Ghastly Talks OWSLA, Metal Influences, and Not Getting Comfortable
Billboard's Elias Leight sits down with Ghastly for an in-depth interview. Readers get to learn everything about one of EDM's hottest producers at the moment including what inspired him to pursue electronic music, how he still pays homage to his metal roots and how it is working with JAUZ.This article originally appeared on Billboard
The producer Ghastly, who has released singles through OWSLA, Mad Decent, and Dim Mak, got his start in a metal band, and he showed those roots several times during his rumbling, forceful set at Elements Festival on Saturday in Red Hook, Brooklyn. An hour later, as Gramatik boomed from the Earth Stage, Ghastly told Billboard Dance about a life-changing encounter with hardstyle and his collaborations with Mija and Jauz.
How did you first discover electronic music?
Music grabbed me at a very young age. I think I was 12 when I discovered music that wasn't popular — Megadeath and shit like that. It wasn't shit that you heard commonly. I always had an affinity for abstract sounds.
As far as creating music with the intention of making people dance, I think that came after my metal band. I had to quit it because things just weren't going kosher. Everyone has to work the same amount and want the same goal just as much as each other in a band. If anyone slacks off, the pillar falls over. That was happening way too consistently. I kept on putting money into it and putting my heart into it, dragging people like, "yo, come on, we can get to the next level." We were doing really good for a little bit, but it all came crashing down right around the time everyone got comfortable. When you get comfortable as an artist, you stop growing. And as a person too — no matter what you are or what you do, as soon as you get comfortable, you stop growing. That's not gonna get anyone anywhere any time soon.
I digress: after the metal band, I wanted to still do music. It was in my heart; I couldn't not [do it]. I started discovering electronic music around 2008...