Ten Walls gives his first interview since homophobic meltdown
Since apologizing for going on a hateful and homophobic Facebook rant over a year ago, Lithuanian producer and DJ Ten Walls has kept his lips firmly sealed on the subject. That is, until now. Journalist Marc Rowlands recently got the producer to open up on the subject in his first interview since the rant.
In 2015, Ten Walls was on top of the world. His single “Walking With Elephants” was a top ten pop hit in the UK and a globally recognized festival anthem, and it’s accompanying video was nominated for Best International Video at the UK Music Video Awards. He won a M.A.M.A. for Best Electronic Act (Lithuania’s version of a Grammy). In June, during a tour, however, Ten Walls logged onto Facebook and wrote an angry litany where he seemed to link pedophilia with gay sex and suggested homosexuals were a “different breed” who should be “fixed” with violence. He later described the incident as a “meltdown” brought on by exhaustion and stress. Although he deleted the post several hours later, and eventually made several apologies, the backlash from the music community was massive and has endured to this day.
In July 2016, after several rejections, Ten Wall’s team allowed writer Marc Rowlands to interview the artist for XLR8R. His account portrays an artist that is passionate when it comes to discussing music, animated, and alert — although in a way that might border with cagey. According to Rowlands, he is “intelligent and friendly, but clearly not the most socially adept individual.”
During the interview, Ten Walls talks about his classical training, his deep interest in spirituality, and his ambition, despite being ostracized from the dance music community. “I have many ambitions. I would like to play in clubs and at festivals with dance music. I would like to play one time a year with a symphony orchestra,” he says. “I make music not only for myself but to make people happy. To see thousands of them enjoying your music is something that’s really special. It’s an amazing feeling when you play for 10,000 people.”
When the interview touches on the world’s view of him as a homophobic following his Facebook rant, the artist mentions his long history of writing for artists, many of them gay. He tries to change the subject, the Rowlands insists the topic be broached. Finally, Ten Walls relents.
“I never wrote anything that linked gay people with pedophiles,” he says. “I never called them another breed. In my post there is no gay, no homosexual, no nothing. My post had three chapters. After each chapter there was a video. You know, it’s very hard to talk about this.”
He goes on to say the post was poorly translated, and his denials fell on deaf ears. So, he turned to music.
“I thought, [there] is only one way—when nobody listens to you, is to make by your works. I am a guy who if he’s in good mood or if he’s in bad mood, I always go in the studio. I’m addicted to making music.”
He avoids answering several pointed questions about his stance on gay marriage and adoptions by gay families. Finally, he admits that neither is a problem for him, but it is evident he’s become quite uncomfortable at this point.
Read the full interview here, couresty of XLR8R.