Routinely populated by Electro and Big Room artists, Brite Nites at Webster hall brought quite a different crowd this past Saturday. A stacked bill that any bass head would be stoked about consisted of Zomboy, TrollPhace, Kayzo, and our new favorite brit, LAXX.
To the unfamiliar, LAXX has been tearing up dance floors across Europe with his unique style of music, proclaimed as 'Twitch.' Now as part of Never Say Die Records, he's bringing his heavy-hitting bass and trapped-out beats to ears all over America.
Kicking off Saturday night's bass blowout, he dropped his familiar tunes, Step one, Step Two, The Invisible Invaders and turned the floor into a literal mosh pit with the infamous Flosstradamus track. If we didn't know any better, we'd say BASSment Saturdays was brought upstairs for the night.
This being only his second time playing in the US, and by far his favorite ;), we were able to sit down and speak to him about the differences in music culture, how he got involved with the NSD family, and what goes through his brain when he's producing such masterpieces.
Not only did we interview this dude, but we got the chance to hang out with him a bit afterwards. Succeeding a perfectly ended set in the Grand Ballroom, we lured him down to the BASSment to show him how we REALLY like to party. LAXX brought the BASSment vibe upstairs but the BASSment vibe brought LAXX downstairs.
DB: So, it's your first time touring in the United States and your first stop was here..?
LAXX: First stop was Las Vegas, which was nuts!
DB: How does it compare to here; how do you like New York?
LAXX: They are both different. But America in general, I didn't really know what to expect. These were my first couple of shows but people are sooo enthusiastic; they’re so crazy. And English people are quite reserved, so coming out here and playing shows it's like electric. It's been amazing.
DB: What's the difference between the show you just played here in New York compared to a show back at home?
LAXX: In England?
LAXX: They're both good for different reasons, but different music works differently, in different places.. Did I say different enough times?? (laughs) England’s all about deep house right now...
DB: It is here too...
LAXX: Which is fine. Which is cool, but so many people just ship because of trends, and now it's coming back around and it's way better than it was; like, WAY better. People are just down to party again. It's amazing.
DB: Well, welcome to Webster Hall. This is like a home-away-from-home for some of us. Do you have a club like this back home?
LAXX: Yea kind of, there are a couple. Where I was living in Oxford, which is not even a massive place, there's a shitty underground basement club. They always put on really good nights, underground nights. And when I started out I was playing that club a lot, that's the reason I love what I'm doing. From playing with my friends on a Friday night and shit going down; I played there about 3 years ago, last, and people just lost their shit. It's amazing to go back to where you came from.
DB: What’s it called?
LAXX: It’s called The Cellar. Shout out to The Cellar in Oxford.
DB: What kind of music was playing around your house when you were growing up?
LAXX: Stevie Wonder, The Beatles. I was given a tape from my dad and my mum and it was Dire Straits, and it was one of those old albums. I would just put ‘Money for Nothing’ on repeat. I still like ‘Money for Nothing’ and ‘Sultans of Swing’ is my favorite track, ever.
DB: So that's where your inspiration comes from you think?
LAXX: No, it's just really good music. I listen to everything now. I don't know, I just like music in general. So I think that was a good starting point.
DB: How did you get involved with Never Say Die records?
LAXX: Skism. I’d spoken to him once or twice. But I basically I just locked myself away for like three months and was writing music nonstop, and I had this sound down and ‘Step One’ was part of it. And then I spoke to Skism, and I was like, 'I got some music for you.' And he's said, 'Okay, cool. Send it over.' And he always tells me this: that I was being cheeky. You know what cheeky means? Like being presumptuous; basically I was like, 'So when can you fit me in, like for a release schedule? When can I get released?' He was like, 'Dude, I haven't even fucking heard anything yet', and he was a bit annoyed. And then the next thing I sent over was the music and he's like, 'Fuck.. just amazing.' And we’re really close now. We wrote a couple of tunes together and he's just... he's a don. So yea it's wicked to be in the family. Never Say Die is the one. Did you go last week?
DB: Yes, it was fucking amazing! Especially on a Wednesday night like that, people were going so hard! Its crazy! There's actually an after movie of it.
LAXX: Must Die! opened with like a Seal tune, a seal tune turned into MIDI and it was like the worst intro ever, but it's amazing. So he played it in Detroit and he said that it went off here. It's a rubbish flute, and people were just like, 'YESS!!' When he played it in Detroit, it bombed. It was amazing.
DB: What’s one track of yours that you are really proud of that most people might not know about?
LAXX: I don’t know, shit, tough question. A lot of people just know my shit now which is weird cause I wasn't writing for people to hear it. I was writing more for me.
DB: Is there anything unreleased that your really proud of?
LAXX: Yea a lot. I don't know what I can say really. I’ve got some new stuff coming out. I've been collaborating with someone. I played something tonight and it always goes off. So there's a new thing and its super secret and that's about as much as I can say but you will find out in like a week or two.
DB: We started hearing a bunch of your tracks maybe over a year ago. Actually, here in the BASSment with Subset. Tracks like ‘Arcade’ and ‘Unknown’ are infectious, where you need to listen to them over and over. Do you have any tracks like that? That you can’t get sick of?
LAXX: That's the whole reason I write music, for that minute or two. I used to hear tunes and there'd be a middle part and I think that's so good but then it ends too quick, so I try to make my tunes so its addictive the whole way through. There's a really weird one that I'm kind of into at the moment by Todd Terje and its like funk. It’s sounds like 80’s synth pop but the hook in it is so catchy and so addictive. The tune is long as well, its amazing, its called ‘Inspector Norse’. It's insane. It's not the coolest choice. Whats that tune…? ‘Like a rabbit in a hat’, you guys remember that? 'I wish I was a baller.…' That was on repeat for me when I was a kid.
DB: Besides that one collab that you were hinting to, is there anyone else that you see yourself collaborating with?
LAXX: There's loads of secret stuff going on. Me and Snails have written a track, but he’s a french cunt. He’s very french, and he didn't understand me at all when we started talking. He’s a cool guy.
DB: Some of your tracks sound like epic adventures, would you ever think of doing a video game soundtrack?
LAXX: Yea I do that shit all day long. I want that game to be where everyone gets fucked up. It’s more fun writing for people to lose they’re shit to and get fucked up to.
DB: Well that or movies..
LAXX: I’d like to do that shit as well, dance music’s way more fun. But yea, Nintendo hit me up!
DB: Whats your go-to snack when your working hard in the studio?
LAXX: Coffee, like non-stop coffee. It's really bad I go through so much coffee, but I finish stuff when I’m wired, so that's my essential thing right now. And there's an English sweet. They’re amazing, they’re called Revels and they're all like different flavors. So yea when I go to the shop just for like a 2 minute break I always get that shit. Sugar is the one for writing music...
DB: Sugar and caffeine!
LAXX: One hundred percent! Just come out buzzed.
DB: If we were to open your backpack right now what would we find inside?
LAXX: A jacket and some headphones and…
DB: Your laptop?
LAXX: No, no laptop. Just headphones and stuff. I just travel light. I'm not bringing a laptop. It’s fucking New York; it's gonna get robbed. There’s nothing really exciting; my USBs and stuff. So just the stuff for playing tonight.
DB: Last year was really big for you releasing a bunch of EP’s, do you have another EP coming out or is it a bunch of singles?
LAXX: I think it's gonna be singles. For ages I was like, 'I don't know what I'm going to put out next,' because I put out 14 tracks last year, or something like that. And I think now it’s basically a turning point. I've got kind of a new sound coming together, so this is a transition point. I’m sure I'm going to put out a lot of tunes this year as well. It's been like a new break, the next step. I think singles, but your going to have to wait and see because I've got so much shit to come out.
DB: So here's a strange question: what goes through your head when you are writing your tracks?
LAXX: What goes through my head… I just don’t think about it. When I was younger I used to hear tracks and be like, 'I can do that.' Then I tried to and I couldn't do it. I decided years ago, 'Why the fuck would I do that? I’m not in this to copy anyone. I’m just in this to be me and do my shit.' And I love when I find something so weird and it works. I have to shut off a little bit and go into like childhood. I have to revert a little bit because when you've got tough shit going around you like bills and interviews, then its easy to stress about that stuff. So I just block all of that out and just get into my zen moment and just try and write whatever feels right. To just go with it rather than going, 'Skrillex is killing it I’m going to copy him.' that's not who I am at all.
DB: We cant really categorize you…
LAXX: People started calling it Twitch, and all of a sudden its a thing now. I think Twitch is still evolving fast, but I’d rather it be called Twitch then being like oh it’s like hybrid bass music. I’d rather just stand out a little bit I guess. That really cool cause, for ages I was just writing music for myself and its so nice when people love it.
Interview and article by Ashlyn Fulton & Ally Manzo
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