EVENT PREVIEW: Downlink, Dieselboy, & Mantis Bring Their ‘Blood Sweat & Bass’ Tour To Columbus On Saturday For LeBoom (Q&A WITH DOWNLINK & MANTIS)

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Are you ready to go to bass school this Saturday? Well you’re in luck because Downlink, Dieselboy, and Mantis have teamed up for their ‘Blood, Sweat, & Bass’ Tour and they’re storming through Columbus this Saturday at Skullys. The event is a very special edition of My Best Friend’s Party monthly dubbed LeBoom, and will be nothing short of spectacular. Of course MBFP residents Attak & Carma will be destroying the decks also. Be sure to grab your tickets here and get ready to have your meanest “bass face” melted by the insanity that will ensue on Saturday.

We were lucky enough to catch a Q&A with Downlink and Mantis in preparation for this weekend. Check out the interview below to learn more about these two bass mechanics:

CURATED MUSIC: What was your biggest inspiration to begin producing/djing EDM?
DOWNLINK: Drum n Bass music as a whole was the first music I heard that really inspired me and made me want to pursue creating and dj’ing EDM. This was back in 2000 when dubstep didn’t even exist. DNB was the hardest dirtiest stuff around and seemed like a natural path for me, a person who spent the 90’s listening to predominantly grunge and metal.
DIESELBOY: Right before i “discovered” dance music back in the early 90s i was listening to a lot of synth pop (depeche mode, new order, etc) and industrial music (front line assembly, nine inch nails, niter ebb, etc). going from those genres into electronic dance music was just a natural progression.
MANTIS: Our biggest influences had to be our past musical history playing in metal bands, when we first heard dubstep we heard it with distinct parallels to metal music. That is where we got the basis for the type of music we wanted to begin making. As far as DJing, we consider ourselves producers before DJs always, as that is our truest passion. However to perform our music, we had to learn how to DJ. Obviously we still have a blast DJing as well. 🙂

CM: When did you decide you wanted to make this your career?
DOWNLINK: It wasn’t a clear decision that I wanted to make this my career at any point. I just knew I wanted to continue making music and DJ’ing and it naturally grew into my career once I started getting paid to do it. This was around 2009 or 2010 when dubstep had really begun to take form in a new way in North America.
DIESELBOY: For me djing was a passion and a hobby for years. it wasn’t until around 1997 that i realized i was making more money djing than i was working my 9-5 job. i made the leap and decided to pursue djing full time.
MANTIS: I think once we saw that were able to support ourselves off of it, we’re not rich by any means but we get to do what we love and still pay our bills and keep ourselves fed. We live rich lives though we may not by financially rich.

CM: How have your tastes evolved since you began creating music?
DOWNLINK: I have developed a taste for all kinds of electronic and non-electronic music. I listen to a lot of different stuff around the house and my tastes vary when it comes to listening to music vs performing / creating music. The stuff I like to listen to at home and in the car is generally more on a chill experimental vibe. I like very sound design intensive stuff that is just as easily suited to background music as it is to full on explorative listening. When I go to create music my tastes are always changing depending on what I think is working well in a club and what I am hearing and playing out that I really like. As the scene evolves, kids are wanting new stuff and new styles. Its challenging to keep up with it all, but its important if you want to stay relevant and maintain a career.
DIESELBOY: I’m still absolutely passionate about drum and bass. i like all of the sub genres. as new genres of dance music have sprung up over the years i have definitely found myself liking different sounds and styles. overall tho my tastes generally focus on heavy and high energy drum and bass.
MANTIS: Our tastes have certainly evolved. When we first began all we were interested in doing was making music that was heavy and scary. Now we find ourselves trying to write music that tells more of a story and will be listened to over and over rather than being skipped through after the ‘drop.’

CM: What is your favorite part of performing at shows?
DOWNLINK: I really enjoy playing new songs I’m working on and getting a positive reaction to them. It really inspires me to keep doing what I do, and reminds me of why I do this in the first place. You can’t help but smile when a new track you’re working on or finished goes off hard. Its rewarding.
DIESELBOY: I like the challenge that comes with trying to crush it on 4 decks. it’s like playing a video game on expert mode. every night is a new adventure. also, it feels good when you know you are in the zone and the crowd is right there along with you. the energy is just full on.
MANTIS: Just seeing people rage out to our tunes and have as much fun as we are. We wouldn’t be anywhere without our fans, and every time we play somewhere, most of the same fans return and we make new ones. So it’s always really cool to be able to reconnect with some of the earliest fans we’ve had as well as make friends with all the new ones!

CM: Do you have personal philosophy or message you wish to impart with your music?
DOWNLINK: Not really. I just want people to feel the music I’m creating and to have a positive reaction to it. I want people to be open minded and be able to look at music for what it is. Not every tune is designed to be an all out filth fest. Sometimes a piece of music is just a quirky jam designed to shake up the club in a live sense. Sometimes a song is meant more for the headphones. Try to be subjective and find a space for the music you are hearing. We can’t keep repeating ourselves and expect things to not get old.
DIESELBOY: Beyond just trying to give people a good time and to expose them to the newest sounds of drum and bass, i would say i am still flying the flag for what i like to think of as “real djing”. as people have started using technology to take the skill or the “danger” out of live mixing i feel that the scene as a whole is losing something. i like to push my performances as a way of keeping the torch lit for “no safety net” djing and truly live performance. i even like it when i fuck up while I’m playing because it shows that a human, and not a computer, is running the show.
MANTIS: Not necessarily, we do however want to encourage everyone to make the music they do because they love it, not because it is trending or they feel that they have to make a certain style to see success.

CM: What was the inspiration behind starting the Blood Sweat & Bass tour?
DOWNLINK: We wanted to present people with “real” dj’ing and underground sounds in a way that we felt was being neglected a lot in mainstream EDM. There are a lot of new DJ’s and overnight successes that really don’t seem to respect the art of DJ’ing and honestly in my opinion display little or no skill when it comes to mixing music together. I have been DJ’ing for about 13 years and Dieselboy about twice that. We aren’t fucking around up there and both of us are bringing a technical display of mixing that you most modern EDM DJ’s just aren’t bringing to the table. Combine this passion for the technical side of DJ’ing with a bias towards hard underground EDM and you have a recipe for a unique show, one for true “heads” of bass music.
DIESELBOY: Heavy bass music presented by guys that like to actually dj. we all have the same philosophy when it comes to the music we play and the way in which we play it. we wanted to drop a billion tons of bass on people and rock the fuck out.
MANTIS: Well we just got lucky that our friends Dieselboy and Downlink asked us to be a part of the tour!

CM: Whats been your favorite part of the tour so far?
DOWNLINK:  The food… Hahaa! Honestly though aside from all the awesome shows, we’ve been eating really really well on this tour. Dieselboy is very serious about food and consequently we’ve been hitting up some of the premier restaurants across the continent on this tour. There have been so many memorable meals, and more than once I’ve literally walked into the club with my belt loosened off a notch.
DIESELBOY: Getting to spend quality time with downlink, ajapai and mantis. these are good guys to get drunk with. also eating at as many awesome restaurants as i can possibly find while on the road. and also…of course…watching people go off to heavy ass music. always awesome!
MANTIS: Eating with Downlink and Dieselboy, always next level culinary experiences.

CM: What should Columbus expect at the upcoming show?
DOWNLINK: I touched on this before – we are bringing technical mixing and underground bass music. Don’t expect an onslaught of festival bangers or gimmicky dj’ing (i.e. throwing food or drinks at the crowd, cakes, champagne, etc). The experience will be high energy and very grimy. It will be a lot of fun and hopefully you will leave feeling a renewed sense of what real DJ’ing is all about.
DIESELBOY: Dope intros. high energy. technical djing skills. and most likely a hangover the next day because this show is gonna be off the fucking hook!
MANTIS: A very well rounded, energetic, and most of all HEAVY set! >:)

INTERVIEW BY: Andrew Zistler (The Lantern – OSU)

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