Keep it PLUR, kids.
Peace, Love, Unity, Respect ... That's the totally upbeat vibe that seems to motivate each and every moment of electronic dance music icon Kaskade's existence.
His tracks soar and twinkle like an oxygen high in outer space. His face is perpetually cast in a state of supreme relaxation as if he were some kinda blissed-out EDM monk. And his predictions for the future are endlessly optimistic.
Just this morning via Twitter, he proclaimed, "Summer of 2012 could go down as the best ever." And after discussing EDM's future and the Freaks of Nature tour with Kaskade, even Crossfade's cranky professional skeptics are beginning to believe in the power of PLUR.
Crossfade: You mention your own Freaks of Nature electronic dance music megatour. Has it been mass mayhem in every city?
It's all been a bit of a blur. But I just can't believe it. In New York, I was like, "Oh, my gosh, there's 7,000 people here!" And the next night was Baltimore. It was the same thing. But these cities are only, like, 75 or 100 miles apart from each other. And doing shows in both cities for 7,000 is just unbelievable.
Even when I went to Ohio, the shows were smaller, but there were still thousands of people. And it's so strange. Because the last time I went to Ohio was four or five years ago and I played a club that held about 600. It's crazy. Just the intensity of this summer is blowing me away.
Yeah, this whole party is peaking. You recently played Electric Daisy Carnival and you called it "our generation's Woodstock." How does it feel to be a central figure in what could be a historic moment?
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Oh, man, it's cool. It's huge for me. There are so many festivals all over the world and I've played most of them. But Electric Daisy Carnival is kinda my hometown festival. Between EDC and Coachella, those were the festivals that I was going to years ago as a fan. And to see them bringing in, like, 340,000 people over three or four days is mind-boggling. It's so rewarding to live through this moment.
With the arena-size raves and massive music fests, do you think EDM was always destined for an enormous stage?
No. I'm out on the road enough to see that dance music on this scale presents a lot of challenges. Over the years, I've been used to playing my music in nightclubs. You know, these big concrete boxes. That's such a different experience from the arena or stadium setting. And it should be.
The Freaks of Nature show is more of a concert. I've released several albums, so I'm out there showcasing the music that I've written and produced over the last 12 years. Just like if you went to see U2 or whatever. It's less a DJ show. I'm not playing other people's music. You know, Bono's not gonna get up and sing a Bruce Springsteen song. [Laughs]
If it's a full-blown concert event, what kind of live experience, visuals, and atmosphere are you unleashing on the audience?
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For me, this is an opportunity to put on a show that's congruent with the message of the music. A lot of the time when I play at nightclubs, I'm confined to the gimmicks or screens or whatever that they've got at that particular venue. And sometimes, it can be frustrating to deal with flashing lights and a stripper dancing on a pole. It's like, "Whoa, I'm not that guy! I'm the peace, love, unity, harmony guy!" [Laughs]
Kaskade's Freaks of Nature Tour. With Panic Bomber, FareOh, and Alvin Risk. Saturday, July 14. Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets cost $39.50 plus fees via livenation.com. Call 305-358-7550 or visit bayfrontparkmiami.com.
Kaskade's Freaks of Nature Afterparty. Saturday, July 14. LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $50 to $90 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-674-4680 or visit livnightclub.com.