Kaskade on ‘Automatic’ and the paradox of EDM – Metro US

Kaskade on ‘Automatic’ and the paradox of EDM

Tyler Gourley

There’s a reason why the first track on Kaskade’s new album “Automatic” is titled “We Don’t Stop.” He really hasn’t. His last album, “Atmosphere,” was such a massive success that he’s been touring non-stop since 2013.

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“I usually take time off to write and I’m in the clubs thinking about what I want to play at my next show,” Kaskade (real name Ryan Raddon) says of putting together a new album. “But with this one, I was writing between gigs, so it was more like, everything is so loud. Maybe I make something a little quieter right now and enjoy this moment.”
That’s not to say “Automatic” is full of just chill tracks. Kaskade’s most diverse album yet, it offers plenty of uptempto songs to keep the energy high. The 44-year-old also has more collaborations than ever.
“When I was writing my first record (15 years ago), nobody wanted to work with someone making electronic music,” he says. “People were like, ‘what is that?’” Needless to say, he doesn’t have that problem anymore.
Kaskade discovered dance music when he was in high school and says he was not only drawn to the music, but also the culture. “I was that typical kid in high school where I was angry and didn’t fit in. I went out and discovered club culture and the people were very open and accepting.”
He liked the DIY aspect of sitting with machines and manipulating music until it turned into something completely new. It didn’t take long for him to get hooked on creating his own sound.
Stadium tours and radio play
Kaskade routinely performs for stadium crowds but says much of the EDM scene is still cloaked in mystery.“That comes from being outside pop-culture,” he says. “I do very little press. The information isn’t out there. But that’s what’s so fascinating. I can sell 40,000 tickets in San Francisco and still not have a song on the radio.”
EDM not just for druggies
He says he’s often confronted with misconceptions people have about EDM such as that everyone is on drugs. “I have to eat clean and stay healthy in order to do this,” he says. Another misconception people have is that his job is as simple as playing an iTunes playlist.
“I get it in my own [Instagram] feed,” he says. “I’ll post a picture of one of my shows and 15,000 people will be there and someone will comment, ‘Learn to do something.’ Like playing an entire set or my music that I wrote? What are you saying?”
Still, he says what’s most important is that people are discovering his music. “It’s hard to understand this stuff. I don’t blame anyone.”
On touring
The performance aspect is another element to his job as an artist many brush off. Kaskade’s shows are full-on production and he spends months working with graphic designers and stage designers to help bring his music to life in the right way.
“What people are seeing and experiencing as they hear the music is extremely important to me,” he says. “I want people to walk away from a show being like, ‘Man, I’ve always been a fan of Kaskade, but that was amazing. It changed me.’”
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