[INTERVIEW] Blanke And Casey Cook Break Down Their Emotional Melodic Bass Anthem, 'Crashing Hard'

Blanke, Casey Cook, Crashing Hard

| November 10, 2023

Known for his electrifying style of production and thrilling live sets, Blanke has risen as a one of bass music's most prolific artists. Now, he is returning to melodic bass with an emotionally charged collaboration, “Crashing Hard.”

Centered around the beautiful and heart-wrenching vocals from singer-songwriter Casey Cook, this track reflects the mix of emotions that Casey experienced during a defining life moment. Released on Monstercat Instinct, it follows up Blanke’s Monstercat debut with “Used To Losing You,” a collaboration with helloworldLuma, and JT Roach, and “Talk To You (feat. Sofia Quinn).” 

We had the pleasure of chatting with Blanke and Casey on the brand-new single and the inspirations behind it. On top of this, Blanke shared some incite into his upcoming inaugural-label EP on Monstercat, Emergence.

Check out this exclusive interview with Blanke and Casey Cook below.

 

iEDM: What phrase or line in “Crashing Hard” do you personally resonate with the most and why? Is there a specific memory or feeling that this song sparks when you listen to it?

Blanke: The whole pre-chorus (“And all I want is here tonight, cause holding you is paradise…”) feels so ridiculously emotional to me, especially knowing Casey’s story behind the words. It feels deep, and multidimensional.

The lyrics and messaging mixed with that chord progression and drum line gets me every time. The mixture of love and pending loss is such a visceral feeling. Casey really shone through all of this. 

Casey: Really hard to say. There are so many lines that resonate but the first that comes to mind is the second verse. “When the water falls and the pain is calm, I’ll walk right through the silence and find a new horizon.”

At the time I wrote this song, I knew the inevitable was coming; my dad’s last days were around the corner. I knew that everything leading to our final goodbye would be messy, filled with a spectrum of emotions. But after the chaos subsided and with time, I would breathe again. I would carry on. 

The bittersweet truth is that the world keeps spinning but every day is a chance to start again, to find new light. I remember tearing up writing these lyrics, visualizing what was on the other side: peace.

iEDM: “Crashing Hard” explores emotional depths amidst new love and challenging moments. What production techniques did you utilize to bring this emotional narrative to life?

Blanke: Crashing Hard”’s production on my end is all about supporting Casey’s voice and putting her on a pedestal. Making the music feel as big as her message was my aim and I did my best to do it justice. I made it as deep and powerful as I could with multiple layers of synths, atmospheres, and guitars to create a wall of sound to bring it to as large of a climax as possible. 

Casey: The initial demo I made for this song was completely stripped. I recorded my vocal, a couple background vocals, and accompanied it with a lush piano sound. I wanted to convey the intimacy in the vocal and let the vulnerability in the story speak for itself.

I recorded this the day before I left LA to be with my family, and if I had more time I might have included other elements, but the delicate nature of the song felt right to stay stripped. 

 

iEDM: The songwriting process for “Crashing Hard” seems deeply personal. How did the sentimental backdrop of the song impact your creative approach?

Blanke: Casey’s lyrics had been a perfect inspiration to create from. When something has such a deep and sentimental story behind it, it’s impossible to create something mediocre. Trying to elevate her voice was the inspiration for me. It was an amazing experience. 

Casey: I had no clue what this song would be when I sat down at my piano. I just began playing and pouring out my heart, breaking down while my lyrics formed in real time. It was very free-flowing with the chords and melodies mimicking each other, almost like a dance answering my own questions and finding hope in the middle of a dark time. Writing this was extremely cathartic.

 

iEDM: One element that makes “Crashing Hard” unique is that it touches upon contrasting emotions. How did you balance sadness and happiness in the track’s composition?

Blanke: Writing this type of music can be so liberating with the amount of range we have access to musically and sonically. Different musical elements and chord progressions dancing against each other can create vastly different emotions. 

To me, the music and melodies feel hopeful. The fact that the sadness seeps through the almost joyful melodies in parts just adds to the multi-layered and multidimensional meaning to the record. That push and pull, the way the dark peers through the light, it is what the song is meant to do, to show the complexity of life and our emotions through our experiences. 

 

iEDM: How did you balance sadness and happiness in the track’s lyrics?

Casey: Being caught between two very strong, polarizing emotions, I found myself going back and forth in my head. While I was devastated that an ending would come, there was a beautiful new beginning unfolding in front of me that I couldn’t help but acknowledge and feel deep appreciation for. 

Balancing sadness and happiness is part of the mystery of life. It’s in this kind of moment you realize you don’t know ultimate bliss without ultimate sorrow. And having someone to hold you through it all is everything.

iEDM: What motivated you to return to your anthemic-melodic side with “Crashing Hard” after your previous releases with Monstercat?

Blanke: I’d been wanting to explore more into my melodic bass side again; I had not visited melodic dubstep specifically for what has felt like a long time. I feel really at home in this genre and this was a perfect opportunity to dig back in, and I'm so happy with it. More of this to come…

 

iEDM: Can you tell us more about the sound and themes we can expect from your debut Monstercat EP, Emergence, arriving next year?

Blanke: Emergence is an exploration of my creativity in dubstep and bass music for me. There was a period of time when I had been creating anything BUT dubstep. I felt removed from it sonically. I didn't know who I was in it, and I had found I needed to rediscover what that genre meant to me. 

Recently, I delved back in and found my footing. It was a strangely personal journey, but finding the joy in writing music again was extremely motivating and liberating. 

 

iEDM: You have ventured into different sub-genres within electronic music. What can we expect in terms of genre exploration on your upcoming EP?

Blanke: The EP has dubstep, melodic bass, and a cheeky bass house tune with an upcoming artist as well! As I mentioned, I was in a phase of rediscovering what I loved about dubstep and bass music in general, and these records were some of the first that I had truly found joy in creating again. 

There is the aggression and heaviness I adore in dubstep, in addition to melodies and grooves. As well as influences from trance and my roots in rock/metal which I am looking to explore more as well. 

I am really happy with how it all came together. The people I worked with in the EP are so incredibly talented. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with them and create this modest body of work. 

BLANKEiEDM: The forthcoming EP is titled Emergence. What does this title signify for your music and artistic journey?

Blanke: Emergence is touching on what I have stated previously about the rediscovery and journey through not only music but my creativity. Also, it reflects coming out of a turbulent time of my life where I was having to rethink a lot of aspects of myself. 

The music from this EP signifies a new chapter and emergence from this former phase, a shedding of skin. The artwork is also a symbol of this as well, with messages of new growth. I will talk about this more as time goes on. But for now, I would love for you to interpret it how you will.

 

iEDM: From performing at iconic venues and festivals worldwide, how does the live experience influence your music production?

Blanke: The live experience has influenced this EP a lot actually. I wanted to create something that was more dancefloor focused than some of the music I had been producing prior (that has not been released). While being dancefloor focused, I do not think it actually comes across that way. 

These songs are obvious DJ tools. There are ebbs and flows, melodies and emotions, mixed in amongst the heaviness that has worked well at my live shows. I think finding the blend of all these aspects has been a huge goal of mine for years. 

I want to be able to convey emotion and meaning while also having the cut-loose feeling of wild dance floor ‘bangers’ for lack of a better term. While I think I have a long way to go, subtly in the balance is what I strive for. 

 

iEDM: What are some standout moments from your headline runs and performances at events like Monstercat’s ADE showcase, along with playing two sets at Lost Lands this year?

Blanke: Playing TWO sets at one of the biggest festivals in the country (Lost Lands) was a massive highlight for me. Being recognized for Blanke as well as the new drum n’ bass alias ÆON:MODE is crazy to me and I feel very privileged to have had that opportunity. 

I also just played a Monstercat headline show in Tokyo Japan which is one of my absolute favorite cities in the world. 

iEDM: What is in store for your fans at upcoming shows, including Home Bass Festival and Ember Shores?

Blanke: Lots of new music including sneak peaks at the EP records, new collaborations, new remixes. As well as new drum n’ bass ID’s that I have been working on with some of the biggest artists in the scene. New visuals for the show will be premiered in the new year, along with announcements of some of my biggest headline shows to date. 

I have been holding off for a while, but I can safely say that the next 6 months includes A LOT of new and exciting music and announcements. 

 

FOLLOW BLANKE: 
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

FOLLOW CASEY COOK:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Photos courtesy of Blanke and Casey Cook.

 

Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!

 

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CONNOR PHILLIPS

Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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