After two long years, 2021 was blessed with the return of Sacred Hive’s fifth annual Dubaween Music Festival. Gracing the lineup was an extensive list of some of the biggest up-and-comers as well as headlining performances by Yheti, Shlump, and EPROM. Despite the cold and mud, fans and artists showed up ready for a legendary throwdown of filthy, dubious bass for Halloween. Dubaween was an absolute blast, huge shout-out to Sacred Hive for a successful Halloween event!

The festival boasted two incredible stages with epic lighting, visually mapped projections, and enough Hennessey Sound Design speakers to rattle you to your core. Among the list of artists was one of our favorite bass gurus, Black Carl!.

We have been a huge fan of him as he’s been quickly proving himself as a multi-talented producer capable of delivering some of the most diabolical performances in the scene. On top of an already successful career, he has recently collaborated with longtime friend Vctre to create their side project Integrate, showcasing the two’s raw talents to create some more otherworldly magic.

We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to sit down with Black Carl! and discuss his career as well as his performance at Dubaween. Check out our exclusive interview with him below:

HIHF: So, Carl, you have been gaining an extremely quickly growing fanbase over the years, what artists did you look up to and listen to growing up?                                                                                         

Black Carl!: Growing up I listened to a lot of bands like Linkin Park and Slipknot. Then, I got more into screamo stuff; The Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I. That was a lot of what I listened to growing up. Avenged Sevenfold was also one of my favorites.

What artist or show made you fall in love with electronic music?

BC: I was a huge Getter fan. Well, I still like Getter. Honestly, it took going to see Skrillex live to make me go and buy turntables. I saw how his music could bring so many people all over the world together and I thought ‘Damn, I wanna do this too.’

Who are some of your biggest inspirations for the music you create today?

BC: A lot of Kursa, Chee, Jade Cicada. I’ve been feeling a lot of Leotrix and The Caracal Project. Those have been the people inspiring me lately.

You and Vctre have been absolutely killing your shows together. How did the two of you connect to create Integrate?

BC: We used to hang out in our friends’ storage unit where he had turntables and speakers set up and we could be as loud as we want. One day, Aaron (Vctre) and I mixed together and we realized we had some chemistry mixing together. We got to a point where we played a show in Birmingham as Black Carl! b2b Vctre and then we just made a few songs together and I was like ‘Yo let’s turn this into a project.’ Then we made a tape.

What is it like working with your close friend?                                                                                                   

BC: It’s sick honestly. It’s like one of those things, we don’t beat around the bush if we don’t like something. Versus working with someone and trying to keep it nice. We keep it real with each other.

So, following up on that, what is the sound or vibe you are looking to achieve within Integrate and how does it differ from Black Carl!?

BC: We’re basically always just trying to sound better than the last time. With Integrate, instead of just me or him, it’s both of our minds working together to create something. That’s the thing about Integrate, we just get into the studio and we get a vibe of what we’re trying to make and we just shoot for it. It’s like we just produce and see what happens. It’s not like we are looking for a specific sound, we are just doing whatever we want really.

Well, we love that you have that freedom to create. You took the main stage at Dubaween with some massive names in the dubstep community, how does it feel to be sharing the stage with so many up-and-comers?

BC: It’s nerve-wracking sometimes. I always feel this pressure of needing to be better than before. I feel a lot of pressure lately but I’m always grateful for the position I’m in. If you had told me two or three years ago I’d be doing what I do now, I would’ve told you you’re crazy. It just keeps me on my toes ya know? Everybody’s killing it so it means I gotta kill it too.

Do you prefer playing for a smaller intimate crowd or a sea of fans?

BC: I love playing both. It’s interesting because I just played a small show in Portland at a brewery with the people and tables right in front of me and then to come here and play on this bigger stage farther back for hundreds of people. I love how playing a small stage every once in a while brings you back down to Earth.

What’s coming up next for the Black Carl! project?                                                                                           

BC: Working on getting another EP ready. There’s a handful of collabs coming out next year. The Mythm collab might be coming out by the end of this year. My EP will be early next year. There’s more Integrate stuff too. We’re trying to line up a tape. I think we just need one more song before it’s ready.

What do you want your fans to know about your music?

BC: Just to know that whenever I make my music, I try to put whatever emotion I’m feeling at that time fully into it.

Massive thank you to Black Carl! for chatting with us and his team for coordinating! Check out a few videos below of his performance at Dubaween 2021.

Featured Photograph by @Zzyzyx.media

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