A spaceship landed outside of Skrillex’s childhood home in the earliest dream that he can remember. Years before the musician’s characteristic side-shave and beat drops launched him into EDM fame, years before he went by Skrillex, Sonny Moore was dreaming vividly of otherworldly home invaders, who arrived with a shock of blue light. “Two short little guys that came in. One was taller, and one was shorter. They came in and I hid under the covers. I knew they were looking at me for a while,” he tells me, carefully. “And then they walked out of the room, and into the hallway and the light went up ten seconds later.”
Skrillex is someone who has devoted considerable mental energy to how he would react to encountering aliens, and he uses the story to introduce his latest non-musical endeavor: a heady project that intertwines new phone technology, thirteen active satellites, and the stuff of sci-fi dreams. Skrillex’s “Live Cases” for Android phones combine physical phone sheaths that are coordinated with a changing phone background. Google headed Skrillex’s dreams, and sent a baker’s dozen satellites 100,000 feet into the stratosphere to document pictures of Earth during the day and constellations at night, which will appear on phone’s lock screens and behind app icons. All this will be interrupted occasionally with new Skrillex tracks and Skrillex thoughts.
This isn’t Skrillex’s inauguration to using a big name partnership to indulge his outer space-fever. In October 2014, he allowed Red Bull to build him a model spaceship on stage. In a documentary about the project (“Let’s Build a Spaceship!”), Skrillex openly imagines what it would sound like if an alien cursed. If space is tangentially involved, Skrillex is interested.
Do you remember what the aliens looked like in your dream?**
Kinda. It was dark so I couldn’t see them that well. They were like the traditional grey emoji alien.**
Were you frightened?**
I was so scared. I was so frightened.
Would you be scared now?
Yes! Wouldn’t you?
I think I would have so much trouble believing it, that I would try to ride it out and not be scared.
You never know how you’re going to react in a dream. Sometimes you’re flying in a dream, or you see your best friend and his arm falls off. Or you’re in a weird mall—and it’s your mall—but it’s different. You don’t question it because it’s in a dream.
Have you heard of Carl Sagan’s project, the Voyager Golden Record, where he sent a bunch of sounds and songs into space?
If you could prepare a record, what would you send?
It all depends. Not to get too crazy, but I was talking about this with someone the other day: Would aliens getmusic? Do aliens listen to music?
When you think about all the compounds and elements that built the universe, space dust and atoms and molecules, it’s all the same element that’s on Earth, as far as we’ve seen. We have stuff like the golden ratio and certain patterns that you find all over the universe. That ties in with sound frequencies in music. You can put on a sad-sounding song, and it will sound sad to everyone universally, even if they don’t speak the language. You will feel the emotion and that goes with frequency. So, long story short, with the theory that aliens would get the same emotional impact we do from music, I would play something universal, pretty good-feeling. Some pretty, ambient music. I wouldn’t want it to be too overwhelming.
You wouldn’t want to intimidate them with…
With a Skrillex record.
You wouldn’t send your own stuff?
You know what I would do? I would probably send the Spring Breakers soundtrack that I did with Cliff Martinez. That’s more on the ambient side. I think they’d fuck with that, hopefully.
Do you want to go into space?
Ever? Think about it. Within our lifetime, it will be a normal thing. If it was safe, and we could take a little trip in outer space, you wouldn’t do it?
The safety issue isn’t bothersome to me. It seems like an intimidating trip, mentally. Like seeing the sunset so many times. Have you heard of space euphoria? That really freaks me out.
Yeah, it sounds awesome. I’ve met a lot of astronauts before. I’ve hung with people who have gone to space, and from what I’ve heard, it’s the most incredible thing you can do—and humbling and life changing in a positive way.
If you believe in evolution, technology is part of our human evolution. It’s going to be normal for people to go into space at some point. When we are little grandmas and grandpas, we’re going to watch people go into space.
Do you have any plans to go into space?
I’m definitely going to space. I’m definitely going to do it 100%. Come with me. I’ll bring you out and maybe [it will] change your mind.
Sure! Oh, quickly, before you go, I have a music question: Do you think that hardcore as a genre is primed for a comeback?
It’s already having a comeback and a strong one from the underground. You’re going to see people using pure instruments soon and that’s going to be a new thing. Hardcore was so watered down by the music industry and I was in that scene. Everyone was signing major deals and trying to make pop records and alienated their fan base.
So as long as there is a strong community and people are purist about their great attitude but not purist in a cliquey sense, I think it will come back. I’m actually certain it will come back in this decade.
Certain you’re going into space, certain hardcore is coming back. The future looks good for you!
Thanks for talking to me; this was really fun.
Have a good one, alright. I’ll see you in space hopefully.
This interview has been edited and condensed.