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Skrillex keeps dancing to his own beat
Ten years ago Sonny Moore came into the music world as the lead singer of the hardcore rock band From First To Last.
But it's safe to say he's significantly better known as Skrillex, arguably the most successful Electronic Dance Music artist in the world today.
As Skrillex, which Moore adopted in 2010, he's has released six critically acclaimed EPs and an album, "Recess," that came out in March. He's won six Grammy Awards and an MTV Music Video Award, as well as an Annie Award for his soundtrack to the 2013 animated film feature "Wreck-It Ralph." He's collaborated on tracks with the Doors, Korn, former girlfriend Ellie Goulding, A$AP Rocky and many others, and next month Skrillex is curating an all-star SuperJam at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee.
Clearly he has no regrets about changing creative course.
"The craziest thing to me about it is it's such a simple idea of hanging out wtih people and playing records -- something I do off stage all the time, too," the 26-year-old Los Angeles native says. "I'm always listening to new music, and when I get it I prefer to play it on my (DJ) decks, just 'cause it's a fun way to listen to music.
"It's such a pure, simple form of expression, just to get everyone in the same room and the same vibe and play records you like and new records you like. It's crazy to think that after all this time people continue to do that; the technology has changed, but the idea's stayed the same, and it finally just exploded, which is crazy."
"Recess," of course, has taken Skrillex to yet another plateau. EPs such as 2010's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" and 2011's "Bangarang" were sales successes, but his first full-length work debuted at an impressive No. 4 on the Billboard 200 -- rarefied territory for EDM -- in addition to topping the Dance charts in both the U.S. and the U.K.
But Skrillex says he didn't find the experience of making an album "that much different" from what he's done before.
"Any EP I've made, even if it's only six or seven songs, I'll create a song and then I'll create something else to sort of balance that, then the third thing will be created in the context to balance those two other things," he explains. "So even my EPS have some dynamic in the sense they're not all bangers.
"But ('Recess') gave me the opportunity to create more dynamic. You don't hear the same sounds over and over again. I wanted to give it even more dynamic just because it's longer, and I really liked that challenge."
Skrillex says he has "a lot of stuff coming" in the near future, in all sorts of configurations. "In the electronic world it's not as necessary to just release albums," he notes. He plans to "sprinkle in some singles and mini EPs throughout the year" and recently did some sound designs for the next "Transformers" movie, and Skrillex has also been collaborating on new material with good pal Diplo, though neither artist is sure what will become of it.
Primarily right now, however, he's on tour, with a "spaceship" stage set that he thinks can give George Clinton's famed Mothership a run for its money. "Big up to George Clinton -- no shots fired," Skrillex says with a laugh. "I love him, but I think our spaceship is pretty powerful. He might beat me on the funk-blasting side of it, but we definitely have a couple more lasers."
"I'm just into trying a lot of different kinds of things, man," he adds. "I just try to better myself all the time and be better as an artist and a person and a business person or whatever and continue just doing what I'm doing. It's worked so far, y'know?"
Skrillex, Dillon Francis, What So Not and Milo & Otis perform Wednesday, May 28, at the Masonic Temple Theater, 500 Temple St., Detroit. Tickets are $41 in advance, $60 day of show. Call 313-964-7625 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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