DJ ill.Gates is a veteran of Shambhala Music Festival and will be returning to play the festival’s Village Stage. Friday night he takes the stage at Spiritbar and before he arrived in Nelson the crew from Shambhala had a chance to catch up with ill.Gates and talk about the differences between Toronto and San Francisco and what’s next for ill.Gates.
1. How has life been different since you relocated from Toronto to San Francisco?
I moved here for business reasons primarily, so that’s the obvious difference. But personally my favourite part of it is getting to spend more time in the studio and with my girl. When I lived in toronto I had to cross the border all the time, and take all these crazy triple connector flights all the time… eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t write enough and my airfare was more than rent each month. I decided something had to give, it gave, and things are a lot more sustainable for me now.
2. What do you enjoy most about teaching people to create music?
When they learn, and then show me something new with my own techniques. It’s kinda like meeting your musical grandkids or something… I love it!
3. What separates your music productions from others?
Me. My individuality, my emotion, my experience. Although I love the technical side of things I try to write music that isn’t about technique or trends. I express myself as clearly as I can and try to make something simple that will last forever.
4. You have been to Shambhala in the past, what do you look forward to most when you know your coming back, this year on the Village stage?
Being away from canada for so long starts to get really surreal, so this year it’s the return to my roots that I look forward to the most. My friends, my brother, my family… I can’t think of a better place to spend my birthday. I’ve been working really hard writing new music too, and I feel it’s my best work yet. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
5. What’s up next for ill.Gates?
I’m working on a new record for Bassnectar’s Amorphous music label. The ill.Methodology was heavy on the collabs so I’m doing an all solo EP to switch it up. I’ve been working hard in my new studio developing an entirely new system of instrumentation and workflow with all kinds of rare and custom MIDI controllers and have been playing my parts rather than sequencing them. It’s an challenge to create such a new sound for myself yet again but I can’t help it… I change a lot as a person so I always need to find new and more complete means of expression.
ill.Gates plays Spiritbar with djDubconscious on tomorrow night. Doors open at 10 p.m. and ticket information is available at the Hume Hotel.