From ringing in the New Year with us in Hollywood at Bassrush Massive to his recent graduation from art school, 2015 has been kind to DJ/producer Eptic. The sounds from his unforgettable performance at the legendary bassPOD at this year’s EDC Las Vegas are now bottled up for consumption via his fifth EP for Never Say Die, Immortal.
Fresh out of class, there seems to be no stopping the production output coming from his home studio in Belgium. On the heels of his Immortal release, Eptic has been putting in work beginning with a heavy-duty collaboration with Funtcase—titled “Oh Shit!”—and another hot collab with label-mate Habstrakt, called “On the Block.”
We caught up with Eptic, aka Michaël Bella, to learn more about his love for the American dubstep scene, the creation of Immortal, and life after art school. “I’m working on a bunch of new projects which are still very secret,” he shares. “After the summer, I’d like to get started on my album.”
The synths in the intro of “Spellbound” remind us of chiptune or video game sounds. Are you finding influence from old-school games?
Definitely. I’ve always had a big love for old arcade games and the 8-bit art style that comes along with it. The art of making sweet melodies with a limited amount of sounds is what makes it so appealing to me. I’d love to write music for a game one day… Hell, I’d love to make a game one day.
“Spellbound” also carries a hilarious vocal message particularly directed to the social media trolls or haters. What’s the strangest message you’ve received online?
I think I’m one of the luckiest artists, fan-wise. Most messages on social media are really positive—with a few exceptions, as always. The craziest messages I ever got were from this guy who would just leave a comment every few weeks, telling me to die in the most creative way. I guess he wasn’t feeling the music. (laughs)
Your collab “Ectoplasm” with label-mate MUST DIE! is both brutal and melodic. How did that song come together?
I needed an intro for my sets, so I started the track out with that in mind. When it was almost finished, I felt like something was missing. MUST DIE! jumped in and did some bassline magic, which gave it a whole new twist. I love Lee (MUST DIE!) so much; he’s a genius.
We know the States are becoming sort of your second home. What is your favorite thing to do once you hit American soil?
Getting a bacon pizza and going next-level with that sweet, sweet ranch.
Congratulations on finishing art school! What was your specific area of study?
I’m so glad I did it, and so glad it’s over at the same time. The actual course was called storyboard and illustration, which basically came down to illustration and graphic design.
Did you learn anything that you’ve started applying to your own art, musically or visually?
It taught me a lot about the programs and had a big impact on my current style. I also met a lot of awesome people that helped me along the way; I guess that’s the coolest thing about college, anyway.
What are your thoughts on the current state of American and European dubstep scenes?
America is definitely at the top of the 140 game at the moment. I can play almost anything right now and it will go down well, which is awesome. Europe is a bit harder at the moment, but it’s still doing great. I played a festival in Lyon [France] recently that absolutely blew my mind.
You’ve stated before that D&B has influenced your current style a great deal. What are your top five influential drum & bass tracks?
Original Sin “D for Danger”
DJ Hazard “Busted”
Bad Company “Planet Dust”
Sub Focus “Acid Test”
Best moment or memory of 2015 summer gigging so far?
That’s an easy one: EDC Las Vegas with Habstrakt, and Paradiso with MUST DIE!