For Colorado's annual celebration in honor of smoking the ganja -- known otherwise as the twentieth of April to non-imbibers -- Rusko (aka Christopher Mercer), the renowned dubstep producer hailing from England, is bringing his production to 1STBANK Center, along with DJ Shadow, Paper Diamond and Pictureplane for the second annual Levitate Festival. We got a few questions in with the whomp purveyor and chatted him up about American dubstep, medical marijuana and his new idea for a music video.
Westword: The new video for "Skanker" is calling for submissions with your best dubstep dance. How do you think the dubstep scene has changed over the years, and what is it that you are trying to capture for the video?
Rusko: Dubstep has definitely gotten much larger over the years, especially here in the states. It's quite amazing, actually, to see all these kids getting down to dubstep. That's why I thought it would be fun to get them to submit for the video to see the different ways fans dance to dubstep!
How do you think the scene in America has evolved -- or devolved -- the dubstep scene?
With larger crowds at these festivals, it's naturally pushed dubstep to go "harder" and heavier. There have been some great tunes that have come out of this process, but there have also been some terrible songs that have come out of it.
You've been bringing your sound over to America, as well as collaborating with Cypress Hill. Tell me about the convergence of hip-hop and dubstep sounds, and what you would like to do next.
Yeah, I'm real excited to get out this EP I have with Cypress Hill. It will be coming out around late May on Co-Op. The project just came out real naturally; the guys were open to experimentation, which is always a plus. I would love to keep working on new music projects/releases.
You've gained increasing popularity with your unique underground style. Why do you think it has taken so long for dubstep/electronic music to infiltrate the mainstream?
Mmm...if we're talking about mainstream in America, I think that electronic music has been a "black sheep" for many years. I never knew "rave" or "raver" as a negative term until I came to the States. In the U.K., kids have grown up listening to electronic music, hearing it on the radio, etc. But the scene is definitely different from when I first moved over here.
I followed your tweets during the Snowball Music Festival. Can you fill me in on what it was like playing in the snow?
Ha, ha -- it was really crazy! I've never done that before, and to have the stage outside with a bunch of ravers was an experience. To fight the cold weather, I just had to get more energetic!
Rusko at Red Rocks last May with Disco Biscuits.
Can you list for me your top five concerts that you've attended, not played, in the last six months?
NOFX is the only concert I've attended in the past six months.
In Colorado, 4/20 is like a holiday, seeing as how we decriminalized marijuana in certain instances. What are your thoughts on medical marijuana, and would you qualify as a patient?
I, of course, support medical marijuana, and I am clearly a patient.
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