The Next Chapter In Skrillex’ Story

Tuesday, 03 May 2011

You've heard the first part of Sonny “Skrillex” Moore's story before. Born in 1988, Moore joined post-hardcore band From First To Last in 2004, and ended up becoming the group's singer for albums including Dear Diary, My Teenage Angst Has A Body Count and Heroine. He then announced his departure from the band in 2007 to pursue a solo career in electronic music. To date, that solo career has been well-received, with Moore having produced a landmark album for Bring Me The Horizon [There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret. –ed] and two EPs under the Skrillex moniker in 2010. The story is an attractive one and, to date, such lauded publications as the Los Angeles Times and Alternative Press (to name only two) have spotlighted Skrillex and essentially recounted the same story over again.

Yes, it's certainly an attractive enough story, but it is only the first chapter in the overall tome and, now, Moore is eager to move forward with the next one – after the pre-amble, Sonny Moore has entered the first chapter in the story of how he takes over the world, all on his own. “It's funny, you know, because the question of the other bands I've done comes up in most every interview I've done,” ruminates Moore when the question of his departure from band work in favor of pursuing an electronic solo career comes up. “A lot of the stories turn out the same way, and it doesn't feel like anything has moved forward yet – people are still asking about my transition from hardcore to electronic music. The thing is, those who know that rock band also know that I was doing remixes and programming for that rock band and I was pretty open about the fact that I listened to electronic music and was a little raver kid at the time and had been from a really young age; so I'm not exactly sure why I still get asked about it, but I do. Conversely, the newer people that have been exposed to my music don't know anything about what I did before this, so there hasn't really been a complicated transition or anything; I've always made electronic music and loved electronic music and loved making it.

“Electronic music is fun to make because it's more a platform than it is a genre,” muses the producer. “I mean, you can create productions all on your own without the benefit of having a band – you can do the whole thing on a laptop and it's done.”

That sort of private experimentation is the thing that dominates Skrillex' mau5trap debut EP, Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites. Listeners will get a bit of a chill as the first electronic threads of “Rock N' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain)” begin to snake out of the thumping beat that opens the track and contrasted clearly by the electronically treated voice that invites listeners in with the words, “Hello again to all my friends, together we can play some rock n' roll.” It's an unusual but attractive contrast and, by the time the song really kicks into gear (at around the fifty-two second mark), listeners are only too happy to follow it where ever it leads; in this dubstep concoction lies the perfect mix of house, electronica, pop and rock that doesn't even try to draw in any connections between the sounds, but simply uses them as tools to assemble its own thoroughly unique kind of song in much the same way post-modern authors utilize existing (even time-honored) narrative structures to create a novel. The trend continues through tracks including “Kill Everybody,” “Scatta” and the title track but, in each case, the result is always different because the original sources drawn together are always different. Here, Skrillex has managed to create his own sub-genre-of-one that is expansive but perfectly self-contained in that no track really bleeds into the next or runs the risk of creating an ongoing monologue; when a song ends and another begins, it is as if the project resets completely and starts going in its own direction again. In that way, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites ignores the construct of a conventional album, but still holds together well as a set of ideas and, paradoxically, becomes an interesting idea to listen to in its own right.

That the EP is brimming with ideas and new sorts of inspirations will excite listeners because it represents a new and exciting voice in electronic music, but Sonny Moore is not the type to rest on laurels and has already begun percolating new ideas for more releases and new, exciting ideas for performance as well. In conversation, Moore leaves the possibility of releasing some music after he completes his touring obligations wide open. “I'm technically in the studio now; I'm still working while I'm on the road,” says Moore with a soft-spoken charisma that is incredibly easy to believe in. “It's a little harder out here, but I'm going to have a little bit of time off around mid-May and that's when I'm going to focus on the record, and I should have a full-length LP out by the summer or fall at the very latest. I work really fast and I already have a total concept and idea and at least four tracks ready as well. I know exactly what I want to do for the next release and I do already have some stuff done and I think it's going to be really fuckin' cool. It's just how I work; I get started on something and just work it through quickly and I'm on to the next ten things before the first is over.”



Korn – “Get Up (Skrillex Director's Cut)”


Skrillex' Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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