Kevin “KJ” Sawka is a name every Seattleite recognizes, but not for the same reasons many of his fans outside the state of Washington do. Despite gaining fame as the drummer behind supergroups Pendulum and Destroid, KJ’s connection with the Northwest scene runs far deeper than it simply being his birthplace. From putting impromptu showcase nights at the Seamonster Lounge in the U-District, to hosting workshops on mixing live drums, you’d be hard-pressed to find an artist with his success that cares for his city’s music as much as KJ. From its diversity to its intellect, there’s little he doesn’t love about the Northwest scene.
I see bass heads and mainstream heads all connecting the dots. People are more understanding of the growth of genres and artists careers than ever before. Seattle has a great scene. Musicians and producers are mind blowingly talented.
That connection to the city he holds so dear can be difficult to balance with a rigorous touring and producing schedule, especially given his role as the godfather of bass music drumming. If there’s anyone who can though, it’s Sawka. Anyone who witnessed him lay down one of his trademark earth-shattering solos at FreakNight 2013 can attest to the fact that there’s truly no DJ or producer out there quite like him.
Even having achieved legendary status as the rhythmic talent behind some of the most influential collaborations of his genre, KJ always returns to his roots, describing his experience hosting small showcase nights in Seattle as both “grounding and personal.” A need to constantly be evolving and improving has driven Sawka to the conclusion that “as a drummer, I feel the need to keep my chops up and the local jam nights are a perfect outlet for that.” But in the end, it really boils down to one simple ideal for Seattle’s favored drummer:
The biggest show in the world doesn’t compare to the smallest local gig with people raging 4 feet from me.
Come next Wednesday (7/30) at Foundation Nightclub, we’ll get to do just that as KJ and Ajapai take over the decks for what promises to be a night of face-melting bass. Gone will be the robot armor Sawka dons for Destroid, replaced instead by a DJ/drum pad set that allows for “shit that I’d never do and can’t do in a live band setting.” But what specifically will we be treated to?
I’ve got some hard ass bass music for everyone. Last time Ajapai and I threw down together it was the sickest and hardest night of music I’ve heard in a long time. I have a yin yang style. Hard basslines and beats with beautiful voices in all tempos. Seattle better get ready for shit they’ve never heard before!
Knowing that, we can say with absolute certainty this will be one Wednesday night you don’t want to miss. Head over to the official event page for more info, and stay tuned later next week for our full interview with KJ Sawka!
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