Pure Evol: A Q&A with drum n bass Intent

Evolintent1_t610What’s a Halloween party without a little Evol? No, our spell check isn’t broken. Gigantor, The Enemy and Knick (aka Mike Diasio, AJ, and Nick Weiller of Evol Intent) are bringing the drum n bass to melt your face with a live set Devil’s Night XII on Saturday. The nine-year-old trio based out of Atlanta with a loyal underground following are coming to Las Vegas for the first time in as long as they can remember. Knick chatted with the Weekly about the gig, Evol Intent’s next album, sad elephants and red-headed stepchildren.

Will it be all three of you guys for this stop on your tour, or do you take turns at different stops?

Typically, when we DJ, we split it up … but this time the whole point of the tour is getting all three of us on the road at the same time. So, it’s going to be all three of us. … I hope people know what to expect when we play. We definitely take pride in putting a lot of time, attention and detail into the set. We really try to shift between genres when we do this live laptop set. Since we have the ability to slow things down in a smooth fashion or speed things up, we go into glitchy hip-hop; we go into drum n bass; we going into dubstep. We might go into 4/4, so people are ready for, not necessarily a straightforward drum n bass set, but with our twist on it, I guess.

Got any stellar costume ideas for Devil’s Night, since it is a Halloween-themed event?

We thought it’d be funny to do the three stages of Elvis: young Elvis, middle Elvis and then Vegas Elvis. But I don’t think we have time to set that one up. But we’ll probably come up with something.

It seems you all are branching out more and more. For example, you did some work with experimental rock group Sounds of Animals fighting on “The Curtain Falls.” Where do you see Evol Intent headed?

We’ve been so confused as to where our sound is heading over the last year. We took a shot at some dubstep and stuff like that, and we think it’s fun and it’s cool, but we all decided that once this tour is over in December, we’re going to take some time off from playing shows for a couple months and work really hard on getting a new album. I think the sound that we’re going to be going for is using a lot more of a melodic structure … We’ve been known in the past for kind of glitch-y broken beat stuff and we’re going to stick with that, just with a more melodic element … It probably won’t have any drum n bass on it. Instead what we’ll do is make the album ready to go how we want it, then we’ll do drum n bass remixes and dubstep remixes, club versions basically.

What do you think is the key to making good DnB versus something that sounds like what a DJ friend calls “a sad elephant dying”?

I think the lack of quality control in drum n bass has been a problem. When vinyl started dying out and mp3 labels started popping up, all of a sudden anybody could have a record label. … When I was starting to get into DJing and production, I just really looked up to [big DnB labels like Renegade Hardware and Virus] and I wouldn’t release something until I felt like it was getting to that level.

If the question is how do you make a good track, it’s hard to really say. You just have to keep it simple. You have to remember that it’s dance music and you don’t have to cloud it up with a bunch of different sounds. A simple drum loop, a simple bass line and then an element that people can hold on to.

Do you ever feel like DnB is the red-headed stepchild of electronic music?

Yeah, it is the red-headed stepchild. Even more so now, I think. When dubstep and electro got really big in the last couple of years, drum n bass got pushed even further to the side. But it’s got such a die-hard fanbase. … Sometimes I forget how passionate certain people are about drum n bass. A couple of shows that we’ve played on this tour—Houston was a really good example—we’ve had kids there that drove six hours to come see us, and that was so cool … That’s what keeps me going. I don’t really picture drum n bass dying out or anything. It’s strange. As many times it’s gone up and down and up and down, it still stays there. Even if it’s under the radar, it’s there. That’s pretty cool to me.

(Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly and at LasVegasWeekly.com.)

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