I think my generation has a bit of a soft spot for the sound of trap music.
With a rise to the top that has been swift and well-deserved, the unique and innovative sound of G Jones continues to impress and draw the attention of heavy-weight legends like DJ Shadow, Bleep Bloop, and most recently Bassnectar, who invited the Santa Cruz-based artist into the lab with explosive results.
“Literally one day he followed me on Twitter and sent me this message: ‘What Up G Jones!!!’ Turns out he had been listening to my music for a bit and wanted to get me as support on some of his shows. We started chatting more and I started sending him my unreleased tunes.”
It didn’t take long until Bassnectar and G Jones began working together, first with G Jones killing it with his official remix of Bassnectar’s “Don’t Hate the 808” and then more recently with “The Mystery Spot” featured on Nectar’s recently released Into The Sun album. It seems to be a match made in studio heaven as “The Mystery Spot” quickly shot to number one on the Billboard Dance charts.
Still riding on the glow of his recent success, Bassrush sat down with G Jones himself, getting an exclusive first look into his forthcoming That Odd EP in the Pit of My Hard Drive project as well as sharing in the excitement for his performance at this year’s historic 20th Nocturnal Wonderland festival.
Describe a typical day in your home base of Santa Cruz?
Wake up, feed the cats, do a few emails and social media stuff, walk by the beach to Verve Coffee with my girlfriend, come home and start making beats, then pretty much work on music until dinner time. We like to grill a bunch of food and then I either work on tunes again or have some beers and play Nintendo 64.
With your penchant for twisting in sounds from various corners of dance music, can you give us an idea of where you’ve been drawing influence from for your forthcoming EP That Odd EP in The Pit of My Hard Drive?
This next “EP,” if I can get away with calling it that since it’s 10 plus tracks, has a pretty huge array of influences. Some of the tracks such as “Broken Glowsticks” and “Ned Flangers” are definitely influenced by my love of old rave sounds and trying to recontextualize those sounds into contemporary, hard hitting bass music. Others such as “Verve” are influenced by the wonky, unquantized, half-time bangers that guys like Carmack, Alix Perez and Ivy Lab are making these days while tunes like “Lavender Town” and “That Odd Feeling in the Pit of My Stomach” are influenced by my love of minimal, trappy beats.
Ultimately, it’s a huge mix of sounds and ideas and influences with tunes that range from grimey, 140bpm instrumentals to 170 bpm unquantized beat music to experimental, half-time 120 bpm weirdness.
Where do you see trap-influenced sounds headed in the future?
I think my generation has a bit of a soft spot for the sound of trap music, having grown up surrounded by rap music on the radio and MTV. When trap first hit in the EDM community, it was sort of a response to the tear-out dubstep that was so popular at the time. People were getting tired of hearing screeches and transformer noises at 140 bpm and wanted to hear something equally bass-heavy but with more space and minimalism. Most of the first trap beats to get popular in the EDM scene were really minimal beats—for example Baauer “Dum Dum.”
The trend in the past two years or so has definitely been moving toward trap beats with more synth heavy compositions, similar to the kinds of synths you hear in big room house but with a less minimal and more aggressive sound like heavy dubstep. Personally I have always loved the really minimal and dark trap beats that have a ton of space and not much going on besides a heavy 808 kick and a few weird sounds on top. I doubt if trap as we know it today will have the same kind of popularity and trendy appeal in a few years but I think the overall influence of trap music and hip-hop in general will continue to influence electronic music for many years.
Was incorporating analog gear into the EP part of this same impulse?
Yes! About a year ago I purchased my first analog synthesizer, a Moog Sub37, and have been using that on most tracks going on the EP. It’s an incredible instrument and has totally changed the way I approach writing music.
Aside from your new EP, we thoroughly enjoyed your work with DJ Shadow. Should fans expect to hear a follow up EP from Nite School Klik?
Shadow and I definitely intend to collaborate on more music as Nite School Klik, so expect more from us in the future. Whether it will be in the form of an EP or a single or a remix, I can’t really say—it honestly depends on a lot of factors, mainly Shadow’s availability, as he is a really busy guy. We are both really excited about the project though and definitely intend to work together more in the future.
Your recent guest mix for Plastician on Rinse FM was pure fire. It’s refreshing to see you exploring all realms of bass music, especially with the grime you’ve been dropping in your sets. Who are some of your favorite grime producers at the moment?
A few of my favorite grime producers are D33co, Swifta Beater and Faze Miyaki. These guys are all masters at making these really heavy dark 140 bpm beats and I love it.
Do you feel the American audience is finally taking notice to the style?
I think American audiences are definitely taking notice of grime in a big way. It’s dope to see artists like Skepta seeing such huge success and also seeing grime artists cross over with American pop music and EDM like Skepta’s collaboration with Drake or Skrillex making tunes with guys like Foreign Beggars and Tempa T.
I have definitely noticed in my sets that people seem to be warming up to grime. I’m certainly getting a better response these days when I drop grime tunes versus when I would a year or two years ago. I hope grime really hits in America and starts to see more mainstream airplay!
“The Mystery Spot” with Bassnectar is such an amazing piece of music. How did that song come to life?
Basically, Lorin [Bassnectar] was like, “I want to collaborate with you on a tune, and hopefully put it on my next mixtape.” After that, I started messing around with an idea on my synthesizer, sent a little clip over to Lorin and he loved it. We sent the project back and forth several times developing the idea into a complete song and after a few weeks of back and forth, the tune was done!
Speaking of “The Mystery Spot” congratulations on having placed number one on the Billboard Dance charts. How did you first find out about the news?
Thanks! I saw that when one of the members of Lorin’s team tweeted it. I’m really honored to be part of such an awesome and successful musical project!
We can’t wait for you to join us Labor Day weekend for Nocturnal Wonderland’s 20th Anniversary. What do you have in store for the Headliners?
Loads of new music! Definitely will be playing new collaborations with Buku, Minnesota, Zeke Beats and Dabow to name a few, as well as unreleased stuff from my homies Eprom, NastyNasty, Doshy and more. Will definitely be bringing a heavy dose of weird to the party.
Are there any DJs on the lineup you hope to catch yourself?
I definitely want to see Hucci, Bassnectar and L-Vis 1990, to name a few!