Borgore on Making Dubstep Decadent and Sexy, Hanging With 12th Planet and Skrillex at Coachella, and Why He Loves the Haters
Asaf Borger, known to many as Borgore or to others as the dude who "ruined dubstep." See if that's the case when he performs at School of Rock in Tempe tomorrow night.
"They call me the ice cream man/I serve it on a cone with two giant balls/And you swallow it even if it comes up your nose."
As the above lyrical bit illustrates, the music of Asaf Borger (better known in the music world as Borgore) is provocative and downright filthy. The epic rhymes spat by 23-year-old Israel-born DJ/producer concern such debauchery as hardcore sex, drugs, and even more sex, coated with quite possibly the grubbiest dubstep bass in existence.
It's called "gorestep," and it's a mix of dubstep depravity laced with Borger's libertine-like affinity for heavy metal hooks (he's the veteran of an Israeli hard rock band Shabira) and hip-hop raunch.
And its so filthy that taking a shower after listening might be necessary, especially if you've been grinding away to Borger's tracks amid a sweaty mass of grinding clubgoers.
Borger not only embraces the decadent nature of his music, he revels in it. And dubstep fans have dug his shit. Head for YouTube and be one of the millions who've listened to the wickedness of "Nympho" (sample lyric: "Do you know what's hardcore?/Me shoving an elephant up your sister's back door") or watch him frolicking with gyrating strippers in the video for his new Flex EP.
Long before Skrillex got flack for amping up the macho in dubstep, Borger was criticized for "ruining" the genre with gore and filth. We asked him about such things when interviewing him via telephone recent, as well as inquiring about his recent performance during the first week of Coachella and other subjects.
How was the first week of Coachella?
Perfect. It was perfect. Did you read something?
Something on your Facebook about how 12th Planet got you really drunk.
Oh yeah, that's the stage thing. You haven't seen the part about how we basically made two dancers strip onstage.
That was on your Twitter, right?
Yeah, that was interesting.
Did the girls get completely naked?
Oh no, they had pasties.
Is Goldenvoice mad about the striptease?
We're still waiting to hear about it.
So you've been chilling at Coachella with cats 12th Planet, Datsik, and Skrillex?
Yeah, it's brilliant. Everyone was there, every single DJ in the world.
That's pretty fucking cool, getting to party with all those cats.
The dubstep community, were very small and everybody's good friends and we get along quite often and just chill. We don't really have a chance...to do that elsewhere. You know how doctors go to a doctors convention? At festivals like this, this is our convention, just get together and play each other's tunes, you know, get a little drunk and have a good time.
Borgore performs at Coachella this past weekend.
What was the reaction to your performance in the EDM tent? It was nuts. People went crazy. Big time crazy. They started a mosh pit during the third tune in the middle of the crowd. And girls went crazy. It was super diverse in terms of ages. I actually had two hot moms coming up after the show, telling me their kids were fixed in to my tunes and how they were into my music now too. It was a perfect crowd, man. They knew all the lyrics, all the songs. They were jumping hard. It was lively.
Why is your dubstep so filthy, gory, and fucked up?
Why? It's because, I don't know. I think that I enjoy it and I think kids enjoy it. The kids call it rage. The heavier the music is, it makes people go with more energy on the dance floor.
It's quite decadent, which isn't a bad thing.
Right. I enjoy it. I kinda like it. I think everyone likes it. I don't know anyone that doesn't enjoy sex. Pretty basic. If I could've thrown food at people, that would be sick too.
"Now that I've got a girlfriend all the bitches want me bad."
Where does all that come from? Most people like hearing about getting bitches and getting money. And I really like metal. And dubstep is just a combination between the two. Its super heavy and I can talk about sex. I don't think that I focus on sex more than any other hip-hop artist. They have the tune right now, what do you call it? "My bitch bad, looking like a bag of money" or something like this. It's a big part of hip-hop music.
Your music might best be described as a drug-fueled orgy happening in trainwreck while a tornado is happening. Is that too intense a description?
I guess not. It's a good description. I want to say it sounds like it was sex and sick sounds being played out of the mouths of farm animals.
Do people still think you've ruined dubstep?
I think everyone looks at it in a good way.
Has anyone said you've saved dubstep and made it more interesting?
I hear that quite often as well, people say that I took dubstep and made it better.
What's your reaction to James Blake's infamous interview where he said Skrillex and his ilk are making dubstep more macho?
Whatever Sonny does is amazing and I have nothing bad to say about it. But at the same time I think whatever James Blake is doing is amazing. Its just, you know, there's no point arguing over music. When I go to a club I'd rather not listen to James Blake just because its not very dance-y. But when I go home and I'm with a chick and we're trying to have a good time, James Blake is perfect. It just depends on what mood that you're in.
Borgore on the decks.
You and Skrillex came from hard rock backgrounds... And I think Bassnectar comes from a metal background. A lot of dubstep producers have backgrounds in metal.
Why is that? Is because both genres deal with such heavy-duty sounds?
Definitely. If you go to a metal party, you'll see the kids, they'll sing the tune and there's like some sort of a buildup. And then the part where everyone goes crazy and starts punching each other is when the drop comes with the breakdown. The boom. The dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-boom. So dubstep has that as well.
Are there other ways in which heavy metal parallels dubstep?
Coming from a band, especially a metal band - and I see this at Skrillex's shows and I do this as well -- we will stage dive, we will go through the crowd, make them mosh, make them do whatever. Get on the floor and do stupid shit. And this is something you learn though the years of being in a band, because you're a performer. And I think that's the main thing why people coming from a metal band are successful at dubstep, because they love putting on a show.
I read somewhere that you hate a song as soon as you finish it. Do you still feel that way?
I just like to move forward. You know? I am my biggest critic. That's how I develop my stuff.
So how much do you hate your latest releases, Borgore's Misadventures in Dubstep and the Flex EP?
The thing is, Flex is actually a really good tune. [Misadventures in Dubstep] is megamix with a lot of artists from my label. Each and everyone of us made special tune for this album, so you have stuff from Tomba and Alphamale Primates.
Where do you see dubstep going from here? Will it remain brutal?
It's like in the fashion world, one year the color is yellow, one year its green. And right now dubstep is in a very out there, very heavy. There are dubstep producers will work in moombah tracks or 130 BPM tracks. So right now, dubstep is in a very experimental period.
Are you a fan of moombahton?
There's good moombahton and there's bad moombahton, like with any genre. There's one super-brilliant track out there right now, Delta Heavy's remix of Nero's "Must Be The Feeling."
How do you deal with haters?
They fuel my fire. They fuel me to become better. Also I'm happy about them. The day that I will wake up and no one's said shit about me it means I'm not important any more.
Do you like being controversial?
Yes. I don't mind it.
Do you like making people deaf?
I like when the shows are very high volume, yeah. I like when there's a lot of bass.
Is there anything you won't include in your songs because it's too much?
I don't support violence. I'm not going to say I'll kill someone.
That includes violence against animals?
I'm actually a big fan of animals.
Especially party animals, right?
Yeah. They're my favorite kind of animals.
Borgore is scheduled to perform on Thursday at School of Rock in Tempe. Admission is $15 via Want Tickets.
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