Borgore: Skrillex Is the Metallica of Electronic Music
Israeli dubstep producer/DJ Borgore has garnered somewhat of a cult following with his eccentric and personality driven form of distorted bass since appearing on the scene in 2007. Formerly the drummer in a death metal band, he produces a distinctive grimey and textured sound -- defining him from the hordes of other heavy mid-range producers with diverse instrumentation and a surreal and irreverent sensibility.
Clearly excited about headlining the 'Dubstep Base' stage at Dancegiving -- repeatedly saying "I can't wait" -- in his uniquely idiosyncratic style, he speaks freely in a chat with County Grind about working with Diplo, pole-dancers, and ruining dubstep.
New Times: You last played Fort Lauderdale almost exactly a year ago - how has 2011 been overall?
Borgore: It has been great, no complaints - I love it. It has been a
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David Cook with special guest Kathryn Dean
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great year and I'll remember it forever. Usually you have peaks, but it
was just flat at the top.
As an artist you are closely aligned with dubstep, but your sound seems
to incorporate a broad musical spectrum. How would you describe your
relationship to dubstep and is the title of your EP (Borgore Ruined
Dubstep) mocking any pretensions within the genre?
I feel like I'm mainstream outstream in a way; I'm a weird figure, I'm
not a typical dubstep. I'm not mocking anyone; this is what these guys
said about me. About three years ago, when me and a couple of other
artists came into the genre I got tons of heat and the whole forums were
saying "Borgore ruined dubstep." So I went like, "fuck off" -- I ruined
dubstep. I'm easy going, y'know, I'll say I ruined it. I'm not
responding to them, I'm just joking about it.
I find your relationship to pop music very interesting -- your versions
of "Cry Me a River" and "Your Favorite Things" integrate seminal
melodies through harsh sounds and you've also remixed artists such as
I love pop music -- pop music is called pop because it's popular and lots
of people like it. It's always good to be underground and try to be a
bit like the outsider. I'm trying to make myself happy and make people
happy and just make good music, rather than try to think about what
people say or how it sounds. I dunno? It seems like there is no big
track right now that someone hasn't remixed into dubstep.
You produced a track with Diplo on the newly released Yelawolf album and
have collaborated with him in the past on your own track ("Sunsets").
How did it come about and what's it like working with him?
When it comes to working with Diplo you get an email, and you get sent a
sample and it's usually him sending me something or I'm sending him
something, and somehow a tune comes out of it. To be honest, I've only
been with Diplo in the studio for three days in my whole entire life, so
it's not like we are in the studio for a long time and being
inspirational to each other. I guess it's like with a lot of producers
these days, you don't really need to get into the studio with someone to
make a collaboration - you just send each other stems and everything is
by mail these days. It's not like sitting with a band and writing songs
together. You put your input, then he takes it back and put his input -
it's like working with yourself, but not really.
Is there anyone else out there right now who you find really inspirational or would like to collaborate with?
My three favourite producers are Bangladesh [producer of Lil Wayne's 'A
Milli' and '6 Foot 7 Foot'], Mark Ronson and Lex Luger [Wacka Flocka,
Rick Ross, Jay-Z & Kanye West]. If I had an option to sit with
people in a studio, then they would be the three.
I know you've recently played on a tour with rap-rockers Hollywood
Undead and metalcore crew Asking Alexandria -- what's it like playing
alongside artists who are stylistically very different?
It was a great experience, I really loved the people. Some nights were
rough, some nights were great - it was really hit and miss as far as
the crowd. The experience was great. I expected more tomatoes and eggs
and I haven't been hit, so that's a good start. I expected 15-16 year
old feisty metal kids to be mad, but they were very safe. 90 percent of the
shows the crowd were really feeling it, jumping and screaming. Me and
my management thought about the tour beforehand and we came to the
conclusion that if we put two pole-dancers on stage it would make the
whole tour easier -- so we had two pole-dancers for the whole tour. Who
can say no to pole-dancers? And they were dancing on the table with my
face on it.
Will these pole-dancers feature at Dancegiving?
We really wanted to use this production on the Fort Lauderdale show, but
because it's such a big event they couldn't let me use my own
production. Next time will be bigger and better, we're working on a
bigger show right now.
What do you think about the rise of electronic music in the US during the last year?
I reckon the whole thing is growing thanks to Skrillex and
people taking tablets, there's a lot of music out there that's good for
people taking drugs. If you think about all the metal bands from the
'90s, there were lots of them, but not all of them were huge -- there
were just two or three. At the moment Skrillex is like Metallica. It's
like everyone has heard of Bob Marley, but no one knows Pato Banton
[British reggae singer] -- so hopefully there's room for some of the
other smaller artists like myself to have a go.
Dancegiving Music Festival. With Wolfgang Gartner, Diplo, MSTRKRFT,
Borgore, Robbie Rivera, Dieselboy, Juan Basshead and more. 5pm.
Saturday, November 26, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort
Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30 to $65. Call 954-449-1025.
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