Hello my fellow bassheads, I have a treat for you today. Underground dubstep legend Sub Antix (aka Keith Stewart) took time out of his hectic schedule to do a GDD interview! Residing in his hometown, Vancouver, British Columbia, Keith has been producing electronic music for four years. Now a hometown legend, Keith’s music has reached audiences all across the globe.
Keith’s take on dubstep is unique to say the least. While all of his songs possess the massive basslines we have all come to know and love, they differ from the everyday “big drop” dubstep tracks that have all started sounding so similar.
Sub Antix’s perfectionist style is evident in his music, not only in the giant bass wobbles but in the melodic refrains that he has become known for.
So, without further ado, I present to you a personal hero of mine, Sub Antix.
GDD™: Hey Keith, thanks a bunch for taking the time out of your busy schedule for an interview, I know that you are a very busy man. Also, I just want to say that I am a huge fan.
SA: No problem at all and much appreciation. I’m actually quite a fan of the blog as well so I feel pretty privileged to be doing this interview.
GDD™: Let’s get right to it, I have noticed that you have played a bunch of shows in BC, any plans for a trip to the states?
SA: Most definitely. I think it’s within every artist from Canada’s plan to break through to the states. The market is huge and the genre itself seems to be taking a tight hold over all the people that are interested in it in North America, creating this big movement that seems to have no real signs of slowing down.
GDD™: I agree, I don’t see any end in sight for the dubstep movement. I know this is a tough one, but what is your favorite show you have ever played? Also, what was the best show you ever attended?
SA: The best show I played myself was the time I opened for Datsik in August. Everyone got there early, the energy was unbelievable from start to finish and it wasn’t only the first big show I had played with a new promotion company but it was also the first time I got to play out Human Error before I gave it out. The best show I have ever attended, however, was Shambhala. It’s an outdoor music festival near Nelson, BC that brings thousands of like-minded people in one beautiful place to experience some of the best music out there. A lot of people will probably recognize the name from Excision’s yearly set and I encourage anyone thinking about going to quit hesitating and go. It’s nuts.
GDD™: Although dubstep started in the UK, it has certainly become a worldwide movement, with artists emerging all over the world. In Canada you have two of my favorite names, Datsik and Zeds Dead, how has the scene in Canada influenced you?
SA: It’s influenced me immensely. Artists like Downlink, Datsik (as you said), and Excision have been huge inspirations and catalysts for pushing myself to create bigger and badder sounds. As far as the scene itself, I know that different cities in Canada like Calgary are really feeling the sound and have profound artists coming out of there with their own unique takes on the genre as well. I’m always stoked to hear what other up and coming producers from Canada have to offer as well as other producers from around the world.
GDD™: What do you think is next for dubstep?
SA: Bigger sounds, more record labels and (fortunately or unfortunately depending on the way you look at it) mainstreaming. As all these much poppier, more melodic driven tracks come out, a lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily have taken to the genre before are really starting to like it.. But even then there will still be a place for the people who dig the darker stuff. I don’t think that will ever change.
GDD™: I read that you used to be in a metal band, how has your love for metal influenced your production and what bands in particular influenced you growing up? How did you make the transition from metal band to electronic music?
SA: I love anything really heavy and driving in music right off the bat it seems. I was, and still am, a huge fan of bands like Spawn of Possession, Opeth, Meshuggah etc. I also grew up in a smaller town playing lots of older video games and loving the sounds of all the different synths that were used to make the music for them. I guess it would be the combination of both those things that brought me to electronic music in the end.
GDD™: Oracle is much different than your other tunes, is this an indication of a new direction for Sub Antix?
SA: I wouldn’t say so. I generally produce the kinds of tracks that are similar to the ones I am really feeling to at that moment. When I was making Oracle though I actually intended to make another bigger harsher track but nothing really seemed to compliment the intro. So I went the opposite direction and found something that fit a lot better.
GDD™: Today, there are so many different sounds in dubstep, who, in particular do you think is pushing the scene in a new direction and who would you say is your biggest influence?
SA: Both really tough choices. With all these new releases coming out lately it’s hard to be specific. If I had to pick 3 I would say Skism, Subscape and Flux Pavillion have crazy originality in their own ways and are definitely pushing the genre. As far as my biggest influence I gotta say Reso. Definitely one of the most diverse producers out there and the quality and dynamics of his tracks are continuously insane.
GDD™: We are beginning to see much more dubstep artists performing at raves, and in many dubstep stages have replaced drum n bass stages. Do you think the rave scene will have an effect on dubstep?
SA: I think it’s going to become more and more common to hear dubstep at big raves but the key is variety. At huge events like that people value choice, and I would have to say dubstep is a pretty good choice.
GDD™: Thanks again for the interview Keith, best to you.