Dubstep DJ Doorly: "Everyone Goes Mental"
If he isn't too busy running his own record label as well as heading his own underground radio station in the UK, Doorly can be found creating his classic beats and touring.
Now he's back in the U.S. on tour for the first time in half a year, and performs Saturday night at new downtown spot Kryptonite. Rocks Off spoke with the DJ about EDM's progression from the UK to the U.S., as well as his recent work with Beardyman.
Rocks Off: I love the classic sounds you produce, however I think we can both admit that dubstep has progressed to a different sound today. Even from the UK to the U.S. there are different sounds. What's your perspective on the rise of EDM in the U.S., and what do you think of the younger producers and DJs in the game now?
Doorly: I've been coming to the US for about five years now. It was always a struggle at first with the music that we're [DJ's] making, bass music and such. It's just gone mental. It's unbelievable really.
Only Americans can seem to do it like that. They can take something that's really good and starting off and then turn it into a multimillion-pound business. It's changed quickly, just in the space of about two years. It's just gone mental.
Everybody here [U.S.] is a DJ now. There is a lot of competition now. It's really healthy. There's just no where else in the world where I've seen it this healthy.
RO: Do you view the younger DJs and producers of really having something and adding to the genre of music or is it more competition, since dubstep has progressed into a raunchier and rougher sound than it originally had been. It may be hard to believe for some people in the U.S. that dubstep wasn't originally the sounds were here from Skrillex today, but what do you think?
D: It's honestly healthy competition. Unfortunately, what's bad about it is there are a lot of people just copying others. There are just loads of young DJs copying what they are hearing some of what the bigger guys doing. And it just starts to sound the same.
But then there is a lot of really good stuff coming through as well. There are some amazing sounds. You need a lot of steady competition to keep things moving forward. That's what it's like in the UK. There have always been a lot of people trying to find new sounds and stuff.
Everybody seems interested in DJing, so it's great because there will be some really great things. But you do have to be so good to get noticed in the America these days.
I've just always done my own thing. I think coming from the UK I'm just naturally going to make a different sound than over here. Less aggressive, but I welcome it. It's just great. I welcome it. It's just nice to see everyone so into it over here. The crowds are nuts and everyone's just so happy.
RO: I can say personally I started off in the EDM scene within mash-ups, then house music and slowly but surely built my way up to dubstep. I do see the scene being taken somewhat from the underground scene to the mainstream. Is that a good thing or is that potentially ruining the subgenres of EDM?
D: No, no. I hate when people get all down about it. Usually you first discover it when you go clubbing. You take it really personally and take ownership of it. As soon as it gets really popular it kind of frustrates kids because they feel like they've lost control of it and it's gotten too big for them.
It's a shame that that happens. But that's just a sign of the music being good and everyone liking it. It's a great thing that certain dubstep producers have taken their styles into pop acts. There's always going to be good underground music. There are always going to be good people that make good commercial music as well. It's not hurting anybody, honestly.
All this kind of hatred in Skrillex kind of winds me up as well. Because he's not trying to lose a certain audience; he's just done something really really well. It's incredible if someone can bring our music out to that big of an audience.
It's great for everybody. It means our shows are now bigger, because more people are into the music. They want to discover more. It wasn't this easy five years ago. I couldn't play dubstep in America; people just didn't get it. Everyone is into it now because of some of the bigger guys making it more popular.
RO: I do have to admit that when I moved away for college and left Houston there wasn't much of an EDM scene. I come back after about one or two semesters visiting and the scene in Houston just exploded. Sometimes at shows now that I go to you can barely move. Now of course everyone manages, because dancing is a must.
D: The good thing is...so there are these big popular ones and then there is still space for the underground scene. And then of course there are the stadium ones where the big acts go to. It's good to know that there is always a scene for everybody. It's great.
RO: Now I've listened to you and Beardyman's recent work. I watched the music video as soon as it was up on YouTube and I literally started laughing my ass off. I don't know if everyone will get it. I got the joke. Could explain the production of that song, and the humor reflected within the music video?
D: So the song is just something that Beardyman came up with. He came up with the idea and it was just quite funny. The way he described the dubstep bassline. It's all just a bit silly really. We both like dubstep and we're both stand for what it is.
There is a lot of comedy, rubbish dubstep out there that's just a bit, well kind of annoying. So we just figured let's do a song poking fun. The video itself, I didn't have anything to do with it. I was away on tour. So that was Beardyman who did all of it.
When I came back, I thought it was hilarious. Funny enough it was one of the most aggressive things I've ever made. So I guess I showed that I can make that really loud noise just as anyone else. It was just a bit of funny really.
It's been received pretty well. Some people are overanalyzing the video a lot more than it was intended to be. It's just literally puppets in the video just messing around. One of them was a vampire. I read the YouTube comments and some people were thinking the vampire was supposed to be Skrillex and they were saying Skrillex ruined dubstep.
I was like, "what are you on about?" I had to go on YouTube and answer all these comments. I was like, "look guys stop." You try making a puppet that's a vampire that doesn't look like Skrillex a tiny bit. I mean he does have kind of a goth look. At 1:21 the vampire is trying to DJ and couldn't do it. And people were saying that was Skrillex failing at DJing.
I was just, "try to make that puppet." Really try to make that work. I just don't get it. I was such a point of debate. Some people weren't getting the main idea of the video or song. It's crazy to me what people will write on YouTube. It's just weird to see how people take a video totally out of context.
RO: I got it. I was just laughing at the tombstone that said, "R.I.P. Dubstep 2004-2012." That was pretty funny to me.
D: Haha. Yeah, I think Beardyman even said that was a joke about how people are saying it is dead now. We don't think that. Clearly we're still playing it. It was just humorous.
RO: You haven't been back to the U.S. in about six months or so. You're finally back. How does it feel to be back?
D: I just love it here. I need to move here really. But got to get everything together in England so I can move out here really. There's no hatred here. You're a positive race you Americans are. I enjoy that kind of energy.
RO: Houston is your last stop on the tour. I'm kind of interested on that one. I always feel that the last stop should always go hard. So how's this last stop going to be?
D: I tend to go hard pretty much every night. I love it. I even have a friend in Houston. I figured Houston is just a good way to finish it. I love Texas in general. I've never had a bad show in Texas.
Everyone goes mental. It's just great. Texans seem to like to party. Never once have I had bad show or experience in Dallas, Austin or Houston. I'm really looking forward to it.
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