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Call John Densmore a skeptic. Newly-minted Grammy winner Skrillex had his work cut out for him when he paired with the Doors, including drummer Densmore, to create a new song based on “Riders on the Storm” in “Re:Generation,” a new documentary that links well-known DJs, such as the Crystal Method, DJ Premier and Mark Ronson, with artists in other genres.
The film, which plays in theaters Feb. 23 before finding a TV and then DVD home, chronicles the musical journey that all the musicians travel when they step out of their comfort zones.
[More after the jump...]
Though Skrillex wasn’t born during the Doors’ heyday, his parents raised him on the Jim Morrison-fronted band, so he approached his task with equal parts respect, reverence and trepidation.
His time with the Doors Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger went smoothly, but when Densmore came in separately, there was a little tension.
“Drummers pride themselves on the groove. That you have to get down, then you can do all the flashy stuff. If a machine is providing the electronic groove, what is that? Where is the humanity?,” Densmore asks HitFix.
However, after Skrillex and Densmore have an off-camera tete-a-tete, they come to some understanding. In fact, Densmore even learned something from the much younger DJ, he says: “To be open.”
Since we had Densmore there, he indulged us with a few other stories, including a letter he received from Jay-Z and (as Doors fans know) why he fights the flag to keep the Doors’ legacy true. Or as he calls himself, “the main spoiler” when it comes to allowing the band’s music to be licensed.
“Re:Generation” also tracks The Crystal Method’s work with legendary Motown singer Martha Reeves (of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas). While some of the DJs were thrown into the deep-end, Ken Jordan says he found working outside of electronica very easy.
“When we’re making our albums, we like to collaborate with different people outside of our genre anyway, so that part was kind of familiar to us... just the chance to go work with Martha in Detroit and with some of the Motown musicians was really exciting to us,” says Jordan.
However, as the movie shows, the pairing wasn’t without its strife: Reeves had definite opinions, especially when it came to the lyrics of the song they created together and, as Jordan says in the film, the two-day shooting schedule allowed little time for bonding.
Jordan also talks about his faves among the new crop of DJs.
You can watch both interviews below!