INTERVIEW: Antiserum

In another episode of West Coast bass meets Midwest rage, San Francisco’s Mike Schumer a.k.a. Antiserum will make his Indianapolis debut this Friday at 247 Skybar. The event, billed simply as RISE, will feature three rooms of diverse electronic dance music that will culminate in the melodic dubstep productions of the Antiserum.

Below, he outlines the complimentary elements of his and ill-esha‘s music (who will also perform at RISE on Saturday for her highly-anticipated return, not seen in Indy since headlining October’s Broad Ripple Music Festival), shares his secret to making distinctive dubstep in an over-saturated market, and reveals his three essential touring items.

MOJO: You’ve recently released a bit of material with ill-esha. How did you two start working together?

ANTISERUM: I randomly stumbled upon ill-esha’s myspace a few years ago and I thought she made awesome music so I just decided to write her. We ended up connecting in Vancouver and started a track in her studio. Now we are really good friends and she lives in San Fransicso!

MOJO: How would you say your sound differs from hers? How do your productions complement each other’s?

ANTISERUM: ill-esha has an amazing ear for pitch and melody and her knowledge of sound and engineering is top notch. I have learned a lot from working with her. I feel like we both like a lot of the same sounds, but when it comes to playing tunes out in a live setting, her sets are more mid-tempo/glitchy/hip hop-influenced and drenched in melody and live vocals, where as my sets are more heavy dubstep-influenced with some light melodic stuff mixed in here and there. I’m also feeling the 110 BPM moombahton material lately. It’s quite fun!

Antiserum at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. photo (c) Jackie A

MOJO: Dubstep is a crazy-popular trend in the USA right now. It’s gone mainstream and has a lot of different sub-genres. How would you compare the way Americans are consuming dubstep to some of the foreign countries you’ve performed in such as New Zealand and Australia?

ANTISERUM: I think New Zealand and Australia have a pretty big dubstep/bass music scene but right now the USA is just smashing it. There is a lot of opportunity here at the moment. There are so many huge tours happening and a lot of international DJs relocating to the USA temporarily to tour heavily. But really, there are a LOT of people consuming dubstep right now all over the world, especially after Skrillex won those awards [at the Grammy’s]. My mom actually sent me a text the other day asking if I knew Skrillex. *laughs*

MOJO: Have you observed any kind of “scene difference” between the West Coast and the Midwest/East Coast?

ANTISERUM: Not really. The scene is pretty massive right now. People are throwing crazy shows all over the place!

Antiserum raver rafting with Downlink

MOJO: With so much new dubstep out there, what do you do to distinguish yourself and keep your music fresh?

ANTISERUM: Well, for starters, I don’t listen to dubstep. I feel like that’s been really helpful for me lately. I have also been eating more at the taco truck by my house, which seems to be helping my production output a lot! No joke!

MOJO: Where do you find inspiration?

ANTISERUM: A lot of my music buddies really inspire me. My girlfriend, Ivy, is very inspiring too. Playing a good show is always huge, or having a new song smash it at the club. Finding inspiration is an art in itself!

MOJO: What’s been the most surreal moment of your musical career?

ANTISERUM: It’s surreal every time I get to fly somewhere for a gig, but the most surreal experience was touring with Excision & Downlink last year.

Antiserum at The Loft in Minneapolis, MN

MOJO: Aside from gear and equipment necessary for performing, what three items are essential for you while on tour?

ANTISERUM: All of these things are absolutely essential. I can’t live without them:

A king sized bed and room service



MOJO: What’s on your plate right now and keeping you busy these days?

ANTISERUM: Right now I’ve been focusing on writing as many tunes as possible for my album and wrapping up some stuff for Dub Police & Rottun. I have been collaborating with so many people lately, it’s crazy! Look out for new stuff with Triage, Jantsen, Dubsworth, Noah D, ill-esha, Supreme, Mayhem, Djunya, No Thing & Vinja.