When it comes to the world of bass music, Sullivan King has become quite the household name with his ability to fuse the worlds of heavy rock and bass music into one while also showcasing his guitar-shredding ability and striking vocal skills in the process.
Having himself quite the unforgettable 2022 with a steady barrage of new music coming in the form of bone-rattling originals and relentless remixes in addition to lighting up some biggest clubs and festivals across the country, this year also saw his wife Maddie give birth to their first-born son.
Still buzzing following the release of his recent collaboration “Let Me Go” alongside Wooli, we took the time to catch up with Sullivan King!
DJ Life Mag: The bass music scene has changed quite a bit since you first emerged, what are some changes you’ve noticed over the years?
Sullivan King: I think there’s a couple answers here. The first is the obvious in that the shows and production have gotten astronomically better and more exciting. Having bass music-centric fests and events that are bigger than any of us imagined has been unbelievable to be a part of and watch grow. Secondly, with these shows, there’s forever more and more people discovering the genre and community. Just getting to see how large the bass music scene has gotten is one of the raddest part of playing shows.
DJ Life Mag: There also seems to be a never-ending barrage of up-and-coming bass music talent popping up on SoundCloud. Who are some names that have caught your attention?
Sullivan King: Definitely never-ending, in the best way! Benda, Vastive, YVM3, DRINKURWATER, Cyclops, Space Wizard, Hairitage, D’lion, Emorfik, Nimda, Zingara, Infekt, Automhate, Digitist, Chassi,
Prosecute are all names that come to mind right away, but there are definitely hundreds more.
DJ Life Mag: When it comes to production, where do you find your inspiration?
Sullivan King: Well, I’m a Dad now, so my life is consumed by diapers, making puréed food and Cocomelon, so….. We’ll say it’s that.
DJ Life Mag: There are many innovators in electronic music, but your ability to fuse the worlds of metal and bass with your vocal ability is simply in a league of its own. Why do you think that hybrid style works so well together? How do you achieve your sound?
Sullivan King: Honestly, I probably would say it’s all by taking a sort of punk rock approach to it all. Distort everything, make shit as loud as you can while still trying to sound semi-decent haha, it’s less about trying to fit in with everyone else in dubstep sonically and just doing what feels right.
DJ Life Mag: Speaking of producing, what hardware and software do you use these days?
Sullivan King: Hardware, I use an AXE FX III for guitar sim, and a whole lot of Schecter guitars, a couple Martin acoustics, and a few other things like a Fender strat for certain tones. For a mic, I use a Neumann U87 into either an EL8 Distressor or a Tube Tech MEC-1A I just picked up, which has been my dream recording channel strip forever. For software, I rock Ableton and use a fuck load of plug ins… Vicks, Febreze, Lysol, all great plug ins.
DJ Life Mag: When you have a rough week or hit a wall creatively, how do you get back on track?
Sullivan King: I don’t reaaaaaaaaally believe heavy in writers block.. I forget where I heard it but someone said that writers block is when the artist is trying to be the writer and the listener at the same time and that makes a lot of sense to me. I usually say it’s just sound design, write some riffs, take a shower and sing some melodies until something sounds good and I’ll record it into my voice memos, etc. It’s basically about not trying to finish everything, and just get some little ideas flowing.
DJ Life Mag: Tell us about your new single “Let Me Go” with Wooli and how it came together.
Sullivan King: “Adam and I wrote “Let Me Go” about his fear of planes. I’m pretty sick of him always holding on to me when we fly next to each other, and there’s a little turbulence. He’s really just not a great flyer tbh and it’s f*****’ annoying, so Adam if you’re reading this….. let me go. Stop grabbing my hand. You squeeze way too much. We’re gonna be fine. Statistically, not a single plane has crashed from turbulence, so just drink your ginger ale, have those little biscoff cookies American Airlines gives out, and watch a Harry Potter movie. We’re gonna be good.”
DJ Life Mag: You seem to collaborate a lot with other artists. Why do you choose to go that route as a producer? How has it enhanced your career?
Sullivan King: I love working with other people, and have always found myself to enjoy collabing more than working alone. I don’t think I really “choose” that, but that’s kinda what fans ask for. If you even remotely interact with another artist on twitter or IG or whatever, you get the instant “OMG COLLAB WHEN??” replies hahaha, so it’s semi-dictated by the community. I think it helps everyone involved by introducing multiple fanbases to each other and to another artists sounds that maybe they wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.
DJ Life Mag: How does it feel to continue to have releases on the powerhouse imprint that is Monstercat?
Sullivan King: It’s awesome! I’ve always admired their team and love working with everyone over there so its an honor to be back rocking with them.
DJ Life Mag: With 2022 basically in the rearview mirror, your ‘Thrones Of Blood’ album and tour is next on the horizon. Can you give us an idea of what to expect?
Sullivan King: Massive shows, massive amounts of music, and a whooooole lot of screams.
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