All You Need is BASS

AYNiB takes a journey with Jupit3r

This week’s interview comes from LA producer Jupit3r. Not only was he one of our favorite sets at this summer’s What the Festival, he is also Amon Tobin’s right hand man on his tour, and one of the early members of the Do Lab but he was also a great interview! So, sit back and relax and enjoy our journey to Jupit3r!

AYNiB: Well, thanks for sitting down with us. We’re from All You Need is Bass. We’re pretty excited to check you out tonight at What the Festival.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”] I just wanna see pride happening in your work no matter what you do[/quote]So how’s the festival season been treating you?

J: Good and bad in the sense. A lot of the festivals this summer have been done really really well, but I had an experience last month with a festival, I don’t want to name names, but it was just very poorly run. I just feel like if you’re going to throw an event and host something you want your guests to be comfortable. Some of these people hosting these parties really don’t give a shit about what’s going on inside the festival. There’s a lot of crap that I see that I could just do without. Maybe I’m just getting older, and I’ve been through so many parties in my life that I’m just a little jaded, but at the same time I just wanna see pride happening in your work no matter what you do. So yeah, coming on the grounds today was very exhilarating and positive.

AYNiB: Everyone seems really really respectful of everything going on, and they even have people wandering around picking up garbage, which is awesome. It seems like a nice trend with festivals now.

J: It needs to be because it’s so difficult to pull into a festival and know you’re working for these guys that throw this party that don’t give a shit what’s going on, there’s trash

Jupit3r at What The Festival

J: Especially up here in these beautiful woods.

AYNiB: Yeah, you don’t want to trash a location like this. Venues are hard to come by. I’m from Canada, and it’s tough to find locations.

J: Yeah, this venue is actually so ideal for a festival.

AYNiB: If only we could get in the river down there. It’s been so hot the last couple days. The river just like taunts you. They have that wading pool which is kind of nice.

J: Yeah, they set me up in a tent right over here next to the water. I haven’t been in yet but it looks appealing for sure.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I’ve basically been trying to learn a lot of stuff from him (Amon Tobin) on the road, and in music…[/quote] You just got back from Europe?

J: I did. I work with the Amon Tobin ISAM show, and I’ve been all over the world touring with him. I’m in charge of setting up his entire stage his booth and all the gear. My responsibility levels on that are at a point where I’ve tackled them and every show I’m just able to take care of the job without any stress, and then do a show in front of thousands and thousands of people. Every show has been sold out, right now we’re on hiatus until September first, we have a North American tour starting in Seattle, it’s our expanded version of the set. It’s a little different, it’s twice as big. So when I get back from here I’m actually going to set it up and do test runs next week. So that’s an amazing project and an amazing artist to be travelling with and touring with. So yeah, I’ve basically been trying to learn a lot of stuff from him on the road, and in music, and just trying to apply it back to my world of music with Headtron and the cats that I’ve been writing music with. 

A: The stuff coming out of Headtron, it seems like you guys are all collaborating together, it seems like an awesome collective.

J: Yeah, we all get along so well, and a bunch of us live in L.A. really close by each other. Stephan Jacobs and I have been friends for so many years that it’s just been kind of like we have this bond, this music bond. Sugarpill, Gladkill, same thing. Chris B, Joebot … yeah we’re starting to collaborate with each other to a point where people are kinda taking notice. We’re not trying to be anybody or do anything, but at the same time we recognize the talent in our little circle, and Alex Becket is amazing. He heads Headtron, he’s our agent, the head man, and he makes very very positive decisions for us. So far so good.

A: That’s all you can hope for.

While you were in Europe actually, did you notice much difference between the festivals compared to North America? 

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Werchter Festival was definitely the festival I experienced over the past couple of months that was just top notch.[/quote] J: Absolutely. It depends where you’re at. Some of the festivals like I said were amazing, and put together so well. For example in Belgium, it’s called Werchter Fest, it’s been rated the number one most organized festival on the planet, and it was just … I don’t even know how to explain it. It was like a mini city. They had all these resources available, they had everything at your fingertips. They took care of the artists, anybody that’s there at the party seemed to enjoy what was happening with the organization. It’s just one less thing concert goers have to deal with thought wise if they’re at a party. They don’t wanna deal with people looking over their shoulder, telling them what to do, what they can’t do, it just makes the experience that much better. Werchter Festival was definitely the festival I experienced over the past couple of months that was just top notch. You can’t get any better than that so, kudos to that.

Compared to American festivals, it depends. American festivals are big, and there’s a lot of corporate sponsors over there, but even more over here. I helped throw Lightning in a Bottle with the Do LaB and I’ve been helping them since back in the day. For over ten years now we’ve been throwing that party, and now it’s at a point where it’s got such a big following and big responsibility on our end to maintain some sort of responsibilities and host a party. It’s like I was saying earlier, you wanna create an environment where everybody’s comfortable. When they’re on their day off people come here to release whatever they need to do. A lot of them are working office jobs every day, and they don’t get to experience this. Why not give them the fullest potential all the time?

Lightning in a Bottle 2012 photo by Daniel Zetterstrom

AYNiB: Lightning in a Bottle is actually at the top of our festivals for next year.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”] I wanna be able to start teaching the next generation of kids how to do this[/quote]J: Really?

AYNiB: We’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.

J: Yeah, this vibe here is very much coinciding with what happened at our festival. It’s a very self conscious place. The majority of what’s happening is a very positive outlook on your partying, on your art, on your music, on the food we’re serving, picking up the grounds, recycling, composting … if you set that example other people see what you’re doing and they follow it.

A: I think it’s sort of indicative of your guys’ saying of “leave a positive trace.”

J: Exactly. Plus it’s a very family oriented festival. I have my first born on his or her way in November. So yeah, being a part of this festival scene for as long as I have been, I wanna be able to start teaching the next generation of kids how to do this. We can’t do this stuff forever. I wanna teach them  responsible ways how to set up a festival, and how to take care of your artists, take care of your guests, the whole shebang.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]…conscious partying mentality is how I see the big picture coming to so many of these festivals[/quote] AYNiB: And plus with all of us getting a little older, all of us are starting to have kids …

J: The new generation of kids are here. I’m seeing a new young generation of kids, college kids, ya know? 20 years old, and it’s like maybe some of their first experiences are at some of these festivals, and they just wanna go balls out, and I feel like we give them an opportunity to do it in a much more responsible way, other than big massive raves that you see around L.A. Just a conscious partying mentality is how I see the big picture coming to so many of these festivals.

Being so connected to Lightning in a Bottle would you care to chime in one some of the controversial statements made by Burning Man?

Jupit3r & his wife at Burning Man 2007

J: We’ve been dealing with Burning Man for so many years. We’ve done so many projects out there in the past 15 years. I mean frankly, it’s a love hate relationship between us and them and them and us, and I just take it with a grain of salt. I love Burning Man for what it is, I’ve been there so many times, I’ve had the craziest most eye opening experiences there, and I’m kinda done with it. I’ve kind of grown to a point where I don’t need to keep trying to recycle that or trying to chase that thrill of the Burning Man experience over and over again. I’ve got my fun, I’ve got my family on the way. Maybe I’ll take my family there in a few years.

It’s just funny, there’s alot of politics involved when you’re trying to involve your art with such a festival like Burning Man. Over the years we know who each other are, and we see each other at other events, and the gossip is like high school on a big scale for sure, and you can’t take anything too serious or too personal. If you do, you’re not in the right game.

A: That’s exactly it, people’s opinions change as quickly as the winds.

J: We’re not trying to be anybody, the Do LaB’s not trying to be a better Burning Man, we’re not trying to be a better Coachella, we’re just doin our own thing. If you guys wanna come over here and you like what it is, then you’re more than welcome to come join in. We’re not trying to outdo anybody, we have a festival in October called Rise and Shine, it’s our first festival, it’s basically an entire yoga festival, a conscious minded festival. We’ve had a lot of  comments on Facebook, people asking who the line up is and why the line up isn’t so and so or this and that. We’re trying to evolve into a platform where it’s a bit more mature and a bit more open minded than just the same, same, same thing on your line ups, and your speakers, or whatever you’re having at your festival to present to folks.

AYNiB: I get the sense that there’s a lot more positive growth coming from … like after the comments from Burning Man there only seemed to be positive comments coming from the Do LaB camp.

J: Absolutely.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]…people wanna see something different. So, I feel like we bring something a little different to the table.[/quote] A: It seems to be what the Do LaB is mostly about.

J: I mean, we’re just … we’re not trying to pick fights with anybody … there’s a lot of negative gossip, but I’ve also heard the most amazing feedback from people that come to our festival. That’s what it’s about. We’re not doing this for these people that rag on us and criticize us. It’s kind of like create something else then if you don’t like it. It happens every year. We’re at a point now where we’re getting such a bigger platform that it’s just gonna happen. Your gonna get those haters … I don’t wanna call them that, but people that have very strict opinions, and that’s fine. We’re just gonna keep doing what we do and building our structures, and if people dig it, then whatever. We’re still gonna keep doing it. If ten people come, or if ten thousand people come.

Some of these art pieces out here kinda remind me of what we’ve been doing in the past. It’s very inspiring to see other artists set that bar and not be afraid to set up big structures. That’s what people wanna see, people wanna see something different so I feel like we bring something a little different to the table.

Where are you off to after What the Festival?

J: I actually have a week off, I have one show in L.A. next week and then I have the whole month of August off. I’m going on vacation and then September first I’m back out on the road for 26 shows with Amon Tobin. Occasionally I’ll either have an opportunity to open up for the show or play after hour parties with him too. That opportunity is amazing because I’ve established a great repoire with him, and to be able to have an offer from him to throw down at an after party is definitely an honour. He’s definitely a music wizard, and I respect him very much, and without him right now my work and my music wouldn’t be where it is, so I applaud him. That’s my next step, and after that I’m gonna have a baby and just lay low for awhile. Start writing music again in January, and start coming out with next year’s projects.

AYNiB: Capitol Rhino was a fantastic release.

J: Oh, thank you. Thanks man. I worked really hard trying to establish something the kids might like. My writing time is really nil sometimes since I’m travelling so much. Occasionally I’ll get to write in a hotel on my computer, which is fine but it’s not the same as being in your studio with your monitors and your seat and your coffee. So yeah, I’m looking forward to having some time off over the next month, and hopefully get some writing in too, and watch my pregnant wife get bigger. She looks amazing right now, she’s glowing and I’m excited for my direction and my energy in my life right now. I couldn’t be any happier.

You’ve been with the Do LaB for ten years now … and how long have you been playing for?

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I’m not trying to be anybody else or bring a dubstep sound or a glitch hop sound. I’m just trying to be me.[/quote] J: I’ve been DJing way longer than I’ve known those guys. They moved to L.A. and they wanted to start throwing parties, and they kinda hooked up with some DJ friends and we all started to hang out. I’d say I’m going on 15 years in the music scene in L.A. I’ve definitely had my share of parties, and undergrounds, and big festivals, and big stages, and little stages, clubs and bar, so I feel like I’m just at this stage of my life where I want to keep writing music and see where that brings me. I’m not trying to be anybody else or bring a dubstep sound or a glitch hop sound. I’m just trying to be me.

A: Genre’s sort of becoming irrelevant at this point.

J: It really is. My Headtron influence right now with the cats that I’m working with Chris B and these guys. I’m seeing the influence from them. We share a lot of the same music secrets or theories, we have similar things that we’re doing. That’s also why I think we’re getting some good attention as well. People are hearing a new creative sound that’s still got that 140 glitch hop beat or dubstep beat with some good bass, laser bass or whatever the kids are calling it these days. I call it music.

Are you excited for any collaborations on it?

J: Unlimited Gravity is one of the first people I’m gonna hit up. Ronny Weberg He’s one of the best producers right now in my opinion. And he’s not a Headtron artist, I would love if he was, but he’s out of Colorado. His influence right now with me is the strongest artist influence. I would love to write some stuff and have him do some remixes. Stephan Jacobs is always my homie, and he’s always the first to get hit up for any remixes. Goldrush is the next cat, he’s stepping into his level. I’m really excited for these young guys that haven’t had as many years as I’ve had. I kinda feel like the old man in Headtron but you know, I can only learn from them as much as they learn from me as well.

Growing up, what sort of music were you listening to? What sort of influenced you to get to this sound where you’re at now?

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]if you want a dancefloor play some music that some girls are gonna like.[/quote] J: I started out playing techno, tech house. I actually started off playing some trance back in the day, psy trance, like 4/4 tempo. I just got tired of it really. I mean, I still dig it, Claude Von Stroke is one of the better … he’s playing on the stage after me tonight which I’m stoked to see. People like that I dig with that 4/4 sound … I dunno I just got bored with that 4/4 rotation.

I got into psychedelic breaks for awhile, and then kinda in to hardcore breaks and then blossomed into this glitch hoppity slower tempo that’s bringing it down to a dancier, sexier vibe. My theory with music or dancefloors is, if you want a dancefloor play some music that some girls are gonna like. Cause if girls are dancing guys are gonna be like, “hey look, there’s the girls. Let’s go dance with the girls”, and then you have a dancefloor.

AYNiB: A great motivator.

J: Yeah, and that’s not how I set up my sets, but you definitely wanna make it sexy for the vibe, get a little gnarly once in awhile ya know? But always bassy and always creative bassy. There’s a lot of brostep DJs going around, a lot of brostep sound going around, and I’m just trying to not bring that. There’s more out there than just that raunchy raunchy hardcore bass sound. I dunno hopefully the set I’m playing tonight will come off pretty well.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Seeing people live put things into perspective about what I’m trying to create in my own musical world.[/quote] So what kind of music are you listening to right now? 

J: Apparat is on my playlist all the time. I’m digging Apparat the band, and himself. I dunno, I’m just feeling Apparat. I’ve been diving into Apparat hard. Something about his music is very mature, very intelligent, very emotional without being cheesy. Not big on singers, but he pulls it off very well without being cheesy. We had his band out at LIB this year, and it was an amazing set. Seeing people live put things into perspective about what I’m trying to create in my own musical world. I’m just trying to keep it mature, keep it serious, keep it emotional and beautiful. I’m not trying to pull anything else off. No tricks up my sleeve to try to do anything. So far so good though.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Pink Floyd was my biggest influence for sure[/quote] What kind of bands were you in?

J: I grew up listening to Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd and a lot of classic bands. Led Zepplin … I come from a total rock background. Motely Cru, Metallica … then I got into Underworld. Underworld was my first major electronic music, and I was just hooked on them for many years. Trent Reznor, Nirvana was a big one, Pink Floyd was my biggest influence for sure. It was the first concert I ever saw in my life, it was the first time I did lsd, it changed my life forever. I was like, that’s what I wanna do. I wanna create music and be on a stage. I was just like that’s it. Seeing David Gilmore live changed my life forever. I try not to ever forget that moment, when I’m travelling or getting discouraged that this is the path I chose. I’m pretty grateful and pretty lucky to experience some of the things I’ve experienced. I try to take it back to my roots and think about where it all started.

So, with the explosion of bass music and festivals, how sustainable do you feel the growth of our culture is?

J: I mean, I think the bass scene keeps evolving, and pioneers like Bassnectar and Skrillex even are setting the tone for what kids want on a bigger scale. It always starts small and eventually keeps growing and growing. When it gets to the size of a Skrillex or Bassnectar where you have these massive shows, and these sellout shows with thousands and thousands of kids, it’s definitely at that mainstream level, and it’s only going to kepp gowing bigger and bigger and bigger.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”] I feel like bass music is not leaving. It’s just gonna keep evolving. [/quote] I love the bass mucis scene, I think it’s at a very intelligent music concept. It’s not very widely understood by most of the World. Some places it is, some places it isn’t. In Europe I’ve been to a bunch of places where drum and bass is big, but not a lot of dub, like American dubstep I guess is what you wanna call it, or American glitch hop where it’s just soundsystems are there for that music, because it’s designed to be played through these soundsystems. When you hear that bass signal, how it’s designed for those frequencies. I feel like bass music is not leaving. It’s just gonna keep evolving. There’s a lot of haters of dubstep and bass music, and this and that – they just gotta deal with it. I think it’s just gonna keep on getting bigger and better.

I don’t know if I’ll be a bass music musician my whole life. I try not limit myself or set a goal of who I wanna be or where I wanna be, but my love is bass music. It always has been. I think that’s why I evolved into it out of tech house, there’s more of a bass frequency happening with glitch hop. I feel like it’s definitely growing, but bigger and better for sure every year.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Occasionally you see that crazy dude dressed like a wack job, and you’re just like yes![/quote] What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you at an event?

J: I don’t know, I’ve had a lot of crazy events, a lot of crazy things at a lot of different festivals. I’ve had a lot of amazing sets, they’re all so different, all so unique that I can’t really think of something that’s too crazy to be honest with you. I’ve settled down a lot in my day. I’m 36 years old, so I feel like I’ve gotten to that stage what do they call it, like a gangster that gets older and turns into an o.g. or whatever it is. Kinda like that where I feel like I’ve seen it and done it. My life’s pretty calm now in the festival scene. I like seeing other people get crazy and do crazy things. I definitely people watch. I love sitting back at festivals and seeing how people are bringing in the festival. Occasionally you see that crazy dude dressed like a wack job, and you’re just like yes! *claps hands* That’s why we’re here, cause you can do it like that. That’s what I enjoy seeing. People just expressing themselves in a wacky way or a crazy way. That makes me feel like alright, I’m a bit grounded now.

Lastly, do you have any advice for up and coming artists?

Yeah. Right now I feel like there’s so many. There’s a lot of young bass producers that definitely have an ear for what’s happening. My advice is just keep practicing. Stay in the studio, and rehearsing, and trying to play as many shows as you can, even if they’re small ones.

I relate a lot of things to sports. I feel like the football player that wants to play, you’re always gonna look at the coach and say “put me in, put me in, put me in.”  Sometimes you just gotta be that guy, ready to go play a show. Keep networking, and networking and being persistent. Those are the guys that keep making it happen. It could be annoying to some people every now and then when you got that guy that’s like “listen to me listen to me”, but it’s a confidant artist, somebody that believes in their work. Good to enough to be like, here, listen to my work, like I enjoy it, I have confidence in it. Those are the people that are getting booked, and those are the people that  are blowing up.[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Don’t let anybody else tell you your stuff isn’t good enough, just keep at it.[/quote]

Stephan Jacobs is my first example. I’ve known him before he was “Stephan Jacobs” who he is today. He was the kid just like “check this out, check this out.” He’s doing really well, he’s getting a lot of attention, he’s writing a lot of amazing music and getting a lot of respect out there. That’s the best advice I can give, just stay at it. Don’t let anybody else tell you your stuff isn’t good enough, just keep at it.

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Record Labels: Vermin StreetHeadtron

Listen to and purchase the full Headtron Disciplines Remixes Vol 1. at http://headtron.bandcamp.com/ or find more Jupit3r tracks at Beatport.

 

About author

Alex

Alex is the Editor in Chief and one the founders at All You Need is Bass, and is one of the primary contributors. He is a man of many different hats and musical tastes - plus he looks just smashing in a vest!

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