Borgore’s new album The Art of Gore is a triumphant compendium of all the best parts of the unpredictable and endlessly fun artist’s style and substance. Crafted as a chronological memoir-in-sound of his own life and career, the album tells the story of all the things that have been important to Borgore in the 13 tracks contained therein. It’s a milestone not only for Borgore but for bass music as a whole. There is not and there will not be another album like this out in all of bassdom but hey, that’s Borgore for you: he not only marches to the beat of his own drum; he sets the beat and the tempo for the rest of us to follow.
As The Art of Gore marks ten years of Borgore’s touring life and is a reflection of all he’s done and learned, it’s fitting that he also marks this journey with an epic performance coming up at Bassrush’s own Escape: Psycho Circus. Bassrush are honored to host the Goremaster along with the rest of the massive lineup on October 25-26 and we were equally excited to sit down and get Borgore’s thoughts on both the album and the shows. He gives great insight into his process and his perspective on performing live, so with no further ado, here’s ten questions with Borgore on The Art of Gore and ten years of touring.
Right from the title track, your new album Art of Gore makes a strong statement and it just continues from there. Was it a conscious decision to mash up so many strong points on this album to tell a story?
This album marks 10 years of touring for me, and what can be a better intro to an album than what I see as a really condensed biography? In a way, it’s kind of the chronological story from my beginnings to where I am right now.
Most of your fans who have been around a while know about the irony around what’s said or the images in your music but in this album it’s quite clearly stated just for anyone who didn’t understand. Why was it important for you to really put things out there in this album and talk about it all in the way you have?
I don’t really plan or make decisions when I write music, it’s just whatever comes out, that comes out. Every song kind of relates to something that happened in my life and this album relates to my life in the past couple of years, for the most part.
Speaking technically for a second, it seems like with this album you’ve used a lot of fun vintage techniques to put the tracks together, like in “Tetris” and “Come Over.” What motivated you to add in these throwback bits?
I feel like this 16-bit type of sound is something that I always had from my very first songs, through deciding the chords in my latest album. Again, I don’t really think about what I’m going to do when I write, it comes out naturally, so I guess that’s what my ear keeps taking me back to.
As far as throwbacks, I always try to push my sound forward and keep up with what’s coming. But some of my previous styles will always stay the same, that’s what makes my signature sound. And finally about the diversity, how many other EDM artists jump between metal, hip-hop, and releasing a jazz album? I’ve always been diverse, I’m a true music lover and a musician. I don’t stick to one sound and I do whatever makes me happy.
Despite all this diversity, it seems like this album was put together to be listened to start to finish as its own cohesive work.
That’s exactly what I was going for. I was making an album the proper way, an album that you listen to from the beginning to finish, and it’s a great ride. I grew up in the age of buying a CD and listening to it for four months because you couldn’t afford albums more than once every few months. Back then it wasn’t worth your money to buy an album for one song, you would look for an album where you could enjoy five or six tracks at least, and because of growing up like that, that was always in the back of my mind working on this project.
How was that balancing act in terms of making something with so many styles also seem like all the tracks really went together?
The process for me took a long time. Some of the songs on this album are three or four years old. I just kept writing music and whatever didn’t fit the story came out as a single or didn’t come out at all! Unlike my colleagues who release an album that is just one sound and after hearing one song you have heard them all, it was important to me that the listener will be surprised and excited for what the next track is going to sound like.
There are lots of great dance anthems on The Art of Gore of course but with your shows do you feel like you also want to bring that diversity of sound that’s on the album to your live performances?
When I write music it’s very important to me to be able to play it at my shows but I keep “shooting myself in the foot“ with some of the songs I write, so I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate some of the songs into my live show. Going back to “Forbes,” I never thought my 114 bpm would be the biggest song I ever wrote. Do you know how difficult it is to mix a song at 114 bpm? There is no genre at 114 bpm, maybe besides really slow techno or fast mid-tempo, and even then it doesn’t sound like “Forbes” at all.
That moves us into talking about your performance at Escape this weekend. You always have a strong visual element to your shows and Psycho Circus has its own crazy aesthetic. How are you working with the event coordinators for your set so you can be comfortable working but also give a good show?
I have amazing team, Insomniac has an amazing team, and they figure it all out. All I have to do is write music and give a great performance.
Since playing at a big, themed festival like this is a bit different than the average set, how do you feel like you can express yourself while still moving the dancefloor?
I always express myself regardless of the size of the show or the event. A big portion of my set is my own music and that is essentially me expressing myself.
Who are you personally looking forward to seeing at Escape?
Honestly the line-up is so great! I’m excited to see Excision because I haven’t had a chance to see his set in a while, and I feel bummed that I can’t stay for the second day because there are so many cool acts!
Are there any hints you can drop about how the visuals will look or any other surprises for your set at Escape?
I’ve been working on bringing some old classics back!
What’s one thing you’d really like fans to take away from both your album and your live performances this year at Escape and beyond?
I think the album and the shows are two separate things. The album is very versatile, eclectic, hitting lots of different emotions, feelings and genres. My shows are always hard, unless I specify I’m going to play something else.
Borgore’s The Art of Gore album is out now on his Buygore imprint and can be purchased or streamed on multiple platforms here.