“It could have been me, it could have been someone else… it‘s everyone’s Grammy nomination who has worked so hard for years in this scene… It doesn’t even matter if I win, it’s a win for the community already.” –Sonny Moore
If you don’t have at least one Skrillex story to tell, you may be living under a rock. When pre-school teachers shout out on Twitter about revving their classrooms up in the new year with his new EP, Bangarang (released December 2011), and indie scenesters boast about just seeing the guitar trained DJ in a small club in Echo Park, it’s hard to miss the conversation.
The story goes something like this, Sonny John Moore grew up in Los Angeles in a musical household. He use to be the frontman in a less than sensational post-hardcore band, From First To Last. His band couldn’t get played on the city’s rock radio behemoth, KROQ, so he left the group and holed up in his bedroom for an insane amount of time, and came out sober and a DJ/producer soon to sign onto deadmau5’s young Mau5trap label.
Today, the 24-year-old hits the road a zillion days a year and plays to tens of thousands of people around the planet at any given time. Fast-forward to this year’s Grammy nominations and Skrillex surprises everyone by being nominated for five awards, including one in the Best New Artist category—a first for any electronic music artist. In January, a KROQ DJ plays one of his tracks, apologizes for not playing his former band, and then apologizes again to the Chili Pepper’s loving listeners for playing a slamming techno monstrosity he couldn’t resist.
Now, that’s a snapshot of revenge orchestrated by the universe.
So is the elfin man dressed in black whose (intentionally) missing half a head of hair surprised by all this attention? “Yeah, yeah,” he excitedly admits. “It’s crazy… and the number of Grammy nominations was even crazier! The coolest part about it is all my friends and peers around me are very proud of me and I feel like it’s their Grammy nominations as well as mine. All the boats do rise in the water—I do believe in that. It could have been me, it could have been someone else… it‘s everyone’s Grammy nomination who has worked so hard for years in this scene… It doesn’t even matter if I win, it’s a win for the community already.”
The conversation takes a turn towards Twitter next. It’s one of Skrillex’s favorite pastimes and he wants to know who else in the EDM world is good on their feeds. It’s deadmau5 and Steve Aoki, among numerous others. “The coolest thing about Twitter is, that you can say something because you know people are watching,” he explains. “I don’t like to use it as a promotional tool, even though I have my record label (OWSLA), and even before that, I posted videos I liked on it all the time. It’s like a constant chat feed of what all your friend are doing. You can keep in touch and it’s a quick timeline on your phone where you can chime in and all talk about something together or plan to meet up.”
Speaking of making plans and meeting up, Skrillex is going back to back to back to back—and then some—for a string of LA and NYC dates. We’re hitting up the show tomorrow night. See all the dates here.