Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
We chat burgers, Ableton hacks, new music and summer's best festivals ahead of Castaway 2016.
If you had to describe your music as a type of food what would it be?
I’m tempted to say burger but maybe it’s because I just love burgers so much, who knows? I’d say like a healthy burger because I’d probably associate greasy burgers with super banger, trap, EDM stuff and then like healthier stuff a bit more well thought out.
What made you start producing? Was it something that came about organically?
It was pretty organic because I played instruments in high school, played a bit of drums and trumpet but I never really felt playing those instruments that, like that’s what I wanted to do ever and the whole if I wanted to make music, having to find other friends who played a different instrument and then that all had to work. I also always really loved technology as well so it was just kind of my love for music and technology all blended together. My friends gave me a copy of Ableton I think? Oh no I think I started on FL actually. Yeah, my friend who was already making music just gave me a copy that he had and was like “check this out, it’s pretty fun” and yeah it basically became a video game for me.
For all the beginner producers out there, what’s one Ableton hack you think they should know?
Um, I think maybe uhhhh, I’d probably say use Simpler which is in instrument in Ableton. It’s for like synth sounds and stuff. I think a lot of people try and recreate sounds with a synthesiser but sometimes it’s a really overlooked thing to chuck a sample into Simpler and then turn that into an instrument. That’s a pretty cool little trick.
So there seems to be a degree of separation in the music scene between producers and bands which is slowly changing. Have you ever felt discredited as an artist because you’re a producer?
I don’t think so, there are definitely different worlds and then your producer type bands in the middle like SAFIA and Crooked Colours. I think because of the kind of shows that I play everyone is kind of already in that realm, like they’re there because they like that music.
Now a lot of your music that you’ve produced is on SoundCloud, why do you feel platforms like SoundCloud are such an integral platform for your genre in the beats, future bass and electronic world of music?
I guess it’s just the medium it’s on right. I mean even though there are plenty of punk bands and stuff on SoundCloud it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to adopt the internet because their message is more kind of anti-establishment. With future-bass because it’s made entirely on a computer from start to finish it makes sense for it to be heard on a computer and SoundCloud is that platform, well a dying platform. I actually not a huge fan of SoundCloud at all, I actually really dislike it. I love Spotify and I think Apple Music is pretty good as well. I think the browsing on Spotify is better…
What’s one of your favourite things about playing live shows?
Well I haven’t really done very many, I’ve done experimental live shows just to test the waters but up until now I basically just DJ because it’s what I’m comfortable doing. The music that I’m making is less and less club music, it never really was club music anyway but especially with the new music I’m releasing, the EP is going to be just before Castaway and the plan there is to just the shows more and more live. Playing shows is fun, it’s only happened a few times at the end of last year…but when you were playing tracks and seeing a few people singing the songs that you’d made, it was pretty great!
So you have your new EP coming out soon then, what are the influences?
Well it’s hard for an Australian electronic artist to say they’re not influenced by Flume, there’s one track in particular that sounds a bit like that and I’ll probably cop a lot of shit for it to be honest. I like that whole funky, electronic vibe but the kind of half dancey stuff like KAYTRANADA, there are a couple of tracks on that vibe too.
And what’s your favourite WA festival you’ve been to?
I’d have to say Castaway wouldn’t I, oh wait I can’t say Castaway ‘cause I haven’t been yet so that would be lying. I’d probably say Southbound, it’s pretty chill.
You were meant to play earlier this year at Southbound before the fires blocked off the roads right?
I was pretty bummed ‘cause I was down there the whole week for it. My friend was on the internet and he was just like “Dude it just got cancelled.” That was pretty crazy I was stuck down there and then the trip back up was like 5 or 6 hours. I think Laneway was a great one, I haven’t been to it in a few years, I keep missing it. I was sick for this one. That’s the thing I like about Laneway and Southbound, they’re a lot more chill than other festivals. There’s no like bro’s going around, a lot less of a bro culture I think.
Now obviously Castaway is coming up, despite this being your first Castaway, what do you think will make it a stand out festival?
Just the fact that it’s on one of Australia’s most prime tourist destinations, I can’t even believe that the government let them hold a festival there because I mean it’s pretty sacred when you think about it. It is a WA icon.
And what can we expect from your Castaway set?
Uh there’s going to be vocalists that are on the EP, we’re going to bring them over. It’s just gonna be a real fun set, I’m going to be playing some live keys.