Our pre-show EDC Orlando coverage keeps on rolling in!
While electro-house may be part of the main stage of events at any electronic music festival, bass music has become a staple in the lineup. It's always there (and should be). FuntCase is a perfect example of how bass music should be performed: crazy and in-your-face, but varied at times so you're not hearing the same exact song over and over again.
We spoke with FuntCase earlier this week (after he returned from a trip to iHop) to talk about what he'll be bringing to the stage when he performs at EDC Orlando, working with Cubase to create his tracks, why an intriguing name can be important, and much more.
Bass music is always a lot of fun to listen to and talk about, so I’m stoked that we get to speak. Now, there was obviously a few years between the releases of EPs and songs like “Don’t Piss Me Off” and “Fuuuuuk!”. In that period of time, what were you able to take from writing the first EP that you later applied to the second?
Well, I used to work on a program called Reason for a long time. I decided to make the switch to a new one called Cubase. Ever since then I was just learning more and more about how to use this new program. Eventually, I honed my skills. The difference between “Don’t Piss Me Off” and “Fuuuuk!” is probably quite massive and you can hear that. But that’s like the slow process of being a music producer.
Were there different things that you learned within Cubase as time went on that differed greatly from Reason?
I used Reason until about 2010, I think? I was using it for years and years and years. I was probably eight years into using Reason, at that point. I met with Doctor P and Flux [Pavilion] in 2010, because that was the year that I signed to Circus Records, and they were using Cubase. It’s the same with TrolleySnatcha; he moved to my town. I ended up becoming good friends with him and he used Cubase as well. The first thing I wrote was “Fuuuuuuk!”, and then I wrote a remix for a song called “Smoke and Mirrors”. It was hard, man. Everything was so different.
Everything in reason was right there; everything in Cubase you had to go onto the Internet and find good things to use with it. It was a bit harder to work with because I didn’t know what to use or what was good. It was a different process.
I was about to ask you about that. Other than the fact that they all used Cubase, was there anything else that drew you specifically into that software more than others? That was maybe more intriguing?
Yeah, well everything inside Reason is all you get. You can’t really bring anything in; you’re very limited on it, although everything works great and is amazing. I was super happy with it. There’s only so far that you can go with reason, so I used Cubase, which you can use anything with. I was using Cubase for awhile. But now I’ve started using outboard stuff, like EQs. I’ve bought loads of synth keyboards and things like that. I’m expanding my whole experience. I’m making the experience of writing my tunes a lot more hands on than just clicking a mouse. That definitely drew me into it.
There was no reason I really chose Cubase specifically. I think it was more just because [Doctor P and Flux Pavilion] used it, and they taught me how to use it. It takes so long to learn a new one, and if you don’t have someone to show you all the shortcuts and everything you need, then it’s going to take way too long to work and you can’t make tunes.
I think what intrigues me about your music is actually not just the compositions themselves, but the song and EP titles: “Oh Shit!”, “Fuuuuuk!”, “Fail!”. Do you try to have the titles match the feel of the song consciously, or does it just kind of happen that way?
Yeah, sometimes both. Being an artist is all about being in peoples’ faces and doing something that is memorable. I’ve got a weird ass name, which everyone remembers. Stuff like that. “Oh Shit!” was really just a sample that I used of my then girlfriend saying “oh shit” into a microphone. I put that in before the drop, and I ended up just calling it “Oh Shit!” We had no name beforehand, so it just made sense. Because that’s the sort of reaction that you want people to get. It fit that way.
But “Don’t Piss Me Off” was the title track of the EP, and it was because of the artist that I work with on that track, M.I.K. He did a lyric tat said “D.P.M.O.”, which means “don’t piss me off”, so that naturally became the song name. But with things like “Fuuuuuk!”, I didn’t know what to call it, so I just gave it a funny name. As an artist, it’s all about doing things that are memorable in the scene, and it’s the same with tracks and stuff. So if you call a track a really funny name or a cool name. People will be like, “oh you remember that track? It had a really funny ass name!”
There’s a track I did called “Wizard Sleeve”. That’s an English joke for the word “vagina”. Like a really loose vagina (laughs), like a ‘wizard sleeve’. That was like the whole theme of the track. If you listen to the track, you can hear references of loose vaginas and noises like slapping, wet noises. It’s all to be memorable, basically.
In all honesty, it actually took me about two years to figure out your stage name and the catch behind it.
Yeah, it’s weird man! Fifty percent of people get it straight away, and then fifty percent of people take years to figure it out! And that’s like the whole memorable side of it as well, because it gets people talking. They’re like, “what the hell does FuntCase mean? I dunno, it must be just a weird name.” And then they start talking about it. That’s what keeps you in people’s minds as an artist.
If you’ve got a regular name like Steve Aoki, it doesn’t really stick unless you’re as big as he is. If he wasn’t that big, the name wouldn’t stand out and it’d be a bit unfortunate.
But it’s always good to have a cool name. Like TrolleySnatcha, that’s a cool name! You start talking about why he would be called TrolleySnatcha. Doctor P is kind of [a weird name]. Very simple, but why Doctor P? Flux Pavilion is a massive talking point because it’s two words meaning different things and then being put together. ‘Flux’ being an influx of things, or a massive surge, and a ‘pavilion’ is a big room. It’s all talking points for people to talk about!
It’s funny to hear everyone talk about the FuntCase name. I never intended for it to be like an intelligent name that got people talking; it was a joke name (laughs).
I like what you said. Like with Flux Pavilion, whenever I hear that name, I always think of the ‘flux capacitor’ from Back To The Future. It kept me thinking. My friends would remember the name too.
It can mean ‘flux’ in an electronic sense, but it can also mean like a surge. You could have a flux of cars come into traffic. For him, maybe it means all of the elements coming into the track all at once, like at a drop. It could mean many things, but he’s got quite an intelligent name. Talking points!
One of the things that I like about your drums is that (and I actually told this to Party Favor as well when I spoke with him) the snare and the bass are more down-tuned like a rock kit. How do you construct your drums?
It’s weird. I always base my drums around how I used to make ‘drum and bass’ drums, and I’m also a drummer. So everything I want the track to sound like as a whole is based around the drums just like in ‘drum and bass’. Everything is all about the drums in ‘drum and bass’.
But times have changed massively in dubstep now. It’s more about the basses they make. I’ve never been like that, I’m all about my drums. When I started making my drums in dubstep, I would always use low, down-tuned snares because that’s what I used in ‘drum and bass’.
Everyone used pretty much the same kind of down-tuned snare until Skrillex came along and used a higher-tuned one, which is quite a more technical snare to use. It’s got more of a live snare sound. When he came and brought that one in, the whole game started changing: everyone started to make a snare like his, because it passed through in the mix of the track really powerfully. I‘ve always gone between high ones and low ones. It just depends, really. When you make a snare, you should always tune it to the tone of the track. If the track is in E or F or F sharp, you want to make that snare in the same tuning so that it passes through the mix better. It depends on what kind of snare you’re aiming for, really.
You’ll be playing EDC Orlando this weekend. When fans attend a festival, they’re getting music and visuals thrown at them left and right. In your opinion, what do you think sets you apart from any other artist that will be playing out there? Essentially, what do you it is that will make fans stop at your stage and say “guys, let’s take a minute and chill here?”
There’s a whole range of things really. My stage presence is obviously a huge factor in what I do. I think if I didn’t have my stage presence and my whole image, I wouldn’t be as big as I am, if that makes sense? It’s a selling point. I try and do good mixing too. I don’t drink or do drugs or anything at all. I always play my sets sober and try to do the best set possible. I’m always putting 110 percent into each set.
Musically, I don’t want to play one style constantly. If I played one style, all the way through, of the same dubstep, that shit gets really boring. I’m all about switching up the styles of dubstep. So I’ll start off heavy as balls, and then I’ll maybe go into an angry trap section. Maybe I’ll go into something deeper and a bit angry, something like Gentleman’s Club or Coffee, anyone who can make very deep but energetic music. It’s got energy but it’s in your face like the rest of the stuff. Then I’ll go into a musical section, then drum and bass, drumstep, and then back into the angry stuff again. It’s like going on a journey in the set. It keeps the crowd interested.
These days, unlike the old school days where you could just let a track roll through and enjoy, everyone is all about the drop, so you have to mix quick. Like, very quick, so that the crowd doesn’t get bored or leave, or go to the smoking area.
Last question: it’s broad, but what does music mean to you?
Music is the thing I’ve been most passionate about my whole entire life. Even if I wasn’t making music for a job, I’d be making it because I love to make it, and I still love to make it now. It’s the biggest passion in my life, and because of that, that makes it my life. So, music is my life. (laughs)
Be sure to catch FuntCase when he takes the stage at EDC Orlando this weekend on the
CIRCIUTGROUNDS stage this FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
For more music and info on FuntCase, visit www.facebook.com/funtcaseuk
This has been another Shameless Promotion.