[Interview] Must Die! Talks ATL and Good Music
“Fun fact: I’m actually from Atlanta!” Must Die! yells out to the crowd mid-set, and at some point, everyone starts chanting “ATL HOE” over the loud dubstep blasting in the background. It’s almost midnight and the crowd is hyped up at Safe in Sound in the Atlanta Coliseum.
The screen behind him is playing some trippy visuals of space ships beaming down to the earth and Sailor Moon. There’s definitely an ATLien kind of vibe and people are eating it up. Must Die! plays a heavy dub set mixed with some interesting rap tracks, but the highlight of his set is without a doubt the use of a track that features Kanye’s “I Love Kanye.” Before finishing, he shouts “Go Braves, am I right?” and the crowd goes wild, getting amped up for Snails up next.
Lee Bates, the guy behind Must Die! definitely gives off nice guy vibes. As we begin our interview he’s friendly and quirky, full of energy. He begins by explaining how he ended up in Atlanta. Bates moved here at 18-years-old from Mississippi when Castle Vania was throwing the Fuck Yesss parties, but ultimately left at 22 because the music scene wasn’t really good to him.
When I asked him how Atlanta influences his sound he responds bluntly, “It doesn’t. It never has. That’s why they don’t like me here,” which definitely takes balls to own. The last time he played in Atlanta at Opera the crowd chanted “Fuck You! Play Dubstep!” as he was trying to do a memorial for a friend who had passed away. Fortunately, this show went a lot better for him.
We both agree that the Atlanta crowd is evolving as a whole. He happily says that this time around everyone genuinely looked like they were having fun and that’s exactly what you want in a crowd.
Bates is still exploring different sounds though and says that he personally considers himself more of a “really heavy pop” artist citing Bruno Mars, FKA Twigs, and Carly Rae Jepsen as artists who are doing cool things in that genre.
But what really intrigues me about his interview is when he describes what makes an artist good:
“Someone who’s not afraid of anything, or someone who’s super afraid of everything and still comes out with these crazy ideas that no one else is doing. Someone who’s not afraid to fail. Someone who can do something so grandiose that they fail and get back up and run again.”
With that in mind, stay tuned to see what he's got coming up next.