Bassnectar Speaks Out About Licensing His Music To The New Zac Efron DJ Movie
There’s no denying that Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, has one of the most loyal followings in all of dance music, and much of his strong fanbase is due to the fact that Ashton is one of the most outspoken producers in dance music. He often fields questions through his Ask A Question, and will respond to fan concerns on his website. When asked about the use of his song, “You & Me,” featuring W. Darling, on the upcoming movie, We Are Your Friends, Bassnectar addressed why he licensed his music, what licensing means to him, and whether licensing his track to an “EDM” movie made him a sellout.
In this digital era, physical CD sales are constantly plummeting forcing musicians to look elsewhere for revenue. One of the major revenue sources for artists like Bassnectar is licensing their music for movies, TV shows, commercials, and more. Licensing music is essentially a sale, and generates a consistent source of income, which allows him to spend more time in the studio making music.
Bassnectar goes on to explain, “I think it’s awesome for artists to have a chance to license their music to film, tv, video games etc. I would happily license any song I’ve ever written – it’s an great opportunity, especially when so many fans just download music for free! Where is it written that if you love an artist you want them to be poor? I think that’s absurd. I work nonstop, and I am glad to license music: I hope it continues. Did you know I licensed “Enter The Chamber” to a Buick commercial in 2006? Did hell freeze over? “Above & Beyond” to a Northface commercial: I was excited!”
Addressing the accusation that he is a sellout, Bassnectar explained that licensing his music to an EDM movie does not make him an “EDM” producer. Fans of Bassnectar know that his live shows are a complex, visual and aural journey, as he has hundreds of tracks to pull from to create an all-encompassing sensory experience, and his sets are always a journey.
When explaining why he licensed his track to We Are Your Friends, Bassnectar says, “And although I play at EDM festivals, I’m an experimental DJ who loves all kinds of music: just like I’m not a rock band because I play at rock festivals. Just like Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop artist, and is not EDM just because he plays at a festival… This movie is glitzy & goofy, like many mainstream movies, and I’m hyped to license a track to it. If it has some stupid quote about how phony mainstream DJs are, that’s their choice. An artist can license a song to a movie which has nothing to do with them. Was I promoting meth use when I licensed a track to Breaking Bad? No. Was I promoting zombies when I wrote a custom song for Resident Evil? No. Am I claiming to be a stunt-man flying cars through buildings because I license a track to Fast & Furious? Hell no, I drive a 2002 Camry!”
If you’d like to read the rest of Bassnectar’s response, check out his blog post on his website here.