Talking With 12th Planet, An Impromptu Interview
For a small college town, Gainesville gets to see a lot of good acts come through. There’s really quite a wonderful little tour circuit emerging in Florida for legit DJs, and I, for one, am happy to benefit.
Just the other week we had dubstep hero 12th Planet, or John Dadzie, come by for a Wednesday-night set, but here in Gainesville we treat any party like it’s the weekend.
Wet Paint was out at the show and, as luck would have it, we were able to snag a few minutes of his time before his set. It’s nice when an artist is totally down to hop on top of some smoking benches and answer questions above the persistent bass beating in the next room.
Despite the quick and spontaneous nature of the interview, we actually got to talk about a lot of interesting things; like the strange phenomena of state capital buildings looking like giant authoritative cocks, how almost all the girls in Tallahassee are gorgeous, and how totally validating it was to see the Arcade Fire win Album of th Year followed by the mass confusion of who the hell that incredibly important band even is. (C’mon guys, they’ve been severely dictating the course of modern indie rock and culture for years now, let’s give credit y’all)
We talked about him being born and raised in L.A., listening to all kinds of music from hip-hop, to punk and ska. He said he brings all these “anti-authority” genres with him to the studio where he uses his wide influences to keep his sound fresh and interesting.
Speaking of studio time, he’s got a new album he’s almost finished with, his debut as 12th Planet, due to be released on Smog LA sometime after this summer. A lot of those outside influences will be represented on the to-be-titled LP.
“The point is to be a dubstep album that represents the whole broad landscape of the music,” he said, “whether it’s grime or rock ‘n’ roll or heavy metal, it’s just all influenced by everything.”
“It doesn’t matter how you dress or what you look like,” Dadzie said of dubstep, “it’s just a state of mind and how trashed you get at the show.”
He said a lot of it also had to do with something much simpler; clubs are just letting in a broader fan base, many clubs changing their rules to allow 18+ crowds in to see the artists of a genre that was undoubtedly taking hold of the masses.
“It made it spread like a wild fire. It started with matches and a certain bush, but the implementation of the 18+ clubs and stuff like that was just the gasoline.”
All the attention dubstep has been getting from outsiders (coughBritneycough) does a lot for a career like Dadzie’s. Simply put, the more people out there enjoying dubstep, the better the chances are they’re listening to 12th Planet. But he said there are definite drawbacks to a scene explosion.
“The rewards are awesome but at the same time, the music is getting watered down and it’s becoming something like a cliché,” Dadzie said. “It’s no longer the music that you found, it’s the music your big brother listened to and got fucked up at the parties and you did it to piss off your mom, if that’s the right way to explain it.”
I think it’s a good way to describe the way some people approach bass like there’s no technique to the art. It’s not all about being hard, because as Dadzie recognizes, it’s about bringing together the elements of all our influences to make something beautiful, energetic and compelling on its own.
That and saying fuck the po-lice. Am I right?!