit out there if you look a little deeper than what's happening on the Beatport charts. Craze has a good ear for that, too. I don't know where he finds some of this shit. He really digs deep out of obscurity.
You guys have the label as a team, so how do you see your roles?
I've known Brillz for like six or seven years and we worked on an older project. When it came time to start Brillz, I was right there for that, and when the record was finished, it only made sense. All the people we've really put records on from Slow Roast have been friendships.. This is going to be the first year we're working on spreading our wings so to speak, going with other people that we're just discovering. But to be honest, for the last couple of years, I've been so busy just establishing myself.
Meanwhile, you're putting out your own stuff on OWSLA as well.
Working with Skrillex over the years has become part of my world. I work with him on so much shit. It's gotten to the point now where I'm trying to put more of my energy, more of my tunes out on Slow Roast. For the last couple of years, it's been trying to establish a platform for us. I put out some of my first records, literally the first release was an EP I put out on Slow Roast. It's just hard to catch people's attention unless you've got a really big platform to be like, "I know what's cool, I know what the fuck's going on, my shit's better than most of the shit out there." It takes a lot of work, and it takes a lot of maintenance, because things change, and things will always change. Sometimes, they change really quickly.
While you're busy working on things, the whole world is catching a new trend.
That's one of the things I admire the most about Craze. He doesn't really get bent out of shape about shit like that. He's been around a lot longer than I have and a lot longer than probably 90 percent of the people doing this shit. Most of these guys will never even see the kind of success that Craze has had in his career. He's just like, "man, sometimes you're hot and sometimes you're not." It's more about what you do when you're not hot. When people aren't paying attention to what you're doing, are you the kind of guy that's going to get bent out a shape about it and pissed off, and let that affect your work? Or are you the guy that's back to the lab to figure out what the next thing is?
And do you chase after following in the footsteps of everyone else, or do you do you and keep pushing on?
I was talking to Klevs, we went out to lunch last week, and he mentioned a quote that I thought was pretty amazing from David Lynch: "You've got to disappear to appear." It's very simple. If you're always in everybody's face, people just get fucking sick of you plain and simple. It doesn't matter what you do or how good you are, especially in dance music that's all based on trends and popularity. It seems like that's the game. You've got to go away for a little while and you've got to come back with something new. I think A-trak is really good at that kind of thing. He can peak in popularity, then go away for a little while, figure out what he wants to do next, and come back. I really admire him with that, and same thing with Craze and a lot of other guys. I'm just trying to learn, and in the same way that those guys had these big things happen in their career to give themselves a platform, that's what I've been doing over the last couple of years with guys like Skrillex and Deadmau5. I'm trying to get recognized for my talent and get my name out there, so I can put more energy into the label.
Kill the Noise: That being said, I've got a fuckload of new music coming out. I did another record for OWSLA, and again it makes sense given the kind of record that I'm doing. I'm shooting for around 8 tracks for the new EP. Sonically, I'm trying a lot of new shit. I've spent a lot of time in the studio with different guys that aren't doing stuff similar to what I'm known for. I've done this collaboration with Tommy Trash. I'm always working with Sonny, so we've got some new shit coming this year. Jack Beats, Feed Me.
Sounds like it's still going to be a heavy release?
Well, you'd be surprised. A lot of guys are changing up their sensibilities, too. Even Skrillex.
I was just talking to him on Holy Ship!!! about working with Flume.
The thing he did with Flume is really fucking cool. We were just down in Australia for New Years, and I met all those dudes like Flume and What So Not and Jaguar. That whole vibe is really cool. It's had an effect on Sonny's production and we're all kind of in our own way trying to figure out what the next thing is - not the next big thing, but the next thing for us.
You have to keep yourself in love with the process as well. You don't want to keep repeating yourself, I'm sure.
Kill the Noise, what it's been has been more or less aggressive dance music. If it wasn't that, then it wouldn't be Kill the Noise. I'm a music fan first, and it's frustrating to me when I'm really into an artist and they put out a record that doesn't really resemble what I love about them. That's a little misleading, and it's just a little downer. There has to be some expectation. I've got to say respect an artist to just do whatever the fuck they want, but to me, if I'm going to do something different that's fundamentally different from the shit that I am doing, I'll just start a new project. That day I'm sure will come at some point, I don't know when, but the second I look around at electronic music dance music and I'm just like "oh god, I can't do this anymore."
There's only so much you can take of big, hard in your face. Everything is fluctuating. You have to come back in sometimes.
There's a saturation point where it can't get any louder, it can't get any crazier. That's part of the reason I think things like Disclosure and Flume and all that stuff is getting popular, just the contrast to what has been popular.
I'm just going off of my instinct, and it's telling me that it's time for me to try to take some risks. That's the most important thing in order to progress your sound. I also think that's the thing that keeps me interested in this shit. There are a lot of unknown opportunities out there. Instead of always turning up at shows and knowing what to expect, it's like, maybe I don't know exactly what will go down here. That's good, because there's a lot of possibility. That's been my vibe on the record. I've been working with a lot of house tunes to be honest and kicking out a lot of cool techniques, learning new stuff. All those dudes are stoked about the crazy sound design shit. In their world, that's just not really a skill that a lot of those dudes have, I don't think. There's definitely some guys out there that know their way around the studio but they're not making all those crazy filter noises, so they get a kick out of hanging out with me because I do that shit with my eyes closed. But I don't know how to make a fucking huge kick drum or anything, so I'm learning a lot, too. It's an equal trade off.
That's how new things happen. Get people together that can help each other.
This new thing I'm doing with Tommy Trash is a cool amalgamation of both of those worlds. We've managed to work his style and my stile into one song, which I didn't think was likely, but we did well. We put some guitars in it too, it's like super guitar, but it fuckin' works. I'll play it in Miami.
Are you going to play a lot of this new stuff for us?
Yeah. I got this other one, too, it's going to be my first track but I'm trying to get a rapper on it. I can't say who yet, but someone cool. I'm trying to put this record out sometime around the late spring, maybe April or May. Between now and then, all the shows that I play, I'm testing stuff and going back and refining it, testing it, refining it. I think it's a cool way to get a feeling from the crowd if I'm going in the right direction, and I think people get stoked about it, too. Get people buzzing about it leading up to the announcement. People need to know that I'm working on shit. I think anyone who is interested in what I've been doing, they should pay a little bit closer attention right now, because I'm in the process of putting together whatever the next thing is going to be.
Kill the Noise and DJ Craze. With Sluggers and Louie Arson. Presented by Poplife, Culture, and Electric Love. Saturday, January 18, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.