Bassnectar and Electric Forest Festival: An interview with a fan named Dutch
I met Anthony, aka Dutch, at an Electronic Festival. We found out we went to the same school together at James Madison University. His obsession is music, so, I knew I had to talk to him about some of his experiences, seeing a show in the woods of Michigan, and the heavy metal anarchy potential of electronic music.
I am currently a junior at James Madison University- the best place on earth. I am originally from a small town outside of Philly. I grew up loving nature, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. Besides music, I am absolutely in love with visual arts- from light shows and disco balls to film, photography, and graphic design. I’ve always had an attraction to computers though, which is where my love for music began.
I grew up with my dad listening to the blues- Bob Dylan and 1970’s folk music like Muddy Waters. Really rusty, raw music. As I got older, I found my way to metal. I think it appealed to me because it was kind of rebellious. I played a lot of sports and wasn’t allowed to grow my hair out when I was younger- mom wouldn’t have it.
Once I got into college, I found electronic music. I was like, “Holy shit, this is awesome!” To me, electronic music is a collaboration of all the genres that I already listened to. I hate to generalize this music as EDM, because I associate EDM with Ultra, Mainstage, Poppy Music and that’s not what I think electronic music is. Artists like GRiZ and Gramatik are funk guys- they’re not “EDM.” You can dance to any of them, but they’re not mainstream. They’re underground artists and I always wanted to be underground. I’ve always been a weirdo.
My parents didn’t like my type of music and neither did the kids in my high school. So, when I got to college, I didn’t think anyone would like it here either. Then one day I met this kid in my dorm and we instantly became friends. We have been to endless shows together.
I went to Bonnaroo in 2013. It was my first festival and I fell upon Paper Diamonds. They have this kind of trappy, technical sound to them. It’s very different from anything else in electronic music right now. I got right up front, two rows behind the rail. I kept thinking how awesome it was. How could DJ’s do this? The visuals were really cool and the environment around me was awesome.
I appreciate artists that have their own tracks and samples. They can do way more than just press “play.” I was like, “What song is playing?” I had no idea what they were doing, but they still managed to blow my mind. It’s so cool when you can respect an artist so much and they blow you away like that. It’s as if they take you back in your seat and you’re like, “Holy shit!” I just want to rip my heart out and throw it on the stage. For a DJ to do that, it’s insane because all they’re doing is pushing buttons, turning knobs and pushing faders.
I kept hearing people talk about Bassnectar and how he was all the rage. But, nobody understands it until you see it. I saw Bassnectar for the first time at Electric Forest last summer. I don’t know if it was the state of mind I was in during the last few days of the festival or the ambience of the forest, but he blows my mind. His music is like the heavy metal anarchy of electronic music. I went from not seeing him at all, to seeing him six times in one year. People say he’s just a DJ or whatever, but you can really feel his music. His music speaks to me and it’s so emotional. I really just want to rip my heart out and give it you, and say, “Here you go.”
The vibe at Electric Forest was incredible. Seeing a show in the trees with lights all over the place, looking around and breathing in the fresh Michigan air was the most I could breathe at any point in my life. I felt no stress, just my arms around my friends listening to the music. It was a magical fairy land. It was the highlight of my life.