Photo by THESUPERMANIAK
On Friday, September 6, THUMP (this website that you are looking at right now) and its blessed YouTube channel will be hosting a livestream from The Nest HQ in LA (OWSLA's label headquarters). You will be able to catch 12th Planet and Kastle live in the mix at 3PM Eastern time (Noon California time, 8PM UK time), while a chef makes them food and they chop it up with good music and vibes.
To prepare you for this momentous occasion, I called up 12th Planet (aka Infiltrata aka John Dada aka John Dadabetes), who I have known since I was like 19 years old and we were smoking spliffs and playing drum & bass records together in scrappy clubs and raves up and down the West Coast. 12th is famous as hell right now—repping his SMOG label, chilling with Skrilly, touring everywhere in the world—and he's still the same trippy loveable dude that he always has been.
He's also impossible to pin down—he's the type of dude that could go on tour with two managers and still end up in a ditch in Perth hugging a koala and missing a bunch of gigs. John loves the party and lives it, 24/7—when they say "born to do it," they are talking about this man.
So anyway, to interview him involves like six hours. At 7PM, he texts saying he's in a cab and will iChat me in 20 minutes. No reply so I send him dumb texts like "Long John Dada" and "hellohello johnjohnjohn." At 10PM, he texts to ask if I'm going out. At 12:30AM, he texts me that he's going on iChat then instead calls me drunk with a mouth full of pizza from a promoter's house in Austin. We proceeded to talk for 45 minutes about porn stars, Skrillex's panini, his secret love for Miley Cyrus, and the meaning of EDM. Ladies and gentlemen, 12th Planet.
THUMP: Where did you get the name 12th Planet from?
12th Planet: It's a really good book called the 12th Planet. You can get that one on Wikipedia or Google it somewhere. [ed's note: you can not buy books on Wikipedia.] Actually, you know who put me on to that was Nitsuj from San Francisco (now known as Commodore 69 from Hot 'n' Heavy Recordings). Then I went to DJ Craze's crib and I was talking about aliens and shit with Craze's girl Roz and she had that book. So I made a song about it and then it became my name.
You're kind of a sci-fi nerd right? Or you were before you were busy traveling all the time? What kind of stuff are you into?
I love sci-fi. I love everything really. Except I don't really like, like, Gone With The Wind. Right now, Battlestar Galactica for sure. Defiance. That show is so dope. Star Trek, that shit is dope. Elysium, Oblivion. Whats the other one? Red Dawn? The one that everyone went to go see?
I don't know dude. We don't have time for that in Brooklyn. Have you ever been to a Star Trek convention?
No I have not. I'm very scared. Those guys are hella more Star Trek than I am. Also too, after we do this thing, give me the same exact questions on AIM and I'll answer them there. My brain is all fried. I been listening to the same goddamn song for six hours.
Sounds crazy. On another note, what is the best food in any airport ever?
Salt Lick BBQ in the Austin airport! Hell yeah!
What does 12th Planet do on the plane?
Sleeps. I've perfected the skill where you kind of fold your arms across as soon as they cut the engines off and they make the air enter. You meditate and try not to wake up for the soda chick. Once you're awake, once she wakes you up, then you're up forever. You're fucked. The key is to bring a soda with you. Water. Coconut water. I don't give a fuck. Then you don't gotta worry about the soda chick waking you up. And you can flex on fools and take both armrests because by law you are required to have both of those armrests. Straight airplane etiquette. The aisle guy gets the armrest and a little bit of leg in the aisle, you get both armrests.
Have you ever watched porn on the plane or is that a no-no?
That is a definite no-no, especially with the kids and freaks and weirdos. At the same time, I don't watch too much porn. I hang out with a bunch of porn stars in LA and it's like, "Damn, you're so awesome but I just watched this movie and you're getting fucked by four dudes!" It makes me feel weird.
You should just watch porn from the '80s where you don't know anyone in it.
Yeah or like… the late '90s. Those are the ones that have already been spanked into memory. That shit takes like 10 seconds.
Tell us one thing about Skrillex that nobody knows.
He can sing every single song on The Little Mermaid. Dead serious. And he's a very good panini maker.
What is in Skrillex's panini? Hmm. That sounds strangely sexual.
Whatevers in the refrigerator, which is usually like some shredded hot dog wieners and some lettuce and some cheese. It's kind of like a quesadilla, actually, but it's a panini. He'll even make them on the tour bus with the coffee maker.
It's amazing you guys aren't fat, given that you're on tour eating coffee-maker quesadillas every day.
It's because we only eat one meal a day. Duh. You drink until 6am then you pass out and you wake up at 5pm. Rinse and repeat. Hit your one meal, hit the bar, maybe eat something late at night.
What is the sluttiest thing a girl has ever said to you?
I really don't know. That's a tough question. Nobody likes me. I guess the sluttiest thing was, "How much is in your bank account?" I was like "Word. Alright, girl. You're a keeper."
When was the first time you thought, "Shit, I might be getting to be a big DJ?"
I think when I was 21 or 22 and I got to go play in England at a Renegade Hardware party. I was like, "Dude. I made it. Im on top of the world. I might be a big deal." When I came back from England, all the US dudes were like "You played in England?! What's it like? Do they eat weenies and drum & bass for breakfast?" So yeah, that's when I thought I made it.
How did being a drum & bass DJ, producer, and MC help you with what you do now as 12th Planet?
I been in the game a long time. I guess this wasn't my first rodeo. I had already went through the hard knocks and all the gigs and sleepin' on the homies couch... I still do that—don't get me wrong. I learned from other peoples' mistakes and from other peoples' gains. I been DJing for 13 years and professionally 11 years. You know, I think I'm going to change my name from the American Dubstep King to the Bass God.
Ooh, Bass God. That's good. I like that.
No, Baste God. Like B-A-S-T-E.
Oh. That sounds really dirty.
Yeah that's pornographic. That's what those porn girls use to put the stuff down there to make it look like super wet. They put oil in the turkey baster and they put it down in their cooter.
Are you for real? I guess you would know.
Fuck, I don't know. It could be. Now the porn scene in LA is not that great because everyone has to wear a condom. That didn't happen 'til like last year. It's like, "Who the fuck wants to watch a porn movie where they're wearing condoms?"
What, for blowjobs too? Is this killing the American porn scene?
Yeah, they have to wear condoms for everything. It's not killing it just, it's just now they're moving from LA to Vegas and Phoenix and Miami where there's less restrictions.
So you're going to have to spend all your time in Vegas and Phoenix and Miami then?
Yeah I guess so. I'm going to have to plan all my flight routing through those cities.
You're pretty good friends with fellow dubstep/bass artist Flinch. Tell us a funny story about him.
I've known Flinch about 13 years. Hmm, a funny story? I'll try to keep this PG-13. One time on tour he lost his phone and his wallet in the same day. TI might be the only person that can one up him on that. At SXSW, within one hour of being there, I lost my prescription sunglasses, my phone, and my regular reading glasses, all at different places. I basically was blind as fuck for all of SXSW and Ultra.
What producer's music are you really enjoying playing right now?
DJ Snake from France. He's dope. He's like the Twerk Team right now. And Protohype. Me and him just did this new EP coming out together on SMOG. He's a white kid from Nashville, Tennessee that was in Three 6 Mafia video when he was 14 or 15 smoking blunts. Me and him have made seven or eight songs in the last two months. Also I fucks with Carnage all day.
Who was 12th Planet in a past life?
Jimi Hendrix. But more like.... Jimi Hendrix's cousin Eric. I'm kidding. Oh god. Oh god.
There are quite a few dubstep artists these days that, even though they pioneered the sound, are turning their backs on it and now saying that they hate it. What do you think about that?
I can only think of one or two people that are like that really. Without saying any names, those guys been making the same type of music for 13 or 14 years. You get older and you get different likes and maybe you want to move on to a different genre. It's different now. It's dubstep dead? Hell no, it's not dead! But it's definitely not like what it was in its core seven or eight years ago. But what is? America is not even the same as it was seven or eight years ago.
I was talking to the manager of some big EDM act the other day—they kind of made their money and foundation on dubstep but their next album is mostly progressive house stuff. I was asking about some track and he was like "No, no. It's not dubstep. Dubstep is dead. It's drum & bass." I'm so confused. First, drum & bass was supposed to be dead, now dubstep's dead and drum & bass is back?
Drum & bass is up in here. It's fuckin' back. It's fucking crazy. There are a lot of people cutting drum & bass records right now. But shit is so EDM, bro. And by EDM I mean all the stuff they play at Electric Daisy Carnival or Electric Zoo or Electric Sunshine or Electric Forest or Electric Pulse. Electric everywhere. If it has electric in the title, they're playing EDM. EDM is whatever they're playing on all seven stages of that festival. That's EDM dude. They don't know if it's drum & bass or progressive house or trance. And the kids got it on their iPod because they went to the show. It's not about finding some crazy style of music that no one has ever of like we used to care about when we were junglists.
If you could meet anyone famous and dead who would it be?
Hooooooo! Miley Cyrus. Im not talking about Hannah Montana. I'm talking ratchet-ass Miley Cyrus. My friends don't know it but I low-key fucks with her.
That meme of her and the chicken butt didn't kill it for you?
No, I guess not. I'm not up on my meme game right now.
Why haven't you met her already? I mean, she's around LA. She worked with Borgore.
I probably met her but I didn't know what she looked like 'til she did those ratchet-ass videos!
I guess this makes you the only person in the world that liked those videos then.
Yes. Fucking straight up. I should be dating Miley Cyrus right now. But wait, she's got a boyfriend right? He has more views on YouTube than me. That's the only thing that he has over me. That and great looks and he's white.
I think she might be too ratchet for her fiancee so you might get your chance! Speaking of dreams: what's your advice for young producers trying to make it in the game right now?
If you have any questions, the answers are on YouTube. It's not like back in the day when you were like [gossipy voice], "I heard this. I heard this guy uses that." and you couldn't know for sure. Google it! It's all on there. You can find out everything. Carpe diem and the world is yours. Seize the day. Le monde est nous.
Where did you learn all this French from?
I learned from Brodinski. Oui oui pee pee professor for French. No, really, Son of Kick is my French teacher. And he makes grime. Remember he had that video here these kids try to steal this car and dubstep starts playing and they start bleeding out of their ears and vomiting? It was called Kids Die from Dubstep and it has like 20 million hits on you Tube and shit. That was Son of Kick. It got trolled so hard. Do you troll on YouTube? Are you out there trolling?
No, I don't have time to troll on YouTube. Do you?
No, but I troll all the time. All the negative comments on Trouble & Bass came from me. Maybe I can apologize like that one scene in Billy Madison when Adam Sandler calls Buscemi and then Buscemi proceeds to cross him out and then put on lipstick.
What is your favorite YouTube of all time?
Dan Deacon "Drinking Out of Cups." They locked up Dan Deacon in a closet while he was on acid and someone recorded what he was saying and then they animated this talking lizard to it. Google that. Demon Pizza is kind of dope, I ain't gonna lie. I wanttttt piiiiizzza.
You live in LA, you must be really into smoking what is that called... daps? Dabs? Wax?
No, dabs. Dabs. BTO. That stands for Butane Hash Oil.
That makes you trip out, huh?
Yeahhhh trip out esayyy. (Cholo voice). No, seriously, yeah, it does.
You been smoking weed forever so you must have a lot of conspiracy theories. What conspiracies do you really believe in?
I'm kind of scared to talk about a lot of that stuff but shit... I believe that crack cocaine was engineered to destroy the black race. It was also a tool to finance overthrowing of the Nicaraguan government and to finance the Iranian soldiers that were protecting the oil supplies (which turned into OPEC). Wiki the Iran-Contra affair. All this was to destroy the African-American population. Also, these people that owned a bunch of prisons all over were paying for more gangsta rap to be made because it was increasing incarceration rates. Oh, and humans were created from aliens. That's what 12th Planet is about.