Hey guys, recently did an interview for a harder styles magazine out here in the western US. Check it out.
Gabberfest 2016 Interview #2: CAP
May 4, 2016
I am very happy to say that this interview is going to reveal a hidden gem for you all! One of the busiest minds in the American hardcore scene, with a most impressive Discogs page, an education from the Conservatory for Recording Arts & Sciences at the top of his class and a father of not one, but two [expecting] hellions. On the surface, Mr. Stephen Caparella looks like any ‘ol bronie to most, but deep down, this man is THE unsung hero of American hardcore and is deserving of your utmost respect and attention.
Affiliations: Arizona Hardcore Junkies, Industrial Strength Records, Important Corestyle, Hard Kryptic Records, Dark Like Hell Records, Six Feet Underground Records, No Sleep Till Bedtime
How did you decide on your stage name?
It’s my nickname from football. We had tape on our helmets with our last name and my last name is pretty long so they shortened it to CAP. Football was pretty much my life from about 10 to 20 years old.
How did you start producing/DJ’ing?
I started learning to DJ when I was 16 but my rigorous football, training, and school schedule kept me from fully pursuing it. It wasn’t until I stopped playing football that I decided to pick up DJ’ing again. I had the basic skills down but working with the [Arizona Hardcore] Junkies helped refine me as a DJ. Soon after learning the basic skills [of DJing], I figured producing was the next logical step. Why play everybody else’s tracks when you can make your own? I’ve been producing on and off since 2006 and right now is happily one of my more “on” times.
How did you get interested in the harder styles?
Ah, the glorious “how did you get into it” question. I HATED hardcore at first. I thought it was noisy garbage. I even watched CIK vs. KORE and Omar Santana at a show in ’03 or ’04 and walked away thinking “how does anybody dance to this?” Irony and hypocrisy is my middle name, always has been, always will be. Fast forward not that far to 2005 when I was in college. It was the first time I had high speed internet. It was a big deal. I could download tracks and mixes in a fraction of the time than when I was at home. I made a commitment to myself to listen to all forms of EDM and yes, even hardcore. At the time, I had one of those old brick iPods with plenty of space so I loaded it up with everything I downloaded. I forced myself to listen to hardcore and one of the first sets I listened to was CIK’s Nocturnal Wonderland 2004 mix. I listened to it again, and again, and again, and again. Something about it just caught my ear. I was into UK hard house at the time and this was a step above; harder, faster, louder, more intense. It grew on me after a while and pretty soon I was hooked: I was listening to mixes before practice to get amped up, and downloading and searching for more and more hardcore mixes. After that it was the hardcore record habit that cost me a pretty penny then the producing bug. The love has been catching steam ever since.
What changes have you noticed in your local rave/hard dance scene since you started?
There’s been phases of the scene. When I first started, pretty much every show was illegal and underground. It was special if a show was actually licensed and bonded. Our illegal warehouse hookup disappeared so the nature of shows changed; more desert parties and more legal venues. I was out of the scene a while after that; work, more school, moved away for about a year. While I was gone, parties got bigger and eventually the EDM divide happened. I came back to a scene that had legal, small budget “underground” parties and large budget “EDM” events. It’s nice now to see more than one “hard” crew supporting the harder styles, despite it being more hardstyle, rawstyle, etc. focused.
What do you think about the current state of harder styles in America?
I have no idea where it truly stands, I can only assess it from my vantage point. From where I see it, SFX going under was a big blow because the huge shows under its umbrella hosted hardstyle. The good news is guys who have the main stage at current events are playing hardstyle in their sets, so there’s growth there. American hardstyle producers seem to be doing better than in the past but hardcore producer wise it seems to be down from where it once was. The good thing is hardcore has plenty of hype show wise and DJ wise. Aside from all that, I’m a big supporter of the idea that the US needs to cultivate and support its own artists to really grow into a new era that rivals the EU.
DJ Cap, representing Arizona, will be performing at Gabberfest 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada!
CAP putting in that work for hardcore techno
What are you trying to convey through your music? Are there any themes or ideas that are important to you? Is there anything in particular you find yourself wanting to communicate to the audience?
My themes change from track to track. It’s as hard to pin down as asking a horror author to describe all their work in a single statement. Yeah, the genre is horror but every novel tells a different story. Most, if not all, my work is hardcore but each track has its own feel or style. There really isn’t any singular theme to my whole discography – although I probably need to do that with an alias – and every track pretty much speaks for itself. A lot of times I don’t even start with a theme. I just make a kick that I like and try to choose a direction from there. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s also a good amount of times I start out with a theme, typically a theme related to something that’s caught my attention lately. Recently, it’s been random stuff like movie trailers and video games. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to let it in.
Do you have anything special planned for the event (b2b set, all vinyl, live PA, guest performers/dancers etc)? Original productions?
Well, it wouldn’t be special if I told you ahead of time! But… let’s say tons of new tracks for this year’s Gabberfest, and like every set I do, it’s 95-100% original production.
I have to ask before we part, are we potentially going to see the “return of the mask” this year?
Nah, that’s pretty much retired for a couple reasons, so you probably won’t see it this year. I initially did it as a mega-industrial gimmick but I have garbage vision so the combo of the mask and no glasses made it tough to DJ. Add to that, just about every hardcore act out there today has some kind of stupid gimmick whether it be vests, helmets, masks, fake blood, you name it. It’s not unique if everybody does it. Aside from that, I would rather have the stuff that matters – the music – be the driving force for people to remember me or have the desire to come see me.
Is there anything you want to say that we haven’t asked you about yet? Do you have any upcoming projects or tours to promote, or anything special or shout outs you want to say?
Don’t forget to support your locals! Thanks to the Hard Data for having me. Thanks to the Great American White Ape for continuing to put together Gabberfest year after year. Thanks to anybody who’s ever supported me on social media or bought one of my tracks. Thanks to the other producers out there for raising the bar as well as being down to earth enough to talk shop. Thanks to CIK and KORE for being my good friends, mentors, support, and colleagues for over 10 years. Last but not least: thanks to my wife for putting up with putting up with my noise as well as my persistent requests, demands, and deals for studio time.http://www.facebook.com/hardcorecaphttp://www.soundcloud.com/hardcorecap