Jantsen is a man of variety. In addition to his success as a solo artist, he hasn\’t hesitated to expand his horizons with long term side projects rooted in unique influences and collaborations. Prior to his headlining set at The Abbey, I had the opportunity to sit down with him the veteran producer as he recapped 2014, and outlined his blueprint for a successful 2015.

EDMCHICAGO: When did you first begin DJing and producing?

Jantsen: I started DJing when I was twenty, and then I got some software when I was twenty-two and started dabbling. But I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was more like twenty-four or twenty-five.

EDMC: Did you have a musical background prior to all of that?

J: Definitely, I played drums in a punk rock band and then I ended up taking piano lessons when I started my production career to help aid in my production and stuff like that.

EDMC: Which artists have been your biggest creative influences throughout your career?

J: There have definitely been pinnacles of people along the way that have just changed my whole sound… I guess back in the day it was more break beat oriented artists like Tipper and then there were people like Sign of the Electric Ghosts and Rusko. I guess before Rusko came along I had been doing glitch hop. I had heard dubstep before but most of it seemed kind of boring to me. Then when I heard Rusko that definitely changed my direction completely, and I wanted to make music like that.

\"10882291_1557777094465287_2927824256615358619_n\"Photos by Kayla Mitchell Photography

EDMC: You’ve been a long time collaborator with Bassnectar. How did that relationship come about?

J: Ya it’s funny everyone always asks me that; so our relationship has always been really normal and natural. I met him around eleven years ago before he blew up and everything. I saw him play a slow and there was probably like fifteen people there. Afterward I just went up and introduced myself. We became friends after that, and then he ended up blowing up and all that. So it worked in my favor too, because that’s also how a lot of people know me.

EDMC: You guys have recently announced a duo together, can you tell us a little more about that?

J: The project is called Locoja, and its an outlet for more of our prettier, melodic, down tempo kind of stuff. We’re both really passionate about that and have been wanting to make more of that style of music, but didn’t want to do it under the name ‘Jantsen & Bassnectar’ so we decided the best thing to do was just make a new side project for it. I’m actually living in Mexico right now and one of my goals just while I’m out there for the next six months is to work on an album for that.

EDMC: You guys recently released a remix, as Locoja, for “Lost In the Crowd”, a track you had originally released already as Jantsen & Bassnectar. What was it like going back and remixing a song you had originally written together?

J: I was really stoked to come back and remix it, because I really didn’t like the original that much. The way Loren and I work is I’ll just send him shitloads of sketches I have, and if he likes it as well then we just add on to them and progress. That original track was just a beat that I had made really fast, and it just wasn’t that stoked on it, but he just loved it. So he went ahead and finished that, but I just was never totally thrilled about it. So getting the chance to remix that song I was like ‘fuck yeah’ because the vocals are really dope. So I felt like I had something solid to work with there.

EDMC: What are some other electronic tracks you’re really digging right now?

J: I’m really into the stuff Bauuer is doing, he just released an album and I’ve been bumping that. It’s really top-notch. Party Favor – I’m really into that booty bass sound right now honestly, which is funny because everyone knows me for dubstep and harder, aggressive stuff. Trop Killaz too, I love the way they incorporate a lot of Spanish-influenced music into their stuff. I’m a big supporter of incorporating other influences because it makes it unique like that, and becomes less of your average ‘played-out’ kind of stuff.

EDMC: What does 2015 hold in store for you both as an individual artist and regarding your side projects as well?

J: It’s hard to say right now, Dirt Monkey and I have our label Kairos Audio, and we also have the project we’re doing together. It’s not called anything yet, but we’re trying to push ourselves as a duo, and there will be a spring tour happening for sure. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Locoja. I want to do an album, and that can be something that, when it comes out, can blow up in a whole other direction. I still want to do solo stuff making bangers, but I would like to move more into the future bass side projects, and more melodic stuff too.

EDMC: Final question, what’s your spirit animal and why?

J: I feel like it’s always changing (laughs), but if I had to pick one it’d be an eagle because birds of prey are really dope, and I think it’d be amazing to fly like that.

Thanks again to Jantsen for taking the time to chat with us, and to Notion Presents for help in facilitating this interview. Expect a lot of new material coming from Jantsen in 2015, and be sure to check out his remix as Locoja to \”Lost in the Crowd\” below.