We caught up with Blendrix, also known as Jimmy Bartlett, a friend of the Star Stuff Scallywag crew last month for an interview celebrating the release of his debut EP released in February 2012. It consists of 100% all original material (aside from a few spoken samples taken from the video game “Portal 2″ by Valve Studios), recorded by Jimmy in Fort Collins, CO. It’s a mixture of multiple different bass-centric EDM sub-genres, combined with analog guitar riffs and glitch effects. It is said to create a fusion of the sounds that defined the psychedelic rock era and the sounds of today. See below for interview!
SSSW: FoCo’s not really known for it’s dance music scene. What’s it like trying to make a name for yourself there?
Blendrix: Actually, Northern Colorado has a vibrant music scene, and it has been that way for a very long time. As a matter of fact, Derek Vincent Smith (front man of Pretty Lights) grew up and made his start right here in FoCo. Rise Against also comes to Fort Collins every time they record an album, because they prefer the finished sound they get from the folks at The Blasting Room music studio. A good number of the major local DJs that you see playing residencies around Denver clubs and bars actually got their start here in Fort Collins during their college days. But it’s not all electronic music. There are also some really talented, up-and-coming artists making hip-hop, bluegrass, jam band, punk, industrial, and other genres as well. During the summer, there are festivals in Old Town nearly every weekend, and they showcase a wide variety of different styles, cultures, and even age groups. One of my favorite moments recently was watching a guy who was probably in his mid-60s breakdancing at a House of DuB show earlier this month. And he was GOOD, too. FoCo is small enough that our music scenes kind of blend together, which leads to people being exposed to wide varieties of music regularly. In some ways, I prefer it that way, because in all honesty, I can get kinda lazy about seeking out new music, and I don’t enjoy the process of discovering new artists outside of the genres that I normally listen to, since the ones that I’ll like are fewer and farther between. Around here, it’s very possible that I’ll get dragged to a bluegrass show with some friends, and I’ll probably end up liking it, even though I never would have sought it out myself.
As for making a name, I think the most important part of that, no matter how large or small the music scene, is making yourself memorable. Having good music, playing it well, and being visually striking. Marketing is about brand image, and marketing in the music industry is no exception. If you’re just a dude with a face, you’re no different from the other 3.5 billion other dudes with faces out there. However, if you add in a signature look, for instance, the way Deadmau5 and Skrillex have, people will remember you. My first experiment with this was when I put on a full-body black spandex suit with red lasers in the fingertips back in October of 2010 for the second House of DuB show at the Aggie Theatre. It was harder than hell to see out of, and it make things very difficult in certain regards. However, when I saw a local entertainment blogger’s write-up of the show a few weeks after that, I knew I had made a good move. She specifically mentioned the costume and described it in detail, then went on to drop my name, whereas no other artists who played that evening were mentioned by name in the article. My get-up today is a bit less elaborate, and doesn’t require a dressing area backstage. It’s a bomber cap with flight goggles, sometimes worn with a flight jacket. I’m a huge dork, so when I laughed at the idea of clothing specifically suited to the task of dropping “bombs” on the dancefloor, I knew I’d found a good signature look. It’s corny as hell, which is totally me, and I look pretty dashing in it, if I do say so myself.
SSSW: Describe your sound in 3 words
Blendrix: Aggressive, Adventurous, Hybrid (referring to the fact that I record live instruments, specifically my electric guitar, into all of my original works, which gives them all kind of a hybrid sound somewhere between EDM and electronic rock)
SSSW: When can we expect to see you playing down here in Denver?
Blendrix: My crew (House of DuB) actually plays fairly regularly in Denver. We’ve been on a streak of playing at Beta’s Beatport Lounge on some of their biggest Saturdays, such as nights when the likes of Boys Noize and Sebastian Ingrosso were manning the booth downstairs. We’ve also played at some larger events, such as The Big Bang at the Denver Coliseum last year, and a friendly rivalry showdown with the Got Bass crew at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Got Bass and House of DuB both exist primarily to help their members gain publicity in this industry. Alone, it can be very difficult to garner attention, but these groups operate on a strength in numbers principle, and together, we routinely pack out our venues. I also formed a collective called The Manic Profession last year with Joman, Anomaly, and The Digital Connection. We’ve only played one night at Beta so far, but we have our sights set on continuing to move up, so keep an eye out for us.
SSSW: Favorite record of all time? Or one of if you can’t narrow it down.
Blendrix: That changes pretty much every day, man. A faster-moving target does not exist. There are some older albums that I love so much I’ll go back to them over and over, and others that I play on repeat for a few weeks, then shelve them indefinitely. The very first time I heard The Prodigy’s big stateside breakout album “The Fat of the Land” back in the late 90s, I knew that something amazing was happening. The Crystal Method’s debut album “Vegas” came out right around then as well, and I had a similar reaction to that. A lot of people have told me they think my music sounds like it was inspired by those two bands in particular, which I think makes a lot of sense, considering my background. Around that same time, I was also listening to Collective Soul a lot, which is still one of my favorite bands to this day. I’m planning a pretty big remix of one of their earliest big hits, so keep an eye out for that in the next few months.
01 – Blendrix – Smirk (Original Mix)
02 – Blendrix – You Monster (Original Mix)
03 – Blendrix – Narrow Escape (Original Mix)
AWOLNATION vs. Infected Mushroom – You Are Sail F___ed (Blendrix Bootleg)
One of my personal favorites:
Jimmy Blendrix – Ghosts ‘N’ Cruel Summers (Ace of Base vs Deadmau5 Mashup)
For booking inquiries: