He's currently crossing North America with his massive "Freaks of Nature Tour" and has also just announced that his sold out performance at the Staples Center in L.A. on Friday, July 27 will be streamed live via Youtube, and recorded as a DVD.
Kaskade spoke to us while on the road on and told us why he feels sub-, or, micro-genres should be done away with, his view on why the first wave of EDM in the early 2000s didn't take off, and how Paris Hilton's DJ tour really doesn't bother him at all.
What exactly is EDM?
It's a blanket statement. It's good for people who haven't been entrenched in electronic music for a long time. They don't have to know the difference between moombahton, dubstep, house, progressive house, and electro house. We needed some kind of word that people can grasp onto. EDM is just as good as any I guess. It works.
How do you feel about micro-genres?
It's just people with too much time on their hands. I'm always like "Who cares what it's called? If it's good, if you like it, why do you care what it's classified as?" I think it's more of a marketing tool than anything. Sometimes the audience gets too caught up on it. There are so many people coming to electronic music right now, I'd rather just put the music out. Don't worry about what to call it, just enjoy it.
You recently released a drum 'n' bass remix of Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" on Soundcloud and in the comments, you wrote "If pop music could only sound like this all the time." How do you feel about pop music right now?
I feel like pop music is super-formulaic and ripping off the underground so hard. They're basically copying a sound that was big underground five years ago. To me it seems very passé and not very forward-thinking. I think the last pop act to be forward-thinking was Nirvana. Where are those guys right now? We need something like that, a breath of fresh air. Pop music is a bit stale right now.
But you could argue that people are embracing EDM as pop music now.
They are for sure. Here in the US we don't have much radio play outside of David Guetta, so I feel that's the final frontier, but people are recognizing the crowds that we are attracting. Which is similar if not bigger than what pop acts are doing.
I'm playing sold out shows to auditoriums like the Staples Center. Pop acts are doing this with millions of dollars in marketing and a huge radio push, but I don't have any marketing! I think they're really paying attention to that, and trying to figure out how they can cash in on it.
It seems like electronic music is getting a second run at popularity since the early 2000s rave scene. How's it different this time?
I don't think it was fully cooked at the time. The first wave had Moby, Chemical Brothers, and a handful of others. There wasn't enough artistry at that point in time in the late-'90s when things were bubbling up.
There were only a handful of guys that were doing something interesting enough to cross over. Whereas now, so many guys are doing cool things in this space. I think that if they had the right partners, their music could get to a really wide audience. It's like connecting the dots. For me, it's no surprise that electronic music is as big as it is. I always felt passionate for it, but I didn't know how big it could get.
As big as Paris Hilton DJing?
Every time something gets this big, people see opportunities to exploit it and there are many out there.
How do you feel about what she's doing as a DJ?
It doesn't really bother me. I remember back in the '90s there were a couple of porn stars that started DJing, and some would DJ topless. I feel like it was very entry level, like, "Oh, I have some songs and I want to play them."
But I have three busloads of people on my team, and I'm playing all original content that I've written over the last seven albums that I've written and produced. [Paris] is a much different act than what I'm doing.
I think that's why Deadmau5 is making so much noise. I think what he's trying to do is make a distinction. Although you call me a DJ, and Paris Hilton calls herself a DJ, the title DJ probably isn't important to what I do. It doesn't bother me because I grew up listening to this and honoring the craft and art. It's not something that's so simply understood. I write and produce all this music. She's just going up there playing hits. It's much different.
Where do you see the current interest going?
I think it's going to continue to grow now that the cat's out of the bag. There's an active audience that wants to keep hearing this stuff. The audience will grow and we'll enjoy a nice time at the top here. As far as where I see myself in the future? I don't know. I'm enjoying the ride, but as far as longevity, hip-hop has enjoyed decades at the top. I'm not sure electronic music will be anything like that. With modern day technology people's tastes and trends move a lot quicker. For me, I was doing this when nobody was listening as a kid in Chicago.
I'm going to do this regardless, because I love doing it. If I have to take a part-time job to supplement my income because music won't support me, then so be it, but I'll just keep doing what I love.