Meet the underground talent of CRSSD Fest: Will Clarke
San Diego’s CRSSD Fest – presented by FNGRS CRSSD — has become a sanctuary for house, techno, and underground electronic music fans. The upcoming March edition looks to be the festival’s most promising offering yet, featuring an even greater array of delectable underground acts as well as some formidable headliners such as ODESZA, Chet Faker, Gesaffelstein and Cirez D. To dig a big deeper into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for a daily interview series before the festival.
UK native and house heavyweight Will Clarke is best known stateside as a frequent collaborator with San Francisco’s irreverent Dirtybird label. The producer first made his debut on the imprint with the track “Badness,” which was featured on the Dirtybird 10 compilation. Clarke’s sound is rooted in his hometown of Bristol — a haven for the UK’s bass-centric productions — but his technical skills were honed by a residency at Kanya in Ibiza. His resulting signature sound, most recently influenced by the inimitable Dirtybird touch, is a constantly-evolving blend of house and bass.
Clarke is currently fresh off a three-month North American tour, Will & Bill’s Excellent Adventure, which kicked off in January with fellow label affiliate and European transplant Billy Kenny. Clarke is also set to join Disclosure later in March in Miami as support for their Wild Life tour.
Will Clarke will perform from the Palms stage on Sunday. Tickets for CRSSD Fest are available here.
How long have you been DJing for & how did you get your start?
It’s been about twelve years now, I started pretty young with my first set at the age of thirteen, I actually got kicked out of the club by security before I played, it was quite funny looking back. How I started out, well I was about nine and used to help a local DJ out (weddings, etc.) then I started doing that myself, but wanted to actually DJ properly but I didn’t have a clue where to start. I was in a music shop with my parents where my mum spotted a poster for ‘The DJ Academy.’ I signed up it was like a 13 week intense course of how to DJ. This was back in 2003, and now the rest is history.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it?
Haha this cracks me up every time someone asks me this. It was actually on my own label that I started years ago called Stylus Recordings, it was rubbish. No, I would not play it. This is one thing I wish I was told from the beginning, about not releasing anything until its very good. However, we live and learn.
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
Signing to Dirtybird for sure.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?
This is probably the hardest question EVER. However, Hans Zimmer – that dude can write music. Little bit of a strange choice, but he’s amazing.
What’s your opinion of the dance scene in the US right now?
I think its pretty strong, being from the UK where we have a very solid dance scene its nice to see the US get their mojo back. The EDM crew are now listening to more mature house and techno, which is making the underground scene better. Give it two to three years and it will be booming. Personally, I feel that every club should be 18 and over because so many kids are missing out on great music, but they are forced to listen to shit that is fed to them through the mainstream. But overall, the scene is growing very fast over here and its exciting to be part of it.
How do you think the US scene will evolve over the next few years?
More underground, less throw your hands up in the air and scream.
What are you most looking forward to about CRSSD Fest?
Well, it’s my first time and I’ve heard so many good things about this festival so I’m looking forward to all of it really.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
Claude VonStroke, Green Velvet, Ardalan and J.Phlip (sorry I had to pick four the line up is too good!)