The man we’ve already featured this week has something more for us. We’ve just had our first interview with Mr. Fatty Knuckles, and it was incredibly eye opening. He’s a guy who shoots from the hip and isn’t afraid to tell it how it is. He also happens to be a very talented DJ and producer. Check it out.
First though, listen to his exclusive Music You Need mix and a couple other tracks!
First of all, I gotta know, why Fatty Knuckles?
HAHA. The real question is why not? It actually doesn’t have any meaning outside of the obvious which is the fact that I’m fat. It’ has it’s moments though, like when people try and use that fact as an insult, i get to say things like wow, you’re so astute!! DERP.
What got you into music and production? What about bass music specifically?
Production was just the next obvious step after djing with other peoples music. The thing about bass music that draws me to it is it’s higher production standards than most of the popular electronic styles of music and the bass it’s self, there is nothing quite like the feeling of a rolling sub bass line. I can’t stand the high pitch sounds the majority of “edm” artists use, it’s like people go out of their way to make music that’s bad for your hearing, to me it’s like nails on a chalk board. I like my hearing and it’s a very important part of what I do.
Where are you from originally, and how has that influenced you in your music?
Born & raised here in the Santa Maria valley, a place where on any given night you can hit any bar or “club night” and hear the same thing you heard 50 times that day on the radio and at every previous night for the past year, it sounds like hell for someone like me and it is but, it helps me in my quest to sound as different as possible plus it’s a great excuses to get out of town. On the up side, when i started djing house music was the biggest form of electronic music in the area, house was what I started out with & has influenced my style of djing with the long blends and eq swaps ever since.
What is one thing people should know about you?
I don’t sugar coat things and people hate that.
What are your thoughts on the expanding EDM scene in general, and more specifically, in SLO?
Personally I feel when something is produced on a mass scale it loses quality and music is no exception. There is a LOT of really shitty songs coming out by people that wanna be “famous now” instead of taking time and learning how to make something original sounding but, that is mostly in the more pop culture driven styles like electro house or dustup. For a short time I was playing around with some of it just for variety & to use it to ween kids onto other styles with multi genre sets but, it was so hard to find tunes in those genres I liked because so much of it sounds the same or is just noise… I don’t have that problem with dnb at all though, or the other styles I dab in like garage or deep/tech house. #ahigherstandard
SLO is an interesting town with pros and cons like any city. On the downside it’s a college town with a lot of YOLO SWAG BRO’s that aren’t very open minded and like rave pop but, on the upside there are some VERY wonderful and open minded people that make it all worthwhile. Some of the best experiences djing have been in slo and with other artists living there.
What was the scene like when you were first getting started? What did you like most about it back then?
A LOT smaller haha. When I started out it was in the time of all vinyl, there were cd players for djing but they were NOWHERE close to what you have today, you couldn’t scratch or anything like that with them and they didn’t support mp3′s. My favorite thing about those times were that only 1 in 20 to 30 heads were a “DJ” and the fact that you had to seriously hunt for music, we would have to hit LA or the bay to find records, also the ratio of good to shit tunes was way less because it wasn’t the pop culture cash cow it is today… but my absolute favorite thing? All vinyl. I love records, there is nothing like the warm rich sound of a record with the little pops and clicks of the needle floating over it.
Who are your favorite current artists and how do they motivate/inspire you?
Damn this is a tuff one.. currently I’m really into the sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell, Amoss, Calibre, Spinline, Logam & this new artist on BR_LTD named SoveX for the deep groovy vibes and Noisia, Maztek, BLE3K, Billain, Neonlight, Blokhe4d & Evol Intent for the more up front dance floor vibes. My favorite local artists are Josh Payne aka Dionysius, DJ Lawrence aka Vice Versa, xWFUASGx, & FreakyBro.
Where else do you draw inspiration for your tracks?
Natural ambiance like the wind or the ocean.. the earth is full of rhythms, you just gotta listen.
im a big fan of Musique concrète(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musique_concr%C3%A8te) I use sampled sounds like live claps, leaves crunching, hand tools like scissors and ratchets for percussion type sounds. I’m trying to lean away from using high pitched sounds like hi hats and crash’s. I also find inspiration in things like color, shape, texture, geometry, graffiti, science, sea life, outer space & 8/16 bit video games.
What was your favorite place to perform and why?
I’m a home body, my best work behind the decks has always been at home in the lab with no one there to hear it or in a small session with other close dj friends but, if I had to pick a venue I would say a tie between the old lazier tag arena in the sm mall ElectroLytic Productions used for it’s breast cancer benefit party “Bass For Boobs” & Cloud 9 Hookah Lounge in sloe, last summer i did an every other friday night downtempo session with guests like Luna Jay, xWFUASGx, Kali Devi, Tony Fuze, such great vibes in that place and so many amazing styles we got to play with that you rarely if ever hear in SLO.
Tell me about Black Reign LTD.
BR_LTD is a digital release(for the time being at least) label that specializes in the deeper, darker, near side of dnb featuring works from artists like BLE3K(US) Undersound(UK) DBR UK(UK) Maztek(Itialy) Sub:Stance(UK) Rico & Scoop(UK) Bionic1(Sweden) Imprintz & Kloe(France) Task Horizon(Switzerland) Dementia(Germany) operated by my good friend and production partner Celerity, it’s a sub label to Black Reign Recordings which has been around for quite a while and a sister label to big boss Mike Brown’s Point Audio, which is more on the liquid funk, atmospheric jungle, downtempo vibe.
What’s next for FTK?
At the moment I’m helping Celerity with some basic label operations and learning how the game works as well as some consultant/promotion work with Bring The Vibe events. Eventually I will get around to finishing the huge collection of unfinished projects sitting on my desk top but, who knows when that will be.. My next step djing is going to be perfecting the 3 turntable set.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Do it with passion or don’t do it at all.
Connect with Fatty Knuckles