Beyond Wonderland off today at Shoreline Amphitheater, and fans of electronic music and dance music will be flocking to the festival grounds to create new memories, see their favorite artists, and hear great new music. During today's show, D.O.D. will be taking the stage with his intense brand of bass/house music, sure to rock the masses and bring the energy up to 11. We chatted with D.O.D. recently to speak with him about the creation of his new track "Those", what he'll be bringing to his set at Beyond Wonderland, and why it's important to not just play the hits.
One of my favorite things about your Facebook page is that under the genre section it just says “fuck genres”. Your songs are very high energy, and I can hear elements of various electronic subgenres throughout them, particularly in the drops. What is the biggest challenge for you when creating a track and having to condense all of your influences down into a three-minute selection?
I actually find producing music quite challenging, as it is. It doesn’t come natural to me. What comes natural to me is the DJing aspect of what I do. I was a commercial DJ for years, so I'm used to playing long sets, whereas the producing aspect I find quite difficult. I’ve been into so many different genres of music and you hear a lot of influences from those genres in my music. I try to fuse all of them together.
I think that a lot of dance music produced these days is not original. The market is oversaturated. In some sense, it is great, because it shows that dance music has grown. It is more accessible for kids to make music than it was a couple of years ago. On the other hand, it makes it a lot more difficult for the kids with real talent to actually break through. I would say that being original is definitely the most challenging part of making a record.
Let’s talk about the song “Those”, which will drop the day after the Beyond Wonderland festival concludes. How did the creation process for this song differ in comparison to other tracks you’ve worked on?
It’s only been recently that I’ve been making the music that I want to make, and not worry about things like “is this DJ going to support this track? What label is it going on?” When you start worrying about that, you really start to restrict yourself. I made the whole recording for “Those” in about a day and a half, from start to finish. In the breakdown section, I had an idea of doing like a real kind of old school jungle-y break. When I say jungle, I mean the real old school, UK-kind of jungle. Almost like a drum-and-bass style. I'm from Manchester originally, and that was kind of the birth place of that sound. I wanted to get some of those influences in there. And I’ve been pushing this bass/house type of sound. I think you can hear that in the track, and I’m really happy with it.
The song is coming out on Mixmash Records, Laidback Luke’s label (another artist performing at the festival this weekend). What drew you to Mixmash Records in particular, and what made you feel like it was the perfect fit for this release and for your music in general?
I’ve been working with Mixmash for nearly three years now. They always do a great job, and the label’s strive for original music suits me perfect. They’ve been there from the start for me and I feel like it’s only right to carry on releasing on Mixmash.
I feel like Laidback Luke would be a very positive person to work with.
Luke and Mixmash have been real key players in my career, and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. Luke is a very down to earth, genuine guy who wants to help other people out.
Beyond Wonderland will be taking place this weekend, as I mentioned a little earlier. Like all festivals, fans are going to have music and distractions thrown at them all day, left and right. In your opinion, what do you think sets you apart from the other performers out there? Essentially, what is going to make fans go “guys, let’s stay here for an hour and catch this set!”?
I think what sets me apart is that when I play, I'm just bringing the fun to the table. I'm not doing what every other DJ is going to do. I feel like a lot of the time, DJs really feel the need to absolutely just slam it out and play all of the big tracks. Sometimes, it’s not the right time to play those kind of records. If you’re on early, you have to set the pace for the rest of the day. I personally love being able to control the crowd with music that is really fresh, and that they might not have heard before. I think if you can do that, and don't have to revert to playing the big records all the time, that is a real skill in itself.
This is the last question I ask to every artist I interview, as a way to close things out. It’s a broad question, but what does music mean to you?
To me, music means memories, and creating new memories. I feel like, when you look back, you have your best memories with your friends, listening and going out clubbing, going to festivals and listening to new dance music, because it brings people together. When I am creating and producing new music, I am potentially creating future memories for people. So yeah. Music is memories.
Be sure to catch D.O.D.'s set at the MAD HATTER'S CASTLE stage at Beyond Wonderland TODAY, SEPTEMBER 26 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. For more information on the festival, visit www.beyondwonderland.com. For more information on D.O.D., visit www.facebook.com/djdod
This has been another Shameless Promotion.