This Saturday night, the “Bad Boy of EDM” Borgore is kicking off his latest tour with Prince Fox and Ray Volpe at New York City’s Terminal 5. The tour, aptly titled “Savage,” will also be hitting Vancouver (3/4), Chicago (3/11), and Philadelphia (3/18) with direct support from 12th Planet and Prince Fox. The road show comes just in time to promote new music he’s releasing through his Buygore label. I recently had the chance to get in touch with Borgore to discuss the “Savage” tour, his releases, and some of the talk that circulates around his bad-boy persona.
There's a lot of conversation that revolves around the Borgore persona. The "Bad Boy of EDM" how much of this is actually you, and how much of it is just part of the show. Where did the persona originate?
There’s a good mix. As much of a bad boy I am, I’m also a good boy, it’s very down in the middle. On one side, I have all these girls tweeting me and coming to my shows. The other side I still call my mom every day. It’s a weird yin and yang.
Tell me about your approach to production, there's a lot of live instrumentation that goes into what you produce, right? How have you found this affects your style and method to recording/producing?
It’s a blessing and a curse because I 100% know everything that goes into instrumentation and production on a crazy level. I actually just recorded a jazz album with piano. Really hard, weird stuff. Everything I know and everything I make is coming from an educated point of view since I’ve been playing instruments my whole life. Sometimes I’ll listen to songs and they make no sense theoretically whatsoever, but it still works. In a way I’m kind of jealous of the mistakes other people make with their music. It’s a blessing and a curse, coming from an educated perspective.
You’ve got some cool new music in the works, what can you tell me about it?
My new track Harder drops this week and I made that because I’m into the whole aggressive dubstep, heavy music wave. The kids are really into it right now too and I think it’s intriguing. There’s a lot more you can do with complex dubstep than what’s going on in the poppier EDM space right now. Harder is a good example of a good mix between a catchy melody and a super aggressive drop. It doesn’t really sound like anything else, to an extent.
I also have a song called Big Bad coming out that’s a cool fusion of dubstep, future garage and house vibes with super cool vocals talking about a chick that fights her to desire to entertain a booty call. Should she answer the booty call? Should she ignore it? She kind of falls in love with her booty call. You know it involves both genders. Sometimes someone puts you in a friends with benefits zone, but you know we fall in love. That’s kind of what this song is about.
I want to hear more about this annual charity drive you do for donating toys, I was told you accumulated so many that some of them had to be turned away. How did this annual toy drive get its genesis, and what did you do with all the extra toys?
The owner of Sound Nightclub is a close friend of mine and said to me “let’s do something for a good cause” and I was hella down. We decided to do a toy drive for Christmas in 2015 which was insane. Last year’s event was fucking four times more insane, as far as the people that showed up (12th Planet, Dirtyphonics and Prince Fox amongst others) and how many toys were brought. We brought so many toys to the hospital and they were like “Yo, listen we can’t take any more donations. We don’t have anywhere to put this.”
Besides that, I’ve made a couple other donations. I helped Steve Aoki with his charity - we had a bet playing Street Fighter and whoever lost would donate a significant amount of money to brain disease research. And I lost. I don’t want to call Steve Aoki out, but he kind of cheated. He told me he had never played Street Fighter before, and then he shows up and knows every fucking trick in the book. It was funny, and the good thing was we donated to a good cause.
I’ve donated a bunch of money to breast cancer research. Last year we did a social media campaign where every booty picture that was tweeted at me, I retweeted and I donated a bunch of money towards that. Honestly, some people are more blessed and some people are less blessed and you need to help everyone. Hopefully whenever you are in need, someone is going to help you. Karma is a major thing, and I’m just trying to help.
Your tour kicks off this weekend in NYC, what’s going through your head before you hit the road?
I’m super excited for the New York show. I haven’t done a big Borgore headlining show in New York in a while, and I’ve never played Terminal 5 before. I’m literally nervous. New York is a super important market because it’s a taste making city, and it’s important to me that the people who come to the show will have a great time. We have a great lineup with Prince Fox who’s from New York and Ray Volpe who’s under my management SLVYVLL. It’s a great lineup and I’m really excited for it. It’s going to be lit.
Now, without further adieu, I’m happy to premiere Borgore’s new track, “Harder.” Just as he promised, the building interludes of the track offer a melodic sophistication that seem to be in direct contrast to the aggressively distorted and righteously thundering drop. The chopped and glitched break-beat banger takes you through a loop as it swings from one portion to the next. As the name would suggest, the composition amplifies and gets “harder” with every build and drop. At the end of each melodic break, the vocal sample uttering the words “Borgore, not so hard” preface the intense and knock-out heavy drop, as if Borgore has zero regard for the request. By the finale, the request of “not so hard” is replaced with a complete 180-degree turn: “go harder.”
Tickets are still available for Borgore’s Terminal 5 show this Saturday (2/18), and I, for one, am excited for the savagery.