One of the most influential producers in the west coast bass scene for over a decade ill.Gates has consistently created timeless bass masterpieces’s that permeate into peoples ipods and dj sets worldwide. Fresh off his Church of Bass Tour ill.Gates takes a short timeout to talk boxers, blunts and bass as a religion.
Can you tell me how the Church of Bass Tour went and about the custom stage you were touring with?
IG: The Church of Bass Tour was really really great. We totally rocked it man! Everybody really enjoyed it. We set up this insane 3d mapped stage with up to 8 projectors at some points and sometimes we just did a big wall of video at different clubs. So it was different depending on if it was a club or a concert. I am really really glad to finally get the video system working so I can perform music videos instead of just vj’ing while I dj. Once I had that system down I really wanted to blow it out and show people what its like to have an immersive edited audio experience thats designed for the particular tracks that are being played. In the mean time we collected all kinds of signatures for the actual church. I am in the process of registering all of us as an organization.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Lets get a bunch of like-minded people together, form an organization and see if we can’t stand up for ourselves better, have better legal circumstances as well as express our beliefs[/quote] Can you talk about your “bass as a religion”?
IG: Well, music is my religion, but I didn’t want to go claiming to be some kind of “lord of all music”. It’s really just bass music. If I was going to have a church it would definitely be a church for bass music. But, music as a whole I think is inherently religious and having a religious organization really makes a lot of things easier for you in society because of all the ways in which religions have engineered our society. If you want to stand up for your civil rights or have freedom of assembly or be kind of smiled upon by the law its sometimes good to be religious. So, I figured, hey why not? Lets get a bunch of like-minded people together, form an organization and see if we can’t stand up for ourselves better, have better legal circumstances as well as express our beliefs. I found out the church doesn’t have to be a place. So, the Church of Bass is pretty much anywhere that I play and I want to work on figuring out a way that I can make it so the church can be where other people play too. But, as a founder of the Church of Bass means that wherever I play is technically a church. Legally a church. So were just kind of tinkering around and seeing where it goes.
AYNIB: That sounds amazing and exciting.
IG: Considering how stupid those “churches pay no taxes” laws are, I think people need to abuse them till they go away.
I wanted to ask you about the video element of your show. I read you’ve been working on that for quite a while?
IG: Ya, it took a long time. I’ve been VJ’ing for years and collecting content. But, trying to find a system where I can actually perform audio and video out of Ableton where it’s really really tight and warped. The problem with the warping in Ableton is Ableton changes the bpm of the audio that’s coming into it. Unless you have some kind of connection between Ableton and your VJ software it becomes very difficult to keep everything in sync if your going to play a rap video or something. You know when your watching a movie and sometimes the audio and video will drift out of sync with each other and gets really insane and irritating? I figured a way around that that problem.
AYNIB: Are you going to try to patent that technique? I know it’s a closely guarded secret.
IG: I am probably going to sit on it for a while before I explain it fully to people. But it’s not even that hard, it just takes a fantastic amount of time.
If you weren’t able to work on music or video stuff for whatever reason, what would you be doing?
IG: Probably art and working out. Art, design and taking better care of myself. That’s one thing with being on the road all the time, it’s so hard to go on regular runs and wake up at the same time everyday and all that shit. It would definitely be waking up at the same time everyday, that’s like #1. That’s definitely a luxury I do not have. That’s #1 and then I would probably be running and stuff in the morning and then working on art all day.
AYNIB: So how many pounds did you gain over the Church of Bass Tour?
IG: I eat pretty well when I travel. I am used to being on the road a lot. It’s easy to eat just crap fast food on the road and go to shit but I wouldn’t have been able to have such a good attendance record if I didn’t eat so well. I’ve only ever missed two gigs ever. You gotta eat well to do that.
AYNIB: What were the reasons you missed those two gigs?
IG: I was hospitalized for one of them and the other one I couldn’t get across the border.
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? And if you were to talk to that child as you are now what words of wisdom would you give him?
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I just told myself to have faith in my musical abilities[/quote]
IG: I wanted to be a visual artist when I grew up. I was convinced that was the path for me and I ended up doing graphic design and really hating this internship I had at this horrible gig. But, at the time I just told myself to have faith in my musical abilities. Because it wasn’t really until I was in my 20’s that people started to pay me to do music. I started when I was a little kid and I never took it very seriously. I was always studying graphic design and visual art and production, in terms of making physical things. So, because I was studying that, I didn’t really pursue music as early as I could have. At least as a profession.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you see yourself doing the same thing?
IG: Ya, I think I’d like to be doing the same thing. I would like the cycle to be more sustainable. I think 10 years from now I’ll probably want to be traveling with better timing on things. Have the routings be smoother and more people to help with the production and stuff so I could actually focus on the creative part a bit more and the nuts and bolts less. But, if you want to nail down a production you really have to spend a lot of time on the production too. I would hope to have a smoother and larger team to make the whole thing a lot more sustainable. But that’s really it, I’m not going anywhere.
If you were to describe your music as a colour, what colour would you pick and why?
IG: Florescent black. Thats what I call that colour you see when you close your eyes. Or you press on your eyes and you see those colours that are kind of un-colours. They move around in blobs and stuff when your eyes are closed as your falling asleep. That colour. It’s the colour of your imagination.
If you were to have an ill.Gates mascot what animal would it be and why?
IG: Probably one of those luminescent jelly fish from the very very deep sea. There all like hypnotic and weird and we don’t know much about them. Those ones are my favourite. Real David Attenborough shit.
Whats your take on the loudness wars presently and where do you think its going to evolve to in the next 5 to 10 years?
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I really don’t think extremely loud music is going anywhere. [/quote] IG: Dance music is probably going to stay really loud for a long time. I can’t see people wanting anything but loud when you talk about sound system music. But, the tone of the sound is probably going to get better and things are going to sound less squashed. I really don’t think extremely loud music is going anywhere. Music has been loud since as long as people have been trying to make it loud. It’s just different subsections of the population. One subsection of the population doesn’t necessarily care if things are as loud as they can possibly be. Then there’s another subset of the population that likes things that loud and distorted and crazy. Those are just constant facts. It’s really how loud they can make it. I’m sure they’ll find ways to make music louder, they always do.
Have you heard any good “Laying the Hammer Down” stories from fans or friends?
IG: Ya, quite a few. People have had varying degrees of success from airlines. Rule 240. That definitely the rule to know. I had a friend who got months of free cell phone service. A few other small ones. But there has definitely been some fellow hammerers out there. Ya, haha, I can’t believe I wrote that. I felt the need. Hopefully it helps people.
Boxers, briefs or commando?
IG: definitely either boxers or boxer briefs. But definitely not full brief. Full brief is way to intense.
Whats your favourite desert?
IG: Probably a joint.
AYNIB: Blunt wraps? Thin papers? Flavoured papers? Anything specific?
IG: Ya blunts are always good. Ok, I’ll go with blunts.
AYNIB: Flavoured or non flavoured? Tobacco mixed in?
IG: No tobacco… I don’t want to start smoking again.
Whats your most embarrassing moment performing?
IG: Well theres definitely been a lot. But probably every time I realize that I have to find a long record so I can run off and pee. Whatever moment that is it always rips through my imagination and I can usually run off and pee fairly discreetly.
Can you finish these sentences?
I am deathly afraid of… I am not really afraid of much. Not in a deathly way.
A non food item I would like to eat is… no, can’t say that one. I would like to eat more marijuana. Marijuana that has CBDA acids in it. Which are very nutritious and good for nearly every kind of disease and they can be obtained by juicing the stem and leaves, not actually the buds. They are not even psychoactive. Its something that most people don’t consider food. But actually has fantastic medical value. Not just medical value but food value. I would put stems from a marijuana plant into a grass juicer and more. I can’t actually get that because nobody thinks that’s food.
A bad habit I want to kick is… eating too much wheat.
I want to vomit every time… I turn on the radio.
If you were to write a book what would the topic and title be?
IG: I think I’ll probably write a few books before I die. But, I think the one that’s most imminent is gonna be about creativity and producing music. I don’t know what I would call it yet. I think I’ll probably end up turning my workshops and stuff into a book not before to long.
AYNIB: After that book what would be your second book?
IG: Maybe a picture book. A coffee table book with pictures and poetry and shit in it. I don’t know. Definitely not an essay. I’ve written enough of those in my life.
What was the reasoning behind changing your name and what were some of the other options you were considering?
Answer can be found in: How DJ’s Chose Their Name #3
What was the last non-electronic song you listened to?
IG: I think I just watched an episode of South Park. The thing is a recording is electronic so as soon as you’re talking about anything that’s been produced it can be classified as electronic. Hmmm… its pretty much all electronic. I think I was strumming my fingers on the table earlier. I listen to all kinds of stuff, but the last one I really rocked out to was the South Park I watched earlier today.
How many “bass hand chops” do you think you whip out on an average night?
IG: How many hand swats? Hmmm… it depends. I mean, do you count tomahawk chops as hand swats? Or like what about the back hand?
AYNIB: Yup, everything.
IG: Everyone of them? Probably a few thousand. Most sets are usually like 16,000 bars long. Sometimes 19,000-20,000 bars long. About 4 per bar. definitely a lot. Theres probably about 10,000 opportunities for hand swats and if I’m not actually holding the headphones it’s probably at least 800 to 900 full swats. Full ones, like the top of the drops and shit when your fuckin’ spanking it and dancing. Cause a lot of the time your dancing but you can’t really be described as hand swatting.
Can you pick one of these two things?
AYNIB: Dogs or cats?
IG: Dogs for sure!
AYNIB: Vegetarian or meatatarian?
IG: Well I’m a vegetarian but I eat seafood as well. But, no dairy really. It’s just dairy and meat that I don’t eat. I don’t know what the hell that makes me.
AYNIB: Tree house or a boat?
IG: I would definitely say boat.
Treehouse you can’t travel.
AYNIB: Sunrise or sunset?
IG: Probably sunrises.
Thanks to ill.Gates for peeling himself away from the studio to give us a short look into who this bass mammoth is and what makes him tick. Everyone here at AYNiB are looking forward to the new sounds.
For more info on ill.Gates:
|Record Labels: Muti, Amorphous, Child’s Play, Addictech, Noodles, Innerflight, Made in Glitch, Daly City, Chi Recordings +++|