The Dubstep scene has taken a step back from the limelight in recent years but that doesn’t mean artists aren’t thriving. MUST DIE! is one of those artists who has been growing his fan base and developing his sound – becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
He’s recently released ‘Hellcat’, the first single from his eagerly anticipated LP ‘Death & Magic’, and all heads are now fixed in his direction. The Idle Man caught up with the Houston-born, Mississippi-raised and Berlin-based producer to catch a glimpse into the making of Death & Magic and, of course, find out his take on men’s style.
Firstly, thanks for agreeing to do the interview. You’re LP ‘Death and Magic’ is drawing closer. What’s the story behind it? How long in the making has it been?
The album is conceptually a blending of two themes or moods. Darker and more minimalistic and maximalist and melodic. I'd worked on it for about a year!
What’s been the main goals for the LP? Did you have any preconceptions on how you wanted it to sound?
I foolishly wanted it to be my life's masterpiece initially. But after realizing that in no way am I ready to write a "masterpiece", it became less about ridiculously grand ideas and instead became a way to solidify what I'd been trying to master and hopefully launch forward into new territory. I'm very pleased with the final product and I'm glad I focused on what really mattered: the song-writing.
How’s it feel to be released on Skrillex’s mighty OWSLA label? Did that add any pressure at all?
It feels… like where I need to be right now. I think the label surrounds itself with the kind of people and the atmosphere that I see myself learning from and growing as a musician. At first the pressure was palpable but that gave way to excitement, which I used to fuel me through the long process.
What have you tried to do differently on the LP? Any sounds you haven’t tried before?
I tried a lot of new things on the LP. I think there will be some definite surprises for listeners here and there, and also some welcome exploration of principles and ideas I have touched on before, but never really dived headfirst into.
So you’re touring America throughout September. Any cities you’re particularly looking forward to? What’s the one tune that’s guaranteed to get the crowd going nuts?
This tour, I'm mainly just excited to see my friends and family in the states, so Los Angeles and Atlanta are looking very promising. As for the song I think will go over best, I guess I'll have to find out! I have a bit of a secret arsenal at the moment.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I do have pre-show rituals when I have the time! I love to eat somewhere I've never eaten before and I also try to be alone or with a couple of friends in a quiet room before I have to meet a bunch of new people.
What’s the one item of clothing you cannot live without and why?
I am rarely without a hat. I have a few in rotation, most notably my Misha "Keep Watch" snapbacks. I can't ever seem to tame my hair and also can't seem to part with it, so a hat allows for stylish concealment of my insane hair.
Who would you consider a style icon for yourself?
I think I'd have to say Bilbo Baggins would be my main style icon, although I can't seem to pull off breeches and a cloak very well. If I were a woman, I'd have to cite Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as well.
What’s your worst fashion faux-pas?
I cannot stand "dubstep" clothing. Robots, black & green mechanical text, fluorescent party attire. I'm just not on the same wavelength, but each to their own!
What can we expect from you, post-LP?
Post-LP plans are basically just taking some time off in between touring and really honing my craft.
Any inspirational words for budding DJs/producers out there?
The best advice I can give you at the moment would be to work hard. At anything. Just put in effort.