Before this phone interview, U.K. producer/DJ/record label co-founder Joshua Steele, better known as dubstep star Flux Pavilion, was getting in a workout at a Boston gym. The Towcester-born, London-based Steele, 24, who is currently in the middle of a U.S. tour, appears to be working out several things in his life these days – physically, mentally and professionally.
For starters, the man who made a name for himself in the dubstep world has been slowly but surely distancing himself from it.
“It’s like dubstep is a word which kind of reminds me of a genre of music, and I don’t necessarily want to be limited by one genre of music, as a producer,” he says. “So, I’m much happier to just kind of make anything of any sound that just makes me feel good, rather than trying to concentrate on a genre and be like, ‘I’m this guy. This is what I am.’”
While Steele is not hating on the genre that made him an EDM star in the eyes of both fans and fellow big-name artists (he’s collaborated with A-list producer/DJs Diplo and Steve Aoki and has been sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West on their “Watch the Throne” album), he would like to be known for more than just that.
“Well, yeah, that’s how it works,” he says. “I mean, you’re kind of defined by your output, really. And my output for the past two or three years has been mostly dubstep.”
Although he has tinkered with other forms of electronic music, he didn’t get the itch to release any of it until recently, when he dropped his EP “Blow the Roof” in January of this year.
“I guess it sounds a lot more like a conscious effort to just be experimental with different sounds.”
While “Roof” has him delving into EDM subgenres like trapstep and electro-hop, material that was mainly produced on a computer in his bedroom (“You don’t really need loads of equipment,” he says. “You just need to have time and patience and passion.”), Steele is on a mission to compose and perform more with live instrumentation.
On this latest tour (which will make a stop at the Lincoln Theatre Tuesday), he’s been doing numbers from his upcoming EP, “Freeway,” which he says were conceived more through instruments than computers.
“I kind of grew up playing guitar and playing drums in bands, so I’m playing a lot more live,” he says. He’s also added his own vocals to couple of songs. “I’m approaching it a lot more from a singer-songwriter point of view, like actually trying to write songs with verses and choruses and using electronic music to kind of help the melodies. Rather than just singing a hook and then having a drop, I want to definitely approach it from more of an artist, kind of creative point of view.”
Although Steele is currently touring with regular DJ equipment, he is planning on rehearsing with a live band for a new tour in the coming year. He’s ultimately doing all of this not only to progress as an artist and an entertainer, but to give audiences the most organic, emotionally engulfing, musical experience he can possibly provide.
“I want to do an opera – a big, electronic, music opera,” he says. “That’s kind of the direction I want to go in.”