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Kill The Noise on His HARD Itinerary

And his constant search for "the edge of dance music."
August 1, 2014, 10:00pm

"I've been over in Europe for so long that i'm kind of in my own universe," laughs Jake Stanczak, perhaps better known as heavy bass behemoth Kill the Noise. When he returns to familiar turf this weekend for HARD Summer, it'll be an opportunity to not only catch up with old cohorts, but to get up to speed on what's coming next in dance music. "The coolest thing about HARD is that they give Los Angeles the opportunity to see a lot of artists on a big stage who, otherwise, wouldn't really get that opportunity," he tells THUMP. "You get to see a lot of the cooler stuff that you'd see in smaller clubs over the course of, like, a year, but all in one place."

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Much like you and I do, he's got a laundry list of acts to check out: "I'm excited about a lot of stuff that's goin' on at The Purple Tent because there's a lot of new shit that I haven't seen yet. David Heartbreak is playing - He's got a dope new record and I actually haven't seen a live set from him yet. I haven't actually seen a proper What So Not set yet either. Branchez is playing, stoked about that. Stoked about Cashmere Cat. To this day, even though they're not underground, I still haven't seen Disclosure play live. I'm excited. Finally!"

Whereas a lot of artists dip in and out of festival gigs or spend the whole party cocooned in the artist area, Stanczak is always on the move. He explains, "I manage to spend a lot of time checking out other people's shit. Especially a festival like HARD, I'm looking for inspiration. I'm looking for ideas that aren't over saturated, that are new."

This bloodhound's nose for the new is all part of a larger ethos at play, one that manifests in his music as well - "What makes me happy is learning new shit and trying new stuff. Once you give people too much of an idea as to what you're doing, you've got a problem. Their expectations become larger than life. If people don't see what you're doing from a mile away, they're gonna be more satisfied at the end of the day. Look at guys like Diplo or Knife Party. Those are the guys I really admire. When you got guys like that leading the way, it makes a lot of space for people to be creative."

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Stanczak challenges his fans in the same ways the he challenges himself. "I kind of look at my audience like a little ant farm," he says. "I'm lookin' at a computer screen and i'm seein' the statistics and it all starts feeling quite rigid. It's all kinda predictable. Sometimes, it's fun to pick the ant farm up and shake it around, see everyone run around like 'what's going on?'. Some people are excited by that change, while a lot of other people get irritated."

This dichotomy of attitude also shows up amongst artists. "Some dudes are happy to continue on doing the same thing that they always have and manage to be pretty creative in the process. I'm not like that," Jake continues. "I get that invigorating feeling from taking risks. One of the reasons I really like Deadmau5 and Skrillex's stuff is that there's a certain honesty to the musical aspect of it, in the songwriting. When you hear their songs, it really sounds like them. Same thing with Feed Me. Right now, I'm just tryna come up with another representation of the edge of music that's also an accurate representation of myself or how I feel about the world. Maybe part of the reason it's taking me a while is because I don't really know. I think about it a lot. I'm just trying to figure out what it is that I think is worthy of me goin' all in on. I've gone through that process with all my records."

Kill The Noise will be on at The Purple tent on Saturday at 8:30PM

HARDer and HARDer:
The THUMP Guide to HARD Summer 2014
Justin Jay: Dirtybird's Baby Boy on His HARD History
The Entire HARD Lineup on One Playlist