That age-old lesson: learning how to be true to yourself. Some of us can’t embrace the concept in a lifetime, most of us can’t by our early 20s. Sometimes when you do accept yourself for who you are, and embrace that, crazy shit starts to happen. Case in point: Getter. He’s insane, but everyone loves him for it. Another example? Shambhala. The festival that does whatever it wants and has people coming back, year after year.
Two weeks ago I spent time deep in the Kootenay woods of the interior of British Columbia Canada. Five days sleeping in a tent, weathering thunderstorms and bathing in a river. I was blessed to listen to a colourful array of musical choices, and I was able to watch more than 10,000 other people embrace their individuality and spend the weekend learning about life, themselves, and each other.
Shambhala Music Festival – now in its 19th edition – takes place near Salmo, BC. On what other months of the year you would call a farm. The cellular reception is terrible, the shower lines are long but the everyday stresses we all seem to be uptight about seem to fade into nature.
Each artist in attendance tends to spend their days before and after their sets, actually camping at the festival. It’s one of those places where artists, employees and fans are all on the same level.
One artist who seems to revel on that level is the hilarious and stupidly talented Getter. Playing Shambhala for his second time this year, but forever being a fan of the aftermovies. I caught up with him prior to his insane set on the Pagoda stage, where the lights, sound and beats were enough to shake you to your core and the Suh Dude shirts were out in full support. Here’s what he had to say about his career, his influence, and his love for one of the most unique festivals on the planet.
Being involved with Datsik as much as you were in your early days, surely this was your intro to Shambhala?
Growing up, I’d always watch the Shambhala recap videos and watch Excision’s sets and it was so sick. So once Datsik had brought me onto Firepower, it lead to bringing me as an artist to Shambhala. I was so anxious on stage that year, I couldn’t believe it was happening. This place is like a giant family, everyone is protecting each other, it’s really nice.
Were you prepared for the thunderstorm this year?
Honestly, my first impression of Shambhala two years ago was ‘holy shit it’s dirty’. I’m not used to that! So this year I came prepared with my raincoat and better camping gear. It’s kind of unexplainable though, you just have to experience these types of festivals.
Shambhala being a big supporter of self-expression and individuality must be a great place to showcase those elements of your own social media characters and brands?
Definitely. I used to dress in all this colourful shit when I was much younger but once I got into music I wore all black. Then eventually I was like this is dumb as fuck so I sorted my shit out. I feel like everyone’s just got to be themselves. Basically that started with social media then I brought it into my music, that being I could do whatever I wanted to. That’s what this festival is all about, too.
It’s nice to see, because for the longest time I was doing some shit I wasn’t super passionate about. My style, my music, even the shit I was saying just wasn’t me. I was trying to be someone else. But I just started to be myself and apparently I’m funny. I always joke around about crazy shit that happens in the world, because the world sucks ass. But if you can laugh about the problems, it makes it better.
Speaking of colourful clothes, have you seen any Trippy Burger merch floating around Shambhala?
I saw a few Trippy Burger shirts around here, of course some Suh Dude shirts. The whole thing started with just the Suh Dude shirt, and we expanded it into this entire colourful line of items.I want Trippy Burger to be like, if you’re walking down the street and you see someone wearing the shirt, you’re like ‘oh fuck Trippy Burger, that’s tight!’ I want people to fuck with my shit, and I want to create a culture around it.
What’s next for this, already incredibly impressive, year to come?
My favourite experience of my career so far was going on my first tour bus with Datsik. I’ve always told myself if I ever get to that level, I’m spending all my money on a bus with my best friends and we’re going to be stupid. That’s what’s next. We’ve called it the Wat The Frick tour.
We’ll be documenting the whole thing, doing Vlogs every day. We have this one idea called the Wheel Of Frick so every morning we wake up and draw straws and whoever loses has to spin the wheel of frick. It’s the dumbest shit that is bound to make you throw up when you watch it, but it’s funny, and we love it, and that’s all that matters.