Birthed from Luke Sims and A.P. Adair, Bass Physics is emerging as one of Colorado’s preeminent electronic music duos. Cultivating a sound and style that resonates with a unique and eclectic fervor, Adair and Sims have provided listeners with a vehicle into the deepest realm of electro-soul, where instrumentation, harmony, hip-hop, soul and funk all coalesce and give rise to an immersive and profound musical memento, ripe for the taking. As their sounds continue to percolate through airwaves, those who have yet to be graced by their productions, do take note. Bass Physics is a humbling reminder that even as electronic music moves into the mainstream media spotlight for riches and fame, there will always be entities that are coming into the industry from an angle of true passion for the art of music. Earlier in the year we had the chance to talk with Luke and A.P. about their recent EP, live performances, and some of their favorite Colorado mountains to shred snow on.
HT: As a brief introduction, could you tell us how you both met and how soon after that that you guys decide to make Bass Physics official?
Luke: We met in a music tech class in high school and then we kind of started to collaborate on a project the summer after our freshmen year of college, and that is kind of how Bass Physics started.
A.P.: Yea, we collabed on that first track which was ‘Loco’. We started making music in that music tech class. It was senior year of high school. Summer of freshmen year of college is when we started pursuing Bass Physics, really trying to collaborate together.
HT: Where did the name originate from? Was that something one of you came up with?
A.P.: That was actually a collaboration between our two original personal identities. They weren’t really serious identities. They were just what we called ourselves as producers, individually. Luke was Data Bass and I was Applied Physics, and my name being A.P., it kind of went with Applied Physics so I just went with that. Together we brought together Bass Physics that way.
HT: More and more it seems like free music is inevitably the future for music distribution. What are your thoughts on that? Do both of you plan to continue releasing music for free?
Luke: I think releasing music for free is really the best way to go to get your music out there. People are going to find ways to hear your music anyways so if we can get it to people the fastest way, and people love free stuff, that’s the best way to go.
A.P.: And it’s a great marketing tool too. The way things are changing now, it’s the new standard I suppose. Along with the music, depending on how you’re doing it, it is easier to create, if you look at it compared to back in the day where you had to be in a recording studio to make music. It’s definitely a whole different system now and I think that free music is going to open everything up and it really will free music, in a sense.
HT: ‘Where Do We Turn’ received a ton of support around the web and with your fan base. What was the motivation behind that release? Do you guys feel like that was your best work to date or is there something even better hidden up your sleeve?
A.P.: I would say, ‘Where Do We Turn’, our motivation behind that was kind of to direct ourselves and give more of a window to see into what the future of Bass Physics could be. As you can tell it is a little bit different of a style than ‘Loose Your Mind’ is, our first album, and that is just because some of the songs on there are a lot more original and some of the songs on ‘Loose Your Mind’, we used more samples on. So we’re kind of starting to take more of a direction toward where we want our style of music to go and ‘Where Do We Turn’, the name itself, it kind of like, “What is next? What’s going to happen?”. Right now we’re working on a couple releases coming up on this year and hopefully one of them will be pretty big…it was kind of a path changer I suppose, just kind of leading us in the right direction where we want to go.
HT: Are you guys thinking of moving away from sample based music and just focusing on more original production?
A.P.: Not so much. Whatever our listeners like and whatever we like, we’re going to go ahead and create. So we’re not going to limit ourselves to not using samples, but it is more of a challenge and it’s more fun for us to try and make the “all original”. When we’re composing, one of the tools we use, I’ll write a piano riff or a guitar riff or something, and we’ll just use the actual audio clip from that and Luke will take that sample and chop it up and use it in the song, so it’s kind of like we’re using our own samples. That’s where ‘Where Do We Turn’ really started heading, is using more of our samples and using less of other people’s music and clips from different songs and stuff. That’s just more of an added challenge for us to have fun with. It’s definitely helping us to evolve our skills.
HT: Production wise, how do you guys work on drums? Does one of you specialize or do both of you work on them? What do you usually do to get your drums to sound big?
Luke: Well as far as the drums, we just have some of hip-hop drums as well as electronic, kind of more dubstep sounding if you will, snares and kicks. We’ve found a pretty good combination of what goes together and what sounds good.
A.P.: Usually Luke will do more of the electronic style drums and making sure the drums hit hard where they need to hit hard. I come in with the more hip-hop, acoustic drums. We use the blend of both of those things to really make our kits.
Luke: That’s kind of how our sound is. AP has a certain style, I have a certain style, and it comes together pretty well that way.
HT: What does your live set up consist of? Do you feel like the Bass Physics production and performance style is changing were you anticipate that you’ll have to switch up the gear that you bring up on stage?
A.P.: We’re always evolving our live performance set. That’s something that with more time and money and resources we’ll be able to evolve it and get it more involved on stage. We’re currently working with Luke’s violin to perform on stage as well. So he’ll have an instrument and we’ll get the violin and guitar harmonizing on stage and that’ll be really cool. We have plenty of ideas to adapt ourselves and make ourselves more involved on stage. Right now we’re limited because we’re both at school. Luke is in Iowa and I’m up at Fort Collins so we’re currently collaborating on our music over the internet and working on our live physical performance aspect is difficult. Although, we’re very involved on stage already. We want to make it and take it another step further, and to do that, I really feel that that’s going to be once me and Luke are living in the same area.
HT: Is there a lot of improvisation going on up stage? Can you guys recall a performance where that went terribly wrong?
A.P.: As far as improvising, with the instruments, a lot of what I do is improvising. I have a set direction with where I want to go with a solo and where I want to end up at the end of it, just so that I can do the transitions for the song right. But in the middle of the solo there’s been multiple times live where I’ll get off track from where I was meaning to go with the solo, and then I have to improv and kind of bring it back together. There’s definitely been times where you choke up and sure, during practice you can improv and recover from making a mistake on the guitar, but when you’re in front of people and when it’s a live crowd and you have adrenaline going, sometimes you choke up and all of a sudden you forget everything you’ve ever known. That’s sometimes scary.
Luke: I feel like on stage we’re there to take the audience on a journey through our sound so there really hasn’t been times where its been like “oh my gosh, I messed super bad where everyone is going to know”. We know when that happens, we’re in control.
HT: How was it playing for the crowd at the Colorado Convention Center for Decadence in December? Would you guys return again this year if the opportunity presented itself?
Luke: Absolutely. It was so much fun. It was an incredible show. Just the whole event itself. The whole thing was amazing.
A.P.: The production value was unbelievable.
Luke: Yea. The sounds system, and the lights. It was amazing.
AP: Me and Luke have been a local act for a little bit and to be alongside bigs acts like Break Science, Beats Antique, and Bassnectar, it was very surreal. It was just a dream honestly.
HT: Did you guys stick around for both days of the festival?
Luke: Oh yea. We both went to both nights and they were equally as awesome. I’d say.
HT: I know there was a lot of talent there, but was there a favorite set that you guys remember better than others?
Luke: For me I’d say probably Bassnectar’s [set]. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him. I’ve always wanted to see him. I was definitely satisfied after seeing that. It was incredible.
A.P.: Yea Bassnectar’s set was pretty dope.
HT: So SnowBall just announced its return. Word of mouth is that they couldn’t lock in another contract at Winter Park because it got trashed. Would you guys be interested in playing the festival even though it might have a different feel since the venue is changing?
A.P.: Yea absolutely. I personally went to Snowball last year at Winter Park and it was an amazing event. I thought it was really cool and it was really well put together. It’s a shame that there was so much trash left over and that they’re not welcome back there again. But you know I think that that would be not only great exposure for Bass Physics, but it would be a great time. Me and Luke have a lot of friends that go to that event each year. It would be really cool.
HT: Are either of you guys snowboarders at all, and if so, do you have a favorite mountain to snowboard on in Colorado?
Luke: We both love to snowboard. I haven’t been in like a year…I’d say my favorite mountain is Winter Park.
A.P.: I’d say Aspen Highlands. Aspen Highlands is some of the best skiing that I’ve ever had.
HT: What is the biggest goal you guys have set for yourselves in 2014 and how do you plan to accomplish it? What can we expect from you guys as the year rolls on?
A.P.: Well we had a meeting and I think we set our biggest goal to headline and selling out a show in Colorado over the next year. Hopefully we can fulfill that goal and bring it to either a Denver local venue or the Fox or something like that. That’s our goal for this year and one way we hope to accomplish that is to keep pushing forward and keep releasing new music and hopefully we can get up to making that happen.
Huge thanks to A.P., Luke and their management for taking the time to sit down and chat with us. Be sure to show them some love and pick up ‘Where Do We Turn‘ if you missed it.