In the music industry there is seemingly only a few degrees of separation between Skrillex and a particular hit.
Such a song on The Weeknd’s new Dawn FM album is a good example of that. The story of how Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys got involved in the project is a butterfly effect of sorts, with Skrillex playing a central role.
Johnston, now 79, tells the… Los Angeles Times that he was surfing at Zuma Beach and then decided to stop at the nearby Shangri-La Studios. It was there that the legendary musician met Skrillex, who at the time collaborated with multi-platinum producer Rex Kudo and the famous guitarist Heavy Mellow.
Johnston explains that Skrillex and the artists in his job at Shangri-La have an unwavering work ethic, comparing them to “the Wrecking Crew in the 21st century.”
“They can write, sing, play, produce,” Johnston said. “They bundle the music and then offer it, and for the artists it’s like trying on clothes before trying on.”
Johnston says a subsequent session with Kudo and Christian Love, son of fellow Beach Boys member Mike Love, produced a jam that eventually made it onto The Weeknd’s radar. The track eventually found a home on Dawn FM as “Here We Go… Again” (featuring Tyler, The Creator) six months after Johnston, who is credited as writer and producer, learned secondhand that The Weeknd was interested in the demo.
Interestingly, Johnston says he continues to stop at the studio where Skrillex grinds regularly, saying his visits have resulted in hours of collected, unreleased music.