BT on an Enduring Dance Music Career: "My Motivation Is to Have a Very Tangible Emotional Impact"
It seems that if you only put a limited amount of effort into the music, you're only going to get a limited amount of return from it. Music that you just shit out is probably not going to last very long in the minds of the listener.
You're absolutely right. I prefer to model or pattern what I do off of people that are heroes of mine; Claude Debussy or Depeche Mode where everything has a tremendous amount of forethought. And also, too, how it fits contextually with the rest of the artist's body of work, what kind of legacy are they going to leave behind. How did their music impact people, how it served a function. I've been doing this for twenty years, and something that's very affirmative for me is how people relate and use my music is all over the world.
I met someone that was crossing a bridge in Australia. This girl saw me, she started crying and she said 'I come here every year, and six years ago on this day I was going to throw myself off this bridge. I stood up here listening to "Mercury and Solace," and I decided that my life has more meaning than I realize." She told me this whole story crying hysterically how she was going to take her life. A gentleman recently sent me a 15-page letter talking about how he was wounded in combat and during physical therapy This Binary Universe was what set his mind right. The guy sent me his purple heart. I sat around the kitchen table with my mom and my family and we all wept.
I think people have different motivations for wanting to make anything, and my motivation is to have a very tangible emotional impact and make people happy and joyful. My motivation is to reach people and to be additive. I think that it's a part of why there's so much thought to what I do, because I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to the people who have identified with the music that I make. Things take me a long time to fully bake and realize. It's just kind of my process.
What are your plans for this performance coming up and how are you going to translate all of these things into a live show here in Ft. Lauderdale?
First of all, Florida is like a market that has been with me from the beginning and a place that I absolutely love playing. I think what you can expect is a lot of super high-energy current spins on my catalogue of work. Something that I've been doing for the last year and a half, since the last EDC in Vegas was doing a lot of mash-ups and recontextualizations of classic songs of mine, so I play stuff from my entire catalogue and it's awesome just to see people that it's so cool to see people singing back songs to you that are literally from like, there's no way that they should know them, they're from before they were born. Of course, all my new stuff as well, so it will be a big-ass party. It always is in Florida, so I look forward to it.
BT, A Song Across Wires Tour. 10 p.m., Friday, September 27, at Off the Hookah, 111 SW 2nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-761-8686, or visit offthehookah.com.