Kasbo walks us through his electrifying live show ahead of Aus tour
The Swedish musician will be making his Australian debut at this year's Splendour In The Grass, with sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
Places We Don't Know, the debut album of Swedish musician and multi-instrumentalist Kasbo, was an unexpected but welcomed highlight of the international electronic market this year. "Kasbo feels confident in his redefined and focused new sound, with Places We Don't Know joining recent singles like Found You and Call in mapping out his exploration of his flavourful sound and everything it incorporates," we said on the album when it dropped earlier this year in an interview we had with the young rising star. "It's also an incredible debut album (especially for an electronic producer in a time where many electronic debuts fall flat), which is why we've become all about Kasbo in the ride to the album's release and why we've tipped him as one to watch in Australia as his impact grows outside of the US, UK and EU to shores overseas."
He'll be in the country for the first time later this month, bringing his electrifying live show to Splendour In The Grass and a pair of sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne - the former at Northcote Social Club on July 20 before playing at Oxford Art Factory on the 21st - and by the looks of things it's an absolute spectacle. He's already played some big headline shows overseas and supported acts like Glass Animals and his label-mates ODESZA, and with his debut shows down under coming up very, very soon, we caught up with the musician again, this time to talk about his live show and what it encompasses - just to give you a little sneak peek at one to expect on the dates at the bottom of this article. Grab your tickets HERE, and be sure to check out the album below if you haven't already.
You've just released your debut album Places We Don't Know – what has gone into translating the album into a live setting?
It’s been fun, but challenging. As a band when you finish writing a song you already know how to play it, whereas an electronic artist you need to learn how to play your own song, which is interesting, but very rewarding. And just playing around with edits, mashes of my own songs etc. It’s a whole new forum to be creative in.
With the new album only adding to your catalogue of music – how do you choose what to play?
It’s a bit difficult but I try to play most of my album, if not all of it, and my more recent stuff. Obviously, that’s what reflects me creatively the most right now.
What gear constitutes your live show?
Ableton is the backbone of the show, which I control with my APC40. I also use a maschine to trigger vocal chops and melodies in general, an SPD-SX drumpad to play drums on as well as cymbals, and my guitar.
How does the live show work?
I decide on what I’m going to play on each song prior to the show and leave those sections out. I try to find the most interactive part out of a song and choose to play that live whether it be drums, a vocal chop melody or a guitar. For some songs, I only affect different parameters of effects on the songs through my APC. I try to only make a big effort to play things live if it’s going to reflect well and be interactive. There’s no use in me playing keys that are way back in the mix that no one will hear it, I feel. The stuff that enables you to communicate with the crowd most is what I try to do.
Electronic music has always had a heavy DJ culture. For you, what is the importance of having a proper live show in comparison to a DJ set which is often much easier and much cheaper?
It’s a few different factors. I think the main one being that DJing just doesn’t make sense. I think as a DJ to make things interesting you gotta play a lot of other people’s music that’s well known, run through songs quickly etc. to keep interest up - since you’re not doing stuff that’s crazy interesting to watch. But since I wanna play my own songs that aren’t necessarily the most dancey stuff, it just makes sense to be performing with instruments and having accompanying timed visuals to go along with it. I also think that’s the only way i could deliver a show that would encapsulate the world i’m trying to deliver.
But yes it is painful paying to pay that 500 dollar bag fee when flying out to a show knowing i could be only bringing a USB haha.
A lot of the Foreign Family Collective crew have a heavy focus on their live shows – acts like ODESZA are even renowned for it. Do you look up to the other acts on the label and their live shows for inspiration and influence? If so, what is it about these shows that capture you?
Definitely, i just played red rocks with ODESZA and got to see Their show (for like the 50th time, just as blown away though) and Big Wild’s for the first time in a while. It’s very inspiring seeing how well they can translate electronic music live, which is such a tricky task. They also have a different approach to it i feel which also is very cool, there’s no right way to do it.
Tour Dates (click on the poster for tickets):
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