In the music industry, there appears to be few degrees of separation between Skrillex and a particular hit.
One such track on The Weeknd's new Dawn FM album is a prime example of this. The story of how Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys got involved in the project is something of a butterfly effect – with Skrillex playing a central role.
Johnston, now 79, tells the Los Angeles Times that he went surfing Zuma Beach and decided to stop by the nearby Shangri-La Studios afterwards. It was there that the legendary musician met Skrillex, who was then working with the multi-platinum producer Rex Kudo and the renowned guitarist Heavy Mellow.
Johnston explains that Skrillex and the artists around him at Shangri-La have a relentless work ethic and compare them to "The Wrecking Crew of the 21st Century".
"You can write, sing, play, produce," said Johnston. "You bundle the music and then offer it around, and for the artists it's like trying on clothes before you adjust them."
Johnston says a subsequent session with Kudo and Christian Love, son of Beach Boys colleague Mike Love, resulted in a jam that eventually got on The Weeknd's radar. The track eventually found a home on Dawn FM as "Here We Go … Again" (with Tyler, The Creator) six months after Johnston, who is believed to be the writer and producer, heard secondhand that The Weeknd was interested in the demo .
Interestingly, Johnston says he continues to stop at the studio where Skrillex regularly grinds, and says his visits resulted in hours of unreleased music.