On the heels of a cinematic soundtrack album and a European tour ahead of him, veteran musician and producer Gramatik threw down a high energy show that set the bar for an unforgettable Bonnaroo weekend. We were able to catch up with him after his set to hear firsthand about the experience of playing on the farm, the last couple months and what’s up next.
How was your first Bonnaroo show and how did it stack up to other festivals you have played?
“I gotta say, it was way beyond what I expected. I thought it was gonna be a chill opening night with a couple of thousand people, I had no idea that many people would show up on a Thursday! The energy was really spectacular, it blew me away. They say there was over 30k people at my set, spreading all the way into the woods and even though I couldn’t see past the tent, I could definitely hear everyone every time they started screaming, the loudness of the roars was overwhelming to say the least. The Bonnaroo experience is definitely high up with all the other leading world festivals I’ve played so far.”
You brought the homies from Cherub out to sing the song “Obviously.” What is it like preforming with them on stage?
“They are just a force of nature! I love them so much and every time they happen to be at a festival same day I’m playing, it just makes my whole night so much better knowing they will jump on stage with me, no questions asked, to obliterate the crowd with Obviously. When I play that song without them, it just straight up sucks to me, I always think, oh man, if this crowd only knew how much more fun this song really is when Cherub is on stage.”
You recently scored and produced the short film “The Condor.” Can you tell us a little about how that came about and if we should expect to see more film collaborations from you In the future?
“It was a project written and directed by my girlfriend, Nina Varano, who also stars in the movie. I’ve always had a strong desire to be involved in film in all possible ways. I actually met Nina on the set of my first cinematic endeavor, which was the music video shoot for Brave Men (yes, she’s the fight club chick) and it was kinda love at first sight lol. She had written the script for “The Condor” a while before we met, she showed it to me one day and I knew that this was the next project we had to do together. It was also a perfect story for me and Luxas to test our scoring abilities, since the two of us have been dreaming about scoring a Fincher-type movie since forever. Nina has a masters degree in cinematography from AFI and she also writes on the regular so definitely expect more “Cinematik” stuff from us. It’s definitely a future we are trying to build for ourselves.”
We recently saw a video from your most recent show at Red Rocks, where you and the attendees were quite literally caught in a snowstorm. How was that experience?
“It was pretty insane to say the least! I still can’t believe that actually happened! It was a sunny day at soundcheck and by the time I had to go on, we were caught in a raging blizzard! Red Rocks is unfortunately booked over a year in advance and so am I, so there was nothing for us to do but to go out there and play for the 10k people that showed up, and keep playing until our gear dies. We covered the whole table with a plastic tarp which successfully protected our computers and gear from the snow and it was by far the toughest set I’ve ever had to play, but it was epic and fun at the same time. We ended up playing for 1h10mins before the city of Denver shut us down for safety reasons, so the people can get down from Red Rocks before the roads are totally covered in snow. It will always be one of the most memorable crazy experiences of my life that I will never forget.”
Your two good friends Gibbz (on guitar) and Russ Liquid (Trumpet and Sax) played with you on stage all night long during the Bonnaroo set. Should we expect to see them with you this summer on tour?
“Yes, absolutely. They are playing all the summer festivals with me in US and EU. We are having way too much fun playing together.”
The record label Lowtemp that you created, hosts some very talented artists who collaborate frequently. Do you encourage cross collaboration between the artists on Lowtemp?
“Without a doubt. Collaboration is what music culture is all about in my opinion and even more so in EDM, so we at Lowtemp encourage that actively. Amazing things happen when talented artists get together and fuse their unique musical perspectives into a song. It’s one of the most exciting prospects of music for me.”
For more on Gramatik’s tour, click here