Heady | adj. \’he-dē \

1. tending to intoxicate or make giddy or elated.
2. marked by or showing good judgment.
3. intellectually stimulating or demanding.

Mar 312014
 

Rising the ranks with a fervent musical drive and a formidable sound, the collaborative efforts of kinsmen Christopher Lunde & Niklas Lunde has landed Lunde Bros. in the limelight of electronic music. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the Scandinavian duo has quickly gained the support and recognition from some of electronic music’s most renowned figures like Pete Tong, Erick Morillo, and David Guetta.

With an all new compilation on John Dahlbäck’s Mutants Records under their belt, Lunde Bros. is posed to capture the attention and support of the electronic music’s most devout and new listeners with a surge of crisp, galvanizing, and shuddering 128bpm productions which they so tactfully craft in quick succession. Those new to the name, acquaint yourself with one of 2014’s most promising electronic music presences as the Lunde Bros. were kind enough to chat with us about their latest compilation on Mutants Records, deluxe Swedish dining, and their hopes for who picks up the World Cup trophy in Brazil this year.

HT: There are too many electronic music producers and DJs to name that have come from Sweden who have risen to stardom. Do you two ever attribute any of your success and influence to the fact that you grew up in a place that was bubbling with so much talent?

LB: No, we don’t think that we are so Swedish with our style. One thing that could be positive to be Swedish and producing in Sweden is the cold and dark weather. Then you have to do something fun and making music is one thing.

HT: Looking back, is there a specific, detailed moment or experience in your home country where both of you of realized that producing and DJing in the electronic music arena was the path you wanted to pursue?

LB: We realized quite fast during our first gigs that we got great reactions on the dancefloor, so it was almost like a “meant to be” moment. But of course with a lot of hard work, and we have never took a thing for granted.

HT: In regards to production, why did you two gravitate toward Logic and not a DAW like Ableton?

LB: We have tried all DAWs during our music education and we have felt that Logic is the most natural DAW to produce music.

HT: Beatport has time and time again miscategorized releases into genres that they really shouldn’t be in. There is so much genre overlap in electronic music it is almost irrelevant to dump releases into one genre, but do you two identify your sound with progressive house? The majority of your releases on Beatport fall into that category though a lot of them sound much too heavy to be labeled as such.

LB: Categorizing music today is really hard and we actually dont want to categorize our own productions. We try to be in between all genres so if we had to categorize our own music it should be to the Lunde Bros. genre.

How much planning went behind compiling the Mutants Records compilation? Can you to talk about what it represents, and how the selections and original productions reflect on your current standing as artists?

LB: It took about two weeks of planning and mixing the compilation. We wanted to make a different compilation with a new way of thinking and style. For us this compilation represent us as artists very well cause it is so wide in style and groovy.

Would you happily steer the reigns of Mutants Records if it was handed over to you guys?

LB: Mutants Records is a really cool label and if we would get the chance to work more with them we would take it for sure.

You two have gained support during performances from some major players in the industry like Hardwell, Guetta, and Romero. Do you two hope to get Lunde Bros. onto large international stages to play out your own tracks, and how do plan to attain that level of success?

LB: Of course! The plan is to work really hard and follow our own path to get there.

If you were speaking with someone who has never been to Sweden before but loves electronic music, what is the best club for someone to indulge in when visiting Stockholm for the first time?

LB: There is a bunch of cool clubs in Stockholm and it all depends on in what mood, taste and how drunk you are.

With Brazil coming around the corner so soon, who are you guys hoping picks up the FIFA World Cup Trophy in July?

LB: Zlatan!

Favorite and worst dinning experiences you two have had on the road thus far?

LB: We have had some really nice dinners and some bad. One of the best dinners we had was in Åre, in Sweden. We went to a restaurant called Supper which is just amazing!

Connect with Lunde Bros. Via: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

Photo Credit: Oskar Brewitz

 Posted by on March 31, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: , ,
Mar 202014
 




Hailing from the City of Angles, gLAdiator, the musical vision currently pioneered by Dan Goodman and Ian Johnson, has illuminated itself as a promising and progressive presence in the electronic music arena. Goodman and Johnson have made a notable and and lasting impression on listeners as they have and continue to bring new life and flavor into trap, a domain of electronic music that is often over-saturated with repetition and lacking new, innovative musical ideas. But their influence does not stop there. Though the duo is quickly rising the ranks in the sphere of trap, they have showcased a keen capacity to produce across the spectrum of electronic music, bridging sounds and styles from the likes of moombahton to dub step.

With energy intensive live sets and a stedy stream of content for listeners to get their feet wet in, gLAdiator will undeniably be etching its presence into what is in store for electronic music in the months and years to come. For those not familiar, get acquainted with the duo through our recent interview where Goodman and Johnson silence critics on trap, touch on musical transitions, and reminisce on their learning experience from playing abroad.

Follow gLAdiator On: Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

 Posted by on March 20, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: , ,
Feb 192014
 

If you reside in or near a major city in the North American continent, you’ve most certainly felt the waves created by the SMOG City Tour; a full scale show circuit headlined by bass music icon 12th Planet alongside 2014’s number one artist to watch according to the BPM Network, Protohype. Earlier in the month they were kind enough to sit down with us to discuss a host of topics ranging from their recent collaborations and age restrictions at shows, to their thoughts on instruments’ role in the future of electronic music and Star Wars that they live through vicariously.

Follow Protohype On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter
Follow 12th Planet On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 Posted by on February 19, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: , , , ,
Jan 242014
 

Based out of Los Angeles, Bixel Boys is quickly defining itself as one of the more promising and exciting duos to emerge out of California’s electronic music scene. Founded by Rob May & Ian Macpherson, the young but dexterous producers have quickly amassed a following and garnered support from some of the biggest players in the industry with their drive and proficiency for making what they call “underground tunes for big rooms”. Drawing inspiration from various areas across the music spectrum like R&B, trap, and deep house, May and Macpherson exploded onto everyone’s radar in 2013 and have since been marked as one of the many acts to keep a close eye on in 2014. Shortly after their debut SnowGlobe performance in December, Rob and Ian took the the time to answer a few questions about their upbringings, recent performances, how to maximize production productivity, and testify on the hype over the west coast’s In-N-Out Burger.
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HT: As the name continues to gain speed, can you guys tell us a bit about how Bixel boys was created and where the name comes from?

Ian: ‘Bixel’ comes from a street I used to work on . . . when I started DJing my boss said it in passing; I liked it, I thought it sounded funny and kinda chintzy; but it stuck.

HT: What was both of your musical upbringings like in Venice Beach? Was there ever any reason to venture to Manhattan or Hermosa Beach for musical interests, or was Venice Beach just what you two needed?

Ian: So I think you’re getting that from our bio. The “raised in Venice” is actually a reference to where we got out DJ chops up. I was born in La Jolla, CA, and grew up in San Francisco. Venice is special to us because that’s where we really earned our stripes with our good friends Guns in the Sun DJs and Steffi Graf…I went to college at LMU so there were plenty of questionable decisions made in both Manfratty and Hermosa.

HT: You guys recently had a performance with Gent and Jaws at Yost Theatre. How was that performance? Are you two steadily getting good turnouts for every Cali show?

Ian: Yost was a good time. We played alongside so many different acts from Nu Disco like Plastic Plates to Trap guys like Gent and Jawns, that it’s always fun to kind go morph and shift sets to the vibe; but there were a good amount of hands in the air, bouncing moments at Yost.

Rob: The Yost was great because it pretty much had the atmosphere of a festival right from the start. We definitely played one of the more higher energy sets we’ve ever done.

HT: Production wise, are both of you pretty much on the same playing field?

Rob: I think I come from a more ‘technical’ train of thought when it comes to producing. Ian has more of an ear for what’s dance-floor practical. We sort of end up meeting somewhere in the middle of that.

HT: What has been the biggest influence or learned technique that has really helped polish your productions?

Rob: Turning off the Wi-Fi when I’m working…but seriously, probably the most important technique, if it could even be called one is just knowing when to stop tinkering. I think it took me almost a full year or so to realize that I could just sit on one track for months and months on end and never be happy with it. Moral of the story, make full songs and finish them. If they don’t turn out exactly the way you were hoping, then move on and start a new one.

HT: Big room, garage, deep house… just a fews of the descriptions that we’ve seen floating around when categorizing the Bixel Boys sound. What do you guys strive for when producing? Is there really a particular genre or style in mind, or is it just what comes to mind spontaneously?

Ian: Big room underground is a moniker we’ve kind of identified with, but when we go into the studio it really is about making sounds that resonate with us rather than gearing our sound to a particular genre.

Rob: I don’t really approach anything with a genre in mind. I sort of let the genre present itself during the ideas phase. I think you tend to limit your own creativity ability when you decide a genre before starting a project.

HT: Can you guys tell us a little bit about how your SnowGlobe debut turned out, from the crowd presence to the way you guys laid down your set? Would you be happy to return in ’14 if they’d have you back?

Ian: SnowGlobe was really a time where we got to take all the brakes off for a set. We knew we had Kaskade and Claude VonStroke playing at the same time so it was important to really go in, from start to finish. We definitely got to play everything we wanted from the 95 Chicago Bulls intro song, to ‘Black December’, to Rihanna’s ‘Stay’, to ‘Look at Me Now’ by Djemba Djemba. Crowd was so rad too. At one point I got to stand on the guard railing while they all held up my legs. Def a ton of fun. Would LOVE to do it again.

Rob: SnowGlobe was a blast. I was so happy to see that we even had a crowd due to who we were playing up against. I think we had a little bit of help from our super warm tent, but the crowd who was with us stayed the whole time. I most definitely would want to play it again.

HT: A ton of festival line-ups are dropping. Are there any big upcoming spring or summer performances that you guys could give us some info on?

Ian: Haha, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

HT: With an entire new year ahead of you guys, what are your plans to grow as producers and push the Bixel Boys name further under that spotlight?

Ian: We want to work WITH a lot of producers and see the work flow of our peers and those that are crushing it. Also working with more vocalist (which we already are). I’d love to bring some of our tracks to life with some emotion on there.

Rob: We’ve already started brainstorming on how to incorporate live performance aspects into our shows. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do. I can see our productions down the line catering to a more performance based style rather than straight up DJ tracks.

HT: In-N-Out Burger. Best burger on the West Coast or is it over hyped?

Ian: In-N-Out Burger is the single greatest fast food franchise on the face of the planet…

Rob: I’m a mid-west guy so I was a bit skeptical moving out here on the In-N-Out thing. I’ve gotta say west-coasters…very, very impressive.

Follow Bixel Boys: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 Posted by on January 24, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: ,
Jan 222014
 

MOZ Photography

If there is one movement that has unleashed a catalog of some of the freshest and tastiest productions in recent times, it is none other than the one pioneered by The City of Lights’s prolific duo, The Geek x Vrv. Comprised of Axel Rondeau and Vincent Téoulé, The Geek x Vrv have been behind so many flawless hip-hop instrumental styled electro funk productions, intoxicating listeners with punchy beats, savory ol’ school flavored samples, peerless instrumental licks and jazzy melodies.

As they continue to release at an astonishing and relentless rate, The Geek x Vrv will undeniably remain one of the hottest acts to erupt from France’s electronic music underground. In the wake of their sophomore B.T.O.S compilation, B.T.O.S Vol. 2, a ten track release with an irresistibly toothsome assortment of hip-hop instrumentals, we had the chance to ask the fast-rising duo about their inception, their recent EP, and what the future has in store for them.

Download ‘B.T.O.S Vol. 2’ Here


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HT: The sounds both of you put out is nothing short of top-notch. How did you meet and decide to start producing together?

Well we met through a mutual friend, we started to chat online, and then the idea of a collaboration came. Since the feedback we were getting was rather positive, we decided to carry on together.

HT: Do your musical musical taste and influences ever clash when producing, or are they always in agreement?

Usually we manage to agree on which style to use, so most of the time we are in agreement. Though there are exceptions. But we try to limit ourselves the least, so we don’t hesitate to propose original ideas.

HT: How would you two describe your style to someone who is not an electronic music fan but is about to listen to your music for the first time?

Grab Electro, Hip Hop, Soul & Jazz, mix all of these styles and you get something new and fresh. We’ve never thought about it to be honest, but we think we’d tell them that most of our tracks are “new with some old, something new and fresh”.

HT: Are you two producing with Ableton at the moment, and are there ever any live interments recorded into a track?

Yeah Ableton is great for us, and it’s the DAW we’ve been using for a while so it’s become really easy to produce now! For the instrumental part, we’ve started to gradually get into it, but as we are not natural musicians, it’s a bit hard. We’ll get the hang of it.

HT: ‘One Love EP’ was a bit heavier than some of the releases on ‘Amicalment Votre’ and ‘Chinese Morning’. Do you two see yourselves creating more bass heavy, maybe dubstep influenced productions in the future?

Actually One Love EP was produced 4 months ago. We make tracks based on how we feel at the time. We must have listened to electronic music at the time. Our influences evolve rapidly even if we try to keep a main line, so yeah, why not some tracks with more bass, or instead, a few more chill ones!

HT: You guys recently did a collaboration with Emiljo A.C. Is there a reason why it wasn’t released for free and are there any other collaborations in the works?

Our collab with Emiljo is available on Emiljo’s SoundCloud for free. We do have other collaborations in the works very soon, some remixs too. We’re lucky to be working with some great artists at the moment.

HT: Can you guys see yourself coming over to America for some performances in the States?

Of course! We would love to play in the USA some day. It would be a dream become true, so we’re gonna carry on making music and hopefully some day we’ll be able to come over!

HT: In both of your opinions, what was the best The Geek x Vrv release in 2013?

For us the best release of 2013 was the Flume remix, and [best] production, ‘It’s Because’.

HT: Biggest moment for The Geek x Vrv in 2013?

There hasn’t been a big moment for us yet because we only started playing in 2014, but I’d say our time with Tha Trickaz who talked about our EP on their label was the best moment. Having the chance to be contacted by artists we’ve always loved, listened to and seen live, is fantastic. And I’d add that our upload on the youtube channel “The Sound You Need” gave us great visibility and made us able to share our passion with more and more people, and when Pretty lights dropped our Flume remix in The HOT SH*T Podcast!!

HT: What is up ahead in 2014? There is BTOS Vol. 2, but beyond that, what can we expect from The Geek x Vrv in 2014?

Well 2014, we are gonna have loads and loads of stuff to release! After B.T.O.S Vol. 2, there is gonna be quite a few remixs and collaborations, then 2 new EPs, with one collaboration with an independant brand. We’d like to take the time to work on the release of a full album as well. And there will probably be a B.T.O.S Vol. 3, and always free of course! SO there is going to be a lot of new stuff, we are gonna be playing more and more live sets shortly so our live set is evolving too.

Follow The Geek x Vrv On: Facebook | SoundCloud
Follow The Geek On: Facebook | Twitter
Follow VRV On: Facebeook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 Posted by on January 22, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: , , , ,
Jan 212014
 

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.
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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?

(Laughter)

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.

(Laughter)

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.

Follow Bass Physics On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Official

 Posted by on January 21, 2014 Interviews Tagged with: , ,
Jan 072014
 

Storming out of The Windy City, emerging duo X5IGHT is poised to capture and retain the attention of electronic music’s most devoted and fledgling listeners. Established by Chi-town’s very own Brandon Levinson and Jerry Kurty, X5IGHT has quickly defined itself as a formidable contender in the electro-house and progressive house arena. As they build on their splendid catalog of crisp and ground-trembling original productions, remixes and mashups, we had the chance to sit down with Levinson and Kurty shortly after their huge New Year’s Eve performance at SnowGlobe Music Festival to chat about summer festivals, memorable 2013 pastimes, and Super Bowl picks.

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HT: With both of you coming out of Chicago, can you give us a quick introduction as to how you two met and explain where you both have come from musically, from musical upbringing to musical influence?

Brandon: As far as how we met, we were actually two individual producer/dj acts and about a year and a half ago we met at a local club. We both happened to be playing just individually and we starting taking after that and started sharing some music. We really just aligned very well with our styles and while they’re not exactly the same, I think they match well enough where we are pretty happy with everything. We just kind of decided in November of 2012 to start up and form a duo and ever since then it has been a lot of work and a lot of growth since. We’ve been pretty excited about everything that has happened. As far as musical influence goes, I’ll hand that off to Jerry.

Jerry: Pretty much I’ve been djing for about 5 years now and producing for around two and a half years. Like Brandon said we met at a club. I showed him a few tracks I had been working on. He happened to like them a lot. Ever since we formed X5IGHT, when we make music, production wise, we usually meet in the middle…I’m more from the Dirty Dutch genre whereas Brandon, he’s more of a Trance guy, so when we work on a production we try to meet in the middle and make something in between to both of our likings.

HT: What did you two start off producing with?

Jerry: I started producing music using FL Studio and I’ve been using that for a year. After I understood most of the basics and all of the good stuff, FL didn’t allow me to do certain things that I needed to do. We decided to switch over to Ableton a couple months after we formed X5IGHT and we’ve been using Ableton ever since.

Brandon: Right. I’ve said this many many times before but Jerry, production wise, is definitely the more talented producer between the two of us. I did mess around a little bit with Logic when I was working individually myself. FL wasn’t bad, but as Jerry said we switched over to Ableton this past March. I definitely don’t want to say whatever software use is better than another because in all honestly I feel like anyone can make good music in any VST. I feel like Ableton, it just makes thing easier. Its an easier program. The way we make music, it fits our style very well. It’s definitely helped us production wise, immensely.

HT: Some of your releases are labeled as progressive house and other electro-house. It seems like the majority of the releases hover around that 128bpm region. How did you two get into producing in this style?

Brandon: Well as Jerry mentioned earlier, our roots really comes from, from Jerry’s perspective Dirty Dutch and from mine, more of the Tracne side, and in my opinion I feel like progressive house is more of a commercial sub-genre of Trance, to some degree. I think there is a lot of similarities there. As far as Dirty Dutch goes, I think electro-house also, in terms of the energy it puts off, it’s also very similar. I guess that’s why we have been hovering around the progressive and electro-house genres. Recently we also branched out and did our first trap remix and that definitely interesting. It was kind of to go out of the 128 range. I think that was actually a 150bpm remix. It was a little bit different for us. We’re actually at the moment we’re actually experimenting, I guess if you want to call it 128bpm trap. We have a track we’re working on now. I think it’s pretty unique because it goes from a hard driving electro drop and then it transitions into a trap section, and it’s still 128bpm. That is kind of something that people haven’t heard before so we’re kind of excited to get that track finished up and then released.

HT: Would you ever associate your sounds and productions with “Big Room”? I’m asking because there seems to be some mixed opinions- some people love it some people while others think it is really bland.

Brandon: In all honesty, I think if you look at our older stuff, I would definitely consider a few of those more on the on the big room side. When it first came out it was actually something that we jumped on board with really qucily. We were actually making big room tracks before big room really even took off. That was something that didn’t really catch us by surprise. We kind of expected that to happen. In all honestly I think now it is a little a bit over done and I’m sure quite a few different people would also agree.

We’ve always kind of tried to take all the best of all the genres we like and put together a song. For instance I know the song ‘Wacky Arms’ we just released, there are elements of Melbourne, elements of big room, electro, and we also threw in some elements of drum & bass…in the second breakdown. We just try and take pieces of different songs and different genres that we have really been liking and put it all in our music. Sometimes it’s hard to even classify what genre a given song would fall under because we have so many different influences and styles all in one song. That’s kind of the challenge if you’re going to classify music. Going forward, we’re not really focusing on making festival tracks or any specific big room tracks. We’re working on a lot more progressive, a little bit more melodic and mellow tracks as well. I think there is just a fine mix that you have to meet with when it comes to that.

HT: Can you share some thoughts on you think of the complextro classification? I was listening to the Purdue mix and saw some FTampa in there which is why I’m asking.

Brandon: As far as complextro goes…one of my favorite artist of all time is still Porter Robinson, and that was kind of something he developed in his sound a couple of years ago. As a genre, I love the genre. I think it is just, on the production side, something that quite frankly we just aren’t that good at making so we kind of stray away from it. I wouldn’t say it’s dying exactly because I think there is actually quite a bit you can still do with complextro. We are actually working on a collar with another Chicago artist and there are actually some complextro elements in the song…I think the complextro you heard 2010 or ’11, is probably a little dated at this point but I still think artists will innovate and push the envelop and keep that genre alive.

HT: ‘Wacky Arms’. Can you tell us about that release? Is it a new direction for X5IGHT or something experimental that you two wanted to toss up for free?

Jerry: We had a show. I forgot what show it was.

Brandon: Indianpolis. It was one of our Indianapolis shows.

Jerry: We were in Brandon’s room at IU. Him and a kid were driving somewhere and they saw the arms flailing tube man on the side of the road. He brought that up and he said “what if we would do something like “now move your whacky arms” into a drop?” Instantly he had a catchy melody and he was like “Jerry, do you have a computer? Let’s make this melody.” We only had the drop done at that point. The breakdown took a little while to make but we found a way to make it work. That’s pretty much the story behind ‘Wacky Arms’. It definitely was something that we experimented with and tried a few different things. Like Brandon said, ‘Wacky Arms’ has a little bit of drum n bass drum, except it’s at 128. We like to experiment with different genres and bring them into 128, just to see what we can do and see how creative we can get.

HT: I often wonder how duos work, questioning exactly how production goes down when it comes time to write. Do you both work on elements together on drums or bass and the move on to something different, or does one of you work on, for example, melodies, and the other on synths, and then you bring them them together?

Brandon: I mean it’s kind of a combination of everything really. Obviously Jerry has his strengths. I have mine. In terms of just the fine tuning whether it’s mastering or EQ’ing, Jerry definitely has the upper hand there. As far as developing melodies and chord progressions, or something along those lines, I’d say it’s pretty much a 50/50 split on that. There are certain things he’ll send me, and I’ll like [them], or certain thing he’ll send me and then I’ll edit [them]. Or as he said with Wacky Arms, I come up with some random melody and it goes to him and if he likes it, we’ll go from there. I’d say it’s probably close to a 50/50 split on idea generation. I’ve always said if a song can be liked be both myself and Jerry, the odds are, if its good enough where we both like it… it really is good enough to release. I think it is an extra filter on just making sure we don’t loose the best and the most developed music.

HT: You two just got finished playing SnowGlobe? Huge event, how did that performance turn out?

Jerry: SnowGlobe was amazing. We were talking about this but a year before our performance I personally didn’t think we would be that far, playing on the west coast, playing a big festival like SnowGlobe. A year before [SnowGlobe] we actually played at the club that we met at, played a show there together and then we are playing at SnowGlobe a year later. It was just awesome to look back on how much has happened in a year. It was really an awesome experience. The crowd was great. The whole stage set up was amazing. Pretty much everything was just amazing.

Brandon: As Jerry said, hospitality, the fans, all the bloggers, everyone we met were fantastic. Overall, I think it was definitely really motivating, because as Jerry said, a year prior to that show we played technically our first ever show together as X5IGHT. Since then we’ve played shows all around the Mid west, and accomplished all the things that we did and ended the year traveling across the country, playing at SnowGlobe. It was really just motivating and humbling to know that we had done that all in just one year. It leaves us very excited and motivated to see where we’ll be a year from now.

HT: Did you stick around for some of the other sets that night? Any favorites?

Brandon: Yea we did actually. We performed the 30th and we did stay on the 31st on New Year’s as well. We also had another friend of ours, SirensCeol, who played on the 31st so we hung out with him the whole day after his set. We just kind of wanted to see a bunch of different acts. We saw Kill Paris, Dillon Francis… actually we saw a couple of deep house sets, which were really cool actually. I’ve never really have been to a festival with a lot of deep house.

HT: Because you are both still in school right now, do you feel like you’re unable to push this project at full speed due to academics? Do you guys have something planned for X5IGHT when you guys actually pick up a degree?

(Laughter)

Brandon: Well, that’s the question that is always on our mind. I’ll tell you that. It is definitely challenging sometimes to manage the workload and also manage an increasingly, more time consuming music career. We’ve kind of found a good system so far, as far as academics go and how much time we put into both music and school. But as I said, it is getting harder and harder the bigger we get musically so we are excited to graduate because obviously once we have our degree we feel like we’ll really be able to pour 100% of our effort and time into our music…it’s motivating to realize that well if we actually put in 100% imagine where we’ll be then. We definitely value the degree and what that means. It’s not something that we want to sacrifice either but there is definitely a fine line between how to manage academics and music.

HT: The new year is fresh ahead of you. There some upcoming performances this month but is there anything in the near future that you two are hoping to lock in, maybe some big hometown performances in Chicago?

Brandon: Yea definitely. We actually have a headlining show in a couple of days in Chicago. That’ll be really fun. We have another show in Bloomington, which is where I go to school, with FIGURE. So that’s going to be cool. That is in late January. As far as some more upcoming shows we’re really are going to try and focus, at the end of winter and early spring, on getting as many summer festivals locked down as possible. We kind feel that based on the size we are now, what we’ve been able to accomplish already, this is the first sumer where we should be able to play a fairly major role in the summer festival circuit, or across the midwest. We’re definitely excited to hit up some of those.

HT: There is Spring Awakening Music Festival and it’s coming back to Chicago at Soldier Field. Would that be something you guys would be hopeful to hit up and are there some festivals that you two would like to make an appearance at this summer?

Brandon: I was actually at Spring Awakening last year as a fan and it was just an incredible experience. Me being a huge Bears fan, it was really cool to step on Solider Field (laughs). As far as playing there, that is definitely something that is on our radar right now. We really hope to make that happen because playing in our hometown at such a prestigious festival would just be a dream come true for us. As far as that festival goes, yea, that’s definitely at our radar. As far as some others go, we’ve looked at a bunch of different festivals in the Midwest. Electric Forest comes to mind. If for some reason Spring Awakening doesn’t work out, we’ve looked at some other Chicago festivals wether it be Lollapalooza or Wavefront. Hopefully you’ll see our name on some of the summer lineups.

HT: On Facebook you guys mentioned a collar with Louis The Child. How is the sound for that release turning out and is the one you guys mentioned had some complextro flavor to it?

(Laughter)

Brandon: How did he guess, how’d he guess (laughs). That was the collab I was taking about earlier. They are immensely talented producers, and they’re so young. If we started when we were their age, I can’t even imagine where we’d be. I respect everything they’re doing and musically, they are just really talented. It is interesting because they have such a unique sound and style that its almost a complete 180 from where we’re at. It’s really interesting how this collab is turning out, and how we’re kind of putting our stamp on it while having their stamp on there as well. It’s definitely going to be something that I think is really really different. I’m pretty excited about it actually and hopefully we actually have that finished off in the next couple weeks and hopefully have that released sometime February or March.

HT: The NFL playoffs have been going on, are you guys into football at all and if so do you have any Super Bowl Picks?

Brandon: As far as football goes, I’m a huge huge football guy myself, whether it be college football or NFL. Unfortunately our hometown Chicago Bears didn’t do so well, so they will not be in the playoff corner right now (laughs). If I had to pick another team, I’m a big Saints fan. I’m also kind of a Chargers supporters so if one of those two teams wants to win the Super Bowl this year I’d be pretty happy about it (laughs).

Jerry: I personally dislike football (laughs). I’m not too big into football, neither am I into basketball, or any of those sports except for hockey. I’m a big Bloodhawk fan. That’s as far as I’ll go with watching sports. However I did do sports in High School and I did gymnastics and diving. So those were my main sports, which they don’t really go on TV unless it is like the Olympics or something bigger. But yea, I’m not a football fan at all.

(Laughter)

HT: Favorite, most memorable moment of 2013 for X5IGHT, maybe an instance in your career that you can look back on and use it as something to keep you pushing in 2014?

Jerry: My memorable moment was when we played with Krewella at Life in Color. We had to do an opening set and it was probably my favorite opening set we’ve done. That would have to be my most memorable moment, especially since we got to relax a bit with Krewella before their set.

Brandon: Well I’ll tell you Jerry stole mine but yea that’s probably the one that stands out the most. But I guess if I’m going to be a little different, and not say the same thing, I’ll say SnowGlobe Music Festival. That was a huge step forward for us. I think all those events combined just really motivate us to keep working hard, expand and grow even more in 2014.

Follow X5IGHT On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 Posted by on January 7, 2014 Home Excerpts, Interviews Tagged with: ,
Dec 312013
 

For a little over a year we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of sharing and following the sounds of one of California’s most prolific producers, SirensCeol. Pronounced “sirens soul”, this musical project birthed from the musically gifted mind of Steve Burke has flooded the ears of electronic music listeners with productions from all regions within the spectrum of electronic music. Be it dubstep, electro-house, glitch-hop, or nu disco, Burke combines scintillating melodies, crushing bass, emotive vocals clips, and seismic drum-work to give rise to engulfing electronic productions. Earlier in the month we had the chance to catch up with Burke to get his thoughts on bedroom producers, pet peeves, forthcoming releases and his upcoming New Year’s Eve performance at SnowGlove Music Festival in Lake Tahoe.
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HT: You’ve had a tremendous year. Your name and productions are really catching speed within the electronic music community. Do you feel a sense of obligation or intensified motivation now, where you can’t stop making music because you’ve come to far to stop?

I wouldn’t so much call it an obligation. When it comes to finishing projects, to keep things going, sure I feel obligated because it’s kind of like you said it’s at the point of where I can’t really turn back now. That would just be stupid of me. It never really feels like I’m obligated to do anything. It’s more so just complete overall passion for it. I mean I’ve been writing music for like, twelve years now so, it’s not really work to me it’s more so just fun. It’s really like an experience basically. It never really feels like an obligation though.

HT: Do you have an idea where you want that experience to land you in the future?

The music industry is obviously constantly shifting and it is really hard to say how long the whole EDM phase is going to last. It’s going to be here for a long time and I love it. I hope that by the time it all kind of gets to its peak I can be in it for a good amount of years. I’ve always wanted to work in the music industry for almost my whole life now and so ultimately the goal would be to get into the industry enough where even if the whole EDM thing blows over, which I hope it really doesn’t because I love it, that either way I can still always progress a bit and always be writing music as an artist or producer. I really want to take the career to a point where I can almost do anything in the industry including being a producer and DJ.

HT: You produce across a range of style and genres. Is there one that you fall back to more than others or maybe one that you like to produce within more often than not?

Honestly there is not one that I like more than the other. It really is just what I’m feeling at the time. When I put on say like iTunes, I have so many different styles of music and I can get inspiration from anything from like Beethoven to John Mayer to like Mateallica you know? Stuff like that. It’s really just when I hear sounds I like I kind of have an idea in my head for what style it would sound good in. I don’t really have a bias towards one or the other. A lot of the new productions I’m working on are a lot of mixes of genres. Along with my album, I’m also going to work on an EP that’s a cross-genre. I made some songs that have jazz elements, some song with hip-hop elements. So I really don’t have any limit to the genres I like cause honestly I like them all so I can’t really just stick to one you know?

HT: As someone who experiments with so many sounds and styles, how important do you think it is for up-and-coming producers to have a catalog that isn’t strictly focused on one genre or style? Do you think being able to produce and create genre-blends is important in getting your sound recognized?

The way I kind of see that – it is definitely not a bad thing if you have one kind of style. At most times it’s better to be really good at one thing than mediocre at bunch of different things. My advice would be for some just starting out – I feel like their best bet to get really noticed is to make something unique because it is something new that people don’t hear and they kind of attract to that artist because what they are making isn’t what all the guys on the top ten charts are making. I think in the early stages it is really crucial to kind of experiment with your sound and really try and produce everything because if you have skills in all areas, you can always, at the end, take what you learned and put it into one style, realistically. So for people just starting out I think it is really detrimental that they practice everything.

HT: Do friends ever ask you to play house parties for them still, or is that something they have to take up with your manager now?

(Laughs) I don’t think so really. Honestly I don’t think…actually yea I have done a house party before but not really. If I do it is kind of just for fun. I don’t really see it as like “oh well if you want me to play the house party, like, you’re going to have to pay me”. I don’t really see it that way. I mean I’ve done, even really recently, a show where I haven’t been paid anything because at this point for me it is really about the experience and exposure. Honestly money can’t even compare to the feeling you get when you’re playing for a huge crowd of people. Afterwards obviously it is nice but like 90% of all this is the experience. It’s just amazing and without support of people, even friends asking me to play house parties, I don’t think it would be nearly as fun.

HT: Was there ever a time where you had to like give up something you were doing, maybe something that you thought you wanted to do and then music came in and you abandoned that ship and boarded the other one?

Kind of. I’ve been playing guitar and piano for a really long time, and I used to actually do a lot of singing song-writing. Ever since I was introduced to EDM and I started producing a lot, that kind of fell off. I still do it every now and then but I’m not striving for it as much as I used to. It has kind of switched. I think that is the only thing that is music relatable. Of course I have other things going on like school and sports. It’s tough but it’s so close to being over it wouldn’t be worth letting any of those things go at this point. I might as well just power through it and once I’m done with everything I can fully focus on music. I’ve definitely had to make a couple of sacrifices to really get big into the EDM scene but I think it is going to be for the better in the end. And then once I tough out life stuff out, it is really going to pay off. So I’m really just being as patient as possible.

HT: Do you ever find yourself hesitant to use the acronym EDM? Do you think it is a little juvenile and just not an accurate way of describing what it is that you feel involved in?

Yea definitely, especially with my family, my parents, aunt, and uncles and that kind of stuff, cause they don’t really know what it is. Usually when I tell people what I do I just say I produce electronic music and DJ. One of the most annoying things is when people say like “hey, this is my friend Steve, he makes dubstep”. For some reason people love to call electronic music dubstep – everything. I don’t know why but it is a huge pet peeve, or techno. That’s the worst, oh my god. I don’t make techno. But yea, there is definitely an interesting rep around the name “EDM” because when you say “EDM” to an average person they’re like “oh that’s that thing where people do drugs and listen to the guy press buttons”. It definitely has an interesting rep to its name but then again the crowds kind of did it to themselves. I think the scene really needs to mature, in my opinion, if it is not going to blow over. I mean they’re canceling all these events now and at some point people need to realize, go for the music not to just get fucked up and party. So usually when I tell people that, I usually just say electronic music cause I feel like that is the least threatening way to tell someone what I do without them looking at me like “oh you’re another one of those guys”. When in reality I’m just another kid with a computer in my room who happens to play shows every now and then.

HT: What do you feel about the term “bedroom producer”. Do you think it is kind of undervalued in the sense that there is a lot “bedroom producers” coming out with a lot of talent and a lot of good sounds?

Honestly there is so much advanced equipment out nowadays and programs and what not, I feel like the studio days of setting up a legitimate studio are kind of over. A lot of these guys, sure they have a studio but at the end of the day, I can do almost everything they can do with just my laptop here and a nice set a speakers as someone would in $100,000 studio. Unless it comes to recording live instruments, that is a whole different story. But when it comes to electronic music, I feel like quote on quote “bedroom producers” can pretty much make anything. The availabilities of all these programs and what not are just incredible and the quality of music you can put out with just those things is awesome. I produce in my bedroom too. Most of these guys really do especially the upcoming ones so there’s is nothing really wrong with it in my opinion (chuckles).

HT: With SnowGlobe in the weeks ahead, are you going to be doing some extra prep for that performance? How excited are you to hit up Lake Tahoe?

I’m really excited. I’m thinking of trying something new. One of my friends who is a vocalist, might come out and we might try and do some live vocals for that. I’m even considering maybe even starting to play my guitar more live on stage. Granted, the supply and demand for EDM is so high now that tickets prices are ridiculous. At some point people are going to expect more than just a person with DJ decks. I feel like the era of legitimate live performances is coming into play so, maybe I’ll try something new for SnowGlobe. We’ll see.

HT: How did SnowGlobe get locked in? Do you see yourself hitting up festivals of that caliber next year, maybe in the summer?

Yea I’m really hoping so. I played at EDC this last summer I’m hoping to go back again this summer. That’d be great. I’ve been talking with some people from other music festivals and what not. Nothing really gets locked in for sure. I don’t want to say that I’m doing anything and get my hopes and then not get booked for it. Everything right now is in the works I’d say.

HT: Aside from the Culture Code collab, you don’t have very many collaborations. Is there a reason for, I can only imagine that you get a lot of requests right now.

Well, collaborations are tough to do. Not only are people really bad at sending things, it is a huge ordeal to send files. They are a lot more difficult to do than people think. Unless you are sitting down in the same studio together and bouncing ideas off each other – that’s probably the easiest way to do it – but when it comes down to it there is just a lot of technical aspects to them that take a while. You could send someone an idea and they just completely forget about it because they are so busy working on their own stuff. I’m guilty of that myself, having started collabs and they just never get finished. It is one of those things that gets put on the back burner.

HT: Earlier in the year you put out a glitch-hop production ‘Breakdown’. Do you have any plans to venture into those lower-tempo around 110?

Yea, I have a couple songs I’m working on in that area that are for my album. You can definitely expect something from almost every sub-genre of EDM in the future.

HT: I’ve seen a few requests for tutorials. Any chance you’ll put out a full tutorial soon?

I’ve actually thought about it before. Now that my school semester is coming to an end I have a lot more time to do stuff like that. Every time I get inspired to make one I want to make one, but then I realize that I don’t have any video editing software so (laughs). I’ve just got to get all prepared to do it but I definitely want to do something like that. I feel like giving tips really helps your reputation and people come to you, even if they don’t like your music, they’ll come to you to learn how to produce their own [music]. It is definitely something I want to venture into.

HT: Did you ever utilize any YouTube tutorials?

Oh definitely. I mean, I’m probably more educated from YouTube than I am anything else in my life. To be honest (laughs).

HT: Well I feel like nowadays it is so much easier than it would be back in the day, where you might have had to take a class to learn how to do certain things.

Oh no, I don’t know how people used to do it. But then again, they weren’t thinking “Oh this is going to be so much easier in the future, why am I doing this?”. They were probably thinking the same thing as us like “how did people back in the 20’s or 30’s do this”. It is all progressive, but at the same time the music itself is getting so much more complex that we need these tools available.

HT: I remember we first discovered you when you released your ‘Save Me’ track. I feel like that was a really long time ago.

I was actually thinking about that yesterday. I was like “it feels like almost a year ago today that I put that song out”.

HT: Well you know man, when the old SoundCloud was out, maybe at the end of the day I would just search through some tags and you can’t do that now with the new SoundCloud. That’s how I stumbled upon it.

Yea the new SoundCloud sucks. I don’t like it.

HT: Yea it’s terrible. I’m still in classic but they disabled that feature and it came up on one of the complextro pages. It is just crazy to see how far you’ve come since then. What are your thoughts when you look back on some of those earlier releases? How much have you advanced technically with production and where do you see your sound evolving towards in the future?

Like I was saying I really want to start incorporating live instruments with electronic music. I just think it sounds so cool and I feel like my overall production is just getting a lot better. I just want to make what I’m feeling honestly. I listen to a lot of music to get inspiration and stuff but where I see it going, I honestly have no idea (laughs). I’m such a last minute person. I’m really bad at planning things like that. It is just day-by-day. I really couldn’t tell you. I definitely like the more melodic side of things. That is what I am able to say.

HT: Favorite film of the year so far, which would it be?

Favorite film of the year…uh…shoot. I don’t even know man. I barely go to the movies anymore. Let me think.

HT: It’s so expensive now. It’s like $15.

Yea, right? Fuck, and then like $20 for a 3D movie. I mean the most recent one that I loved that I saw was ‘Ender’s Game’. That was really good. I can’t really think of a favorite that I’ve seen this year. I’d have to sit down for twenty minutes and think about it (laughs).

Follow SirensCeol On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Beatport

 Posted by on December 31, 2013 Interviews Tagged with: , ,
Dec 202013
 

Birthed from the collaborative efforts of Ryan Henderson and Thomas Shaw, Project 46 is a presence that has been soaring through the ranks, defining itself as a dominating force in the realm of electronic music, namely progressive house. The chart-topping Canadian duo has fallen into the crosshairs of the electronic music spotlight with successive hits on world-class labels like Ultra, Spinnin’, Armada, and Monstercat. Capping off the year with tremendous successes including their arrival on DJ Mag’s Top 100 Dj’s at the #100 spot and brilliant collaborations with industry superstars like Kaskade and Avicii, Project 46 is positioned to quickly continue moving up the ladder of fame and success.

Earlier in the month we had the chance to shoot a few questions over to Ryan and Thomas in an effort to capture their thoughts on ghost-producing, music distribution, and ghastly hotel experiences.
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HT: Project 46 is quickly becoming a household name. You two have move up the ranks incredibly fast. When did you guys feel like you were finally catching your break with producing and getting the exposure you wanted in the industry? Was it after a specific release, show, or maybe a breakthrough with production?

I think we are far from a household name at this point but I do think we have established ourselves with dance enthusiasts and I don’t really think we had one big thing that helped bring us here. I think it’s a consistent release and tour schedule that has helped us chip our way to where we are today.

HT: What do you say to people that think most of the “progressive house” drops on the main stages of festivals like Ultra sound the same and recycled? Do you agree? How do you feel like you have distinguished yourself in the midst of thousands of productions in that region of electronic music?

I think there is a lot of similar sounding music out there now, however people tend to forget those big room sounds used to be things like ‘Seek Bromance’ & ‘Levels’ by Avicii, ‘Pressure’ by Alesso and so on. Big room dance music is the fastest evolving genre of music, it always wears out a sound but quickly evolves to a new sound. Two years ago everyone was trying to sound like Avicii now everyone is doing something different. As for us we just stay true to our sound and make what we like and that tends to be melodic music that is supported by a meaningful and sometimes emotional vocal that people can relate to.

HT: In respect to track selection for performances at major festivals, how do you two separate yourselves from some of your other contemporaries? Do you accept that there is going to be track overlap and repetition or do you really push to make a unique setlist and stray away from tracks resting at the top of the charts?

We ensure at least 50% of our set is original material and anytime you hear us play other songs we will play edits, mashups or remixes. We always ensure we put an artist spin on a track before playing it. We don’t straight play a track.

HT: For new producers looking to emulate your sound, what would be your advice to master first: kicks, snares, melody, baselines etc? Are there any specific plugins that you two use that have really helped refine the Project 46 sound?

I would suggest not to emulate anyone’s sound. Work hard to develop your own style and signature sounds. I would try and stay away from typical basslines and progressions and just be prepared to put your time in. Our go to plug in’s are Massive, Sylenth and some Nexus for support.

HT: Would you two every accept some large lump sum of money to ghost produce a track? Is money a big or driving incentive for pushing Project 46 to the masses, or do you find yourselves involved in this community strictly for the music?

If the money was right I think we would do it. I mean we did not get into this for the money and we still play a lot of shows at a loss to visit the market. Money is not a motivating factor but if we were given a “large” amount of money for a production, we could use that to help bring our music to the next level for our fans. That might be working with really established vocalists, buying new hardware or taking time off touring to just sit in the studio.

Like mentioned earlier, money is not a driving factor. At the end of the day we need to pay our bills and realize that the music business is not something that lasts forever. So we can only hope we can make enough to live a decent lifestyle and put the rest away to help with future opportunities when we play our last show. Hopefully we won’t play our last show for years but you need to prepare for it.

HT: Looking back to the summer, you guys hit up Camp Bisco. How did that performance turn out and what was it like playing that event?

Camp Bisco was amazing. We really wanted to play that show and it was actually one we lost a lot of money to play. It worked out so well through!

HT: Did you two have high expectations for it and would you perform there again if the festival returns next year?

We didn’t have any expectations and knew there was not much progressive house there! So we wanted to make a statement. We would love to come back, hopefully they ask us back this year!

HT: You guys give away a ton of music for free yet you run with some top-tier names that don’t release free content very often. If you were forced to, how would you approach industry giants like Kaskade and Avicii and convince them to give away all there music, old and forthcoming, for free?

People like Ryan (Kaskade) and Tim (Avicii) are not against free music at all. They are just on a different level than us that includes major record labels. Major record labels need sales and publishing dollars to pay the bills. So in the future you could see us working with a major label in an attempt to have our music reach more people, it won’t be because we changed what we believe it will be because sometimes you need to change who you are to develop as an artist. Regardless of that, we will always sneak in the free release and won’t be removing any of our material for the Pirates Bay.

HT: Looking into the future, do you two think you may get tired of producing within this style? Is there a chance Project 46 might deviate and release productions in a completely different realm of electronic music?

We are already starting to experiment with our music and bringing in a lot more live instruments. We will continue to evolve our sound but stay true to our fans. We have spent time on tech, trance etc etc, maybe one day you will see a new alias to release some different sounds.

HT: Are there any compilations in the works like and EP or full-length album?

We are working on a full length album at the moment. We are just tying up the final parts of the deal with the record label and plan on two to three lead singles and the release of the album next year.

HT: Is there a special place where you two would love to establish residency, maybe in this continent or across the pond somewhere in Europe?

We just worked out a deal with Insomniac to play Exchange LA three times next year. Honestly LA is super special to us and we have always wanted to work with Insomniac. We are excited to have the opportunity to show them what we are about so they can start making room for us at places like EDC.

HT: Absolutely worst hotel stay you guys have experienced, where was is it and for what show was it for?

Wow there was one on the Morgan Page tour. During bus tours you get day rooms which are not meant to be slept in but just to shower in. I mean the good news was as soon as your walked through the front door you actually walked into the bathroom, LOL….. Besides the smell, the bugs, the armed guards outside, the numerous warnings on your door to lock up, and the opposing gang members on each side of the parking lot, it was just another hotel room. ☺

HT: Canadian bacon vs American bacon, which do you two prefer?

Canadian bacon eh.

Follow Project 46 On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 Posted by on December 20, 2013 Interviews Tagged with: ,
Nov 052013
 

There is always something brewing up at sizzling temperatures in the pot of electro-house, but most recently, that source of heat has been emanating from The Golden State’s very own fast-rising duo, Charity Strike. Introduced to the electronic community by Mike Lisanti & Philip Scully, the workings of Charity Strike bring a colossal sound to the table, one tactfully crafted to pick hordes of listeners up off their feet, at the drop of a beat.

Their most recent release, a remix of 3LAU & Paris & Simo’s ‘Escape ft. Bright Lights’, found its way onto Revealed Recordings and has quickly made its way onto Beatport’s Progressive House Top 100 chart. With a rapidly growing fan base and an ever-improving sound, Charity Strike is quickly moving up the ranks with an accelerating momentum. Get acquainted with the duo in our latest conversation with Mike and Philip, where they revisit their history, talk on past and upcoming performances, and let all you up-and-coming producers know what you might have to kiss goodbye to go full-time.

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HT: When you look back on the history of Charity Strike, does it still feel like a young project? How far back do you two go and what drove you to make Charity Strike official?

Mike – Yes, Charity Strike is still a very young project. We had only known each other for a couple months before starting to make music together. April 2012, was the first time we ever even hung out (laughs). In that period of time we began to crank out tracks really quickly and had so much fun doing it. We realized that this was something that we could try to run with for the years to come.

HT: How has the electronic music scene treated you guys in LA? Some say the east coast and west coast electronic music cultures vary a tiny bit and some say they vary a lot. Can you guys testify to either of those at all?

Philip – It took us some time to get our support out here. We had to work pretty hard for our first few solid bookings. Mike is born and raised in LA, and I spent a year attending Los Angeles Sound & Audio Engineering School. We haven’t really had a chance to experience the east coast electronic scene so we can’t really say. The dance music scene seems to be sweeping the west coast; you have top-tier DJs and producers being the choice of talent for major nightclubs.

HT: Big Room House. How would you guys describe that style to someone who is completely new to it?

Philip – Well it can almost be translated to music made for a big room, festivals etc. When we are working we try to create a big atmosphere, we want it to feel as real as possible, like you’re in the venue or club.

HT: “All Big Room Everything”. Do you guys still identify with that or do you simply consider what you produce electro-house?

Mike – We obviously consider what we make electro house these days. But a common adjective for our sound; even back when we were making dubstep, is that it’s always had ‘big room’ qualities. So, yeah whether it’s electro, progressive, trap, dubstep, glitch hop, hardstyle, everything we make is delivered with a bit of that ‘big room’ sound laced into it.

HT: With so many artists putting out or trying to emulate that big festival style electro sound, what separates Charity Strike from some of the other players in the game?

Mike – Our main goal is to incorporate as many different styles that reach far beyond than within the EDM spectrum on genres. For example, in our ‘Escape’ remix, we drew influence from that mid- 2000’s indie rock sound in our second break.

HT: Your remix of 3LAU, Paris & Simo ft Bright Lights’s ‘Escape’, finally hit the shelves via Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings on Nov 1st. How does it feel to get your presence on an outlet with that much reach and what went in to making the track? Do you think its the best Charity Strike release to date?

Philip – I think it may be, we both really clicked with the track and are pumped about releasing on Revealed Recordings. We’ve seen a great deal of support since the release.

HT: You two had one of your first headlining performances at Sutra a few weeks back. Did it feel like you were playing for a typical Sutra crowd or did you see the fans come out and support?

Philip – We had a lot of support, that was a great party, we recently got confirmation we will be back for two more dates early to mid 2014, definitely looking forward to that.

HT: Groove Cruise LA. Give us the low down on the event and the performance in September. It looked like an amazing party through and through; the line-up was huge. When can we expect you on a festival roster again?

Philip – Mexico was bananas, my first time on a cruise actually. I have to say there are some pretty hilarious photos I should probably delete off of my phone. We have high hopes in being part of some festivals come 2014.

Mike – Yeah, it was a great musical experience and networking opportunity.

HT: Any chance we’ll see some Charity Strike dubstep in the future? Maybe something along the lines of the Sander Van Doorn remix?

Mike – In terms of going straight dubstep, that is something we can’t guarantee. But we stick to our roots throughout all of our records, whether it’s in the trapstyle drops, or the halftime breakdowns. There are some definite signs of some older CS dubstep, or Strikestep, as we used to call it (laughs), in parts like that.

HT: What’s next in line for you guys: an EP, LP, some more freebies? Do you think some of your future releases will land on Revealed following the success of the ‘Escape’ remix?

Philip – We have a free giveaway for hitting 10k fans on Facebook in the works that will be cool. We can only hope for more big releases, we have a lot of respect for the label and artists on Revealed. We are really excited about showing you guys the stuff we’ve been working, you can expect a lot of original content and a couple big collaborations.

Mike – We have some other random freebies we’ll be giving away from time to time as well.

HT: Three things you guys have had to give up, but wish you could still have, to be producers, what are they?

Mike – Three things we’ve had to sacrifice as full-time music producers would be:
1.) Some friends, sadly
2.) Touch with our personal lives
3.) Days off (laughs)
Still wouldn’t change a thing about it though.

Philip – Yeah, I agree with Mike for sure. I would have to add normal sleep patterns to the list too (laughs).

Many thanks to Charity Strike and their team for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to check out their Revealed Recordings release and pick up a copy on Beatport.

Follow Charity Strike On: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Beatport

 Posted by on November 5, 2013 Interviews Tagged with: , , , ,