Chances are that if you’ve been involved in the EDM scene for more than 5 minutes, the name Datsik resonates with you on some level. Troy Beetles, otherwise known as Datsik, is the 25-year-old wunderkind producer who’s taken the world by storm over the last 5 years with his hard-hitting, chest pounding tunes. With the recent founding of his record label, Firepower Records, and subsequent release of his new album in September, it seems that Datsik is trying to progress into something that’s not only bigger, but badder as well. So, in preparation for the Indy stop of his Most Wanted Tour this Friday (11/8), we sat down with Troy to learn a little more about the producer. This is what we got:
Wes: Going back to the beginning, do you remember your first show?
Troy: The first show I actually played as Datsik I went out of town for. We drove to this city called Penticton that’s about an hour out of my hometown. A bunch of my friends came with me and we got to the show and I started playing before I realized that it was a Hells Angels bar. You know, the place was packed, all my friends were there and everyone was going crazy. The bouncer came up to me when I was playing and was like, ‘You gotta change this shit, these guys don’t want to hear this.’ And I was like uhhhh okay. They had brought me from a different city to play at this this club -and it was my first gig- so I was like whatever I’m just going to keep doing what I do.
The bouncer came up a second time and was like, ‘You gotta change it or we’re gonna kick you off.’ And I’m like ‘okay’, so I just kinda kept playing a few more songs. The third time he comes up he rips the cables out of my laptop, throws them to the side and shit, and I get kicked out of the club. Everyone was booing the bouncer. So I basically just walked, so embarrassed because it was my first show and I got kicked out of the club, you know? But everyone who was in the club, on the dance floor, ended up walking out behind me. So the Angels ended up getting the music that they wanted to hear but the club was empty.
But its like, when that kind of shit happens, it doesn’t really get any worse than that. So it’s only uphill from there.
Wes: When you step out onstage, what’s one word to describe your mindset?
Troy: I guess just like, GO. When I get up there and play my first song it’s like go time. I start jumping around like crazy and having fun, everyone’s having fun too. So when I get up there I guess its just like, step on the pedal.
Wes: Describe your dream show for us. What would it be?
Troy: Probably a giant dark warehouse with 200,000 watts of sound. All homies. Just have it dark and be able to play all of the deep crazy shit. That would be my ideal dream party. Coming into a show where I’m headlining, people are always expecting me to throw my bangers. I do that, but I always find time some time in my set -like in the middle- to go into some deeper shit. But I would really like to play a full deep set, just to see how that goes. I feel like it has to be the right setting, though. People have a short attention span on a Friday when they go to a club. I want it to be a little more out there, like some secret bush party rave or something, like under a bridge where it’s all dark with a massive sound system. That is the ideal setting for me, and hopefully one day I’ll get to play another party like that again.
Wes: Switching gears a little bit… What’s your creative process like? How does your writing process start?
Troy: It kind of just happens when it happens, I don’t really have a set format for how tunes get started or finished. I find that the more I try to force myself, the less productive I am. I take that for what it is, so when I’m feeling it I write something and bang it out rather than force myself to sit down at my computer and come up with an idea. That way, I’m a lot less stressed out and when I have some time off and I’m not producing I can have fun and enjoy it. It’s a good balance.
It all depends, though; sometimes I’ll find a really cool sample or noise and I’ll build a track around that. Or, sometimes I’ll write a cool drum loop and go from there, and I find that I do a lot of that kind of shit on the plane. That’s kind of how I’ve always done it.
I’d like to start trying to write songs without doing any electronic stuff. It’s cool to write a full piece of music without including any electronic synthesizers or anything; just write something on the piano and make a track from there. I always get too ancy and as soon as I come up with a cool melody I’m like, ‘Awh man I gotta throw some bass or some sick drums over this!’ I think that if I get a handle on that it will help me progress in a different way.
Wes: Are you working on any new projects that we should know about?
Troy: Right now we’re doing a bunch of collaborations on the bus. We’re gonna be doing a Most Wanted LP after the tour, and its basically got a bunch of collab’s between me and Funtcase, Antiserum X and Mayhem, Sub Antix; everyone’s just been collaborating. We’re going to put together one dope EP and drop it after the tour.
If you don’t know already, you’ll be able to catch Datsik, Funtcase, and Protohype this Friday in the Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre. Datsik recently released his newest album, Let It Burn, for cost ($6.99) or free at www.firepowerrecords.com. With his record label firing on all cylinders, a new album out, and a corresponding North American tour to back it up; it’s safe to say that you’ll be hearing a lot more from this producer in the near future.