Steve Aoki talks his 'Neon Future,' rafting, caking and that 'Tropic Thunder' story
Steve Aoki will celebrate the release of his new album "Neon Future I" tomorrow (Sept. 29), but has even more coming down the pike to get excited for
For the second time in his career, the star DJ and producer recently cracked the Hot 100 and the top 10 of Billboard's Dance/Electronic Songs tally as lead artist, with "Delirious (Boneless)" with Chris Lake and Tujamo featuring Kid Ink. You can check that out below.
Furthermore, his "Neon Future" will see its sequel in 2015, with all new club tracks and wall-to-wall bangers.
In Januaray, Aoki and his family story will be the spotlight of a new documentary premiering from David Gelb, ("Jiro Dreams of Sushi"), title to-be-announced, via Relativity. For two years, Aoki has kept his own cameraman in his employ, shooting night after night of sold out residencies, massive festival gigs, and, obviously, all of the cakings.
If you're confused about the latter, it's an Aoki gig trademark, where fans will suddenly find themselves covered in sheet cake, which the DJ himself throws into the crowds. It was introduced after Aoki had been literally riding an inflatable raft on top of his audiences.
"I needed something new," Aoki told me, of that shift in audience participation tactics.
The DJ spoke to HitFix and a small group of journalists from the set of the forthcoming "Point Break" remake earlier this month; he canceled a massive club gig to make his cameo in the film, which he said is representative of "the epicness of what 'Point Break' is to me."
Aoki also detailed why he didn't want to pass on this newest film gig: saying "no" had bit him in the butt before.
"In 2007, I got offered to play myself in a movie. [But] I had this gig, and it was paying me a lot of money at the time. The movie ended up being 'Tropic Thunder,'" he explained, saying it'd be for a scene when Tom Cruise's character Les Grossman hit "play" on his iPod, and the camera pans to an actual performer in his office. "I was supposed to be the slave DJ in the corner." Aoki, dejected, shook his head.
With all the cameramen that have actually been around lately, Aoki said "I feel pretty comfortable in front of a camera," that he's learned to "not get so stiff, just be myself." He said he's been inspired by what he's been seeing from teens at his own gigs, "You see these kids, going nuts, going ape-sh*t. Raging. That energy is so effective, you just want to always have that."
At some of his shows, he's seen other crowds or dissaffected club-goers "hanging, talking, socializing. At the festivals I'm playing now, these kids are so focused on the drop," he described, smiling. "This whole 'I don't give a f*ck about how I look, how I'm sweating, I just care about the music right now... I'm in my mid-30s, and I'm going nuts just like those little kids."
And, in case you were curious, Aoki has seen that Andy Samberg skit from "Saturday Night Live," the digital short "When Will The Bass Drop." And he loves it.