Q. How have you seen the ever broadening genre of dubstep progress in the last few years?
A. It’s really become music of a new generation. Lots of electronic music has come and gone, with the general feeling that it’s great party music and everchanging. Dubstep used to be the chillest music, way closer to Jamaican Dub and has evolved into an aggressive sexual rebellious persona. With the screaming melodies and wrenching basslines, it is now music that this generation’s older brothers, sisters, and parents hate. That makes it awesome in so many ways. There are many young producers learning amazing studio techniques, and it really forces you to have legit studio and songwriting skills in order for your track to stand out
Q. What influence has that had on your music in particular?
A. It was a giant influence on us (EOTO) before it made it’s way to the US. We saw the impact it had on a crowd of 3000 in Canada (2008)and wanted to have that in our repertoire right away. We didn’t know whether US audiences would get it but it felt incredibly fresh and exciting.
As a DJ/producer, I find myself searching for tracks and ideas that have a different twist than the straight, in your face, tracks. My favorite tracks to work on are those where all aspects of production are taken into account. Great melody and sounds, great drum programming, creative multiple basslines, great vibe. Lots of songs you hear are just repeated from the first half to the second half. I like the songs that keep your ear engaged and have a solid level of unpredictability built in.
Q. What first steered you towards your career as a drummer and percussionist?
A. Growing up watching my dad play music. He’s a guitarist and singer, and when I would hang out at his shows, I could only be backstage, and so I mostly watched the drummer from my perspective. I soaked it up and didn’t realize I was actually learning how to play that way. I played in bars in clubs since I was 12 but didn’t know I wanted to do it for a living. I ended up joining the Navy. While it was a positive experience, it forced me to grow up fast and there was a point where it clicked in that if I’m going to put hard work into something, I wanted it to be music. It’s my career, my hobby, and my passion.
Q. If you weren’t making music, what would you see yourself doing?
A. I might be involved in sports (I played Water Polo, Tennis, and swam when I was a kid) and I have a fascination with politics and investigative journalism. I really don’t think about it, though. I enjoy lots of things but nothing comes close to the inspiration that music provides me from day to day.
Q. What is the most exotic stage you’ve played?
A. Festival in the Dessert, 2 hours outside Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa, in the Sahara Dessert. Camel races, camel dancing, dessert tent discos, nomadic tribal bands, Jimmy Buffet, and me and a thrown together band playing our version of African Punk music.
Q. Pacific or Atlantic?
A. Cali for life, though Miami and the Caribbean is where my heart is fondest.