The announcement earlier this month that Skrillex would be opening for Guns N’ Roses on their Not In This Lifetime reunion tour came as a shock to pretty much everyone, aside from the man himself.
Now, a week after his first show with Guns N’ Roses at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Skrillex has opened up to Rolling Stone about his experience of psyching up a crowd for one of the biggest rock bands of all time.
Skrillex (real name Sonny Moore), who once made a name for himself as the frontman of metalcore group From First To Last, has revealed that it took some time to build up enthusiasm in the stadium when he first opened for Guns N’ Roses.
“I’m not gonna lie — and this is what I expected too — when I stepped onstage, people were sitting down and were like, ‘What the fuck?'” he says.
After a little while, the crowd really started to become more responsive to his set, as he began to throw in some remixes of rock and metal tracks, Skrillex says.
“After a few songs, I started throwing in some of the metal remixes and pitched them all to be in the same key as the ones I was mixing them with so it felt like a really smooth set. There was definitely moments when I threw in Queen or threw in the first Metallica sample, and people were like ‘Oh shit.’ It became a big sing-a-long.”
Skrillex also reveals that his end goal for the set was to get the crowd “semi-turnt” by the time Guns N’ Roses came out, and to fit the show’s vibe he omitted a number of his regular songs for tracks that better suited the show.
“I wanted to entertain people,” he says. “It wasn’t a selfish thing. I didn’t want to make a statement or do the opposite and be like, ‘Fuck you.’ I wanted to create something for the fans that they could remember.”
Meanwhile, Guns N’ Roses have expanded their reunion tour into 2017, but are yet to announce any Australian shows.
Watch Skrillex open for Guns N’ Roses in Houston, below.
Watch: Skrillex Opens For Guns N’ Roses (Houston 5/8/16)