For those who closely follow the bass music scene, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Minnesota by now. For those who are unaware, firstly, I applaud you for reading this article. Second, you need to know that Minnesota is among the tightly knit group of revolutionaries who will be changing and shaping music in the coming years. Not just bass music, not just dance music, but musical paradigms. Minnesota is a piece of the puzzle that will unlock new ways of perceiving music production and live musical performances – that is the coming musical revolution.
After the face-melting stomp-tacular that was his performance at Lightning in a Bottle, I was able to ambush Minnesota and bully him into letting me interview him.
How do you feel about the set you just hammer out here at Lightning in a Bottle?
I feel pretty good. I wasn’t looking up much, but I feel like there was a good crowd. It was fun. Lightning in a bottle kills it. The do lab kills it.
For sure. How do you feel about Nit Grit, who is performing as we speak?
I fucking love Nit Grit. We live not far apart. He’s my homey and he kills it.
Remind me what label you’re with most recently.
Right now, no particular label. I’ve released on a few labels, but I have no particular association.
What is your latest release?
I just had a release just a week ago. It is called Astral Projection and it was more down-tempo stuff.
For the record, Minnesota’s Astral mixtape is available free for download on his soundclod and is sick as shit.
www.Soundclound.com/Minnesota. Go download it.
Where can people find your latest releases?
We just re-did the website. It’s www.minnesotadubstep.com
What kind of changes did you make to the website?
It looks cleaner. You can go there to stream my music, buy shit, and see where I’m playing
You’ve been getting into more ambient, chillout, and down-tempo stuff rather than the bass heavy hitter that you’re known for. Minnesota, no one thinks you’re a one trick pony. Why did you decide to branch out?
The last 6 months I’ve been touring like crazy, so it’s easier to produce down-tempo tracks [on the road]. I’ll probably never play them live. They are more for chilling at home. In 4 months I will be coming out with another EP full of more dancey stuff.
There is definitely a good polarity there, but you don’t see yourself playing any chillout sets at lounges or anything?
Well, at festivals like these I feel like I just want to slam it. I want people to have a good time and rage. For other sets I might throw one or two softer songs in there but at festivals I’m going to slam it really good.
Absolutely. People come here to enjoy themselves and you do well to facilitate that. That’s part of the Minnesota namesake.
I love making mellow and down-tempo music, but I absolutely love playing live and getting people to party.
Do you think you could ever find common ground between them?
I really think there is a middle somewhere. I hope that I could put out a down-tempo EP and people will still be stoked to hear those songs at a live performance. I was worried about getting a negative response to slamming the heavy shit, but I’ve gotten good responses all around. We’ll see.
Tell me about the new EP you’re working on.
It’s definitely going to be more up-tempo. Bassnectar is working on getting a label going so that is what I’m hoping to release my dancey stuff on.
What is the name of this EP?
It doesn’t have a name yet. It’s still in the baby stages.
How many tracks will it have?
Hopefully four or five. Like I said, more up-tempo stuff for when you’re going out. But it still needs work.
You definitely want to be content with it before you put it out there.
Exactly. I want to hit all sides of the spectrum. I want to be able to produce well and perform as well.
Perfect. What is the name of Bassnectar’s coming label?
He has a label planned for Amorphous Music where he is going to release four or five artists but that isn’t finalized.
With the crash of the record industry a few years back it seems like all of these independent artist such as yourself have all of the proper tools at your fingertips. You are able to get your own music out there without dealing with suits.
Exactly! That’s why I’m stoked that I am able to make my own music and give it to a broad audience, but I feel like going through Lauren [Bassnectar] will do that even more.
How do you feel this recent implosion of music labels has affected your music if at all?
Not too much. I’ve been working with independent labels and it’s been fucking awesome. They have all been very good to me. I feel like most of my exposure comes through putting my music out independently through soundcloud and facebook and I feel like that is how I got where I am.
Do you have a preference for ways to get your music out there?
Soundcloud is number one. Nit Grit, who is playing an amazing set right now, he killed it on soundcloud at the very beginning. I recently put some shit on Band Camp, but I’m faithful to Soundcloud. It has put many musicians who are homies of mine in the position they are in; to be able to make living on what they love.
I don’t know if you realize this, Minnesota, but you a coming up through the branches of the underground and into the mainstream. How do you feel about that?
I am stoked about it. I am surprised to go to different regions of the country and hear that they actually know my shit. I am just excited to be doing 3what I’m doing.
Where do you think you’ll be at this time next year?
Well, this time last year I was just like, if I can play one show I will be stoked. I have no idea what is going to happen with electronic music in general but that would be dope I could be making a living out of it.
Can we say Lightning in a Bottle 2012?
Man, I hope so. I’ve been coming to the Do Lab events for a long time and it great to be playing with all of these people.
You have a great set time tonight as well.
It fucking blows my mind. I was at Coachella three years ago seeing The Do Lab and having them blow my mind. I was at Symbiosis 2009 and they blew my mind. I am just very excited to be able to work with these guys.
Did you go to symbiosis this year? Like, last week?
No, I’ve been traveling a lot. I was there in 2009. It was one of my first festivals and it was amazing.
That is an intense first festival.
Could you make a prediction as to where electronic dance music is heading?
I just hope that I can be in the same realm. Electronic music will definitely still exist. Festivals like this will definitely exist. I am just hoping I can make a living doing it.
Is it too early to say post-dubstep?
Maybe. I feel like some of the big name heavy hitter are on the decline and that more experimental people like Nit Grit and Gladkill are moving up.
Just as a humble music journalist, it seems that people like An-Ten-Nae, Love and Light, Stephen Jacobs-
-it seems like this acid crunk music, this really conscious style of music, it is on the sharp uptake.
Yeah! Well, I feel like when people are getting into new music, they first discover things like Datsik or whatever. The real music lovers search out for the underground stuff like Love and Light and it all really connects. It’s not only the music, but the community around it, and I feel like that has the long term success.
Not only is it great music, but it’s a great community of music appreciators. They are very tight and conscious of what they are doing.
Exactly. And that is why I find myself in the position I am in. if it were just music, I’d still love it, but a big part of it is the surrounding community.
Well put. On that note, how are you enjoying Lightning in a Bottle?
I am fucking loving it. It is my first year. We got here at 6 PM.
Wow, it’s a trip, isn’t it?
Absolutely. The Do Lab killed it with these stages. Unfortunately we need to leave at 6 AM tomorrow to go to another festival. Me and the people I’m traveling with, we love to come up to festivals and rage it. Festivals are my favorite thing to play.
Is there anything else you want to say to your fans out there?
I love you guys. You’re fucking awesome.
Thank you, Minnesota, and good luck.