MUST DIE! shocks the bass scene with first LP in nearly six years, ‘CRISIS VISION’ [Interview]
Longtime innovator within the bass music community MUST DIE! makes a powerful statement with CRISIS VISION, his sophomore LP—and the follow-up to 2014’s Death & Magic—which packs a plethora of rare collaborations and head-turning into its 13 song tracklist. Incorporating elements of dubstep, hardstyle, house, and more, the diverse collection under the CRISIS VISION title head is a reflection of MUST DIE!’s evolution as an artist that raises the bar for creativity in the heavier end of the electronic dance music space.
Singles from CRISIS VISION slowly rolled out since 2020, with “NERVE DAMAGE,” “DON’T EVEN BOTHER,” “HELLBURST,” “SORROW TECH,” and “LOL OK” all giving listeners a glimpse into the future of MUST DIE!. The Never Say Die staple has no problem breaking the standard rules of music production, as evidenced by his auspicious and potentially even risky decisions, such as putting a large amount of reverb on the sub bass in “HELLBURST.” But, rules are made to be broken, and MUST DIE! shatters them beautifully, with each single on the album offering a wildly innovative sonic experience that makes CRISIS VISION unlike anything else that is currently out there.
Dancing Astronaut spoke with MUST DIE! about his experience during the tumultuous year now in the rearview, Dungeons & Dragons, and, of course, his monumental new album.
This is your first full-length LP since 2014’s Death and Magic. What inspired you to make another album?
“Honestly? I have been toying with the idea since like a week after Death & Magic. I
just couldn’t find the time or the REASON. I finally felt like I NEEDED to say
something musically on a larger scale. Having time at home certainly didn’t hurt, as I
was able to really get down and detailed while getting full nights of sleep.”
You worked with both Skream and Akeos on “LOL OK.” Can you tell listeners a bit about what it was like to collaborate with them?
“That collaboration was so spontaneous it is honestly a miracle that anything came of it.
Akeos and I started an idea that fell flat and then they sent me a work in progress
that spoke to me so we got that fairly fleshed out. I then sent it to Skream, just to
hear it, as we had been chatting a lot lately. He immediately asked if he could try
something over it, and then a few minutes later we had a near final tune. It could not
have been easier.”
How do genres outside of dubstep influence your music? It seems like many of your
recent releases have been meshing aspects of hardstyle, house, and more.
“I rarely listen to dubstep, and I really don’t view myself as a dubstep artist no matter
how much I try! I am a fan of dance music in all its varied forms, and I’ve been going
back to my hard dance and trance roots these past few years and finding that my
sound and the sounds I grew up on actually work well hand in hand.”
Do you have a favorite track from the album? If so, are there any unique stories that you’d like to share
that pertain to it?
“I absolutely love ‘DELETE IT ALL’ with Ducky. That whole song was a concept LONG
before it was a listenable project, so I knew what I wanted out of it. As soon as I laid
down the hardcore punk-ish vocals, I knew I wanted Ducky. 15 minutes later, I
received an enthusiastic ‘YES OMG’ text and then we wrapped it up. I absolute love
Ducky and I’m so glad we got to make an extremely divisive anti-music industry
rawstyle tune together.”
How have the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic affected or influenced your production?
“To be frank, the only HUGE change has been me not running on two hours of sleep
from travel. I have really loved being home with my family and I feel like I’ve been
able to write from a more introspective position because of that. I really could isolate
what it was that I wanted to do and why, instead of making music out of necessity to keep
selling tickets on an endless tour.”
Outside of music, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy during the last
“I love playing Dungeons & Dragons and catching up on video games from my childhood;
I spent like a month watching every classic horror film from the ’80s. I am an endless
fountain of useless hobbies.”
I’d heard that you are an avid Dungeons & Dragons player. What’s
the funniest thing that’s happened to you in one of your campaigns?
“Since I’m the Dungeon Master, all the cool things have sadly happened to other people at my
behest. I do like the session where someone consistently fails at everything
they try to do though, that often leads to massive misunderstandings and funny
Can you share the story behind the name MUST DIE! for those who are unfamiliar?
“In 1743, a man traveled for 40 days and 42 nights and eventually ended up in a
capitol city of a long lost nation. He asked for an audience with the noble family of
the town, and based on his appearance, he was denied entry into the noble house.
That man was Eptic’s father, and he named my dance music project MUST DIE!
because of the movie John Tucker Must Die.”
What upcoming acts, regardless of genre, should electronic music fans be keeping
an eye on?
“Link is amazing, Habstrakt has consistently putting out the best music of his career
for years, Eptic is headed in a super cool direction, Aweminus is pushing everything
exactly the right direction, IMANU is next level, same with Buunshin. Magdalena Bay
is making perfect pop music. Machinegirl, Sewerslvt, Duskus, Moore Kismet, Akeos,
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
“Enjoy music, enjoy the people you love, try to find imagination wherever you can, and do
better for those around you.”