Here are the top 10 things that happened to me over the course of 2011; a year that took this website from an abstract idea into a household name. I owe everything to the artists I have covered, every promotion company that have booked them, and every person that attended their shows and/or read my reviews. I’m just happy I survived it all with some money left in my account and my hearing intact. Can’t wait to see if 2012 can top its predecessor.
- Signed Sincerely, The Worst Guy
1. 48 Hours with Figure
There have been very few instances this past year where something life changing has happened to me and I decided against blogging about it. Meeting Josh Guard is among them. After purchasing tickets to cover the back-to-back shows he played in August, I informed him of how excited I was via email and didn’t think much of it, as I had just recently come in contact with him following our interview. When the Toronto show finally came, Josh greeted me after his set with open arms and happily adorned the TWG shirt I gave him. I told him I would be seeing him the following night, exchanged numbers, and sauntered back to my ex-girlfriends apartment happier than a pig in shit. Then things somehow got more awesome.
During my subsequent coitus session, my trusty iPhone began buzzing violently on the side table and I glanced over in panic as I read the caller id: FIGURE. Before I could even say or do anything, my ex assured me that answering the phone was not the best idea if I hoped to retain my current predicament, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I guess thinking with your head sometimes is a good thing, because as it turned out Josh was wondering if he could catch a ride with me to London later that day, instead of struggling to make his red-eye at Pearson airport. I of course obliged.
I picked him up the next day and we spent a good 3 hours meandering through Moog Audio in Queen West, and grabbing some Big Fat Burritos in Kensington Market before hitting the highway back west. On the drive he sat beside me on his laptop and happily worked away on his music while amusing my questions, which continued all the way into my apartment and throughout dinner. I then drove him to APK that night where he threw down a sensational set, and following the show he decided to bypass the hotel room that was booked for him and opted to come back and crash at my place. We stayed up until 4 am looking for the best 90s hip-hop to sample while reminiscing about both shows, and the following morning I dropped him off at the airport where we said our goodbyes. It was truly the best 48 hours I’ve had as a music fan to date, and I’m just lucky that Josh was awesome enough to have allowed for it to happen.
2. Interviewing Steve Duda
This one was actually a double-whammy, as arranging the interview with Steve involved attending the set he spun on The River Gambler in the middle of Lake Ontario this past May, which also featured a crew member that I had a hunch would be on board: Joel Zimmerman. For an entire sunny afternoon, the small group on board had an intimate DJ set courtesy of both Steve and Joel, as we sailed around the Toronto harbour side. This setting was also isolated enough to socially interact with the two of them in a civilized manor, and following his set I shared a couple of cigarettes and some light conversation with Steve, where he gave me the green light to rendezvous back at his place the following week for an interview.
After reading the address, I realized that Steve owned the bachelor loft adjacent to Joel’s in Toronto, which has since been purchased, destroyed and amalgamated into what is now Deadmau5′s new super studio/lair downtown. The interview itself was the first I had done in video format, and Steve was a pleasure to have as the debut artist. His wealth of knowledge on almost every aspect of the music industry was simply astounding, and it was an incredible honour to sit as the lone audience to his muse for over an hour. Furthermore, he showed us a bunch of the new tracks and software VSTs that he’d been working on at the time, and graciously delivered my care package of cat-nip cigars and Whiskas treats next door to Prof. Meowingtons.
3. Interviewing Devin Martin
If you follow this website with any sort of regularity, it’s not hard to see why this event made the top three. Devin has been my closest internet friend since we met on Skype last January, which gave me a front row seat to watch him evolve as a producer and climb his way up the Beatport charts. I have learnt more about the inner workings of the North American EDM industry from his tales than any other medium combined, and have had a great time befriending him in the process. He’s the only guy that always has got my back, and I love the dude to death. Look out for our first actual interaction to be nestled atop this list come next year.
4. Dinner and a show with Porter Robinson
I was a big fan of Porter Robinson when I first began this website, which has fostered a healthy amount of posts dedicated to his music for the past year or so since. His reputation has done nothing but skyrocket in 2011, and thus I was given ample opportunities to go and see him live in and around Ontario, and even Quebec. By the time his Hamilton show in September rolled around, he had taken notice and was nice enough to invite the whole TWG crew to his dinner and pre-show party. The show itself had a couple of mishaps here and there, but in the end we all got blasted and had a lot of fun in the process. I sincerely hope that it wasn’t our final encounter, as Mr. Robinson has a healthy sense of humor and I’d love to put it to the test once again.
5. Zedd Touches Down in Toronto
When Anton Zaslavski gave me my first interview last November, he was sitting at #4 in the Beatport charts for his remix of “Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites” and was still looking to get bookings outside of Germany. 4 months later, Zedd had already become a household name on blogs across the world and had finally been booked to play a show in Toronto. Meeting him for the first time was just as I expected, as his live demeanor was just as gentle and humble as his online one. However, what I never could have expected was that he would allow me to stand alongside him in the booth for the entirety of his show, and furthermore, encouraged me to jump around as emphatically as my body would let me. When it was all over I handed him over the first TWG shirt ever made, which I later learned he had been repping all across America during the inaugural OWSLA tour with Porter Robinson and Skrillex this past summer.
6. Seeing Madeon in New York
Upon hearing that Madeon was scheduled to make his first overseas appearance at Webster Hall in New York, I tweeted him congratulations and assured him that I would do anything in my power to make my way to the big apple to see it. About a minute later, a wonderful lady named Laura (Webster Hall’s twitter-master) jumped into the conversation and assured she’d have a pass waiting for me if I made it down. Without thinking twice I grabbed my trustee sidekick (Dan O. Photos) and made the necessary bookings and arrangements. The concert itself was phenomenal, and served as the center-piece to what was an incredible weekend of roaming around Manhattan with a video camera. And to top it all off, I just happened to have been standing next to the founder of Elektro Magazine while I was documenting Madeon’s show, which in turn landed me with my first actual writing job. I still have yet to finish compiling and editing all the footage from the trip, but the moment it’s finished you’ll be the first to know.
7. Having Bob Rifo Recognize My Review
I got into the EDM scene by being introduced to the music of Bob Rifo and The Bloody Beetroots back in 2008. Following the first show I ever saw them play, which was here in London, I wrote a crude review of the evening’s affairs that included videos I had taken with my iPhone, as well as audio clips of the tracks from their set. The next morning I saw that what I had written had been published to the homepage of the Beetroots’ website, and that Rifo had mentioned it in a tweet. I haven’t looked back since.
8. WEMF 2011
Here’s every life changing moment that happened at WEMF this year in chronological order:
- Attended first music festival in Canada
- Attended first music festival with less than 10,000 people
- Met Hooks from Zeds Dead and watched him tag live
- Met Brayden Ransome
- Met Danial Orchard
- Met TheKNWLDG.com
- Met OuterBass Productions
- Met Paul Harding from Pendulum
- Met Digitalism
- Met The Killabits
- Saw Andy C live
- Experienced my first Dubstep concert during a storm
- Experienced my first wedding during a music festival
Here’s every life changing moment that should’ve happened at WEMF this year, but didn’t, in chronological order:
- See Doctor P & Flux Pavilion live
- See Caspa live
9. Deadmau5 @ Lollapalooza
To put it bluntly, this was by far the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert. If I ever earn enough money in my lifetime to allow it, I’m going to open a club that features a dancefloor that can be doused by a simulated storm at the touch of a button. The combination of sliding around like a deranged lunatic and Deadmau5′s live presence put me in a 2 hour state of immaculate joy, and birthed what was hands down the most energetic crowd I’ve been a part of to date. Furthermore, the sight of over 250,000 muddy and destroyed Lollapalooza patrons flooding the streets of downtown Chicago is one that I won’t ever forget for as long as I live.
10. The Mothership Weekend
In October of this year, all the hard work that Embrace had put into building a previous relationship with Skrillex came to a head. Somehow they managed to ink Sonny Moore to play at 3 separate venues in the span of 2 nights, and I was lucky enough to be given permission to cover all three. It was the 6th, 7th & 8th time I was to see Skrillex spin in 2011, and the first time seeing his new live setup which he has since dubbed, “The Cell.” Furthermore he brought 2 artists along with him that I had been dying to see for the first time (12th Planet and Dave Nada), and gave me the opportunity to meet them and see them perform 3 times in a row. The only one that wasn’t having a good time that weekend was my liver.