02/24/12Posted in Features by L4LM

DJ Krush Interview


DJ Krush is a pioneer of Japanese hip-hop and late milenial soundscapes, his inspirations are vast and range from funk, soul, jazz, photography and even the old samurai films of Akira Kurosawa. For this current tour, his past and present influences are more than palpable as the "Zen Master" guides the kids on the dancefloor with a 3 hour set of classics, chest-rattling bass, introspective atmospherics and even hints of Krush'd out dubstep. After completing sound check at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, DJ Krush took time out to reflect on his career, creative process and his own vision of heaven.Thank you for meeting with us. How are you? How is the current tour?DJ Krush: Today is the second day [in North America]. I was in Toronoto before this and I have a lot of energy still. I'm sure later into the tour I'll feel like I'm dead (laughing).

How do you feel you've changed as an artist from the time you released your first album (1994′s Krush) to the start of your 20th anniversary tour?

DJ Krush: I still love music. That will never change. However, as more years pass, I have more responsiblities and more work to do. It's just like any other job.

What do you feel is more rewarding – reinterpreting/remixing your own work (such as 2006′s Stepping Stones – The Self Remixed Best: Lyricism & Stepping Stones – The Self Remixed Best: Soundscapes) or trying something new that you've never done before?

DJ Krush: It's more exciting to create new music. The old pieces I'm familiar with and it's just as challenging to reinterpret them. Constantly creating new music, though, is what excites me and keeps me going.

Do you have a routine for creating music – a rigid schedule like a 9-5 or is it purely inspirational?

DJ Krush: I don't have a set schedule. When the inspiration comes, I just stop what I'm doing and focus on creating the music. Sometimes I can work for a long time, but at other points I just have to stop . . .which means I have to pick up and complete the work at a later point. When the inspiration comes, though, I just do it.

What do you use when composing new works?

DJ Krush: Ableton Live. Also, Serato and my turntables, the SP-1200′s.

How do you know when you've completed a piece? Is there a physical feeling or you just know?

DJ Krush: That's a difficult question (laughing). It's like a roller-coaster, really. In my head, I see the journey of the song . . .and I already see the ending. It's a matter of following through with it and completing the path … With instrumental tracks, I see the images first, almost like clips from a short story or film. When I complete the story of the track, then I know it is ready.

For me it's always been the opposite. When I create films, I tend to hear it before being able to see the imges. This lead me to create music. As a musician, do you have any visual creative outlets that help keep you inspired?

DJ Krush: I love photography, but it's so easy to get obsessed because I love images. I'm trying not to get too distracted by it, although I really enjoy it. Classic black and white films, like the works of Akira Kurosawa, are highly inspirational to me. In order for me to express my ideas through sound, I absorb a lot of books, movies, photographs, everything. Also, it's always fascinating to me to see what kind of visuals people of different cultures create through my visuals because the music has a language of its own.

You spent some time touring as member of the band, Method of Defiance (DJ Krush, Bill Laswell, Toshinori Kondo, Hawkman, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Israel & Guy Licata). How was the experience of being a DJ in a band as opposed to working as a solo act?

DJ Krush: When I was in Method of Defiance there were limitations to where I could go because I was one part of an ensemble. The group is more important than the individual. As a solo act, though, I can be freely expressive and go wherever the music takes me. At the same time, being in a band is great because you have lots of support. As a solo act, you're alone and everything rides on you . . . but the audience is definitely there to help.

If you could choose your own fantasy band (living or dead), comprised of any musicans, who would you choose?

DJ Krush: (laughing) Miles Davis. John Coltrane . . .and Jimi Hendrix. They're all dead, so if I go to Heaven, I'll have my turntables cremated with me. I'm not sure if I'll make it into Heaven, though (laughing).

Domo origato, DJ Krush. Thank you for sitting down with us. Good luck with the rest of the tour.

DJ Krush: Origato!

Remainder of DJ Krush Tour DatesFeb.24th Fri The ROXY / Los Angeles (USA)Feb.25th Sat Mezzanine / San Francisco (USA)Feb.26th Sun Future Sound Club / Vancouver (Canada)Mar.1 Fri Upstairs Beresford / Sydney (Australia)Mar.3 Sun The Esplanade Hotel / Melbourne (Australia)Mar.7 Wed Beach Hotel / Byron Bay (Australia)Mar.8 Thu Transit Bar / Canberra (Australia)Mar.10 Sat Villa / Perth (Australia)Mar.11 Sun WOMADelaide Festival / Adelaide (Australia)- Brooklyn, NY, Febrary 19, 2012Translation via Noriko SatoPhotography by Ludgy WuSpecial Thanks to Ittetsu Asai, Noriko Sato & Isaac Kiener

 

Interview: Jon-Carlos Evans

Photography: Ludgy Wu


Related



Comments


Rage Against The Machine Members Confirm New Supergroup, First Performance Tonight

What started out as a hopeful Rage Against The Machine reunion has blossomed into som ...


Members Of Kung Fu Join Together For Phish Cover As The Breakfast [Watch]

Last Friday, The Breakfast returned to Bridgeport, Connecticut for a night of music a ...


Watch Joe Russo's Almost Dead's Epic 'Help On The Way > Slipknot' From Jam Cruise

Jam Cruise is the gift that keeps on giving! While our favorite musical-adventure-a ...


Surfer Blood Guitarist Thomas Fekete Has Passed Away At Age 27

We're saddened to report that beloved guitarist Thomas Fekete from Surfer Blood has p ...


Umphrey's McGee Confirms New Tour Dates, Appearance At North Coast Music Fest

Beloved jammers Umphrey's McGee just spent a weekend at the pristine Summer Camp Musi ...


Galactic's Landing Festival Postponed For New NOLA Amphitheatre Construction

New Orleans funkers Galactic and venue Tipitina's teamed up last year to present ...


David Grisman To Release His First Album of New Music In Ten Years

The David Grisman Sextet will release a new, self-titled album on Friday, June 3rd ...


Pro-Shot: Phil Lesh & Friends Perform Beautiful 'Reuben And Cerise' At The Capitol Theatre

This weekend's performances from Phil Lesh & Friends were truly special, featurin ...


Jack White Pens His First-Ever TV Theme Song For New Maya Rudolph/Martin Short Show

It's hard to imagine Jack White breaking new ground in his music career, but that's j ...


Bob Weir Talks John Mayer, Trey Anastasio & Jerry Garcia In New Dead & Company Interview

Beloved Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir gave an extensive interview with Rolling Sto ...


Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dumpstaphunk, And More To Play Music & Food Festival

Catered to the likes of "All Things Southern," a June 9-12 weekend in Sea Island, Geo ...


Strange Creek Campout Attendee Gets Stuck After Climbing 30-Foot Electrical Tower

Last weekend, the StrangeCreek Campout festival hosted dozens of performers at the ...


Phil Lesh Confirms Plans For 1988 Tribute At Summer Kickoff Party

Phil Lesh has finalized the details for the "Summer Kick Off Party!" at Terrapin Cro ...


George Clinton Sits In With Big Grizmatik For Summer Camp Rager [Watch]

The addition of triple threat Big Grizmatik – the rare supergroup comprised of el ...


Les Claypool Plays On Crazy New Track From Experimental Hip-Hop Group Death Grips [Listen]

File this under unexpected collaborations: Primus bassist Les Claypool lent his s ...


Phil Lesh Brings Melvin Seals, Krasno, Haynes & More For Cap Finale [Watch]

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh wrapped up a three-night stand at the beloved Cap ...


John Mayer Talks Dead & Co Future, Grateful Dead Music, And Solo Album

Guitarist John Mayer is no stranger to the limelight, but he's getting situated as ...


Watch moe. Bust Out The Who's 'Baba O'Riley' With Allie Kral, Debut Cream Cover At Summer Camp

moe. started out their final sets of the Summer Camp Music Festival by going big righ ...


The Broadcast Shares Exciting Live Video For 'Eyes Of A Woman' [Premiere]

Asheville based rockers The Broadcast have been turning heads left and right with t ...


Perpetual Groove Plays Acoustic Set, Covers Talking Heads & More For Two-Night Charleston Run

Beloved jam rockers Perpetual Groove spent two glorious nights at the Charleston P ...


Celebrate John Bonham's Birthday By Watching An Insane 'Moby Dick' Drum Solo

We'll start this birthday tribute with two undeniable facts: Led Zeppelin was one of ...


Stunning Photos Capture The Rock And Roll Magic Of Boston Calling

Over the last weekend, the famed Boston Calling Music Festival brought a bounty of gr ...


Remembering The Grateful Dead's Fateful 'Acid Punch Show' At The Winterland

May 29th marks a particularly enjoyable anniversary in the history of the Grateful D ...


Tom Petty, Big Grizmatik & More Help moe. & UM Close Out Summer Camp Fest [A Gallery]

Summer Camp Music Festival closed on a high note last Sunday, May 29th, bringing a s ...


Watch: moe. And Fishbone Pay Tribute To Prince With Debut 'Purple Rain' Cover At Summer Camp

moe. made their mark on Summer Camp Music Festival last night, welcoming out the le ...


Umphrey's McGee And moe. Double-Down For Summer Camp's Third Day [A Gallery]

The third day of Summer Camp unloaded two festival sets from both moe. and Umphrey's ...


Inside The Origin Of Prince's Gender-Bending Love Symbol

In the wake of Prince's passing, a number of interesting elements of the musician's l ...


Umphrey's, moe., STS9 & More Dominate At Summer Camp Day Two [Gallery]

Jam season is at full swing on Summer Camp Music Festival Day Two! The day featured a ...


Why Some People Get 'Skin-Gasms' While Listening To Music

You know that feeling when you're listening to a song and you suddenly feel a chill r ...


moe. Celebrates Summer Camp With A Wild 'Jump Around' Cover [Watch]

VIP ticket holders at Summer Camp Music Festival got an extra-special treat last nig ...


Dead & Company's Oteil Burbridge Talks About Playing Grateful Dead Music For The Rest Of His Life

Beloved bassist Oteil Burbridge has been a busy man of late. Fans could catch him all ...


Looking In On Summer Camp Music Festival's Opening Day [A Gallery]

The start of Summer Camp Music Festival can only mean one thing: summer festival seas ...


A Closer Look Into Dylan's Influential Breakthrough Album, 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'

Released on May 27th, 1963, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan marked the second-ever release ...


Greensky Bluegrass Gets The Party Started On Summer Camp Fest's Opening Day [Watch]

Last night marked the opening of Summer Camp Music Festival, and fans eagerly flocked ...





L4LM Twitter