When word went out that the percussionist/producer known as KJ Sawka was locking horns with the dark and spooky trio known as Hi I’m Ghost for Kannibalen Records, we knew we were in for a raucous head-banging treat. While KJ Sawka is perhaps best known to bassheads for his role in superstar projects ranging from Pendulum to Destroid, there’s no denying that his ability to bless each and every project he surfaces on with an unmatched fury is legendary.
Enter Misfits, an epic four-track collaboration with rising bass stars Hi I’m Ghost. Packed with a heavyweight dose of adrenaline-fueled bass, the entire EP is designed to put a little extra pep in your step as you dive head-first into the rest of 2019. Consisting of Nathan Davis and Tiago Nunez (with their mysterious counterpart Ghost guiding their every move), we thought the release of the chest-thumping dubstep and trap-infused EP was worthy of more than a little love from the Bassrush fam so in proper cheeky style we sat both crews down for a little head-to-head conversation that had us grinning from ear to ear.
Check the epic interview below and since KJ Sawka x Hi I’m Ghost’s Misfits EP is out now on Kannibalen Records, you best wheel up and lock yours in here.
KJ: Which one of you is a ghost, or are you both ghosts?
Ghost: I’M THE GHOST WHAT THE HELLL. Those other two are my WORKERS.
Tiago: There’s only one REAL ghost…and he’s the little pale annoying one always bossing us around.
Nathan: Neither of us are ghosts. Ghost is the ghost. [Laughs]
KJ: If you guys were animals instead of ghosts, what animal would you be?
Tiago: I’d be a ferret honestly. You never really see one standing still for too long which is exactly what I’m like.
Ghost: I’d be a lion or like a super-fast cheetah. I don’t know something really fast and cool.
Nathan: Well if I wasn’t a ghost and I could be an animal it would 100% be a warthog.
KJ: Have you ever been to the Original Pancake House in Chicago?
Nathan: Yes, I have. It was way back, I don’t remember the year, but my dad was on tour and had a show there and we checked it out.
Ghost: What’s a Chicago? But I do love pancakes, when I was able to eat them, when you know I was alive and stuff.
Tiago: NO! But I’m headed to Chicago soon so I might have to check it out!
KJ: How long have you been producing?
Ghost: I don’t need to produce. I have those two working for me at all times!
Nathan: Five’ish years.
Tiago: Ten whole years of noise making and manipulation.
KJ: What is your favorite type of music to listen to, and produce?
Tiago: Besides electronic music, I LOVE reggae and metal. I listen to a lot of rap but historically it hasn’t been my favorite. Something nobody would know is I have a secret passion for smooth jazz. And to produce I’ve always had a good ear for 4×4 type music like house, electro, etc.
Nathan: My favorite type of music to listen to is probably bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Interpol, a bunch of that type of stuff. To produce, recently the more instrumental tunes we’ve been making.
Ghost: I only listen to spooky music, like every Halloween song ever made EVER—and Journey.
KJ: Ah, I love how you guys know Conspirator. I joined the jam band Conspirator in 2013 just after an epic 16 months of touring with Pendulum. Conspirator is comprised of Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of the legendary jam band the Disco Biscuits and the epic guitarist Chris Michetti. It’s a passionate bunch of boys, so one morning driving to some gig in Boston, Marc and Aron were having a tiff so bad that they started fist fighting in the van while driving, stopped in the middle of traffic and threw the keys 100 feet away. It was epic and helped fuel the music, sort of.
I only listen to spooky music, like every Halloween song ever made EVER—and Journey.
Nathan: What’s it been like touring all over the world and what advice can you give to us newer kids trying to figure it out?
KJ: I love touring, it’s my favorite thing to do. I have so many juicy nuggets to share but here are three short ones. First, check your ego at the door. Second, keep focused on making timeless songs. Three, be a conscious human that is fit for 2030, meaning stay healthy, keep away from health-deteriorating substances, work your body, eat right, don’t shit the bed, don’t piss in hotel closets, no gossip, be professional, punctual and be a great company.
Nathan: What got you into drumming? What kind of bands did you play in coming up?
KJ: My brother got a guitar, so I wanted to play something as well. My uncle had an old drum kit, so I bought it from him with my hard-earned paper route money. Primus, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Rush, Dave Matthews Band, GnR and Mötley Crüe were all huge influences on drumming and music. And my all-time biggest inspiration: Phil Collins.
Tiago: I love drums and general percussion, so I’d love to know who your favorite drummer is.
KJ: Phil Collins.
Tiago: If you could work with one artist dead or alive that you haven’t worked with already, who would it be?
KJ: Phil Collins.
Tiago: Been a fan for years of all your work, qnd even knowing you personally, I don’t know what you do in your spare time, assuming you have any at this point. What’s your favorite hobby?
KJ: For years it was boxing and martial arts. It’s a bit tough on my hands these days so I like long walks on the beach and bubble baths with my dogs.