Just when Bassnectar “gave up on caring” what people thought about his music, his album “Noise vs. Beauty” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Music chart. The long-haired producer (real name: Lorin Ashton) draws on everything from death metal to the score from the 1999 film “American Beauty” for his melodic yet throttling breakbeats. His unique bass-in-your-face musicality has fostered a community of diehard fans, who are “just as enthusiastic” as the man himself: “Ironically when a Bassnectar fan flips out and goes wild, they’re reacting the way I do,” he said. While prepping for his upcoming tour, Bassnectar, 37, told us about five jobs he held before becoming a chart-topper.
1. Bag boy at Whole Foods “I was raised in a hippie commune, and my father was responsible for running the co-op that served natural food to people in the commune. When we left, he had a natural food grocery store which became a Whole Foods. When I was 15 I started bagging there.”
2. Children’s entertainer “I think I did five birthday parties and I was Big Bird, Barney, Elmo. It was one of the most unique experiences. When you enter a room and you’re dressed as [these kids’] superhero, and they’re staring into your eyes and say, ‘You’re my hero! I love you!’ ”
3. Music instructor at juvenile hall “My major [social justice] necessitated me to do a full-time field study. . . . I would spend time with inmates and I started up a music program. At first it was drumming and beat-making, and then I brought in DJ equipment.”
4. Teacher’s aide I basically interned with a second-grade class in reading, which was interesting because I never thought about how human beings develop the ability to read words. It’s not memorization or sounding out every letter, but it’s true communication. . . . It was phenomenally interesting.”
5. Census taker “I got promoted to do all the sketchy, boondock areas in the wilderness. And that’s when I quit, because I was not down with trespassing on some sketchy dude’s land and asking how many people lived on the property.”
Bassnectar performs at the Tsongas Center on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30). Tickets: $35-$39.50. 978-934-5760, www.tsongascenter.com
Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta can be reached at email@example.com