great dane is an underground legend. With over a decade in the game, his status is cemented. As the Co-Founder of the iconic Team Supreme, he helped to lay the foundation for modern artist collectives and push the underground scene online. He’s also the Founder of ADBC Records the label that is renowned for their Halloween Heaters compilations featuring some of the best up-and-coming talent in the industry. With a style rooted in hip-hop and ever-evolving his sound has helped shape the scene through a myriad of singles, EPs, and his signature animal-inspired album series. We recently had the distinct pleasure of connecting with great dane for a new guest mix + interview.
Our interview explores his move to NYC, what makes him feel great, how Web3 has changed his life, making bass music fun again, and what drives him to keep creating. The mix is 90 minutes of heat recorded live in Austin at Empire Control Room, showcasing a multitude of great dane’s originals including a number of unreleased tracks, plus gems from some of the underground’s best. This is an absolute can’t miss, so dive in below.
Tell us about the mix. Where are you taking us with this one?
This mix is mostly original, recorded live in Austin at Empire Control Room (4/6/2022) for a headline Future Basscamp show. There’s a bunch of new/unreleased tracks in here. The only thing that didn’t get recorded was the mic, so I cleaned up some of the random silences from when I was talking so it would be easier to vibe to as a mix. I also added some watermark “great daaane” shit on some of the unreleased tunes so it would be harder to rip lol.
How’s the move to NYC treating you? What are you enjoying most about the change?
It’s been really dope. Feels like a fresh start. I’ve been an NYC fanboy from across the country my whole life so it’s weird to actually live here now and experience it as a resident. I really enjoy the weather changes. Like yeah it gets cold as FUCK but it makes you appreciate the sun more.
Is there anything you miss about the west coast?
Definitely miss my brothers, and my family in general. But my sister lives here so it’s been nice to see her more often. I get random moments of nostalgia for certain restaurants and streets and things but it doesn’t feel sad, it just feels like I’m lucky to have so many great memories in LA. I know that if I ever leave New York I’ll feel the same way about the places I go here.
I think on some level I would be a much bigger name if I stuck to one genre of music… but my end goal is just to impress myself. I don’t really mind being a lesser-known artist as long as the art is good.
You’ve characterized yourself as a chameleon. Do you think it plays to your advantage or are there challenges to this approach?
I’m not sure. I think all great artists are sort of chameleons. You have to be able to adapt to what is currently happening in art and the world in general. But yeah I think on some level I would be a much bigger name if I stuck to one genre of music… but my end goal is just to impress myself. I don’t really mind being a lesser-known artist as long as the art is good.
What makes you feel great?
I feel great when I’m spending time with the people I love. I’m sort of an extrovert so I’m always trying to fill up my time with activities and social things, but it’s cool because I also get to go home and let out all my emotions in Ableton and that feels great too.
Honestly it’s been life-changing. I’m very grateful to the web3 collectors who helped give me the financial freedom to get my own apartment and generally stop stressing so much about money.
You’ve seen a lot of success lately selling music NFTs. What impact has this new revenue stream had on your life and career?
Honestly it’s been life-changing. I’m very grateful to the web3 collectors who helped give me the financial freedom to get my own apartment and generally stop stressing so much about money. I’m still learning, and I’d like to keep growing in the community, but yeah it feels like a bunch of really cool people giving respect and value to the art they love.
Has the emergence of web3 changed your outlook on the music industry at all?
Sort of. I’m still kind of planning my future album with the same mindset I had before – singles, streaming, playlists, etc. – but I also think that my future releases will definitely incorporate web3 in some way from here on out, it’s just too fun.
From Alpha Dog to Beta Cat, Gamma Ray and Delta Fly there’s a thread of commonality through your projects. What animal is next? How do the project titles inform the direction of the projects?
That’s the million-dollar question. I’m not gonna reveal the next animal/album yet but I have been dropping lots of hints on my socials over the last couple months. And yeah the project titles & cover art (by the goat Emily Bayer) definitely influence the vibe of each album and honestly it goes deeper than that. Like when I was writing Gamma Ray I was so in tune with aquatic shit…I was buying fish/ocean-themed tee’s and jewelry and basically just embodying the energy of the album while I was writing it. I’m doing it now too but it’s like my own little secret game until the cover drops.
You recently tweeted “bass music but fun.” Why do you think bass music is lacking that crucial element as of late? How does that change?
Idk I’m just so bored with music that is trying to be soooo intense, and dark, and scary. I definitely fell into that category a little bit when I started out, but I got over it pretty quickly. It really comes down to the “drop” that I hear a lot in bass music, which is literally just a descending chromatic scale…like how many times can I hear that and be like “OH SHITTT.” I’m not even saying other people shouldn’t be making that stuff, I just don’t really fuck with it.
What’s the secret to getting a rare Jon Casey vocal feature?
Let him crash on your couch in LA and then peer pressure him.
What’s new with ADBC? Is there anything exciting on the horizon for the label?
Definitely got some things in the works…NYC is about to have a new monthly…. Also Samsin has a genius EP ready and jordnmoody is gonna drop some shit with us as well. Hopefully I can get my act together for Halloween Heaters 4.
I value my music more than my own life. It’s going to outlive me, so I take it really seriously and I hope that resonates with people.
With over a decade in the game, what keeps you going?
I value my music more than my own life. It’s going to outlive me, so I take it really seriously and I hope that resonates with people. The fact that I have “fans”, or even just people who think of me as a legit artist, is what keeps me going. When that first started happening I had imposter syndrome. I was thinking like, “maybe I’m not good enough and all these people are just confused,” but the more music I make and the more I look back at the songs I’ve already made, I’m really proud of myself, and that pride is a feeling that can’t be replaced. I’ll probably never stop.
What are three things you want to get out of 2022?
No idea, I hate thinking of time like that. I genuinely believe that at some point I’m gonna blow up (like actually) and putting timestamps on things like “by the end of 2022” is really depressing. I want to continue to make the best music I can possibly make and let the chips fall where they may.
GD (unreleased) – Aka Ferrari
GD (unreleased) – I’m Widdit
GD – 75% Alcohol (ADBC Records)
GD – Dirty Daddy (ADBC)
GD – The Lonely Ones (Great Dane Remix) (ADBC)
GD – Straight to It
Lil Wayne – Uproar
GD – Hyphy for No Reason (ADBC)
GD – Mealy Mouth
GD – Needa Rider (ADBC)
DILIP – bee hive
West1ne – Stim
Mr. Carmack – Things I Cannot Tell You
GD (unreleased) – give it 2 me
Manny Sanchez – Lil Vicente
Jai Paul – Raw
GD – West Coast Stand Up (Alpha Pup Records)
GD – Good Ol’ Days
AedFX – FUCK WITH ME
GD – Stormy Weather (Alpha Pup)
GD – Former Friends (ADBC)
Tsuruda – Hammer
Hapa, Dayle – Chrome
GD – Number feat. Jon Casey (ADBC)
Grape Stain – Metalocolypse
GD – Hypnopotomus (ADBC)
GD – June 2nd feat. King Henry (Alpha Pup)
GD (unreleased) Everything as it should be
GD – Still So Clean (Alpha Pup)
Tek.lun – All That
GD – Invite Only
Herzeloyde – Breaksta (ADBC)
Samsin – twelvefiftynine (ADBC)
Esseks – The Uncertain Future
Project Paradis – PaAarty
Jon Casey (unreleased) – Drop Top (Rework)
AedFX – Lean w/ l o j
AedFX – Ricochet
GD x Sumthin Sumthin – Pop Rocks (Veyron Arche)
GD – Balencisagas (ADBC)
GD (unreleased) – Boundry
GD (unreleased) – Fergaliscious (Edit)
GD – Alpha Dog (Alpha Pup)
GD – Sorry Steve (ADBC)
Skrillex – Humble (edit)
GD – Really Been Sleepin on This One
GD – Whoa Now (ADBC)
GD (unreleased) – The Brooklyn Shuffle