Herobust Makes You Go "WTF" In Exclusive iEDM Interview
Herobust, the bass producer from Atlanta, is a legit G. He gives you that "WTF" feeling you are craving. Once you get a taste, you'll want another. And another. You'll love it--trust us.
“We all know the feeling," Herobust tells the world. "That drop that comes along and wrecks your mind."
Don't say we didn't warn you in advance. Sit back, and enjoy life lessons from one of the realest guys in the room in this exclusive interview.
iEDM: What was it like playing at the tenth anniversary of Electric Zoo?
Herobust: It was awesome. I played E-Zoo during one of my earliest years on tour.
iEDM: Do you remember what year it was?
Herobust: I don't recall what year it was, but I remember playing 11:30 AM.
iEDM: I had no idea that they opened up the doors that early back then.
Herobust: Nobody did, haha. So I showed up, at 10:45 in the morning going, "I'm going to play." I was in the hospitality area, and people were telling me, "Yeah, I don't think that's correct." I was like, "It's on the flyer. Hello, I'm booked."
Herobust: They checked, and they couldn't believe it either. They went, "Okay Yeah...I guess you are playing here that early." People were there; I don't know if they knew who I was, but they were there. Those were the early days.
iEDM: Putting everything into perspective--I know a lot has happened since then, were there particular moments that stand out in your development as a producer?
Herobust: Yes and no. I think something like that, when it happens to you, is so hard to believe that you can really only understand it in brief moments. Have you ever had a moment when you thought you understood something about the universe, but then you lose it?
iEDM: Yep. That's what keeps me awake most nights, between you and me.
Herobust: Haha, so to be honest, the fact that people incorporate my music into their lives, and people across the world know what Herobust is, while connecting with my music...that is so hard to believe. That it's happening to me. I can only understand it in this weird, brief moments. I'll see a YouTube video of a DJ playing at Lollapalooza. I'll go, "Oh fuck. I am nervous for that guy. Look at the size of that crowd. What if he f*cks up in front of all those people?" And then I realize, "Oh sh*t, that's me." You know what I mean? In the moment, I'm not nervous at all. In the moment, I'm just focused on putting on a good show, and exuding the right vibe that I think is going to get the most out of this crowd. I'm not nervous. I'm focused on doing a good job. It's only after the fact, in those brief moments, where I kind of get that third party perspective where I realize, "Whoah, these things are happening to me." I don't know.
iEDM: I was totally following along. You seem to have this confidence that not everyone has. Do you think having that added layer has always been the case for you? Or, did it develop over time?
Herobust: I don't know if it's due to the confidence. I think I was really fortunate that during my very first show, I had a really good experience.
iEDM: I would love to know more about it. I'm all ears, man.
Herobust: Sure, it's a great story! He's a friend, now. He promotes all sorts of shows in Atlanta. He primarily does noise rock, or instrumental hip hop. Things that are good to do drugs to, I guess. That's his strike zone.
iEDM: Fair enough.
Herobust: I had these friends who were in high school. They were always in bands. They knew I was a producer. They grew up with me in Atlanta. They knew that, and way later in college they would go, "Hey. We have this show. Do you want to play?" I never played a show in my life. I was like, "Yeah! I'll play a show. Let's do it." So they tell their friend, "Hey! We have an act to play a show with us. Book us, and we'll throw him on it." The promoter doesn't look at my MySpace at the time. He doesn't look at anything. He goes, "Sure. I'll take your word for it. He's on the show." The show is a monthly event called Free Acid.
iEDM: I'm afraid to ask.
Herobust: It's a noise rock event where if you show up, random people get dosed.
iEDM: Do they pick names out of a hat or what?
Herobust: I'm sure it's a matter of consent. If you show up to Free Acid, you're more inclined to say yes.
iEDM: That makes sense.
Herobust: I don't know what this event is. My good friends ask me to show up, and I did. I show up, and it's noise rock. Like Wall of Sound shit. I'm like, "This is cool. I like all sorts of music. I appreciate all kinds of music. This is not what I do. But, we'll see what the second band does." It's the same sh*t. Same sh*t. More same sh*t. Same sh*t again. Eventually, you start feeling the vibe getting weirder and looser as the whole acid thing happens. I play last. I get up, and set up. There's all the live drums. The amps. I was playing a live set. I used to play a live set. I would be so passionate that I would play experimental, down tempo, "Flying Lotus" style music. I would do the drums, and play the bass line. The crowd; I don't know why...I think honestly, I approached the show in a very loose way. The pressure was off. I wasn't being compared to a bunch of other artists. I just already knew, "This is already weird. And funny. These people aren't supposed to like what I'm doing. So just go out there and do your thing." They really gave me lots of good feedback and enjoyed it. Believe it or not, I had fans at my first show that knew my music from the Internet. They showed up to this small bar. That blew my mind. I still know them, personally. They are good friends of mine. My first fans ever! They are my dawgs.
iEDM: I love that, man. So many people forget where they came from.
Herobust: Those guys showed up to my first show. As much as I can't believe what's happening now, nothing, no achievement in my career has blown my mind more than two actual fans showing up to my very first show.
iEDM: Those are the people you always remember.
Herobust: I'll never forget those two. They are insane.
iEDM: Let's switch gears and talk about the dance community. I feel people are particular about what they like, especially on the Internet. As far as your career goes, has your experience been positive with Internet fans? Do you read your timeline on Twitter? I know producers who totally ignore their social media. Others, I feel get sucked in by comments that are put out there by strangers.
Herobust: It's a complicated relationship.
iEDM: I love your Twitter feed. It's very "you." It's very entertaining. I was going through it, and the reason why I wanted to sit with you is because you just kind of have a laugh with it.
Herobust: Thank you! Personally, I don't feel like I do a very good job. It's difficult. What ends up happening is, most of the feedback is going to be positive. People will write, "This song is a BANGER! Fire emoji; whatever." Right? So you get a ton of those, right? But for every 100 of those, you get one piercing, just negative comment. What happens is, you uncontrollably wind up responding to that one, and not the 100 positive comments. It's very easy for an artist to say, "You know what? I open up my feed and look at my mentions. I never experience the positives. I only experience the negative. So, it makes no sense for me to subject myself to this. I'll tune it out." The problem with that is that you are robbing yourself, and your real fans from the opportunity of having that connection. By all means, I would love to just bury it, and not deal with it. But, I don't want to have that disconnect between me and my fans. Do I think a lot of fans know about me, personally? I think, no, actually. I don't. And I don't know how to bridge that gap. It's something that came to me recently that I want to do. So much of what a lot of people do on social media is reaffirming the pedestal of what people put you on. People want to believe that this DJ is all about the party; the girls, and the drugs, and all of that stuff. There's a lot of pressure on you to reaffirm this pedestal.
iEDM: To live up to the status that other people pin on you.
Herobust: Exactly. Everyone has to deal with that same kind of pressure. I feel like me, personally...I'm ashamed to say this--I play it safe with my socials. Because of that, I don't necessarily think my fanbase knows that much about me, personally. I'm trying to figure out a format where I can convey that to them.
iEDM: So I have two questions based off of what you just told me. My first question is that don't you think that gives you a kind of mystique in a crowded market? When you pullback, more people are curious about what you are about.
Herobust: Let's talk about the aspiring producer. I could only connect to the aspiring producer sif I wanted. If I neglect all the fans who don't creatively contribute that way, I'm only connecting with one tenth of my fanbase.
iEDM: Have you ever thought about doing a podcast or radio show?
Herobust: I guess I need to man up, and put myself out there in that way. I've gone to house parties and would play after putting on a show. People would go, "Whoah. You are really humble. It means a lot that you showed up and took the time to do something like this." I've also had an equal number of people who would ask, "Wait. You have time to do this? Where are all the girls? Where are all the drugs? You're not who I thought you were. I'm really disappointed." All I'm saying is that creates more pressure to continue to be that character in order to keep other people happy. Because they need someone else out there who is living that life. That's essentially what it becomes. My favorite brands, and artists, are the ones that have more personal connections to people. At the end of the day, I have to take that step for myself. If I lose some fans that want that, that's okay, because that means they weren't the best fans.
iEDM: Continue focusing on the people that will love and support you. Is there anything else that you want to blast out there?
Herobust: We dropped the single, "WTF." It's becoming an anthem. To get that kind of respect from my peers is just one of those unbelievable moments that I can't totally understand, but I know it's cool. I'm just trying to keep it, "me." No trends. It's going to be different, and I'm having fun with it.
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