Arguably the best drummer in dance music, KJ Sawka of Pendulum & Destroid, has just had a great 2017. Coming off a stellar headlining tour that spanned the nation and a set that was one of the highlights of Lost Lands, not to mention reuniting Destroid and touring once again with Pendulum, KJ is coming into 2018 with his head down and his eyes on the future.
With his tour schedule currently taking a break, he’s focusing more on production and his own Impossible Records label – but he’s still got shows coming up in the two bass capitals of the US: Los Angeles and Denver.
The Denver show at Beta Nightclub is tonight, so we thought we’d catch up with KJ and see what’s been going on with him and what we can expect later this year.
So first up, you’re playing Denver tonight, one of the bass capitals of the US. What kind of set can we expect from you?
I’m gonna do my new Octapad live set with loads of new bangers and weird shit. A raging and twisted set of Destroid, Pendulum, Impossible Records and KJ live editions and vips. I have so many unreleased WIPs that I’m super stoked to play on that sick ass sound system designed for maximum BASS!
This is actually a sort of one-off set since your headlining tour just recently finished. And another set was just announced for Los Angeles. But what was the most memorable set of the tour?
I’d say NYC’s new Bassment at Slake nightclub. That got extra rowdy and had so much energy. That new, little sweatbox of a club knows how to throw down. I got to play my full drumkit on that one. It was lit fam!
Speaking of the tour, one of the stops was Excision’s festival Lost Lands. You played a KJ Sawka set, and then also reunited Destroid for an epic set. That had to have been an awesome moment, right?
I mean, Lost Lands was one of a kind, especially becoming really good friends with Terri the teenage Tyrannosaurus sitting by the backstage coffee stand. We write music together now. But anyways, it was way beyond any of my expectations or imagination. I couldn’t believe Jeff pulled it off in such a way. It was great to do my solo drumkit set next to all the riddim family. It was a change of pace and the crowd seemed to love it. The Destroid set was literally LIT. As most saw in the press, we almost burned the stage down, and for a second, I definitely thought I was going to die. I was imagining my super hero alien suit just melting on my skin, then dying. I mean, if I was gonna die, that would be an epic way to go!
And Sullivan King came out during the set too – is there something going on there with Destroid, or maybe just KJ Sawka?
Sully and I have seem to really hit it off. We have many things we are working on. We are releasing something special for the community next month!
Moving onto your other band project, Pendulum, can you tell us anything there? Rob tweeted something about possibly splitting the album into EPs, but fans don’t seem very down with that. He also mentioned a remix album.
Honestly, I have no idea what is happening. I’ve done some great drum recording thus far but there are no dates or anything that I know. Pendulum writing process is a very secretive and special thing. It really does make everyone go crazy not knowing, but that is kind of exciting, especially these days, where there is so much transparency with the DJ and band processes.
Any new KJ Sawka originals?
Yep, new tune with Architekt coming out next month on Play Me Records called “Hold the Lighter.” The remixes of my tune “Face Crack” are dropping this month. I have loads of bass music dropping early this year, but I’ve been putting a lot of energy into my new secret project, that I’ll reveal very soon!
Any tracks we should look forward to on your Impossible Records label?
Yeah, we just dropped Rise at Night VS Mayor Apeshit’s Vapours EP yesterday. [Read our review here.] We have about 6 big tunes slated for the next couple months so far. We found some new talent that we can’t wait to share with the scene. 2018 is gonna be a big year for Impossible Records. Producers are working hard and the scene is more than ready for it.
Also be sure to check out KJ Sawka’s latest drum cover of Celldweller’s remix of Pendulum’s “Propane Nightmares” below!
Photo via Rukes.com