A new wave of genre bending bass music has started to take over the underground scene in Northern California. It’s glitchy, it’s dubby, it’s trappy, and it’s been driving people absolutely wild. One of the most prominent artists responsible for driving this movement forward with his amazingly creative and hard hitting music is G Jones. Since 2012, this Santa Cruz native has been shaking up the underground scene something fierce, and in no time at all has risen to become one of the Bay areas hottest artists. Recently, his latest album Eyes, along with uniquely diverse collabs with Bleep Bloop, Grimblee, Mad Zach, & the Widdler have been receiving massive support from big names like Zeds Dead, Dj Shadow, Nastynasty, & Pretty Lights. When he plays live, no G Jones show is ever the same, his on the fly remixes and breakdowns of his own music keeps the crowd on their toes and begging for more long after he’s done.This is one artist that you will definitely be hearing a lot of in 2014 and beyond as his relentless rise to stardom continues at a startling pace. We recently had a chance to sit down with G Jones and ask him a few questions about his music and blossoming career. Check out the interview and some of his latest tunes below. Don’t sleep on this wildly unique new artist!
How long have you been making music? What got you started?
I started making music by writing songs on guitar when I was like 9, and then started making music with a computer when I was 13 by recording myself playing guitar and drums on Garageband. I got into music because my brother was into alternative rock music and played guitar, and I thought that was really cool. I started making ‘purely’ electronic music (just using software synths and drum samples) when I was 15 or so.
What do you use to produce & perform?
I use Ableton Live for both. I use almost solely Ableton’s built in synths/effects in my productions. My live setup is a sort of DJ-style set, in that I mainly mix using 2 audio channels and then have several more channels of acapellas, drum loops, risers, 1 shots, drum samples, etc.
Describe your music in one sentence.
Trippy, broken beat bass music.
You’ve become known for being uniquely genre defying, do you have any advice for artists who are trying to break out of the mold?
I think its a good idea to just make the kind of music that you enjoy most and that comes naturally to you. For a long time I worked mostly within genres (ie: making nothing but 140bpm dubstep for a few years). As I got tired of only producing/playing/hearing that style of music I started branching out more and taking influence from other styles I liked, like juke and hip hop. Now I try to take the ideas from all styles of music I like and use it all as inspiration to make something that is unique and maybe a bit bizarre, but also hard hitting and dance floor oriented. I guess my only advice is just to be open to making tunes that are a bit out of your ‘comfort zone’ and not be afraid to try something new.
How long does it usually take you to make a track?
Not very long. When I have time to produce music I usually write at least 1-2 songs in a day, and go back later to decide which ones are really worth fine tuning and releasing. Usually my songwriting process involves messing around with random sounds until I get some kind of inspired moment, usually discovering a cool melody or hook or drum pattern or something, and from that point I can usually write the overall progression and song structure within 2-3 hours. After that it can take as long as a few weeks or as short as another hour or two to get all the details (transitions, mix down, etc) cleaned up, and then it’s done.
Who/What inspires you to make your music?
I’m mostly inspired to make music because music makes me really happy, and producing beats is pretty much my favorite thing to do. I’m inspired by all kinds of music, from stuff my friends make to stuff I grew up listening to. Recently I’ve been really inspired by the sounds of UK Grime.
Tell us about some of your upcoming releases.
Right now, no official releases announced but I have a ton of new material I’ve written in the past 6 months or so that has been accumulating, so there will probably be another G Jones EP out some time in the first half of 2014… otherwise I have a few free things coming up. I just finished a remix for a few dutch artists called Jailo and Kappa Kavi which will be coming out on their Saturate Records EP soon, and also will be dropping a bootleg I did of a Wiley track next month via Slit Jockey Records.
If given the opportunity who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
So many artists… a few at the top of my list would definitely be DJ Shadow, Mr. Carmack and Rude Kid.
What do you like to do when you’re not in the studio?
If I’m not making music I’m probably either playing shows/traveling, in school, or chilling with my girlfriend. I’m a senior at UCSC right now so it’s a bit chaotic juggling finishing college with touring and writing new music, but in a few months I will have a ton more time to work on music and hopefully some free time so I don’t always feel super busy.
You had the opportunity to play at Burning Man last year, tell us a little about that experience.
I’m part of Camp Questionmark at Burning Man, and this was my 3rd year going with them. Camp Questionmark at the burn is probably my favorite place to play music ever. We bring an insanely huge PK sound rig and build a huge scaffolding fortress that basically looks like an epic bass castle on the playa. I played there twice this year, once on Thursday night by myself and then again on burn night as a vs set with Minnesota, which was definitely one of my favorite sets I’ve ever played.
Do you have any specific plans for this festival season?
Lots of dope ones that I can’t announce yet!
Interviewer: Theo Newhall