LA Drum & Bass on the right Frequency!
If you’ve been to a proper Drum & Bass party you know what to expect.
A good sound system, top notch Dj’s and deep sub smashing jungle! Killahurtz is no exception, Hosted at the legendary Union Nightclub, this is a monthly Drum & Bass night that brings together great headliners and LA’s up and coming locals. I caught up with Sebastian Seebass fellow Drum & Bass Dj and owner of the Killahurtz brand for a few words on his vision and his stance on the current state of DNB.
Who is killahurtz?
Killahurtz is a monthly Drum & Bass night that was started by me DJ Seebass and is held at Union nightclub in Los Angeles.
Where did the name come from?
Killahurtz is a name that is derived from the word Kilohertz. If you look up the meaning of the word or if you’re a music producer then you would know, kilohertz is a measure of sound frequency. It is how we can measure a cycle of sound mathematically. Being a drum and bass aficionado we take our music and our sound very seriously. So that is the name that was decided upon to represent our night. The spelling of the name was changed to be more in line with our sound and what we represent.
What inspired you to start a DNB night?
Well basically its something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been a very hardcore drum and bass fan from the very start. I’ve been involved with promoting and throwing other nights in the past as well. This is my way of keeping the scene alive. This is me giving back to the scene. At the end of the day I want to book some top quality producers to come to Los Angeles and play some really good dance music. Some of these guys tend to get overlooked in the current circuit that we have out here and this is just another way of me supporting something that I have loved for so long and hold very dear to me.
What’s it like running a Drum & Bass night in Los Angeles and how do you think it compares to throwing parties in other cities?
Well it is isn’t easy that is for sure. Los Angeles already has some very strong brands / nights and it can be very hard for some fans to discern between your night and some of the other bigger more established events. At the end of the day it has to do with trust and fans knowing that you throw quality events. I think in other cities that have smaller scenes fans might be a little more open to new nights because of the fact they may not have so much to choose from compared to Los Angeles. But there can also be some push back from fans that are diehard supporters for the long running more established nights and don’t want to see their favorite night loose steam to the new guy in town. Here in Los Angeles we have so many nights that you will want to be more selective in which events you attend. You can only go to so many events and we all just want to go to a good party and have some fun times so we can keep those memories forever.
Whats your take on the current state of the American Drum & Bass Scene?
Well I think the drum and bass scene in general is very good. I think it could be much better. We constantly have the best drum and bass artist touring the country at any given time which is good. But if you look at Europe it is much more healthier and more accepted over there. Some of the bigger acts that would strictly play drum and bass in Europe will have to switch up their music sets so they can connect more with fans out here on this side of the pond and get more bookings. I think we tend to take the back seat here in America at music festivals as well because we get grouped into that whole “bass music” scene. Which really is just a way to market whatever is really loud and bottom heavy to all the fans that really don’t know the difference or are very new to the scene. Unfortunately our style of music in America has always been one that gets treated as the red headed step child of the scene. But in a way that has always made us stronger and I like to compare our scene to that of the punk music scene in the 80’s. Either you love it or you hate it. If you love it you will basically support it until the day you die.
Do you feel like the recent boom in festivals and EDM sub culture has influenced a growth in the scene?
That is a really good question. I would have to say yes and no. I say yes because the boom has really brought many more fans into the fold then we have ever had before. I’m not just talking about drum and bass but just more electronic music fans in general. These days you got so many people that say they know about that type of music in general or that they have attended festivals either once or on the regular now. You got the celebrities that go on the regular and attend events so they can be noticed by fans or end up on TMZ or celebrity blogs. Being a DJ is so pop culture now that if you are someone trying to come up in the Hollywood pop culture scene that you will most defiantly want to add it to your skill set on your resume or you get romantically involved with some big name DJ so the press has something to show everyone. It most certainly has become a more acceptable thing to do. For me personally growing up in the scene raves were very taboo especially in the early days. You had to be in the know to find out about an event. These days a simple internet search will let you know about any and all events in your area or around the globe. So in that sense it has been very good. But here in America we don’t have the dedicated drum and bass stages like we used to in the past. What has been very common is that festival promoters will book the really big artist that is on tour and have them open up a stage or go have a couple of artist go back to back so all the die hard fans show up early. After which the other “bass music” artist take over for the rest of the night. Which I’m sure is all fine for numbers sake. But it also tends to take away for the fans as well. A lot of the new generation party goers, when they go to events don’t get to experience that new DJ or producer that they never heard before that is hot or doing something new and exciting. It tends to be very structured and you will always see the same guy or gal or group that gets booked for all the events on this side and is well connected on the circuit. So you don’t really get that vibe from the fans where they went to an event to see one act play or just went to a show just for the experience and then ended up hearing a new act and discovering a whole new sound or genre which was so fresh and new that they decided to get into something else as well. What I see these days are more fans that are very static and only support one genre or one artist in particular. Growing up I was lucky enough to live in a time where I could attend events that had multiple stages, that supported multiple genres. So I could just groove out to anything depending on what mood I’m in. I feel like festival promoters tend
to just try and tap into whats really popular so they don’t risk people not coming to events.
Which is a shame because back in the day it wasn’t about that. It was really more about the music.
What events should we look forward to?
Well if you’re a drum and bass fan a lot of the very exciting festivals that are going on that you will want to check out are on the other side of the pond these days. Some of the events you should check are most certainly “Rampage” in Belgium. Then one of my favorites would be “Sun and Bass” which is held on a little island off the coast of Italy called Sardinia. There is also another really good festival called “Outlook” which is held in Croatia. Of course if you are really looking to experience that real drum and bass vibe you will want to check out “Fabric” which is in London and host many of the best drum and bass label nights. The drum and bass scene originated in the UK for the most part and is still very strong there and gets much radio play out there since it is so embedded in the culture. Some other festivals that really should get some serious honorable mentions are most defiantly Boomtown in the UK, and Let It Roll in Austria. In America I would suggest checking out some of the smaller club nights to get the real experience. “Respect” is one of those nights at the top of the list here in Los Angeles. Of course there are the “Xcellerated” nights which are also hosted at Union nightclub. If you are in the east coast you will want to check out “BP2” or “Natural Selection” which have been going on for some time. I believe the longest running night in America is “Elements” which is in Boston. There is “Torque” in Orlando, Florida as well which has been running for a very long time. I know in Texas they have the “Two Tone” events that are very good. In San Francisco the “Stamina” nights are basically the best place on a Sunday night and free as well. In Seattle you might find yourself at DNB Tuesdays. Or if you are in in the next state you might end up at Juice drum and bass nights in Bend, Oregon. I know in Chicago there is Smart Bar with drum and bass on various nights. In southern Florida you will find nights in South Beach and Fort. Lauderdale as well at places such as Cash Only, and every year during WMC or Miami Music Week.
If you could give an aspiring promoter a piece of advice what would that be?
Good piece of advice would be to start off small and try to grow the night organically. I think the best way to start off is with the support of a group of friends, or a crew, its not easy and you’re going to need help. You can’t do everything by yourself and at the end of the day the more help you have the more support you have. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Don’t just do it just to do it. Have a business plan, an objective. Probably the most important piece of advice would be to have fun doing it. It can be really easy to get lost in the sauce so to speak. Do it because you enjoy it. You need to get something out of it. Some nights you may put a lot of work and money into a project not make anything back at all. On certain nights the most you will get out of it are your friends and attendants telling you what a great time they had and how much they appreciate your events.
Who would you like to book in the future?
Such a good question. So many good artists out there both new old that I would love to bring out. But you asked so I will try to keep it to a minimum.
- Hazard – such a good DJ and he has never been stateside.
- Break – again such a good DJ and probably one of the best producers.
- Marky – The man puts out so much energy during his sets.
- Calibre – If you have never seen this guy play you are missing out!
- Fabio + Grooverider – If I have to explain, well you wouldn’t understand.
- Hype – Awesome DJ and has been around since day one.
- Goldie – The man, the myth, the legend.
- DBridge – Probably my favorite producer and DJ.
- Shy Fx – We need this guy back in the U.S.A.
- Congo Natty – When I think Junglist, Congo Natty comes to mind.
- Loz Contreas & Macca – I love what these guys are doing.
- Villem & McLeod – These guys are both on the cutting edge.
- BCee – Spearhead is such a good label and so many good releases.
- Riya – Such a sweet voice. Plus she is DJ as well.
- Alibi – Expect really big things from this duo from Brazil.
- L-Side – Probably one of the best producers out there right now.
- Unreal – Again Brazil holding it down. S.P.Y.’s little brother!
- Emperor – Such a an awesome producer. 19. Aries – Probably the best DJ out there right now at the moment. 20. Serum – This guy right here is on fire right now.
Any Mentions or shout outs?
I got to give mad shout outs to everyone out there that has supported me in one way or another. I love all my people that show support at the Killahurtz events you know who you are! Extra special shouts going out to Jeremy Fitzgerald and everyone over at Union for all their assistance with my events. Got to big up my friend Machete and the Jungliest Platoon for always rapping that jungle sound since day one and keeping the vibe alive for Los Angeles for all the OG crew and for keeping Respect going for 18 years now. Want to make sure that I say thank you to all my residents that play my events and are making waves in Los Angeles around the world, Rawtee, Zere, Habit and Reen. Extra special thanks going out to the following for all the positive vibrations and support, Dave Owen, Saxxon, Paddy @Pure Science, Bryan Gee, Total Science, Donavan @Bassdrive, Justin Force, Paul T & Edward Oberon, The American Jungle Crew, Hunter & Lee from Legion, Maztek, T>I, Cabin Fever, Randall, Freek, Mikal, Jaybee, Crissy Criss, Kasper, Dara, AK1200, RAW, Dieselboy, Kronology, Bailey, Splat Media Crew, Jessie Wright & The DoLab, Stu Dunn, Cyber Groove, Bassic Agence, Circle Talent Agency, All the promoters that have supported me thank you!
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