Kaskade was the first ficial music act the weekend at this yearâs X Games in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He played a truly unforgettable set at The Armory, which was just down the street from the X Games. I had the opportunity to chat with Kaskade shortly before his set that evening. We talked about X Games, Sun Soaked, and his record store days. He was even generous enough to share with me some exclusive upcoming music news!
Welcome back to Minneapolis! Weâre here for X Games, have you been to an event like this before?
I have. I was living in San Francisco when they hosted the X Games. Then they (X Games) got in a big fight with the city, which is kind San Francisoâs way. Like, âThis is too much fun! Weâre kicking you guys out!â
Do you have a favorite event?
Iâm more a skateboard guy. I grew up skating. Iâll still jump on a skateboard now and again. In fact, look at thatÂ (Kaskade then pulled up his pant leg to show a scar on the right side his foot around the ankle). I had two surgeries right there. Thatâs a little kicker right there. I broke that right in half.
Thank you for taking a day f Sun Soaked to come join us! How has the event been going this year?
We did a pop-up shop on Tuesday, which is awesome. Down in Venice. I had a show on Wednesday and I had a show last night (Thursday). So two kind âRe-dooâ or âRe-ducksâ depending on where in the world you live in the world.
Here in the Midwest weâre more a âRe-ducksâ area!
Haha alright, alright. If you want to fight me about that, I donât care what you call it. Whatever works! I did two those and four shows tomorrow (Saturday).
I saw you have a vinyl set this week!
Yeah, tomorrow afternoon. A good opportunity to break records out.
Speaking records, you used to manage a record store?
I owned and operated. I mean, we say âmanagedâ because that just means I hung out there a lot haha.
Before I owned it, I just would hang out there and pseudo kind work there. I was going to university and I spent a lot time in the record store. Then, one the owners was moving so I bought her portion the record store and I owned it for a few years.
I saw the story involving you, Skrillex and the record store.
Did that turn out to be you?
I donât think it was. We tried to get the timeline. I moved away from Salt Lake in 2000. When we tracked the timeline back, we werenât totally sure. People went back and found the dates. He was a touring act so Iâm like âIt couldâve been that tour; it couldâve been that tour.â Reading that story was freaking crazy, because Iâm like âThatâs my store!â
Isnât it a feeling is it to just sit there and flip through albums?
Yeah! Iâm a junkie.
Do you have a favorite album? Like album art, songs, the total package?
Iâd say the EDM thing to say would be Daft Punkâs âHomeworkâ. Most people wouldnât say âHomeworkâ, but I think thatâs my favorite album theirs. I donât know man; Iâd have to go back farther like Art Of Noise. I forget what their second album was called (“In Visible Silence”), or Kraftwerk âAutobahnâ. I could go back even farther because that stuff was so important for electronic music to have acts doing that you know? It was kind like the foundation.
It was very out--the box back then.
Yeah, very different. Ha, like banging on pots and pans and sampling it. The workflow was very different back then.
Any memorable moments from the record store?
Oh man from the thousands hours hanging out in the record store?! It was cool. I remember guys like Donald Glaude coming through, and Doc Martin. Kind like that first-wave The Wicked Crew from San Francisco. This is all pre-EDM. These guys back then were like the Tiestos and Diplos that time, that era. It was cool to be the location in Salt Lake when everybody rolled through. Any touring act, you know guys like Skrillex. Even past my time. It was cool to be a part that and those memories.
Heidi Klum stopped by your set a couple weeks back, how random was that?!
Sheâs very energetic. She likes to dance. Thatâs cool. I like people who dance at shows. She joined me in the booth; I showed her what a cryogun was. That was fun!
Haha she said two things that were extremely memorable that didnât make any sense.
When I first walked into the booth, it was insanely loud! It was a brand new club and they hadnât totally tweaked it or dialed the sound in yet. I mean brand new. I mightâve been the first act to play on that sound system. Anyway, Iâm talking like blood is coming out my eyes the corner my eyes loud. She looks at me and is like (in his best Heidi impression) âTurn up the music!â I couldnât tell if she was messing with me. Like âAre you messing with me because itâs so loud you want me to turn it up? Or do you actually want me to turn it up?â All I did was be like âIâm actually not the guy. I make the selections and blend them. Itâs as loud as it can go on my apparatus that I use to perform here.'
The level is all the way up!
Ha! Yeah âThereâs another guy around here!â
The other thing she said thatâs kind funny, (continuing his impression) âI want to jump out into the crowd.â Iâm like âOkayâ. âWill they catch me?!â âYou're Heid Klum, they will catch you. And there will probably be some wandering hands. If I was a 21 year old boy and Heidi Klum jumped on me I will catch you!â She was trying to convince me to jump and I was like âWell I actually have something to do here. If you want to jump out there Iâm sure I can assist somehow?â But yes, she was very fun.
How many people on the streets have called you DJ Gary since the DJ Hanzel interview?
Itâs not on the streets so much as it is like when Iâve rolled up to a couple festivals. Off the long edit, thatâs like the âDirectorâs Cutâ or something that he released. The shorter version he released was like a year or eight months ago. It had the DJ Gary bit in there as well. Iâve played a handful festivals where thereâs a big sign that says âDJ Garyâ. Iâm like (points his finger) âDillon Francisâ! I donât even know why he messes with music he should go full time into that.
What's big for you and Arkade this year?
Iâll give you an exclusive! We have our first compilation coming up really soon. Itâs called âArkade Destinationâs: Tulumâ. I should know the release date because I am âthe guyâ, but it is soon. Itâs electronic music inspired by the city Tulum. The idea is to have this be a series Arkade destinations. You know,Chicago, Minneapolis, whatever. Tulum is very kind like cool sounding. Iâve got a few original tracks on there and I just called up all the producers and people that Iâm really feeling.
Fellow Arkade dudes?
Arkade dudes, outside Arkade, some new artists, some guys that I just have been kind bubbling up. Youâll just have to wait and see for that!
Finally, red or green on your tacos?
Totally depends on the place! I typically choose whatever is hotter.
Oh ok so youâre a red guy?!
No, no! At my local spot the green is hotter! I go for the spicier the two, depending on where you are.
Huge thanks to Kaskade for taking the time to talk with me! I'd also like to thank the X Games, ESPN, SIM Shows,Â The ArmoryÂ and Strykerfoto for the helping make this all possible.