WEGL had the absolute pleasure of conducting an on-site interview with dubstep legend, Borgore, earlier this month at the third annual Shaky Beats Music Festival held in Atlanta, Georgia. Borgore is a man of many talents, and this is evident from the minute you hear him live. Borgore bends and exceeds any fan expectations through his ability to curate multiple genres into his sets as well as through his multi-faceted discography. We had the chance to catch up with Borgore about his newest jazz release, Adventures in Time, and what he’s got planned for the rest of the year.
C: Okay, so obviously, it’s a little bit different to be coming out with a jazz album considering everything else you’ve put out. So what was the inspiration behind that?
B: To me, it wasn’t very different because I grew up on jazz. My whole career was parallelly working with my time off. On my time off, I listen to jazz and I play jazz. I just feel like electronic music is very… like party music? So when I hear, like, you said you went to that Herobust show… I love Herobust, his songs are incredible. I love playing his stuff, he’s a very talented person. But for me, it wouldn’t be the music that I listen to at home. It would be the music that I play at a rave or would want to hear at a rave, or the music I would play when I want to dance or go harder. When I’m at home, I like to listen to jazz. Just because, I love people when they go home, they listen to the other side of electronic music. Like the more chill stuff I guess? I find that the chill electronic not as complex. I need something more intriguing. And jazz is very complex.
C: So coming from that, what challenges did you face producing this album as opposed to music you’ve come out with in the past?
B: The challenges about writing and mostly recording his album is when I write electronic music, there’s so much room for error. When I write something, I can always fix it. I write a little chord progression, I mess up the second cord, and I go there and I fix it. If the keys are wrong, I can move the keys. If I played it wrong, whatever. When you record live instruments, not just jazz, but any live instruments, there’s no room for error. Whatever you play, that’s it, you know? Um, so that was the main struggle. Besides that, I don’t know. I love that people when they listen to the album don’t understand how difficult it is to play it because I love things that are in really weird time signatures. We in the Western society are not very accustomed to this. When you go to India or Africa, they are leaning to different stuff, not 4/4 or 3/4. These are the common rhythms we know as Western people. The reason the album is called Adventures in Time is because it’s in different time signatures. So, keeping up with the weird time signatures was a little bit of a struggle, but we went through it. I think it came out better than I thought it would. We had a live show I was very nervous about, and I actually… I don’t know where I got this energy from, but I think I played 10 percent better than I play when I practice. I got some energy out of nowhere. All of a sudden, my hands were faster, my thinking was brighter, everything was clearer. It’s really interesting music.
C: When you play, or when you played that set live, do you improv at all with your jazz?
B: 100 percent! I think that every jazz artist has that standard in jazz. Everyone freestyles. You play the song, and then everyone takes their solos. The easiest way to explain solos in jazz is freestyling rapping. There are people that come to a jazz show prepared, but a lot of people don’t. I didn’t come prepared. There are some phrases that I naturally go to, just because they’re in the back of my head. There are some melodies that I would always kinda play because… yeah. Uh, hahahaha… but 99 percent of it was improvised, and that’s the hard part, but that’s the fun part.
C: So with a tour coming up, are you planning on incorporating any of this into your sets?
B: I wish. But as I said, A: there’s not enough energy in jazz to dance to it as I feel. Again, there’s a time and place for everything. There’s a time and place for dubstep, which is, Shaky Beats on the dance stage. There’s a time and place for jazz. You know, in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, it was a dance and this is what they danced to. They didn’t have subs. They didn’t have synths. Now, I think it’s more of a sit back, have a drink, appreciate it. I really want to play more jazz shows though. I really hope that people will be open minded about coming to a Borgore jazz show. I’m not going to wear my rave outfit, I’m going to wear a nice little tuxedo, and have a cocktail or two, and just listen to music.
C: So I just went to Buku Fest in New Orleans and I know you were there… jazz is pretty big there. It would be phenomenal to get a jazz show there or something. So what else are you looking forward to this year now that you’ve got this new album out. What’s next for you?
B: I don’t really know… I mean, I always tour, I haven’t been off the road for ten years. I always tour, so there’s nothing besides that that I look forward to. I look forward to everything, I look forward to every show. They’re all important, there is nothing special coming up soon. But at the same time, I’m not very… I don’t plan my things, I’m very spontaneous. If you asked me a year ago if I would come out with the jazz album, I would probably tell you I don’t know. So I don’t know what’s next. I’ll sit in the studio tomorrow and whatever I come up with is whatever I come up with.
C: About how many artists do you have signed on to your label as of now?
B: A million, ahahaha. We have so many. We don’t put people on contract. I think we’re one of the only labels that lets artists keep most of the royalties. We aren’t aggressive about royalties, we aren’t aggressive about anything. There’s no 360, there’s no ten-EP deals, there’s no album deals, there’s nothing. We’re very chill about everything, and we have really good people too. There’s two labels, Buygore and Fresh Blood. Fresh Blood is all the riddim stuff.
C: If you could tell your fans any one thing, what would it be? What would you want them to take away from you, your sets, and your message?
B: I have nothing to say. I’m just thankful. Ten years… and I don’t know. Keep having good times I guess!
Photo credit: “Courtesy of aLIVE Coverage for Shaky Beats Music Festival”