Jared Jackson is one busy cat these days. Besides being a new father, which would likely swamp anyone's schedule, the 32-year-old DJ and producer pulls regular gigs spinning Top 40 around the Valley (including one this Sunday at El Santo Cantina in Scottsdale) and serves as one-third of HavocNdeeD.
Jackson's pride and joy isn't the only new arrival that's come into his life in the past year.
HavocNdeeD -- the bass-loving Las Vegas/Phoenix EDM act, which was originally founded by Jackson and Sin City's Ben "OB-One" Garcia in 2009 -- recently added vocalist Skaught Perry as a third person to its lineup. Plus, their newest EP Distoria dropped earlier this month.
They've also have a new sound to go along with the new member. Although HavocNdeeD has become renowned in both the EDM blogosphere and on the local level for favoring dubstep, drum 'n' bass, UK garage, and old-fashioned Jamaican dub, Jackson and his cohorts have flipped the script on Distoria by shunting the floor-shaking warbles to the background in favor of more melodic and pop elements.
Up on the Sun recently spoke with Jackson about the album, HavocNdeeD's sound, Perry's role, and other topics.
Up on the Sun: HavocNdeeD has built a reputation for tracks hewn from dubstep and other bass-heavy genres. Why have things been changed up for the new EP?
Jared Jackson: Man...where to start. This is the first HavocNdeeD EP with Skaught Parry as a full time member. That's a HUGE discerning factor. Skaught's background is so eclectic and much more lyric/melody oriented. That really drove the songs and the EP as a whole in a unique direction.
What's the significance of the EP's title Distoria?
Distoria was a word that Skaught came up with and Ben and I both immediately liked it. Skaught has a history of coming up with things like that. The focus of the EP was to use elements of what we were known for -- dubstep, glitch, drum 'n' bass, et cetera -- and push it to a whole new level. We definitely are all satisfied with the result.
Is Skaught's role in HavocNdeeD strictly as a vocalist only, or is he also involved in the production side?
Everything. Vocals, guitars, programming, mixing, mastering...The thing that I feel keeps us going is that everything really is equal. We all write, program, do sound design...It's a good marriage.
How else has HavocNdeeD sound evolved for this EP?
I feel that we accomplished what we've always deep down aimed to do: Make songs, not just tracks that are easily disposable. We also made it a point to incorporate as many unique instruments as possible. Shit man, we have lap steel, acoustic and electric guitars, piano...We even had our close friend The Machinery Inside play live bass on a couple tunes. Not to mention vocals with hooks. That's a big one. Also, the thing that made it for us was that we were able to take this new road, and still utilize the electronic side of things that gave us our collective start... at least I believe we did. Listening to such tracks as "Waiting Game", it sounds like you've dialed down the gory dubstep or heavy shit in favor of other elements or sounds.
Dialed down is a good way to put it. Yes. The focus is definitely on the vocals or melody over the noise if you will. We really tried to push ourselves to make a great piece of music with this EP.
There also seems to be more of a pop sheen to Distoria than HavocNdeeD's previous tracks.
I'll take poppy over poopy.
Do you think bass-heavy genres will continue to invading the pop world?
Yeah. everyone has a dubstep intro, breakdown or track on their album. Then you have the whole Korn thing, which I personally thought was dope. But, yes, it's becoming a common thing. To be truthful though, I think everyone's shooting themselves in the foot...feet...whatever. I mean, it changed the world of music when Zeppelin and the Stones straight up ripped off Robert Johnson. It took people a good couple [of] decades to catch on and by that time, everything had evolved to a whole new level. The artists flourished. The fans covered the globe. The industry became what it was.
The more thing change...
Precisely. Nowadays, as quick as artists jump on the bandwagon to stay relevant, the fans consume, digest and wipe away the remains within minutes. Sad. But at the same time, it pushes you to make something that more special.
Have you found it hard to juggle being a dad, being a DJ, and being in HavocNdeeD?
Hard!? Yes, but I highly recommend the dad thing. At the end of the day, we get to support ourselves and our families doing the thing that we love. That in itself is pretty unreal and is never taken for granted. Also, my son is the most chill when he's hanging with me in the studio.
I imagine you've had to become good at time management? That is an understatement.
Will OB-One's gig at Talking Stick this weekend be a HavocNdeeD show?
His is a solo thing. I'll be playing the El Santo pool the same day.
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So will HavocNdeeD give North Scottsdale a one-two dubstep punch in its swanky taint this weekend?
Definitely not. Just J.Paul at one [place] and OB-One at the other. We're really taking strides to separate our solo DJ careers from what we do in HavocNdeeD. The vibe at the pools, though electronic, will be way more summer-groove oriented.
DJ Jared "J. Paul" Jackson will perform on Sunday at El Santo Cantina in Scottsdale. Meanwhile, DJ OB-One will perform at Talking Stick Resort's Release Pool Party on Sunday.