Meet the Bassheads: We Went in Deep with Bassnectar's Legions at Red Rocks

"Lorin stopped me from doing heroin."

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Jun 3 2015, 2:00pm

All Photos by Najla Anthony.

Go to any Bassnectar show and you'll find yourself wilding out with one of music's most dedicated communities. Embodying an ethos set righteously forth by Lorin Ashton himself, these crazed bass-fiends live out their own unique version of Noise vs Beauty on the daily, balancing a relentlessly ballistic physical approach with care and tender appreciation for their fellow brethren and the natural world (at least in theory).

There are no limits to and from where these frisky hooligans will travel, especially when it comes to the exalted, yearly extravaganza at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado that has become a religious pilgrimage for many.

With fans pouring into the Denver suburb from all over the country last weekend, THUMP set out on a quest to get up close and personal with the basshead community, and the people that elevate Bassnectar from mere mortality to the low-end deity that we know him to be.

Ryan Beasley

How many Bassnectar shows have you been to?
I've seen him 15 times or so. It's hard to keep track after so many years!

What was your first show?
Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona. 2010.

Your favorite song?
"Ready to Rage."

What makes you the biggest basshead?
It's like the soundtrack to everything I do man! I brush my teeth to that shit. I understand the fanaticism. Friends are like, "Dude, why do you wanna listen to that at eight in the morning?'" I'm like, 'I'm just getting my day going man!'

Most memorable Bassnectar experience?
When I saw him at Coachella in 2010, that was the first big show I saw him at. He dropped "Where's My Mind?" when the Sahara tent was still smaller.

What do you love most about Nectar?
I've always been a fan of the music, but also like this culture and the crowds that come here and the way everybody rages but takes care of everybody. I think that's sick.

Bassnectar is...
... a lifestyle.

Chelcey

What was your first show?
Halloween, Dallas 2011.

How many have you been to?
16.

What draws you to Bassnectar so much?
It sounds so cheesy, but he makes me feel like I can do anything. He's opened my mind to so many new things and I've had so many good experiences in this community.

What's your favorite song?
This is so hard! I think my favorite thing he's ever done is actually in a mixtape, it's the "Dirt off Your Shoulder" remix that's on Immersive Side 1. It's my favorite piece, the make-me-feel-like-I-do-anything jam.

Bassnectar is...
Life-changing.

Max and Dimitri

What was your first show?
Max: Rochester, 2012, was it?

Do you guys always do Bassnectar shows together?
We've only missed twice.

How many shows have you been to?
Max: 10.
Dimitri: 14.

What do you love most about Nectar?
Dimitri: He got me off of pills!
Max: Dude, the music in itself like... I don't know if there is any other way to explain... We came from Rochester, so you know what things are like out there.

Favorite song?
Dimitri: "Teleport Massive"
Max: He made an "Everyday I'm Hustling" remix.

What makes you biggest bassheads?
Dimitri: I've got 3 tattoos.
Max: And our friendship, how long we've been friends together.

So Bassnectar bonded you guys as friends?
Max: Yeah.
Dimitri: Yeah, and he got me off heroin.

Finish this sentence 'Bassnectar is...'
Max: I...I can't...just speechless...There's no words to even...not a word.
Dimitri: My inspiration, he makes me wanna do good.
Max: Exactly. Without his music, I don't even know...

Joanna

First Bassnectar show?
2012, EDC in Orlando.

Number of shows?
Probably nine or ten. I cant count, but I travel a lot for him. I flew to Michigan, went to Peoria for Halloween, then Day of the Dead right after, which was beautiful, and now I've come around here for Red Rocks.

What draws you to Bassnectar?
The messages! They're beautiful. You gotta really understand and appreciate it. A lot of people don't get it or understand it, but once they see it for themselves in person, and they understand the messages, vibes and frequencies being put out, they're like, "daaaamn... yeeeaah."

What's your favorite song?
Probably "Skin on the Drums," featuring Michael Franti. It'll touch your heart strings.

Finish this sentence "Bassnectar is..."
The king of the sound.

Anthony

What was your first Nectar gig?
Hangout Fest, 2012. I've been to six since then.

Your favorite song?
"Empathy."

What do you love about Bassnectar so much?
The fact that his music is so diverse and the fact that he collects people from all over the place and just puts them together for music... doesn't matter what background you're from, it's A-OK.

Bassnectar is...
Love.

What makes you the biggest basshead?
It doesn't matter how far the drive or anything, if I get to fucking see him and can see him, I'm doing it.


Ellen (Bass Bunny)

Favorite show?
Bassnectar Red rocks for sure. I feel like it's his magical place.

Number of shows?
Lucky number seven!

What draws you to Bassnectar?
His sense of freedom. He's way more than an artist and does so much for his fans, he's just an amazing person.

What makes you one of the biggest bassheads?
I never miss a show with him coming to Colorado ever. This is the first year that I'm only going just this night so that makes me really sad. He's my all-time favorite and got me into electronic music.

Your favorite song?
I love "Land of Lupes." I'm a huge skater, so that just really speaks to me. "A rebel looking for a place to be"—I love that lyric.

Bassnectar is...
The bass god! I feel like the Bassnectar community is more of a community than any other artist has.

Barbie

When was your first Bassnectar experience?
A year and a half ago.

Number of shows?
This is my third.

Are you one of the biggest bassheads?
Hell yeah, fuck yeah.

How so?
Pretty much been listening to electronic music since i discovered it when I was 4. My parents are huge fucking bassheads.

Favorite Bassnectar moment?
I got picked up and crowd-surfed onto a stage. I did that about three times before they actually kicked me out of the show.

Favorite song
"LSD" probably.

"Bassnectar is..."
The perfect fucking show to rage your balls off at! [laughs]

Lucas and Luci

Number of shows?
Lucas: 28.

28? Holy shit you ain't playing!
Lucas: Yeah I did the first 14 stops of the tour this year. I started in my hometown in Rochester, did all the way to St. Louis.

What was your first show?
Lucas: Rochester, 2013.

Wow. You've seen 28 shows in 2 years?
Lucas: I saw Bassnectar 20 times in 2014. But its not even about the numbers for me, its about the show itself and how every show is a different experience. Nectar will never play the same thing twice because he's fucking amazing.
Luci: That's how we met! On the rail at a show.
Lucas: I met her on tour and we fell in love instantly... he has changed my life so much... I honestly love him so much. [turns and passionately kisses Luci]

Bassnectar is...
Lucas: Life.

Jake

What was your first Bassnectar experience?
2011 at the Compuware Arena, Plymouth, Michigan. It was the craziest show of my life.

How many shows have you been to?
30, on the dot!

What draws you to Nectar?
He's completely unique and unlike any artist out there he hits every fucking genre in one entire set.

Bassnectar is...
Life.

Mycah Seals is a one-man movement with 34 Twitter followers.

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