Kaskade: "I Think We've Been Portrayed Unfairly as a Drug-Addicted Youth Culture"
Kaskade is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in dance music. He's playing the Miami's American Airlines Arena tomorrow, and that's the kind of arena-god swag reserved for only the most sought-after talent.
But with great power comes great responsibility, and Kaskade doesn't shy away from his duties to spread a message of peace, love, unity, and respect -- not to mention safety and education.
So, as the media firestorm continues to rage, picking up stories about overdoses and drug abuse on the EDM scene, we here at Crossfade spoke with Kaskade about what we can do as dance music fans to show the world what we're really made of.
Crossfade: Dance music is getting bigger every day. And unfortunately, as that happens, more people are getting involved in drug use. You put together an ecstasy PSA in the past, and I want to know what you think about the recent events at festivals, all the bad press people are getting. Is it time to change the conversation about molly? Or change our views on drugs?
Kaskade: I personally don't have to change my conversation. I've always thought that's not what we should be focusing on. I think we should be focusing on the music. I think it's unfortunate that with this growth some people do have the wrong idea about electronic music, and I've always opened up and been very vocal about that.
I think we've been portrayed unfairly as a drug-addicted youth culture movement, and I think that's unfortunate. Obviously, there are people at these shows who take drugs and are abusing them, but I think that's true with every large scale event, music and sports related, whatever. It can be anything. Bad things happen when 50, 100, 150 thousand people get together. As much as we try and control the circumstances, some bad things happen. I've been very vocal about it and I think more and more people are getting involved and that's great. I think as far as promoters go, there needs to be a little more caution and there needs to be more education out there. We need to make sure that these events are staffed up and people are ready for these kinds of things.
It's tough, because I feel like there are a lot of people out there that are spreading a good message but it's not very controversial, so it's easy to get overlooked. It's like, everybody knows that Paris Hilton has a sex tape, but when she tries to go give money to save the seals, nobody wants to talk about that. I think it's one of those kinds of things. As much as I feel like there's a handful of artists out there pushing a message like, "Be careful, be responsible or abstain completely from this kind of behavior or drug use," I feel like it gets washed away with the press picking up on "these are a bunch of knuckleheads in electronic music."
Is there anything we as a fanbase and as participants can do to show the world that dance music isn't only about taking drugs? Or is it just going to have to be about being responsible and educating ourselves on a personal level?
I've been just calling out for people to watch over one another. When you're at these large events, if something's happening -- hey, man, speak up. If there's some kid rolling around on the ground and it looks like it's going to become a bad situation, or it is a bad situation, get somebody. We need to help one another out. And people need to speak to their peers also. "Like hey, you shouldn't be doing that." And I think as more people feel comfortable to do that, they will speak up. I think it's just one of those things. We're in a growth period, and people are still figuring it out. I'm positive that people will eventually see this for what it is -- it's great music and a great culture. The good stuff will win out.
Kaskade's Atmosphere Tour. Saturday, September 14, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $25 to $85 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. All ages. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aaarena.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.