As we approach the new year, the tendency is for people to reflect. Not only on the previous year that has passed, but on their life up to this point. It’s a natural thing to do for all of us that are constantly searching for a little perspective. But we’d like you to consider something for a minute the next time that you find yourself awash in such a reverie: where were you at 20 years old? For the younger people that’s probably easy: you’re either there now or you aren’t quite yet. That’s fine, more power to you. You’re the future, so embrace it. But for us old heads, it becomes a bit more complicated, and requires a bit more hard of a look.
Seriously...where were you and what were you doing when you were 20? Were you creating an innovative blend of rock and roll/bass music? Had you gained a sizeable local following that enabled you to perform your art for the masses, causing that local following to increase exponentially in size and scope, far surpassing just local? Were you taking that music out on tour with internationally known artists, or displaying it at arguably the most famous music venue in the world? Odds are, you weren’t. Which isn’t intended as a slight. Everybody has their own qualities that make them special. We thought we were pretty damn cool at age 20, and although we have yet to collectively accomplish any of the aforementioned feats, we still like to think that we've retained at least SOME of those aforementioned qualities… just without the same level of accomplishment and notoriety. Odds are that you’re in the same boat as me. People like you, it’s just that your name doesn’t resonate that much. Well, we’d like you to meet someone who’s name does: Donnie “Decadon” Miller, aka the most uncommon common 20-year old you’ll most likely ever meet.
Perspective is a very important thing to have. It has a way of shaping aspects of your personality, both consciously and unconsciously. Donnie is one of those people who understands this, but also maintains it as well. He not only acknowledges his roots, but he recognizes how they have gotten him to where he is now, and will propel him to where his is going in the future. He grew up in a household headed by a patriarch who not only transferred the love of music to him, but made sure that love had a chance to prosper That same man is the one who now currently oversees Donnie’s burgeoning career, still there to make sure that Donnie is leading with his heart, and translating that love into his music. The guitar that he incorporates into his performances? His old man had one first, and as it turns out, Donnie was able to pick it up very quickly; styling himself after the likes of glam rock legends such as Motley Crue’s Mick Mars.
His path to bass music is a bit different, as it was borne more out of a desire for independence than anything else. Anyone who has ever been part of a collective of any kind can understand how difficult it can be to get everybody on the same page. He was a part of multiple bands while growing up, but never seemed able to find anyone to match his exuberance and thirst for performing, so it was natural for him to seek something out that would allow for some self-reliance.
As stated before, Donnie was raised on rock music, and has always been mostly interested in “things you can bang your head to.” That interest led him to music that was a bit more contemporary, namely hip-hop characterized by heavy, aggressive baselines like Tech N9NE (who, coincidentally is playing in Denver this Saturday, the same night that Donnie is opening for Flux Pavilion). Eventually, this search for more heavy bass music ended the musical stylings of a certain Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex in his ear. Considering the fact that Skrillex got his start in rock music as well (From First to Last), and also incorporates that into his sound, Donnie had found his muse. Check this track below for an example:
That is just a bit of what is in store for Saturday. And even though he is opening, Donnie is already a veteran of these types of shows. He’s played Global. He’s gone on tour with Savoy across the country. And yet, despite his continued success and growing reputation, he remains grounded and committed to remaining that way. For example, he was recently asked to do a gig that was a little out of the norm for him these days: DJ’ing the homecoming dance at his old high school. He jumped at the opportunity. Every year he volunteers at a camp for special needs kids, an experience that he values very much. Although his most recent experience was a bit different than years’ past, not only did he perform his normal duties, but was asked to provide the music for the end of camp dance. So of course he obliged, providing the campers with the fine music from the likes of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, much to their adulation. Clearly not his normal setlist, but according to Donnie, that set resulted in “the best crowd photo i’ve ever taken.”
Perspective means that you can always see the bigger picture, and for someone his age to be considering his legacy is another indication that he doesn’t lack perspective. At all. He wants to be remembered as the same person that he is now: hungry, but humble. Successful but grounded. He never wants to feel like he is bigger than the music. Which might be difficult going forward, as his musical reputation is growing. Fast. We can’t wait to see what is in store for his future. You can find links to more of Donnie's music below, and tickets are still available for Saturday. Get on it Cultureheads.