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Interview

Exclusive Interview with Bass Kleph on the Hounds of Hell Tour and new hit song “Tommy’s Dream”

Right now renowned Aussie DJ Bass Kleph (BK or Stuart Tyson) is in the middle of the “Hounds of Hell Tour” that is sweeping North America with Tommy Trash, Charlie Parker, and Wolfgang Gartner. He just released the epic new track “Tommy's Dream” as well (listen below). Thanks to Bass Kleph to taking some time to share with us and help us get to know him better and fill us in on plenty of knowledge and perspective from his experience and travels including the story behind the name of his new song and plenty of other interesting topics.

“Tommy's Dream” is a great new tune. What was so fun about making it, was there any inspiration, and is there a meaning behind the name of the track?

Thanks! I wanted to make something big, energetic, and rocking, but i love a great uplifting melody in the breakdown too. There is an interesting story behind it actually. So, one of my long time best mates is Tommy Trash, and he has been helping me by overseeing a few of my tracks. There was two tracks he kind of liked, but not entirely. In one track he loved the breakdown only, and in another he loved the drop only. He's very hard lined, and even though we are best friends, he will only tell me he likes something if he really honestly believes in it. Not just because we are friends. He'd been playing the one with the drop he liked but was unsure of the breakdown still. One day he called me and said he had a dream. He dreamt he was Djing and playing my track with the good drop, but when it broke down it went into the song with the good breakdown. He asked me, “would this be possible to make?” …(my response) “Yeah, they're only a semi tone apart. I'll transpose it, make a version, and send it to you,” I said. It totally worked! We both loved the new version, and Tommy has since been playing it every show, including EDC. It's so crazy that without his dream, this track would never have existed. I thought it was only right to then re-name it, “Tommy's Dream”

Did you know this was going to be a great tune before you released it and what kind of feedback are you getting?
I had a bit of a feeling. Even when I first got the sketch together, it just felt right. It came together very fast too. For me, that is usually a sign the track is a good one. While testing it out at shows the response was huge! I also received great feedback from a bunch of my favourite high profile Djs and labels too. I was stoked when Dimitri Vegas said he wanted to sign it. I his and Like Mikes stuff, and their label Smash The House too.
Has being in Los Angeles helped you take your sounds to the next level? What are you working on right now?
In a way yeah. There's some amazing world class clubs, and events in LA, and the best DJs from across the globe are in town every week. Being amongst that is definitely inspiring, but on top of that, there is also a good sense of healthy competition there too.
The Hounds of Hell Tour with Tommy Trash, Wolfgang Gartner, and Charlie Darker —  what is your relationship with Tommy as a fellow Aussie? How long have you known him and do you hang out a lot?
He's one of my best friends. We've known each other for about 6 years. We used to live together back in Sydney for about a year and a half too. We had a v cool 4 bedroom house. Two bedrooms, and two studios. It was fun living with another producer. We'd write all day, and hang out in breaks. Fly off to play shows on the weekend, then come home sunday arvo, hang out and chat about how each others shows were etc. We moved to LA about the same time, and live only about 5mins apart. Now on tour, Wolf and Charlie have their bus, and Tommy and I have ours (The Australia Bus). It definitely makes the tour extra easy going, and fun to be able to travel a best mate.
How long have you known Wolfgang and what's it like on Tour with him? What is it like to collaborate with WG and Tommy, what makes them different to work with or as artists?
I don't actually know Wolf personally that well, but we first got in touch also back in 2007. He was just starting to do his Wolfgang Gartner stuff, and I was a big fan. I got in contact and booked him to remix a track of mine called Helium. It was an incredible remix, and was really easy going and enjoyable dealing with him.
What has been the wildest crowd so far on this tour?
They've all been fun, but LA does stand out a bit above the rest. That show was amazing 🙂
You're well travelled. What is your favorite city in the world and where do you get the most excited about playing?
Ahhh too many cities are good for different reasons. Although some of my faves are Los Angeles, Sydney, Miami, Barcelona, Rio De Janeiro , & Tokyo
What's going on with your label “Vacation” records? Are there are any names coming from Australia that we need to familiarize ourselves with (up and coming)?
We currently are running a remix competition on Beat Port. Anyone can enter, and remix my song “Less Is More”. There are a bunch of prizes up for grabs, and the winner will also be released on Vacation too. Next up there is a monster track called Captain by Rino Key from Poland. It's already been getting great support from Wolfgang Gartner, Tommy Trash and many more.
Because of your work ethic and production on the road, do you tend to “test” songs out or wait until you feel like they are complete before you play them in a live set?
A bit of both. Once I feel they are close enough to test, I start playing them. It's a great way to see if the mix down, arrangement and overall vibe are working.
You seem very laid back and a very curious traveller. is that accurate? What hobbies do you have outside of music that you explore on the road or what do you enjoy for fun? I know you are into x-games like snowboarding, skateboarding. Do you have any injuries?
Yeah, I get to do a lot of amazing things, so i try not to sweat the small stuff. I definitely like to explore each place i visit where possible. I like doing the touristy stuff, and also getting the locals guide from the promoters/friends too. I also like just winging it by myself too. Walking around and seeing what I find. Yeah, i'm a big fan of snowboarding too. I grew up skateboarding and wakeboarding, but snow was always where i wanted to be. I try to ride as often as possible. When in LA I ride at Big Bear or Mammoth, but my favourite place is in Japan. I'm not saying where 😉
There are many subgenres of EDM now. Do you see any trends or changes recently in the scene that excite or concern you?
There are lots of sub genres, but they're often just unnecessary, different names for the same thing. I don't see anything that concerns me. I think the scene is cracking! and getting better every night!
You just released your 10th podcast, what makes this one unique? What is your favorite song you played on there?
That's right! To mark the occasion, i did a special interview with Tommy Trash. I also previewed my new single Tommy's Dream for the first time 🙂
With your background as a drummer and in a band, do you feel that gives you a different perspective than most DJ's?
Absolutely. You learn a lot form playing in a band. Dynamics, tension, the need to give each instrument space, etc. It can all be applied to producing a song by yourself. Then things like working on a hook is pretty much universal across genres. So it was nice to have a head start.
Do you listen to a lot of rock music as well? What are some of your influences or favorite records of all time? Favorite artists in different genres right now?
Not as much as I'd like to. I still have a bunch of favorites though. Some of my favourites are At The Drive In/Mars Volta, Rage Against The Machine, The Deftones, Tool, Wolfmother, Helmet, etc. I listen to almost all genres though. House, Techno, Dubstep, Drum n Bass, Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Acoustic, Chill out etc. One of my favourite bands is Fat Freddy's Drop. They are an amazing reggae/dub band from New Zealand.

More info on the Hounds of Hell Tour here: http://houndsofhelltour.com/

Check out his current remix competition via Vacation records on Beatport: http://play.beatport.com/contests/bass-kleph-less-is-more/

-JD

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