Known for his hyperkinetic, genre-busting studio creations, the heavyweight sound of the Montreal-based Krimer found a home at Never Say Die early on and has thrived within the NSD family ever since. From his 2016 anthem, “Blow Up,” on through to his career-defining Krime Time EP last year, the neck-snapping, chest-thumping wizardry on display continues to get better with each and every release. “Bamboozle,” his latest Apex Legends-inspired single on NSD, continues the flex with hints of an expanding vision that incorporates his broader musical influences.
To get a glimpse into the method behind the dancefloor madness that Krimer is capable of inducing we thought we’d sit down with the man for an in-depth chat into the past, present, and future of his ever-evolving sound. With “Bamboozle” still cracking heads on the streets, be sure to download it here before diving into the proper Q&A below.
Tell us about growing up in Montreal. What kind of music do you remember hearing around the house?
I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life. I remember my dad listening to Al Di Meola, Chicago, Gentle Giant, Herbie Hancock, and my mom being a big fan of The Beatles, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon. At that age, a car ride was actually really fun. My dad used to be in a band (before I was born) playing guitar, and I have great memories of him playing guitar in the house. He doesn’t really play anymore, maybe once a year. That’s pretty much one of the reasons I started playing guitar when I was around 14, but it didn’t last very long. My grandmother used to play piano and was really into music. My grandfather is a big fan of country music which I hated when I was younger. Good old memories are coming back now.
At what point does electronic music enter your world? When do you remember hearing dubstep specifically and what was it about it that caught your attention?
Electronic music entered my world at a really young age. The first album I remember being into was in 1997 with The Fat Of The Land by The Prodigy. I didn’t really understand what electronic music was until a couple years later when I discovered (thanks to Napster, Bearshare and Kazaa) DJ Buzz Fuzz, Angerfist (Criminally Insane in 2002), and Outblast. That’s when I said to myself, I want to make this. I didn’t know what it was but I felt I needed to make music.
I got my hands on a cracked version or Reason 2.5 or 3, I can’t remember which one it was. The program ended up not working so I ditched the idea. I decided it wasn’t the time and it would come back eventually. Summer of 2008 is when everything changed. I was browsing YouTube and stumbled across something I’ve never heard before. The sound was just a new experience for me, dark and underground vibes. The song was “Oskillatah” by Skream. I was hooked. Then I found “Guided Relaxation Dub” by Borgore and then I fell into the YouTube rabbit hole for a couple of years listening to the likes of Funtcase, Cookie Monsta, and Doctor P.
Does DJing or production come first for you? At what point did you feel like you started to find some level of success?
Production was first. Didn’t really have a major interest in DJing. I remember sending my tune “Blow Up” to Snails and he played it at EDC, then Excision asked me for the tune, then SKisM, and so on. Then it was just a snowball effect and I even got a message from DJ Snake and I was like, Wow, I never thought this could happen. That’s when I realized I was probably doing something right.
Take us back to 2016 when “Blow Up” was getting rinsed by all the heavy-hitters in the scene. What was that like? We imagine it was completely surreal!
Yeah, it was pretty cool! It was literally my first tune that was getting a lot of attention and it’s funny because I almost trashed the project during the making of it. I sat down and wrote the song in a day, then just before going to bed I thought, “Wow, this is bad.” Woke up the next day and wrote a new version and that was it.
Flash forward to the present and NSD has been family ever since. How did you originally link up with the crew and how has your role within the fam changed over the years? We imagine you’re starting to move into a more mature place as an artist and as a mentor to other artists coming up.
It all started when SKisM asked me if he could get “Blow Up” and a bunch of other tunes for his set. He suggested I work on an EP, which led to the Blow Up EP. He liked my stuff and he was one of the first that really understood my music, if that makes sense. I instantly knew I was gonna be with him and NSD for the long run. They helped me so much with everything and the most important part is that they respect my art. I knew nothing about how the industry worked and fast forward to now, I look back and ask myself, “What was I doing”? No words can truly express how grateful I am. NSD is a family and I’m proud to be a part of it.
At this point, people often point to a signature sound but never quite describe what that sound is. For the uninitiated out there, how would you describe your sound and what, if anything, outside of dubstep does it compare to?
That’s a hard question for sure. [Laughs] I think it all comes down to the structure. I wish I could switch bodies with someone for a day and listen to my music. Every time I listen to my stuff I can only see the project file in my head. I guess I could say it’s a combination of weird, aggressive sharp sounds? There’s a ton of influences ranging from jazz, jip-hop, pop to gabber. I feel like it’s just a super huge hybrid thing that end up being dubstep. To me, it’s more like the way I want to hear music.
“Bamboozle” is a proper killer that continues to do damage on the dancefloor but, as always, there’s a little experimental flex in there where you’re pushing the envelope, especially towards the second half of the tune. Where do you place that in your vision of what you’re trying to accomplish as an artist?
The way I express myself is through music. I make pretty much any style of music I like but I mainly focus on releasing dubstep. “Bamboozle” is a good example. I’ve decided to do something different and that’s how I felt when I made the tune. I was in a bad vibe that day and I needed to create to get away from all that. I make music because it makes me feel good and I hope that anyone who listen to my music will feel better as well.
Now that 2019 is in full force we can’t wait to see what else you’ve got cooking in the lab. Give us a sense of where you’re headed in the coming year both as an artist, in your personal evolution as a human being, and of course, any big projects we should be looking out for.
I’m sitting on a lot of new music. I could release an EP tomorrow morning if I wanted, but that’s not my goal for now. I haven’t released an EP since the Krime Time EP in January 2018 and I’m cool with that. I’ve mainly focused on releasing singles, collabs and remixes and it’s still my main focus for now. I don’t want to pick 5 songs and just throw out an EP just for the sake of it. I want to take my time and make songs that are all connected together in a way that you’re not only listening to 5 tracks in a row but more like if you’re listening to a story, a journey. I guess it’s just the artist in me.
On a side note, me and Snails made a song and it’s coming out soon. You might have heard it in his set if you were at EDC this weekend. Other sick remixes are coming out soon but I can’t say more. On a personal level, I needed to take care of myself as well, both physically and mentally. Social media has a really negative effect on me and I took a break from it these past couple weeks.
Last but not least, what do you have to say to some other young Canadian kid on the come up out there who wants to follow in your footsteps one day?
Stay true to yourself. Work on your art more than your branding because it’s all about the music. Be confident and stop saying your music sucks. Don’t compare your music to others people music, it’ll get you nowhere. It needs to be different… less bad copies of ‘insert name here’ and more weird, different and new shit. There’s good and bad music, don’t get me wrong, but something that’s well made yet different will stand out. The only thing you can do is use your favorite artist’s tune as a reference for the mixdown and try to achieve a certain level of quality that you aim for.