Sonny "Skrillex" Moore is the coolest guy in LA (and possibly the world), despite looking like a total nerd. He shuns offers for reality TV shows from network executives and has never Instagrammed himself on a private jet. He doesn't like to do interviews on late-night TV, and is one of the most hard-working guys in the business, playing over 300 shows a year. Arguably the most famous DJ in the world, he won eight Grammys from 2012 to 2013. He's been photographed chain-smoking cigarettes even though thousands of fans probably give him shit for it. I mean, what a guy. Shouldn't you all be cyberstalking Skrillex too?
I always thought Skrillex came up in LA's nightclubs after he made Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites on his laptop in his apartment. What most people (including myself) don't realize is that Moore was already well exposed to the music industry at an age when most of us were getting high with our friends. He ran away from home at age 16, after he found out that he was adopted, to join an emo band in Georgia that he met on MySpace. That band, as everyone knows, was called From First To Last, and they eventually signed a $1.5 million deal with EMI Records. Moore originally auditioned to be their lead guitarist, but after the guys heard him sing they decided to make him the frontman, and boot their then-frontman Matt Good to lead guitar. Eventually, the other members of the band ended up forming a clique and excluding Moore, which was part of the reason why he decided to go solo.
It just so happens that Epitaph Records has posted several music videos and intimate studio sessions from Skrillex's formulative From First to Last years, and I've taken it on myself to dissect them for you below. As you'll see, Moore was an emo kid par excellence, wearing his jet black emo haircut in his eyes. He favored black hoodies with the sleeves pulled over his knuckles. And his lower lip sported not one but two piercings. Judging from the behind-the-scenes footage released by Epitaph Records, Moore prefers hiding from the limelight, even though he's the frontman the squealing emo fans came to see. But that shyness disappears in their music videos, where he howls with teenage angst at larynx-damaging volumes.
The band toured with Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights and The All-American Rejects, as well as joining the Vans Warped Tour before Moore had to have a nodule surgically removed from his vocal chords. He officially left From First to Last in early 2007 to pursue a solo career and ended up living off his credit cards, eventually renting a warehouse in the LA Arts District with his roll dogs at 19. Meanwhile, From First To Last recorded a couple more albums before going on permanent hiatus in 2010, ending the golden age of screamo. But even though emo is ooover, Moore lives on... outlasting all his emo cohorts by turning into a bass-dropping boss.
These videos explain everything you need to know about Skrillex... before he was Skrillex.
This rarely-seen video footage dates back to when From First To Last were recording their 2006 album Heroine, in a basement studio in Weed, California (actually a real place). While the other band members can be seen showboating and making outrageous claims on camera—they think they're total rock stars—Moore appears on camera just once, to wave hello in front of the tour bus.
This is the band's most popular single on YouTube with nearly 2.5 million views and counting. As they perform for old people in a retirement facility, a series of disturbing images that only emo kids like flicker by.
The band's second most popular song is "Ride the Wings of Pestilence" with nearly two million hits. It looks like it was shot in a small Mexican village, and Skrillex is wearing skinny jeans and a black tee that is far too small for him (but it's sexy).
This is a video of From First To Last performing their song "Shame Shame" while on tour in 2006. At one point, Moore does a little Mick Jagger dance move on stage and it's adorable.
In the video for "The Latest Plague" Moore screams into a magnifying glass, the band goes for a drive, and a psychotic little girl breaks all of the china. She's probably just trying to get his attention.
Elizabeth de Moya draws hearts in her notebook around her beloved Skrillex - @blackbettyblog