Rusko talks tacos, emotional visuals, and mariachi accordions. Ole!
Dubstep. It’s fucking huge right now. And Friday, July 23, we had the chance to catch up with wobble-funk pioneer Chris Mercer, a.k.a. Rusko, as he sat stuck in traffic on the way home from Comic-Con in San Diego.
Originally from London, Rusko moved to L.A. about a year ago and he said so far he’s been eating nothing but Mexican food, and he loves it.
“It’s really cool, you can’t fault the weather,” he said. “You know, living in London is kinda claustrophobic… out here there’s so much more head space, which means I can make a ton more music.”
But, as a Californian, he’s taken in more than just tacos. Rusko said he’s really embracing the local sounds and has plans to work on what he calls an “L.A. project,” like some heavy shit featuring Mexican mariachi musicians as well as the guys from Cypress Hill and “loads of Latino rappers.”[box] “I wanna do like a really crunk type of thing, but west coast,” he said. “Gangsta leads but with mariachi accordions … I think it’s gonna be a whole new genre.”[/box]
Besides spawning Crunkstep, Rusko plans to release a remix album later this year, and another LP sometime in 2011. In the meantime, he said he’ll be releasing bits and pieces of previously unreleased tracks through his twitter, @ruskoofficial, including Wet Paint favorite Lick The Lizard. July 21, he released a collection of old-school hits called Lost Dub Vol. 1, available for download here.
Rusko’s shit has been blowing up lately, and it’s no surprise. Dubstep is catching like wild-fire in American clubs. Rusko said it makes him think of England two or three years ago when the genre first really exploded and took over the scene.
“It’s exactly the same excitement everyone has had over the last year in the states,” he said, “It’s really cool.”
He said he thinks so many people flock to Dubstep because it’s just so musically relatable. He said the people making the music come from so many different styles and the result is this great blending of different elements and backgrounds. Even people who otherwise would never listen to electronic music go bat-shit for dirty bass.
“I think people just love the raw element. You kind of pick up fans from everywhere it’s not a specific crowd,” he said. “You get everybody.”
As far as his own music goes, Rusko said really, the key to keeping your dancefloor happy is to keep the crazy shit to a minimum.
“All the time when I’m making beats, the number one rule is keep it simple, because people don’t dance to complicated shit. That’s like the number one rule of dance music,” he said.
It’s working, and this summer, Rusko has been bringing his simple, nasty sound all over the country, touring the festival circuit hitting the likes of Coachella and Lollapalooza, and packing loads of stops in between. Still, he never gets tired of partying.
“When I’m in the club and playing my show … it’s like 100%, and to be able to give 100% for three or four hours you gotta run at like 5% all day,” Rusko said. “So most of the day I just watch English TV on DVD and smoke loads of weed and just run on like 5% all day and then go 100%, and then go back to resting. That’s pretty much the way to do it.”
It was at a show recently that he caught some static backstage with fellow DJ heavy-weight Deadmau5. The story on Twitter goes, Rusko was smoking some good-shit backstage and Deadmau5 didn’t like it, so he called security. As a result, some internet drama ensued, but Rusko swears that’s all over now.
” It’s unusual for me cause I’m normally such a happy positive person,” he said. “I wasn’t annoyed cause I couldn’t smoke. I was just annoyed cause he was just really super rude. And I’m from England and if anyone is blatantly really rude to my face I’ll just tell you to fuck off! That’s the English way.”
With that behind him, Rusko said he’s looking forward to unleashing some new, next-level shit at his performance in Electric Zoo this Labor Day weekend, in NYC. Besides a slew of exclusive remixes you can “only hear in the live set,” Rusko will be showing off some new tricks.
“For the first time full on visuals to match the hour set and it’s really really cool,” he said. “They’re just designing those now I haven’t even seen it yet.”
Rusko promised the set would be unforgettable.
“I wanna make it something that people can watch and laugh and cry and… emotional visuals,” he said, “It’s gonna be powerful … I’m stoked. It’s gonna be fun.”
For your listening pleasure:
Got Dat Groove – ft. Gucci Mane
Rubadub Shakedown – ft. Rod Azlan
…And for the Diehards here is a collection of Rusko’s earliest dubplates