GUNNER BASS

GUNNER BASS

GUNNER BASS is a producer/composer/engineer/DJ from Los Angeles.

In 2013, GUNNER BASS unveiled his first official song entitled "Kings Lvnding" on “SMOG City Vol. 2”.

Specializing in all things BASS, his music has since then received international acclaim, including plays and support from 12th Planet, DJ Craze, Kloak and Marty Party among others.

The Los Angeles-based artist revealed three new songs “White Line”, 21 Pilots - “Jumpsuit” (Remix) and “Origami” - and more recently, he offered the “ALL THAT BASS - Mix Series Vol. 1”, a 45 min DJ mix.

“All That Bass” is a new mix series I’m doing that will showcase all styles of Bass Music. It’s a good representation of what I would play at a show and I hope to use it to promote unknown/new artists and friends in the future,” explains GUNNER BASS.

You can now stream and download GUNNER BASS’s songs and mix series on Soundcloud.

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Introduce yourself. What's your story? 

Hi, my name is Gunner Bass and I am an electronic music producer, DJ, composer and audio engineer currently living in Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA.  

 Tell us a little bit about your childhood. What were the things you were passionate about?

Growing up I was kind of a weird kid that was into everything.  I didn’t quite fit in any one distinct “group”. I played sports, mostly American Football; but was also a bit of a nerd, but also had emo and art/music friends. I was really interested in Science, video games and of course music.  I also had a fascination with the paranormal and aliens growing up hahaa. I was super into it, wrote some of my first school papers about it.  

 

What did you grow up listening to?

Damn. So many things you got four hours hahaa?  Nirvana, Tupac, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Wu-tang, Snoop Dogg, but I also fucked w/ 70’s and 80’s rock and hair-band awesomeness like Black Sabbath, The Doors, Guns n Roses, Poison, Motley Crue, Skid Row, Slayer, Soundgarden, Metallica! The list goes on and on and on, I love music.  Oh and… Avril Lavigne can’t leave her out. A karaoke must. I love Canadians and I love Avril – I was super bummed when they replaced her with that clone. Long story… But I think the biggest turning point growing up, was discovering The Prodigy, particularly the “Firestarter” video. It opened me up to this whole new world of rave music, and was sort of the catalyst for my exodus away from pop radio.  I went down the rabbit hole (tunnel) and never came back… Aphex Twin, Atari Teenage Riot, KLF, Frankie Bones, Bad Boy Bill, Roni-Size… again the list goes on. That then led me to Acid Trance and Drum n Bass and Hardcore Techno/Gabber and UK Garage.  My first rave days were spent listening to artists many have never even heard of. Warehouse parties in Brooklyn and Queens losing my shit to DJ Craze, 1.8.7., Space Girl, Rob Gee, Perfect Dark, Lenny Dee, Delta 9, Neophyte, Omar Santana. Again, I could go on and on.  

 

When did you know music was more than just a hobby?

Kind of a crazy story… I think it was around 2009 or 2010 I heard Dubstep for the first time on the Hospital Records podcast. At that point in my life I had actually stopped going to raves, and I was working a job in Downtown Los Angeles doing graphic design, settling into a “normal life”.  I got hooked on the wobbly basslines and was like oh man I gotta try this. So, I started teaching myself Ableton Live, a digital audio workstation (DAW) that you make music with.  I had used hardware drum machines before so the learning curve was a little easier. 

After about 6 months teaching myself music production (still not enough time) I entered some remix contests just for fun. There was a Dubstep collective in Los Angeles called SMOG and the co-owner John Dadzie, a.k.a. 12th Planet, hosted a contest to “make a song with 12th Planet”. It consisted of 4 rounds. I entered and somehow won 2 of the rounds. Immediately after that everything blew up Dubstep-wise, including SMOG. 12th Planet went on a massive tour, and the song never got finished; which, to be honest, was for the best hahaa! The song was pretty bad. Like, really fucking bad. I was so inexperienced as a producer back then, and a complete outsider to the LA Dubstep scene, that I look back now and just kind of cringe… I can still hear the terrible out of key bassline I wrote lol.

BUT… winning that contest opened up the door for me. I met tons of new friends and producers and it ultimately motivated me to quit the day job, get better, and focus on music as a career. Later on I was also able to get my first release on SMOG Records, so it made it all real.  I do audio post production for film as a side job now too, so I can trace it all back to that contest in a weird way. It absolutely changed my direction in life, so it was kind of like a fail and a win at the same time. 

 

 

When did you start making music?

Mario Paint – 1992.  I crushed the Toad Bass Kicks and Airplane Guitars. Your readers will have to look that one up ;). 

 

What got you into BASS music? For those who are not familiar with this genre, how would you define it?

Well, the contest story above is how I got into modern Bass music. But if you look at my music roots, collectively, I’ve been into Bass music my entire life.  BASS music is sort of a catch all term to describe all the genres and sub-genres of dance music that rely on sub-frequencies – the bass that you feel.  So, UK Garage is Bass music, Dubstep is Bass music, Trap is Bass Music… and so on.  Personally “Bass Music” a great descriptor for me as a music maker, because I make all things BASS; and telling people you make 15+ different sub-genres one by one is a bit obnoxious.   

 

How would you describe GUNNER BASS, the artist?

GUNNER BASS is a time traveling bass-slinger from your future dystopia.


What can you tell us about the "All That Bass - Mix Series Volume 1"?

 “All That Bass” is a new mix series I’m doing that will showcase all styles of Bass Music. It’s a good representation of what I would play at a show and I hope to use it to promote unknown/new artists and friends in the future. I put a lot of work into my mixes and always aim to make something unique. So while there might be songs in there that people recognize, I will often do on the fly edits or mashups to make it ‘new’. I’m also really big on finding hidden gems on Soundcloud; so if it’s Bass music and it’s good, I will play it. I don’t care about follower counts. If I like it, I will play your shit. 

What's the story behind your track "Origami"? When did you start working on it? 

I made “Origami” over a year ago, but just released it in October because it be like that sometimes. I like to use atmosphere in my songs, and this song actually started off just as an audio sample of a Karate class that I had in my collection; so that’s where the initial inspiration came from. I just built around that. 

I also sort of “see” my music as I make it.  I remember adding the drums with the Karate class sample going as the backdrop, and then I pictured paper folding into origami creatures, fighting each other hahaa. So I had a dictation software say “Origami” before the drop, and it all came together!

 

Could you describe us your production process? How do you usually work? 

I’m really loose with my process in the beginning. Sometimes the music I create comes out of thin air, other times I’m heavily influenced by an existing sound or sample. So one time I might start off with a lead or bassline or chord progression that I work out on a piano and then swap out with another sound I’ve made. Another time I might hear a noise that I like, and I’ll start there. And another time I could hear a song and it inspires me to make something in the same genre that will mix well. Sometimes I even sing, beatbox or whistle ideas into my iPhone to save for later. Once I have a general idea down I’ll usually focus on writing the first “drop”. After that I start working on the song structure, buildups, breakdowns etc.. Sometimes I start songs with an intro idea too, then work on the drop after.

I have a library of sound design that I’ve built up over the years too.  It’s like a grab bag of random sounds and loops that I’ve created, either synthesized or recorded.  If I’m ever stuck on a song I will often just sit and make sounds, not focusing on building an actual song. So I progressively add to that library when I get stuck. It’s a really hard thing to do, to walk away from a song you’re stuck on, but necessary af! And you stay productive.

After it’s all “done” I export out the individual tracks into a brand new session and begin the ‘mixdown’ phase.  This is the part where you make sure everything is in balance and prepare the song for mastering. Mastering is what makes your song sound good on all speakers, iphones, headphones etc.. Sometimes I will master my own music, other times I will send it off to a proper mastering house. Most label releases are sent off for mastering.

 In your opinion, what makes a good production?

For me it’s all about sounding unique. My biggest criticism of “EDM” is this massive rush to sound like XXXXX popular artist when a big song drops. I understand needing focus, to make music in a particular genre; but the idea of going on YouTube and doing a tutorial to “sound like Skrillex” is super lame in my opinion. Or like, Diplo. I fucking love Diplo. But I like Diplo when Diplo does Diplo.

 

What equipments and softwares do you use?

I have a home studio with a PC, Focal Twin Monitors, Rokit 6 Monitors, Avantone Mixcube, Shure SM-57 Mic, Neve 511 mic pre, Akai APC-40, Akai Max 49 midi keyboard, and a Roland MC-505. I use Ableton Live as my DAW and I have a massive sample library and a ton of plugins.   

 

 

What would be your definition of EDM?

EDM is the 3 letter acronym that came out around 2011 to describe rave music, because corporations needed a more digestible, less abrasive term to use in meetings hahaa.  Have you ever seen the movie “Office Space”?  EDM is like TPS reports!     

 

Who are your biggest inspirations? In life and in music?

Music: Kurt Cobain

Life: People that work hard, pay dues and take real risks with no safety net on the come-up. 

 


How does Los Angeles shape your creativity?

Well for one it keeps me warm most of the year! Except right now it’s like 40 degrees Farenheit, my feet are cold and the studio is freezing as fuck. LA is the land of opportunity and motivation. There are so many talented people doing so much cool shit, that your head is constantly on a swivel. There is literally inspiration at every corner so you can be walking on the street and see some ridiculous new street art, or discover a random band or DJ playing at a bar, or stumble on an art gallery pop-up. It’s also cool to have the concrete jungle of Downtown, the beach and mountains all about 25-45 minutes from each other…depending on the traffic of course. So if you need some inspiration it’s like having every landscape and tons of diversity, on demand. If you like variety, this is the spot.  

 

2018 is slowly coming to an end, what were your biggest accomplishments?

Finally releasing new music. I essentially re-launched in October after a ton of delays. I’ve only had music out for about a month and half now and I’ve hit about 45k plays on Soundcloud so far, so that’s pretty rad. I have some proper releases lined up for Spotify, Apple, Beatport etc. for 2019, but this year was all about getting back to what I love and having fun.  

 

 

What artists are you listening to now?

My favorites right now are Whipped Cream, Cesqeaux, Rezz, Diplo, Rawtek, Joyryde, Zeke Beats, Jauz and Wiwek. 

 

 

In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?

I have a list:

1)       Donald Trump falls off a cliff

2)       A 100% Clean Energy Planet

3)       Free College Tuition for all high school grads who get high marks

4)       Donald Trump gets hit by a car

5)       Thanos snaps his fingers and makes Donald Trump disappear 

 

 

What's your purpose?

To make people dance, to make people happy, and to distract everyone from the impending robot apocalypse. 

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Ben Heslop

Ben Heslop

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