By: Alicia Egan
Inspired by the likes of Skrillex and other metalheads who’ve opened up into the EDM space, the long-haired, inked-up, Skyla and Chad of Blackburner are coming to us with their latest project, From Dusk to Dub released on Cleopatra’s imprint label, Hypnotic Records. With many multi-genre artists trying to get a piece of the “EDM” pie, Blackburner is simply adding to their existing musical repertoire with their latest album release. Having met in Los Angeles a few bands ago when they were involved in the bands Killingbird, founded by Skyla, and Scum of the Earth in 2005 which featured former Rob Zombie axeman, Riggs, these guys were determined to bring the aggressiveness that is signature of metal and fuse it with the the hard-hitting bassy sounds characteristic of dubstep and trap.
With appearances from the likes of Kurupt, Pusha T, and Lil Wayne, to name a few these guys are certainly on the forefront of the beautiful fusion that we are witnessing as genres collide. Blackburner is currently on tour and will end in Atlanta on August 3rd.
1. What are your thoughts on your recent album release, “From Dusk Til Dub”?
It’s kind of a little different, we always try to change up genres. Obviously, a little less of the metal influence on this new one, but you know, we’re working with some good hip hop artists but, I mean, it sort of just evolved from where it started but, we’re kind of more experimenting with the genres. It came out great, ya.”
2. You had some big names on your EP, like Pusha T, Kurupt, and Lil Wayne – Did you actually collaborate?
The way it works now is we send files back and forth and stuff. Some of it was done like on tour and stuff, but ya, it came out great.
3. How did those initial collaborations even happen, especially considering you’re coming from a few different genres?
I had a friend, a couple of guys really, experimenting, wanted to try something new, wanted a new sound, so they got in touch with us, went back and forth, and then came up with those tracks.
It seems like a lot of folks in the hip hop and metal worlds and trying to come into the electronic music space…
Ya, totally, everybody is.
4. Do you guys do all original production?
I mean ya, we have certain sounds that we go back to using and stuff, kind of the blackburner signature sound. Kinda use some of my own samples and stuff. It’s all original, except for you know, a few remixes we do obviously. We like to create our own samples sometimes – that’s what we do on the road sometimes, we’ll get on a little recorder and just kind of make some new sounds, some crazy stuff on our days off. It’ll start from there, and come up with a new idea. That’s kind of how it started from being on tour, being in rock n roll bands, there’s always a lot of down time. There’s always somebody missing so we’re on our laptops, synth out, making stuff ourselves, not relying on somebody else in the band. There’s always the band members that don’t show up to rehearsal, or just go home from touring.
5. We saw your pictures, with the death bunny costumes — explain.
We actually had the logo first. We got together with some artists, and we had the logo done with the rabbit idea. We thought it would be a good idea to actually look like that somehow on stage. We actually started out with gasmasks first, and we threw on some bunny ears and messed around with that. Then we got together with a special effects artist in Los Angeles who came up with this. We went back and forth with the designs and came up with like an alien-bionic bunny mask. It’s not very comfortable, but it looks cool right? We can’t see a thing, we unplug stuff a lot, we fall a lot, but it’s fun, it’s super hot, but it keeps us in shape.
6. What are your future plans? What do you guys envision for your sound?
Sell millions and millions. We keep evolving each record, with a little different flavor to it. Production-wise, the sound came out great, we’re super happy with it. The next one? We’re kind of already working on stuff, but we haven’t had any days off yet!
7. Is there anything else we should know about you guys?
No. Nothing. I think they should know less. Most of them don’t know what we look like. We try to keep everything sort of anonymous. There’s not much mystery left anymore with Twitter and Facebook. You can talk to whoever you want now, but we don’t answer back though, we’re rude. Ya, we’re just going to stay busy and tour and as soon as we’re done with this tour, we’re going to get ready to book another one and go back out and just keep playing.
8. What did you guys eat for dinner tonight?
Greek salad (Skyla) and a turkey sub (Chad) . We begin the tour healthy, ending tour, White Castle! We try to be kind of healthy. Try to stay vegetarian for the most part at least. I was vegan last tour, that was rough, it’s hard on the road. Someone always like, “we got this free food, we got this free pizza!”
9. Do you guys have any roadies with you?
No, there’s really nothing to move. There’s really just a couple of things. It’s way different. A lot of DJs nowadays they don’t realize, they didn’t do the band thing, so now they’re like, “I gotta bring my own CDJs, what??”, and the next thing you know, they don’t want to tour. They just want to bring and SD card. They’re all spoiled nowadays. We’ve toured in bands where we’ve had to carry stuff. And we’re like, “What? That’s all we have to bring?”, we’re happy.
Article By: Alicia Egan
Photo Credit: Peter Chiapperino