Figure is the king of horrorstep. Haunting your dreams since 2011, his ‘Monsters of Drumstep’ series has become the soundtrack to the Halloween season, and its latest volume is out TODAY. With releases alongside industry heavyweights Diplo, Flux Pavillion, Excision, BT, Tommie Sunshine, and Borgore, as well as a robust catalog of originals, bootlegs, and remixes, Figure’s signature sound has earned him a cult following amongst a growing number of insatiable fans. Check out Monsters and get to know Josh Gard, the bass-zombie himself, in our VIBE exclusive interview:
VIBE: Your annual ‘Monsters’ LPs cover dozens of scary movies in the spirit of Halloween. So we’ve gotta know: what’s your favorite horror film of all time?
Figure: My favorite in general is hands down the original “House on Haunted Hill,” and then it's a toss between “The Shining” and the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” I've been collecting tons of rare horror VHS films for a while, I'd like to put some on this list... But most of them are rare because they weren't that all around good, ya know. As long as a film has that one strong element, then I can get into it... Same with music.
‘Monsters’ Volume 4 drops TODAY. How much studio time did you put in to finish it up?
Honestly about a year, most the work was done in 5 months but 2 of the songs were started a year ago... So it really depends how you look at it. I am basically always working on the next Monsters record even if I'm making an EP beforehand. I just started the first track for Vol 5 last week. I like to let tracks sit and mash around in my sets and head for a while.
The ‘All Black Everything’ tour kicks off later this month with Crizzly. Any cities and/or venues you’re looking forward to in particular?
Well I'm really just stoked to get back to tour foreal again, it's been about 6 months since my last real tour. I took the summer off unless it was a festival or just some massive gig. Kinda to reset everything... But touring back to back like I used to molded me into someone that wants to just be always on the move. All that and Crizz is one of my favorite producers, musically and as a person. So many people are still trying to sound like Skrillex 2 years ago, but then there are people like Crizzly, myself, and a couple others that really don't sound like anyone. I like when you can listen to someone and you can't name their influences from how they sound. I'm excited to be on the road with a another creative, original individual.
To an outsider, the DJ life appears glamorous. What’s the most frustrating aspect of your job?
It is 70% as glamorous as you'd think. There are many many sleepless nights on the road, all while hoping the shows go good and your flight isn't f***ed. To me, that's the only stressful thing. Some people might mention the trolls online and all the hate that can occur... You can let it get to you, or not... That shit takes so much toll on some people.
Any artists or tracks you’re currently listening to that would totally surprise us?
The new Pusha T album is the shit. I love the new Lorn album. My two staples will always be the Cramps and the Misfits.
Lastly, aside from ‘Monsters,’ what are you currently working on? Any singles, collabs, or remixes?
I recently released an EP "Horns of the Apocalypse" with OWSLA, which was great. That release gave me an opportunity to do something totally different from Monsters, and it has been getting a great response. I just did a remix for RJD2 and one for the new Deltron 3030 album... Those should be out pretty soon.
Grab your copy of Monsters of Drumstep Volume 4, and catch FIGURE on the ‘All Black Everything’ Tour.