By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
In fact, even while performing with From First to Last he was making digital music on the side, and after leaving the group in 2007 he signed to Atlantic, intending to meld electronic music with rock. But things didn't go as planned. Two years passed before the label released — under his given name — his Gypsyhook EP, a collection of pop-rock songs with a new wave bent. But to Moore's frustration, full albums' worth of material sat in the vaults, spurring him to deepen his flirtation with dance music.
Despite his relative fame with his band, reinventing himself as a DJ required starting from scratch. In his first gigs with Wilson about three years ago, he spun dubstep and other genres at a Sunday night party called Camerata, at Cinespace. Back then, since dubstep didn't have much of a following, Moore was relegated to the club's patio. "But more and more people started showing up," he recalls, "so we started playing dubstep in the main room."
Moore's big break came in August last year, when he landed a slot on the bill at Control, a Friday night bash focused on up-and-coming talent at Hollywood megaclub Avalon. Ryan Jaso, the event's promoter, says that since popular headlining DJ Wolfgang Gartner ensured a decent crowd, he decided to give Moore a shot. (It also helped that the young artist had long been pestering him for an opportunity.)
649 W. Jefferson Blvd.
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"It was just fucking packed," Moore remembers, with awe in his voice. "You could tell that everyone wanted to be inside this club."
That night, according to Jaso, they hit an attendance record that remains unbroken.
"It's one of the craziest parties I've been to," Jaso adds, saying that the lineup likely will never be repeated, with both performers having since vaulted into the stratosphere. (Gartner just released a single with Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am.)
Shortly after the Avalon gig, Moore's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP won release, but it wasn't an immediate hit. Though the title song — his first stab at a melodic dubstep track — eventually would rack up more than 34 million YouTube plays, Atlantic didn't want it as a single. In his recollection, label executives preferred a track called "All I Ask of You," which they thought had greater radio appeal. "They didn't get it," Moore says.
Fortunately, he received a new push from Deadmau5, then already a superstar producer in his own right. The two met at Miami's Ultra Music Festival in March 2010, after Deadmau5 took a liking to a track called "My Name Is Skrillex," which Moore had distributed for free. With permission, Deadmau5 later released Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites on Beatport through his mau5trap imprint.
Whereas the traditional music industry had been unable to break him, the endorsement of a new media–savvy tastemaker was all Moore needed to push him over the top. "What Deadmau5 did for me was say 'Yo, check this out' to his million-plus Facebook friends," Moore says.
Since then, his tracks have consistently appeared in Beatport's Top 10 charts and he's scored gigs at major music festivals like Coachella and Austin City Limits. It's been off to the races for the Skrillex brand.
At an age when most people are still figuring out their professional aspirations, Moore has become someone who can make things happen for emerging artists. He recently launched his own label, OWSLA, named for a group of rabbits that appear in the fantasy novel Watership Down. Focused on up-and-comers, he's found success with such genre-bending young artists as 19-year-old Porter Robinson and 22-year-old Zedd. Hard at work on his as-yet-untitled debut full-length — which should be released by the end of this year — he's also put out numerous singles and remixes in the meantime, as well as collaborated with folks like electronic artist SebastiAn and soul sensation Mayer Hawthorne.
But Moore's biggest project lies ahead of him. He's been invited to write and record with the surviving members of the Doors, as part of a documentary called Re:Generation, which puts top DJs in the studio with bands. Due out early next year, their collaborative song will merge rock and electronic styles, and will be a rare chance to hear new work from the L.A. legends. The track — tentatively titled "Breakin' a Sweat" — will include samples of Jim Morrison praising electronic music as the future of the art form.
It's yet another big moment for Moore, and speaks to his transcendent star power, which is timeless in its own way. Sure, he can draw thousands of kids to a baseball stadium with his up-to-the-moment sounds. But he also realizes there's more to making a connection with fans than understanding a Twitter feed. Like Morrison, he relates to his followers because he understands them.
Perhaps most importantly, he knows that a catchy beat is a catchy beat, in any genre.
Skrillex at Hard Haunted 2011, Sat., Oct. 29, Hard Haunted Mansion at Shrine Expo Center,649 W. Jefferson Blvd., dwntwn.
Curated Halloween events from Night Tap:
you totally forgot to mention how the "my name is skrillex ep" was released before "scary monsters." actually you forgot to mention it completely. or how lady gaga and mainstream artists commission him to do official remixes for them.
This is the most comprehensive article I've read so far about Skrillex and his rise to fame. Whether his music is praised or criticized, it can hardly be denied that he's at the helm of the present EDM scene.
I like his conduct. He maintains steady exchange with his fans. He isn't a standoffish bitch, and that deserves some appreciation. Earlier tonight he even let a girl wear his jacket for a short while, and she took off with it (although she did end up returning it). He's just nice.
This sums up the Skrillex phenomenon succinctly:
"@mikebeee It is me or does Skrillex look like Corey Feldman fucked Sinead O'Connor?"
This sums up Skrillex completely:
Just thought I would say this! I am not an unnamed woman! I'm fairly certain I put my name in the post on the Girls That Look Like Skrillex web page, but I'm Sherillex! Aura Slavit! I'm not anonymous XD Please for the love of god take a twin picture with me. And that isn't the full quote, what they leave out is the fact that I was actually playing a show in my Skrillex costume and a guy flipped out thinking I was him for real there as a special guest xD and I also had the same reaction at an anime convention I went to in August <3
"Me dressed up in my Skrillex costume for a set of mine last week. A guy really thought I was him for a minute when I was sitting next to the dj booth waiting to go up. But..you know, I’m just a girl who looks like Skrillex~" is the full comment and here is the link to my photo, hair was parted kinda weird and my bald was disappearing, but believe me, I do try XD
Jesus Christ, they're talking about MY skrillmau5 drawing in Page 3, paragraph 3. I'M THE WEIRD ARTIST! HAHAHAHA
best article on Skrillex and the electronic scene that I've ever read! :D u need to do this more often =)
Boy King??? Dig a little deeper... Skrillex is a one-hit wonder. His sound is limited, unlike Joel Zimmerman, aka Deamau5... who constantly develops his sound which is mostly derived from analog signals. Deadmau5 is still far from King. Electronic music has so many genres, but for progressive house or dubstep, Skrillex is still a baby.