Rusko Admits: "Playing Shows and Doing Drugs Is a Great Diet"

British Dubstep producer and DJ Rusko is a funny guy. Candid, and warm, he's comfortable chatting about everything and everything from the Lion King, to medical marijuana. Rusko's also a guy who recently started taking a no bullshit, totally independent approach to getting music to his fans, quick and easy.  

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A split from Mad Decent left him releasing new tracks on his website. "That's what I'm going to do with all my music from now on," he told New Times. This way, he can release albums in a month's time or less, since, he explained, "the way the record labels work, there's sometimes six months between finishing the record and it being released. It gets less and less exciting." He's heading in a totally different "punk rock" direction. "There don't need to be a million remixes of every track. I don't need to collaborate with a million people," he said, and we agree, all we need is Rusko. 

His newest EP Kapow, which he describes as being populated with "old school dancefloor slammers," is up for free on his website, and he'll be breathing plenty of life into Club Cinema this weekend. Besides the serious business of music, Rusko came clean with us about off-tour weight gain, tripping on Holy Ship!!, and watching YouTube videos with Cypress Hill. 

New Times: I saw on your Twitter that you were

making some pancakes out of things like Oreos and Rice Krispy treats. Is

that something you're doing? 

Rusko: Yeah. Since I've

had a couple of months off touring and a couple of months in the

studio, I think that a lot of musicians find when you do that, you put

on a lot of weight. I've just been eating like a monster. I don't have

to do a show every night, and when I'm not doing crazy drugs like I do

on the road, I just (makes sound) balloon out when I get home. It gets

crazy. Playing shows and doing drugs is a great diet! 

About drugs. You're a fan of drugs.  Do you actually have a medical marijuana license? 


Do you just get them? Do you have like glaucoma?

You just go to the guy and pay 50 bucks. You don't have to pretend you have a bad back anymore. (Laughs.)

God bless California! You were here for Holy Ship!! and you're coming back for it this year. Can you give me a crazy tale? 


my God. Trying to think of something other than my one story. I'll just

tell you my one story. My friend was doing a DJ set on a private island

on the third night of Holy Ship!!. It was my best friend from London,

Doorly, it's his birthday and he'd never ever done acid before. Never.

So we decided to trip It was his 28th birthday. I never ever do it. We

were both like, we're on a Caribbean island, our friend's going to DJ to

us privately, on sand, it's 100 degrees, we're like fuck it, let's do


He had the best time ever playing in the

sea making sand monsters. I had the worst day ever. The worst place to

have a bad trip is a cruise ship. People screaming your name, wanting

your photo and unable to escape the rocking of the ship. It was like the

longest 12 hours of my life. It was unbelievably crazy. Everywhere you

went there were people everywhere. 

Whenever I think of Holy Ship!!, I think of that day, being on that island, just so scared. 


Did you have an OK time, like get sunburned or something? 


was awesome. Everyone was so friendly. It wasn't annoying with everyone

around all the time. Everywhere you went people were just like, "oh, my

God, come hang out, come sit down, come have a drink." It was great.

They had a treasure hunt on the boat where people had to collect things

across the trip. And one of the things you had to get done was your head

shaved by Rusko. 

So the entire trip I had people chasing me around with

razors saying "shave my head! Shave my head!" I only tried shaving

someone's head with a Gillette razor once. That poor guy went home with

like scars. From then on I was like, I'll only use proper hair trimmers.

People were like literally running up to me with like one blade, rusty

and a full head of hair, down to their chests. I was like dude, I'll

take your scalp off with that. I had a couple of failed attempts at

shaving people's heads into mohawks. Which was fun. Well, not for them! 

Sounds like you need a tetanus shot before you go on Holy Ship!! 


please don't ask me to cut your hair into a mohawk. Made a few

lookalikes, that was fun. Please don't come up with me with a razor. 

That's a good rule generally. You have a dog. 

I take him everywhere with me. I take him on tour with me. 

Do you take him into shows? Does he sit in the green room? On the bus? 


Usually, he hangs out on the bus. When we're driving he goes and sits

right up front by the window. He's cool in the green room. That's just

his life. He's grown up with daddy making music and being on the road. 

We haven't had a tour bus accident yet. Sometimes I can get tired and

really wrapped up with it and spend all day on the tour bus or

backstage, but I take my little buggy for a walk a few times a day. It's

quite cool. I get to get a walk out, see some cool stuff. It's a good

excuse to explore whatever city I'm in. Take the dog for a walk, smoke a

cigarette, go down by the river, find a little coffee shop. If I was

single, it'd be the best thing in the world. Every single man should get

a cute looking, small dog. It's like a chick magnet. But I'm married.

If I were single, I'd have like two. 

Do you get those headphones for the babies but for the dog? 


day, I want to get some of those so that I can take him out on stage.

That'll be awesome. It'll be like a Lion King moment. Like Simba on top

of the world. It makes me cry every time. 


Before you put out an album with Cypress Hill. Were you a fan? 


I was a huge Cypress Hill fan. When they hit me up saying they wanted

to work together. I felt totally honored. It was really cool. The first

thing we did when we got in contact with each other was hang out without

making any music. Just listening to tracks. Watching YouTube videos. It

was totally cool. It all just came from hanging out. We really had no

idea what we were going to do or how we were going to do it. It was

daunting though. They were pulling up YouTube videos of me DJing like

four years ago, "what's this track? What's this track? I love it." I was

like, they were like hardcore fans.

You were

fans of each other. I also interviewed Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors

and the song you worked on with her "Hold On," it's great. It reminds

me of like going to gay clubs when I was younger. 

That was the vibe. That was the idea (Laughs). 


considered a dubstep producer and DJ, but, like that track, you also

make other kinds of electronic music. What do you consider yourself? 


kind of bass focused dance music. I do a bunch of different stuff but

the focus is always on the bass line. So, bass line focused dance party

music, there you go! How's that?

DJ Rusko, United as One with Gemini and Nadastrom. 9 p.m. Saturday, November 24, at Club Cinema, 3251 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $30. Call 954-943-5226, or visit

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