- Top 100
February 28, 2012
Photo By Stoked on Photos
I first met Mark Instinct several years ago on a desolate Sunday night in Calgary. A girlfriend and I went dancing at a now defunct seedy club, and saw a new face tearing it up. That new face was Mark Instinct, then only 18. At the end of the night there were no cabs to be found, and we were stuck on a street corner to wait. Mark and company came out of the club, and had no choice but to join the queue. Sitting on record bags, we spent the next hour or so screaming Dave Chapelle quotes at each other and talking about music. Fast forward a handful of years and Mark has progressed into one of the most well known dubstep producers in North America. He has been touring heavily, and releasing tracks on prominent bass music labels. I was able to interview Mark Instinct before leaving for one such out of town show. We talked success, goals, and Justin Bieber dubstep.
K: So, when you first started DJing, did you ever think you would be producing? What inspired you to start producing?
M: It had always been in the back of my mind. I used to play around with Reason when I was younger. When I started to DJ, the more and more exposure I gained, the more it was important that I played my own tracks out. I shifted my focus from DJing to producing really fast.
K: How did you get on Rottun Recs? What other labels do you have releases on?
M: I met Excision a few years ago. We had played a show out in Edmonton and I was like “Yo! I am making music I should send you some tunes” and from there it was clockwork. I also am signed to Dieselboy’s ‘Subhuman Recordings’ and have been doing lots of work on that label.
K: Would you consider Dieselboy one of your main influences/idols? If so, what’s it like working with one of your teen heroes?
M: I definitely look up to him and what he has done for drum and bass. To be able to work alongside him and get insight is something I really appreciate and admire.
K: When did you decide to start doing music full time?
M: It was about a year and a half ago; I put my notice in at my job and just went full force with it.
K: What’s your favorite city to play in and why?
M: I really loved playing in Baltimore. Calgary still takes the cake for best city. I always love playing at home because the crowd is insane!
K: What do you think of the bass music scene in Western Canada, and more specifically Calgary? Any plans to leave?
M: No, I do not have any plans of leaving. The bass music scene out here is just too good to leave! There is lots of diversity here in the styles of music being played and promoted. The one thing I do see being a big factor for western Canada is the amount of producers popping up. It is really awesome to see a lot of creativity coming out of the bass boom of the west and I think that will continue to aid the health of the scene.
K: You mention a lot of producers popping up in this area. Is there anyone in particular that you have taken note of? Who is your favorite producer right now?
M: Locally in Calgary I am really feelin’ what the Squalid Squad fam is doing right now. They have established a great sound and are making really awesome work. I see them for sure taking off this year! As a whole my favorite producer is still Noisia. They will be the kings of EDM forever in my opinion.
K: When you’re touring, you can’t live without _____? What’s a typical day on the road like?
M: My Music/Laptop and a really good book. Those are my life when I travel…. A typical day would usually entail getting up at 4 am to make it to the airport for 5 to do the customs dance. It usually takes me 8 hours to get to wherever I am going outside of Canada (if there aren’t any delays). Most of my time is spent on an airplane, when I finally get to my destination, I like to get a healthy meal in, hit a blunt and then its game time. The next day is usually of the same nature.
K: what do you read?
M: Anything that is conspiracy based, books on consciousness/spirituality, and anything to do with audio and engineering.
K: One of my criteria for someone being a “success” is if they have made it onto Circle Talent Agency. How do you gauge your own success? Do you feel you have “made it”?
M: I don’t know to be honest, I don’t think there is an “I’ve made it” status, more of a question: “have I accomplished what I set out to do?” I am consistently setting new goals for myself to accomplish and not until I get to ALL of my goals will I feel I have left my mark. The more I do the less time there is to be lazy!
K: With your recent successes, do you find the presence of fakers in your life more prevalent? How do you guard against that?
M: Not really, I have a pretty keen sense for “fakers”. I don’t see that being a problem now or in the future.
K: Dubstep is everywhere…do you think this signals the end, or do you think there’s more to come? What do you think is next for bass music?
M: No I think it will do exactly what it has been doing for the last god knows how long. This is electronic music. There are no specific instruments to make it; therefore the combination of elements to make this kind of music is infinite in my opinion. I think it will just keep evolving and evolving into different sounds. New forms of sound design, and into various genres and bpms.
K: There are rumors that Justin Bieber is going to make dubstep. Do you think there’s any truth in that? Would you ever consider producing for Justin Bieber? Where do you draw the line?
M: I’m sure there is truth in that, bass music is popular and so are the elements it takes to make them. It is getting noticed widely in the mainstream music communities and by major labels. I don’t know if I would produce a track for him, because I make some pretty in your face bass. But this is no different than making music for commercial purposes which I have been doing for the last 5 years. I don’t think I would ever draw a line for myself because to do that is limiting myself as an artist and I NEVER want to do that.
Photo By Stoked on Photos
K: I also wanted to ask you- you loved dnb first. Do you still love it? What about other genres outside of electronic music? Do you have a favorite band?
M: Hell yeah I still love it, I love all forms of bass music. I like listening to all sorts of stuff. Latin music, jazz, classical, metal, punk rock, etc. My favorite band is and always will be Tool.
K: Can you tell me about any upcoming plans? Releases, tours, projects?
M: LOTS! I have 20 or so dates coming up in the next 2 or 3 months throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. There is a collaborative piece I did with Mayhem (ATL) and a full EP set for release on Subhuman Recordings in the next couple of months. As well I have been working with lead singer Efrem Schulz of Death by Stereo on some hardcore punk rock infused bass. More details will emerge later in the year. Lastly I have a couple tracks on the go with my homies in Virus Syndicate. Those will be coming out on Midication Recordings this year as well.
It is clear to see that Mark Instinct is killing it. I believe in the years to come we will see more and more of his consequential work. He has already left a legacy on the genre of dubstep, and the city of Calgary. He is a significant talent, and a really nice person to boot. It’s his positive attitude on his body of work and life in general that I believe makes him a perfect representative of what we have here in the west, and specifically in Calgary. All cheesy motivational quips aside, Mark also gave us his newest mix- encompassing some of that heavy bass he talked up. Check it!
1. Mark Instinct – Apollo**
2. Samples – Down to Business
3. Addergebroed – Out Of Control
4. Camo & Krooked Feat. Skittles – The Lesson
5. Tim Healey & Freqhouse feat. Pipa Trix & Loc-E – Resistance (Mark Instinct Remix)
6. Mark Instinct – Grimey
7. Fourshadow – Get Ready
8. Dansette Junior – Paranoid (Tom Encore Remix)
9. Amon Tobin – Surge (16-Bit Remix)
10. Mayhem, Logam & Trench – Remember Me**
11. Labrinth ft Tinie Tempah – Earthquake (Noisia Remix)
12. Teknian – Ruff (Coven Remix)
13. Mayhem & Mark Instinct – Nerds**
14. Tom Encore – Flat Tyre
15. Bare & Datsik – King Kong
16. Dream – Go Hard (Crizzly Remix)
17. Mark Instinct ft Messinian – Girls Girls
18. Excision, Downlink & Ajapai – Before the Sun
19. Adroa – Six Four
20. Barron – Tellem VIP
21. Excision & Downlink – Heavy Artillery (Adroa Remix)
22. Camo & Krooked – Hot Pursuit
23. MOB – Fuckin’ Vicious**
24. Noisia – Could This Be
25. Evol Intent – Era Of Diversion (Gein & Black 6 Remix)
26. MOB ft Dieselboy – Murder Machine
27. Far Too Loud – Moneymaker
28. Knife Party – Internet Friends (Poisound Refix)
29. Barron – Full Throttle
30. Zardonic & Numbernin6 feat. Messinian – End Of Day