Jodie Downie – Shockone_SOTA_Festival_Perth_Jodie_Downie_05
Shockone performs at SOTA Festival in Perth. Picture: Jodie Downie

Shockone on returning to WA and sharing the love

For those of us looking in, there is a propensity to dip beneath the sound and romanticise a musician’s story. This rings especially true for artists who rise out of the local scene. We scratch and poke for clues and live off any word that might propel the hero narrative. For Karl Thomas aka Shockone, there is a reluctance to accept the title ‘hometown hero’. He prefers to embrace the love of the West Australian faithful.

“It’s definitely the most noticeable in WA,” he explains.

“It doesn’t ever bother me, I am just so thankful that people continue to come to shows. It’s what enables me to be doing this 10 years later, it’s not that common.”

Even on the periphery of a loud dancefloor, Thomas is a welcoming figure for fans and budding producers. It’s this humility that has led him to be a pillar in the delicate bubble of Perth clubbing fame, something that he boils down to innate character traits.

“I have a theory when it comes to success or fame or whatever you want to call it. If you’re a dick before you get success, you’re probably just going to turn into more of a dick when you get more of it. I have seen that in people and I am really aware of it.”

The West Australian producer returned to Perth after relocating to London and many would have speculated on his motivation. The real inspiration however was something he never truly thought possible.

“It was an unattainable dream,” he says.

“Something I couldn’t have done in London. So when I had the opportunity to buy a house or build a studio, I chose to build a studio and I don’t regret it. It turned out fantastic and I still get plenty of travel, it just means longer flights – out of Perth.”

Thomas’ has been involved with music his entire life and experienced it from all angles. He discovered drum n bass in the warehouse raves of the early 2000’s, he was a band member before a producer and a producer before he became DJ. His experience is vast.

It comes as no surprise to hear that his sound is born from his own process, not a flippant decision to chase collaborators.

“I don’t consciously try to think in that way. Almost always collaborations come out of an already long standing friendship. For me it is a very personal thing, where a lot of the motivation the songs comes from. I don’t want to throw that out and do a collaboration with another producer because it’s me – 100% me – on those ones.

Thomas is deep in the workings of his next full length record, the first since 2013’s Universus, something that he feels is well overdue. Earlier this month he closed out WA’s SOTA festival on Monday, in celebration of Western Australian music – something he was proud to be involved in.

“It’s a strong and robust electronic music scene that we have here. A lot of great electronic music of all genres comes out of WA and sometimes I feel that it gets glossed over a bit. In the last 10 years, we’ve had clubs like Shape, real institutions that have fostered a lot of local talent. I think there’s certain promoters to thank for that.”

Finding ways to share the credit, at any opportunity. That’s Shockone.

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