Joo Kang – Arizona’s Bass Militia Commander [Artist Interview]

Follow + Connect with Joo Kang

[written by: Krystle Skyye]

[Interview: Joo Kang]

Q1: Hello! Thank you for joining us! We are elated to finally have you! To get started, Can you give us the origin story of the name and idea behind Joo Kang?

A1: Honestly, it really just kind of popped into my head, and I knew it would be original. Also, Mortal Kombat was obviously a point of reference that I thought went really well with the feel of the music. Joo is a bit of a tribute to my Jewish roots.

Q2: For the unknowing readers, and soon-to-be fans, can you tell us a little bit about your background?  

A2: I was born in New Jersey, but grew up in southern Cali. I spent my twenties on Ohio’s north coast, moved back to Cali, then Vegas up until October 2020. Now I call the Phoenix area home. So you could say I’ve moved around a bit. I’m always excited about new opportunities.

Q3: What was it that lead you into the dance music world? What has ultimately kept you here?

A3: My sheer love of the music, for one. I was an amateur guitar and bass player, and I was jamming with my neighbor who was a professional musician. I had some electronic music that I had been writing, and I decided to play it for him. His response kind of floored me at first. He said that I had a real shot at electronic music, and that I should do it professionally. I never thought I could be a professional musician until a professional musician told me I could. Unfortunately, I suffered the tragic loss of my wife amidst my trajectory. It knocked me down for a bit, but it didn’t knock me out for good. I’m grateful for the music. 

Q4: Whether it be in music or through being a role model for others, what impact do you wish to have on the world?   

A4: I wish for there to be less gate-keeping in the music industry. To really let the music and the artist shine, without all the bullshit propagandizing. I’d also really like for the rave scene to be less stigmatized. For those of us that know the scene, it can really be a fun, warm, and inviting atmosphere. We want much more of that feeling to be showcased.

Q5: If someone is dealing with writer’s-block or just cannot find the mental groove to get into producing, do you have any advice for them?

A5: Sit down and work on sound design. I’ll open up a blank set with a single instance of Serum and play with sound design until I find a sound to build something off of. It’s a great way to jump start creativity.     

Q6: Do you personally advocate for any causes inside or outside of the music scene? If so, Can you speak on this topic for us?

A7: I’m definitely a Cannabis advocate. I support legalization for medical and recreational use, and the continuation of research for medical solutions.

Q7. We all know COVID-19 has hit everyone, especially the music scene, pretty hard. How have you been able to stay focused and successful during such a chaotic and scary time?   

A7: Honestly I was able to use the downtime during quarantine to continue to improve upon my sound and to produce more music. I was fortunate I was able to stay pretty focused. I was booked to open for Funtcase in Vegas before the pandemic, so missing that show was a real letdown.

Q8: What is life like in the shoes of Joo Kang? Walk us through a Day-In-The-Life of you! 

A8: I’ll take you through a typical weekend for me. Number one has to be sitting down to produce some music and keeping up with my social media. I like chill hang time with my animals and my fiancee (who you’ll often hear me affectionately call “my monster”) Drinking tea, smoking weed, eating peanut butter cups (my favorite snack), spinning tunes, looking for new music, and I’m a fan of stand up comedy.

Q9: Where did the idea of the “Joo Kang Militia” come from?

A9: My fiance and I were brainstorming one night about what to call the fans. Army had been done so many times, but we really liked the military aspect as far as how that relates to the dubstep sound. “Militia” came up and we both loved it. Started the IG page that night and it caught on pretty organically.

Q10:  What sort of creative process do you call upon when approaching making new music or other Joo Kang projects?

A10: I like to start by playing with sound design. I’ll find a particular sound that interests me and build from there. It sounds simple, but it’s very effective.    

Q11: What artists have been your biggest inspiration? Are there any artists outside the dance realm that also inspire you?

A11: Excision, Kompany, Barely Alive, Kai Wachi. Outside of the scene: Tom Morello, Kurt Cobain.

Q12: Where has been your favorite place to play music or perform? 

A12: My favorite show thus far was in L.A. It was a bass show and the DJs before me were playing trap. At the time, I had been doing dubstep and trap. I decided to play dubstep. The set was a hit. That night changed the course of my trajectory as I decided to jump headfirst into dubstep and stick with it. It spoke to me.

Q13: What new projects does Joo Kang have coming for us in 2021?

A13: Mostly I’m just gonna yell “Oh Yeah” like the Kool-Aid man and break through the wall! Kidding. I have a lot of collabs in the works and I’m producing new music as much as I can. Really looking forward to playing out when it’s safe again.

Q14: Who do you believe deserves more spotlight and recognition in their music careers?Give them a healthy shout-out!

A14: I have to shout-out my beloved Vegas bass family: Dub Sum Damage, Invade the Place, Freddi Hanzo, MVDMON, DXRTY, Sweeettz, and Kaotik Kris. All those guys are the best and hella talented!

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