12th Planet is credited with bringing dubstep to America.
Ahead of his performance at Made in America in Grand Park this Sunday, August 31, we talked to him at the Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica, where he is recording music for his new album.
In contrast to his heavy sounds, 12th Planet — aka John Dadzie — is constantly cracking jokes and has an easy laugh. We talked to him about his music and his party habits.
You’re credited with brining dubstep to the U.S. Fair?
Well my crew brought it to L.A. I personally can’t take credit for doing that. My crew—we’re called Smog—started doing the first dubstep parties out here. And from there the big gigantic corporations got involved and then they fucked us over. And that’s basically what happened. I got nothing against them; it’s just the nature of the beast. Darth Vader definitely took over, that’s for sure.
How do you feel about how the scene has changed?
Dubstep is full on mainstream now. You can’t watch a TV show, whether it be CSI: New York or Kim Kardashian whatever without hearing a dubstep tune in the fucking thing. There probably won’t be a dubstep dude performing at the Super Bowl soon, but it’s pretty damn mainstream.
But the underground has taken a huge hit. The last year or two, the dubstep shows weren’t selling as much as, like, the trap stuff. But now in the past six months I’ve seen this huge resurgence of dubstep, because people are just sick and tired of big room house, going paying fucking $200 for a ticket, and every DJ or artist plays the same songs in a different order.
Fuck that, that shit’s done. Well, it’s obviously not done. It’s in full force, but I’m tired of that. Give dubstep some of the money! That’s all I’m trying to say. You can keep doing that shit but, like, let us get a little bit more.
What’s so hard about getting people to listen to dubstep?
You can’t get people to listen to dubstep. They kind of have to find it on their own. It’s super niche. Nobody understands it, especially the new styles of dubstep that are coming out of L.A., like swamp and that kind of stuff. That is a very particular type of music to listen to, and to be a part of that culture you have to be completely immersed in it. You can’t half-ass it. It’s not like, “Oh you heard the fucking Calvin Harris song on the radio, you’re gonna go to the rave next week.” No, you have to search for this stuff. And you have to know somebody who’s already involved in the movement to know when the parties are happening to hear it live. It’s completely underground. It’s actually kinda cool, because it’s like giving the power back to the people.
Do you ever attend those big raves or festivals?
No. I don’t even go to clubs unless I’m playing. It’s kinda hard for me because I get super jealous. I’m like sitting up there like, “That should be me.” I just stay home and watch Game of Thrones and stuff like that; that tends to calm me down.
You live downtown. What do you like to do there?
I like to go to restaurants and bars. That’s about it. Spring St. Bar is my favorite because it’s across the street from my house, they’ve got, like, 100 beers on tap, and they’re the only place that’ll let you do a suicide. Like you know [how] you go get Sprite, Coke, Fanta, and ginger ale, all in one? We do that with beer. It tastes great. You get a little bit of everything. It’s a beer suicide. We call it a beericide. And by we I mean I made it up.
Any good stories following beericides?
It’s hard because, the next day, I can’t remember what happened at the end of the night. Sometimes I pass out in weird places in my house. Like at my desk or on the couch. And at the hotels sometimes I don’t make it to the bed.
I like the simple things. You know, dubstep. 140 beats per minute. Kick, snare... And I’m cool with that. That’s all I need. And my iPhone. I need it for the video games.
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You’ve anticipated a lot of up-and-coming artists who have gotten big. Who’s the one to watch right now?
DJ Carnage. He lives across the street from me. He’s very rich and he’s headlined Tomorrowland. He’s been making music for like two years, he’s been signed, and he’s gonna be on the radio. He’s the only artist that I’ve ever met that can hold a top five position in hip-hop on iTunes and also a top five position in EDM during the same week.