Skrillex and Katie Couric: a match made in interview heaven. The EDM phenom sat down with the journalist for a new installment of her Yahoo! series, “Conversations With Katie,” with the pair creating a spur-of-the-moment dubstep track filled with trippy vocal loops. “It’s a festival smash,” Skrillex says. “It’s for the children.”
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, the beatmaker opens up about his musical roots, his whirlwind teenage years, his father’s devotion to Scientology, his distinctive haircut, the drug culture associated with EDM and more.
But their first topic of conversation is Justin Bieber, who worked with Skrillex and Diplo on the duo’s Jack Ü single “Where Are U Now.” Skrillex says they met the singer last year at a nightclub during New York Fashion Week – and that night, Bieber sent over a “vulnerable” a cappella he’d recorded, sparking the unlikely collaboration. Skrillex defends the song, despite having taken some flak from close-minded listeners: “My hardcore fans get what I do and like the fact that I don’t care and I’m not afraid to fail and do something that everyone doesn’t like.”
Couric shifts the conversation to Skrillex’s childhood, getting the producer to discuss his formative experiences with music (“When my dad first put on ‘Riders on the Storm’ by the Doors, that was the first time I remember hearing music, and that kind of changed my life”) and dealing with bullies in school (“You’re always bullied if you’re an emo kid – nothing crazy happened to me to where it scarred me for life”).
Despite his father’s devotion to Scientology, the musician says he doesn’t have time for the religion. “My dad does it for himself, and it’s something that’s helped him forever,” he says. “The main part is that you dedicate so much of your time to it. My time is dedicated to music, and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now if I spent my time doing that.”
Skrillex also weighed in on We Are Your Friends, noting that the upcoming movie starring Zac Efron about the EDM craze doesn’t accurately reflect his life or career. “The trailer looks so corny,” he admits. “I gotta be honest.”
As for the pervasive drug use in EDM culture? “I always did it for the music,” he maintains. “I don’t do molly. I’m not telling kids to do molly. My music, I feel, is not that good for those types of drugs because it’s so much more intense. I wouldn’t be able to do 300 shows a year if I was doing drugs. It would be impossible.”