Words: Sam Rouse (one of three finalists in the University of South Australia Creative Industries Assessments, a collaboration with Fritz Magazine. Read more below.)
If you’re a parent of teens or young adults, Adelaide’s Chris Thornett is probably responsible for the “terrible racket kids listen to these days”. If you’re a bit younger you’ve probably been to one of his shows or seen him play music festivals including Stereosonic, Future Music, Daydream and most recently Groovin’ the Moo.
Chris is a local DJ and music producer who goes by the alias Seek N Destroy and is known for his heavy electronic bass sound and iconic face fluff. Chrisadmits his music is not for the faint of heart.
“It’s definitely not for everyone, but nor should it be,” he says.
The achievements Chris has made in a very short time are astonishing. After three years in the Sony InTheMix DJ rankings, 2017 saw Chris become South Australia’s number one ranked DJ. He has released music on Kannibalen records, charted in the ARIA Top 50, had numerous #1 singles on Beatport and collaborated with huge names in the bass music scene.
Many dedicated punters call him Seek for short, but who really is the man of few words behind the beard and the bass sound?
In his youth, Chris sacrificed the social scene to teach himself music production, and work his way up Adelaide’s nightlife ladder. His hard paid off in 2014, when he needed an agent to manage the demand, playing three gigs a weekend.
His social media pages are filled with tens of thousands of fans who visit his shows, stream his music and buy his merchandise. His dark sound has been in high demand, scoring shows throughout North America, Chris playing Montreal, Orlando and Miami in addition to regular shows on home soil in Brisbane and Sydney, too. He’s also recently returned from huge shows in Shanghai, word spreading in worldwide dance circles.
Chris can be found most weekends in Hindley Street haunts HQ, Black Bull and Red Square. He’s also known to cast a wider net, touring regional SA on occasion, with shows in Barmera, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Wallaroo, Whyalla and various Riverland pubs.
“I love that there is a healthy market for regional shows. Not only do they (the punters) not have to miss out on my music, but also I get to travel and experience the rest of Australia outside of the big cities. It’s a dream come true and I’m stoked kids want me there as much as I want to play for them.”
Chris’s fans come from all walks of life, not to mention all over the map. His shows are a way to show his gratitude for his fans. As lame as it sounds, I don’t see the people at my gigs as fans, I see them as my friends.”
His inspiration? “A lot of my heavy sound comes from my love for metal music. I like to translate those sounds into the electronic realm and make my own laneway. I feel like a trend will only last so long but if you become the trend you can last.”
He’s also inspired by other local Adelaide success stories, including Motez, Uberjakd and Senor Roar. His admiration and passion for these artists, and the industry, leads Chris to be a regular dabbler in the decks, as well as a producer. I’m as much a patron and a fan as I am an artist,” he says.
Seek N Destroy’s new yet untitled EP is due to be announced early 2019, as well as some side projects in different genres. Chris is working on pushing the boundaries with visual content for his sets as well as some big collaborations with other artists. “It’s all a bit under wraps at the moment.”
Moving forward, Chris sees himself being signed by a big label and touring internationally. “Ideally I’d like to be able to do this for the next 20 years.”
Seek Chris out for your next big weekend and see what all the fuss is about.
A note from the editor: Sam Rouse was a finalist in our yearly competition for final-year students from the University of South Australia School Of Creative Industries to enter a piece to be featured in Fritz. This year, we have chosen three finalists whose stories we will be publishing online. Each were asked to write a feature piece on a ‘local hero’.
Stay tuned for our other final story, and congratulations to all students who wrote pieces for the competition. We’re so proud and excited to support and encourage young writers in South Australia.