Phil from Rewriethescene had the opportunity to interview the new face of dubstep, Rusko. He told us about himself, his history, and some info about his new album. Click ‘more’ to read the interview.
Real Name: Christopher Mercer
Label: Mad Decent / Downtown Records
Favorite Food: Indian
“Songs” is your next album. What do you have in store for us?
Rusko: Expect a good variety of bass, chords, and melodies! Even went back to some reggae roots on it.
How did you come up with the idea for “Somebody to Love” Video? Can you picture your grandparents raging like that?
Rusko: The idea actually came from the director Jason Miller who also did my videos for “Hold On” and “Everyday.” I don’t think my grandparents would rage like that but it would awesome if they did!
How did you come up with Rusk, and then change it to Rusko?
Rusko: There are these biscuits in the UK (actually baby biscuits) that I used to eat a lot called “rusk’s.” So that was my nickname and somewhere along the way I stuck an O at the end.
I know you’re a huge Lakers fan, you think there going to make it all the way this season?
Rusko: Even though I recently got interviewed by Metta World Peace for a cool video piece, I actually don’t follow basketball that much. But I would say yes!!
Working with everyone from MIA to Mike Posner, who has been your favorite to work with?
Rusko: I would have to say MIA was my favorite to work with. She was just very inventive in the creative process. She really pushed me to try new things and ways to record!
Your coming out with an EP with Cypress Hill, One of the premier hip hop groups of the 90’s, can you give us some details about it? You’re going to be taking them in a whole new bass direction, do you think Cypress Hill fans will like the new stuff?
Rusko: It will be 5 tracks and will be released in April. Each track has a different feel. This was something I took on after their management approached my management about making a dubstep project. I can’t say how Cypress Hill fans will react but I hope they like it!
Are you still using Sony Acid to produce? What do you use to DJ?
Rusko: Still using Acid but obviously chock full of plug-ins. I use either Traktor or CDs to DJ.
What’s is your creative process behind your producing? What are your favorite sounds to work with?
Rusko: For my new album, I set aside 8 weeks for the studio and didn’t make any tunes on the road, which I usually do. I just let ideas build up inside my head as I was touring and once I got back to LA, I made sure to export them all out into tunes! I have a few favorite synths that I like to use but nothing beats a good bass sound.
Leeds college of Music is the biggest school of music in England, do you think you have a step up in the music scene since you went to school for music performance?
Rusko: Nah, I barely went to class because I never wanted to “follow the books.” But I’m sure it’s a case by case basis where going to music school does help out some people. Just for me in particular, it wasn’t necessarily a benefit.
Dubstep is known for its dark, dirty feel. Your music on the other hand has this energy that is exciting and happy. It has developed melodies and a big sound to it. How did this develop?
Rusko: While a lot of my earlier material had a darker feel to it, I think that my sound developed from my past history of playing in punk bands and even the saxophone! Also, as I began playing really huge venues, I wanted to bring a “big room” sound.
When you go to Rotterdam in Holland, What do you usually eat? Rumor has it you love the waffles there.
Rusko: Haha spot on. I usually eat the waffles!
Are you still living in Silver Lake? How was it making the switch from England to L.A.?
Rusko: Yes. The switch was quite easy really, with the L.A. weather!
What is your favorite artist and song of all time?
Rusko: I would say Squarepusher!!
‘OMG’ was your first big album. In an interview at 15th Annual Nocturnal Wonderland in San Bernardino, CA you said there were going to be 17 songs and that you filled the disk. What happened to those other 3 songs?
Rusko: They just didn’t make the final cut!
Power 106, the hip-hop station of LA played your version of Tupac’s “California Love”. That’s a groundbreaking moment in music history when a hip-hop station places the first dubstep track on commercial radio. How did you feel when it happened?
Rusko: Felt really great! Was a great early indicator of how dubstep was going to soon be a phenomenon in America! I’m glad I was a part of history!!
What do you have in store for us in the future, I’ve already planned on you being voted number 1 EDM artist soon so anything besides that?
Rusko: Haha thanks for that. Well, besides my new album coming out March 27th and my Cypress Hill project coming out in April, I’ll be doing a ton of touring. Stay up to date on my website ruskoonfire.com/tour!!!