You played a really emotional set at MR. How do you separate yourself from your work? Does it ever get too emotional? A big part of my pre-show ritual is getting into an emotional space where I can be vulnerable in front of a crowd. I think most of those emotions are typically under the surface; it’s not like they’re expressed that often. So when I’m performing I don’t just wanna go through the motions. I think it’d be really easy to get to a point where you’re just singing the same things over and over again and you get a little bit distant; you get a little bit separated from it, you get disenchanted with it. Part of what I always really try to do is to get into a place where I’m genuinely expressing those things as opposed to just sort of singing the songs. Where I’m actually communicating with the audience in some kind of way. So, for me, it’s less of a problem of separating myself from my work, and more trying to get swallowed up by it at the moment and really express those things. Outside of that, a lot of times there are different areas in the music world (or in the life of a musician) when you do wanna be separate from your work. Like when I meet new people, I don’t really talk about being a musician. Only because in that regard I do wanna be separate from my work. I don’t want to be ‘Justin the musician’ at all times to all people. I wanna be ‘Justin the musician’ when I’m playing shows, and when I’m working on music, but outside of that I wanna be ‘Justin the human being’ that’s completely separate from music. In other situations, I do separate myself from myself, but the challenge is letting yourself get swept up in the moment and actually connecting. How do you deal with mistakes on stage? Another huge part of my pre-show rituals is getting in a place mentally where I’m super, super focused because the systems and the entire live rigs that I built are really complicated and there are so many things that could go wrong. Any one thing that goes wrong on the surface could be one of like 30 different issues. So
interviewed by: AMBER LYNN
I really have to be super sharp to play the show and troubleshoot correctly. Any time you’re dealing with CPUs and computers, there’s always gonna be lots of stuff that could go wrong. That’s just par for the course and you have to get used to it. So stuff will go wrong on stage and I have to be able to seamlessly correct it without looking like I’m fixing it. It’s not often mistakes on my part, I rehearse my set to the point where it’s very rare that I’ll make a mistake and if I do I just laugh it off because I almost never do, but it’s more of the technology messing up. Typically if I mess up live, I don’t really sweat it that much. I’ve just rehearsed enough to where it doesn’t happen that often and if it does, it’s just part of performing live and I think the audience typically understands that. I just played Seattle which was super fun and sold out at this place called The Crocodile. At one point I was talking about this song I was gonna play, this new song from the EP, and I triggered something and it was the wrong track. So the last song came on for a second and it wasn’t even like “Oh no! I messed up!” I just laughed it off and said “I didn’t mean to play that song” and everyone just laughed it off. I think when you have fans that are really connected to your art, they don’t really care about stuff like that. I believe that some people when they’re playing soft ticket dates, they’re playing for a lot of people who don’t really know their music that well so if they mess up those people are gonna judge them really hard whereas at my shows, the only reason those people are there are to see me. If people don’t wanna see me, they’re not gonna come. So anyone that’s there is gonna be super supportive. What has been your favorite set or festival you’ve played in the past year or so? I would probably say my first LA show because it was my first time that I’ve done a headlining live set, all my other live sets have just been direct support for Savoy. There was a lot riding on that show, but it ended up
Published on Oct 1, 2016
RAVER MAGAZINE 016 (September) Read this month's issue of Raver Magazine featuring interviews with Dirty South, Borgore, Bassjackers, Crywo...