If you’re into bass music, then ill.Gates need no introduction. He’s a staple of electronic music who knows no boundaries. Recently, he kicked off his most massive slew of shows to date. For ‘The Church of Bass Tour,’ ill.Gates enlisted the help of Stephan Jacobs, Jay Fay, and, of course, some local flare. Even though the tour is well on its way, Mr. Gates took the time to sit down with us and give a little glimpse into what can expect to see during this monstrous tour.
Dig on in and check out some tunes from ill.Gates’ newest Church of Bass EP that dropped toda. And if you’re a Colorado viewer, be sure to get your asses down to Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom tonight to get your ears blasted with some holy bass from the minister and his apostles.
TD: So it’s been a few months since you chatted with us over here at The Dankles; instead of introducing yourself again want tell us how the universe has been treating your lately?
iG: I’m currently on The Church Of Bass Tour with a new audio visual performance on a 3D-mapped stage. We brought a nine person team and pK subwoofer; we’re not messing around.
TD: You seemed to have been pretty busy throughout the summer. How were the last few months for you?
iG: Amazing! I went to festival after festival and played music all over the world. I was recently in South Africa working with my favorite musicians in Cape Town and we wrote a new EP. Burning Man and Shambhala were both very surprising this year. People at those festivals take their creative contributions beyond all reasonable expectation. It never ceases to amaze me.
TD: When we chatted back in July, you had hinted at a release towards the end of the summer or early fall. Now that The Ill.Methodology Remixed is out, can we still expect another EP sometime soon?
iG: You certainly can. The Church Of Bass EP comes out Nov.19, UK time.
TD: Would you like to shed a little light on what we might be hearing on these next EPs?
iG: Church of Bass is a lot more melodically involved than my older songs. I spent a lot of energy focusing on the emotion behind each song, trying to develop it as far as I could without fragmenting it. The music is more complicated and nuanced than much of my material, but the emotions are expressed much more clearly and directly. The EP also features five tracks, two of which are collaborations and all of which I play out regularly.
TD: Muti Music also just recently released a remix album of tracks off Theill.Methodology. Do you have any input concerning what tracks are remixed an by whom?
iG: Yes. I choose all of the remixers myself. They are all great people too and I know nearly all of them personally. Dov (Muti Music) brings in his suggestions as well and we evaluate them together as they come back.
TD: You also just decided to put your previous LP, The ill.Methodology, up for free, What was the reasoning behind that move?
iG: The people that buy my music already buy it despite being easily able to pirate it. They want to support me, and I completely appreciate it and respect that. I know people are going to pirate my music, so I’d rather they just download it from me and we can be homeys.
TD: I know in the past few months you have been very busy planning the ‘Church of Bass Tour.’ What kind of special preparation went into getting this tour ready?
iG: This tour is an eight piece projector mapped stage show with tons of my own production and a nine person road team. We’re all really excited to bring it to so many cities.
I have been a VJ for years, but was never able to find a complete solution to keeping the videos in tight enough sync with the audio. Ableton warps audio speeds like a rubber band, whereas VJ software plays at a constant rate. Most A/V performances get around this sync problem by having a set timeline for the performance, but this seriously compromises a performer’s ability to improvise.
It took me ages, but I found an elegant solution to this problem. It allows me to mix live audio video content with the sync remaining perfect. Escaping the timeline of a ‘push play set’ has finally freed me to become ill.Gates 2.0.
TD: Is this one on a larger scale than tours you have done in the past?
iG: This one is massive. 30 cities in less than two months and driving all the way. It’s the only practical way to get all of that gear where it needs to be. It’s been pretty grueling so far, but I feel that the impact of traveling with proper production is worth it.
TD: What kinds of unexpected sights can a fan hope to catch if they snag a ticket to the show nearest them?
iG: The main thing is the synched video stuff. That took forEVER! Not only did I have to amass enough content to do it, but I had to edit a video for every single song I’m likely to play, and then also design a two computer template that was able to handle the massive amount of processing while still remaining in sync. I’m really proud of this accomplishment and I feel it adds a lot to the experience.
TD: Seen anything ridiculous out there yet on the past few stops?
iG: Hahaha, always! Strange truck stops with stranger graffiti; weirdo drunks in transformer costumes in Vegas; UFOs in Seattle; drag queens having “pencil fights”; people doing weird things at the shows, etc. etc. etc… Never a dull moment!
TD: This tour will also take you on into the new year. Looking forward to 2013?
iG: Definitely! I’ve got a ton of new releases lined up for the spring as well. I’m working on a new side project, making the show even more immersive, two new records in the spring, and maybe, just maybe, a week or two off.
TD: That about sums it up on our end. Any last words or shout outs?
iG: I’d like to give shouts out to my crew. Without these guys, the ‘Church Of Bass Tour’ would just not be happening at all. Dave, Tyler, Cheri, Jesse, Brent, and Britton over at the Mammoth Management team. Our endlessly positive and energetic tour manager Kyle. The fine folks at pK sound. Our amazing sound man Matt (happy birthday buddy!). Our 3dVJ Aeon Child and Teva from Fusion Visuals (they designed and manned the stage we used on the West Coast). My openers Stephan Jacobs and Jay Fay. The promoters who have booked the tour and filled the venues and most importantly all of the FANS! Without you guys I don’t get to do any of this rad shit, so thanks!