Nightmares On Wax Takes Us Through 25 years of Music with New Tour, Interview

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Nightmares On Wax, otherwise known as George Evelyn, is not your average DJ. Unlike most of the musicians you see in electronic music today, Evelyn has been a part of the industry for the last 25 years, and he’s celebrating with a massive European and U.S. tour that started earlier this year. Born in England but currently residing in Ibiza, Evelyn has seen the evolution of music into what we know and love (or hate) today. With such an expansive career, he has surely played a role in this progression.

Photo by Jake Pierce

Creativity spews out of every pore of his body every chance it gets. As one of the musical innovators of our time, Evelyn took a look on the past 25 years of making music, something he rarely does due to the fact that he is always looking forward, always looking to create something new.

“If you’re going to say something, say something good because you just don’t know how you are affecting people. And you are affecting people. For me, it’s not about preaching. It’s about putting good vibrations out into this world because the world needs it,” Evelyn said in a recent interview with Joonbug.com.

The N.O.W. is the Time tour gave the audience a taste of Evelyn’s musical past and present. Instead of performing solely as a DJ, he managed to effortlessly merge that with an intimate live performance. There was a drummer and two other live singers, including former Zero 7 vocalist Moses. Evelyn carefully divided his time between the decks and smoothly rapping along with his beats.
The band started the set with his more recent hits “Be, I Do” and “Now Is The Time,” but quickly, as he put it, transported the audience back to 1987.

“I’m performing songs I’ve never performed live before, performing songs that I haven’t performed for maybe 20 years. I’ve added an interesting twist to it because you can’t expect the same songs. It was a really long time ago, and I’m reliving it again,” Evelyn said about this most recent tour.

The large crowd started dancing immediately and didn’t stop until the very last song. The energy from the room radiated off every performer and attendee. The band made the performance personal and profound; it was almost like we were at a jam session in Evelyn’s Ibiza studio. “I feel it’s important to be connected to the people that support [the music],” Evelyn said. They were able to prove that you don’t need much more than a couple of singers, a drummer and a computer to make good music for a good time.

Evelyn’s mixture of infused funk, reggae and downtempo provided the chillest of vibes. The band knew when to bring high and low energy. You could sway to the rhythm of “Give Thx” and “You Wish” or rock out to “African Pirates” and “70s 80s.”

Musically, everyone one was on point throughout the entirety of the show. It was nothing short of soulful. Towards the end of the night, the band got the crowd to sing along with them for a couple of songs, including “Flip Ya Lid.” They played a five-song encore that went longer than expected, but nobody was complaining. This was the last stop on their North American tour, and no one wanted the night to end.

You can hear past and present influences in all aspects of Evelyn’s productions. He may be continuously looking forward, in life and his music, but he’s also building on top of his past to create new and interesting sounds.

 

Read the full interview below:

You’re smack dab in the middle of your “N.O.W. is the Time” tour. You’ve traveled Europe and the U.S. How has it been so far? Have there been any highlights?

I think every gig and every town has had a different edge to it. I’ve always felt really, really good and got wonderful customers come out, lots of fans and people who have been listening for the last 20 years. It’s been great. I can’t pick out one highlight, if you know what I’m saying.

 

Tell us a little bit about your new live show and how it compares to what you’ve done in the past.

I’m performing songs I’ve never performed live before, performing songs that I haven’t performed for maybe 20 years. I’ve added an interesting twist to it because you can’t expect the same songs. It was a really long time ago, and I’m reliving it again. When I pull them from the carton, it’s like, “Wow,” because most of my career is looking forward and going forward. This sheer good amount is definitely the journey.

 

Yeah, your sound is always progressing and evolving. How do you combine your past music with your present music in these shows?

The thing that we do that we highlight and also turns out to be awesome is the energy, the pocket of the energy field, good throughout the music. Also showing some of the stories that go with some of the songs to the audience as well because I think it’s kind of an important thing to bring to the picture. The people who just got into it [Evelyn’s music] don’t really know about the last 20-25 years, so there are some people who don’t really know the story to it. We kind of grew up with a bit of the story, but with the story there it won. Anything to escalate the bass really. So, it’s definitely a different way of doing a show than I’ve done before.

 

We’ve heard you do a lot of live rapping in this tour. What made you shift away from spinning records?

When I started out years ago, I was MCing and DJing, break dancing and everything. The more I got into producing and things like that, I kind of took a backseat from the microphone and worked with singers and all kinds of musicians. I’ve been working to cop up feelings of my past that I’ve kind of gone back there again. This is my foundation. This is where I’m from. It’s been a gift in doing it. It’s felt great doing it. There’s a song I perform that I wrote when I was 18, which was back 1988. To be performing a song from when I was 18 is kind of surreal.

 

We like how you are still able to maintain your own signature sound, but also make it something new as your career moves on.

I’ve always got ideas. That’s why this kind of journey has been different because it’s the first time anybody has really been able to look back. I’ve spent so much time thinking of new ideas and stuff that looking back, it’s the first time you go, “Oh, actually yeah, I think I did it.” [Laughs] And I spent most of the time thinking that it’s not been enough. For me, that, musically, and going to new places was exciting because there’s always stuff I want to do. There’s always something else, somewhere I want to go. I think it’s that fact that I’m like that and the fact that this journey has been like that is a testament to what matters most about me.

 

Has it been a challenge to work with vinyl in this modern music world?

Eh, It is challenging. I have to buy vinyls at that concert to DJ with, just so I can cleverly do the show that day. Unless I’m on the island of Ibiza where I live, and I’m going to DJ somewhere locally and I’ve got an opportunity to take a box seven inch vinyls up just like that, then I’ll do that. But traveling with them in public transport creates all forms of concerns. It’s just a no-no in the vinyl community. I’ve just really never took the risk and ever felt comfortable doing that nowadays anyways.

 

With streaming and downloading being the main medium for people to listen to music now, what do you think the future of vinyl recording is?

I think the future of vinyl recording is strong. I think we’ve been going through this phase of going, “Oh, vinyl is over. I’m not interested anymore.” But that’s not true. Even at my concerts, the majority of merchandise that is selling is vinyl. Everybody wants vinyl. I think it’s the fact that it’s something tangible. The fact that we do have streaming and the fact that we do have downloadable things; they’re just other options. They might be good, and for some people, it could complete their lifestyles. Then, you have to buy a record that compensates well. Those kind of deep collections, likes to have a record collection, likes to have a library of music. I think it’s coffees for coffees really.

 

You’re doing a free DJ set at Sweat Records before your performance at Grand Central. Is this something you’ve been doing on every stop of your tour?

No, I don’t think so. I think it was something like eight record stores on the whole tour. There’s only a select few stores that I’m doing it in. I would advise everybody to come down because there’s a little surprise there when I’m DJing I’ve fixed up. Come and join me.

 

Why did you decide to do this? Was this another chance for people to see you in a different environment? What was the driving force behind this decision?

There are a number of reasons. One is we got to get close to these fans, the people who go out of their way and actually go to a record store to buy our music, who show the respect to the record stores that are supporting that music. I feel it’s important to be connected to the people that support. There are record stores that have been selling my music for years that I’ve never been to. I think it’s good to connect to those people as well because these are the people that are supporting our music. Whether it’s a concert, whether it’s a festival, whether it’s in-store, whether it’s a DJ or a live show, I think they’re all really relevant and really important because all of these elements are what is important in my music. When I was anxious to go be in a store and do a record store, but I was like, “Yes. Yes,” because I knew that was closer to the point, the real outlet of where my music was going.

 

We think it’s a great idea. You’ve just been nominated in the electronica category for the 2014 DJ Awards that is held in Ibiza. You won the downtempo category in 2011 and 2012, and you’ve been nominated since 2009. How does that feel? Has it become a commonplace thing for you, or is this a validation of making good music?

I appreciate that at least I’ve been recognized for all the hard work I’m doing. That’s how I feel. It’s not just about winning. I do what I do because I love it. From another arena, the recognition comes for what you’re doing, especially when it comes to DJing because that’s the backbone of what I do and what really got me into making music. I’m just grateful that people are listening and really, really recognizing me as a DJ, especially in the mix of the DJs I’m in the category with, which we can go into all types of subjects on that one. Just to be recognized as a DJ is a great honor.

 

You’ve lived in Ibiza for over seven years now. How has your environment there, especially your Wax Da Jam party, influenced your sound?

Massively, massively. I moved to Ibiza for the quality of life. I wanted to get out of the UK just for a bit of a newer life. Living in Ibiza, for me, was not based on the music industry at all. That’s the first point. The second point was that once I got to Ibiza, my life had changed. My environment had changed, and there was one person to look at, which was me, looking at me. I had to look at my music. I had to look at my DJing. I had to really get back to the blank canvas of what that was about.  Then I developed a platform called Wax Da Jam and Wax Da Beach, which then really opened me back up to how I interact with music, how I interact with making beats. I think it really gave me a blank canvas, a fresh look at myself – I don’t want to say reinvent myself. I would say really reconnect with myself. The island has been really special for me in that way. Being able to do Wax Da Jam and incorporate live musicians, which when your jamming and playing together, you realize ideas come about, which includes coming up with new songs. That’s how it started out. Back in the day when I was making my first demo, I was playing at my own crib, packing demos down there. I always had a residency. Once I started touring and releasing albums, I didn’t have a residency for years because I was always touring all over the world, always playing different venues. Now I have Wax Da Jam that is my home base. This is our sixth season this year. This is how I started, so it feels like it’s gone full circle, and I got all this welcome experience and longevity along the way. But I’ve gone back to the essence of me DJing my own night. DJing that night not only just to be sure of those tracks, but also to get the inspiration and the influence into the studio to make new songs.

Would you say that Ibiza has been the biggest influence on your music thus far?

I would say the biggest influence on my music has definitely been my lifting up and where I come from in my hometown, Leeds. The last eight years have been massive for me. It’s not just a massive change in music as it were. I would say it’s a massive change in me personally, as a person, how interact with my music, how I interact with the world, everything really. It’s been an amazing gift in my life.

Definitely. Ibiza is paradise.

It is. I can’t wait to get back there. I’ve been enjoying the tour as well, but I’ve got that to look forward to at the end of the tour.

Exactly. New influences on the road and then you can go back to a great influence in your life. You said that “Smoker’s Delight” is your baby, the album that changed your life. Has your latest album, “N.O.W. Is The Time,” changed your life in any way?

I think that’s a question you would have to ask me at the end of the year. Every day there’s something happening with this journey. From being at some of these shows and hearing some of the testaments of some of the fans – People that have heard my baby or people that watch the show and then listened to my album or my album reminded them of something. You know? These really big and meaningful testaments that come from fans are really, really affecting me right now. People are telling me that this album has been the soundtrack to their life. It’s been a page in their life, whether it’s helped them through troubles or dark notes or whether it’s helped them through beaten counts, all kinds of crazy stories. And I’m like, “Shit, you don’t really know what you’re doing,” until you get these testaments and connections to people. I would say my answer to that question is this is ongoing right now. It’s still like I don’t know what the next testament is going to be. Right now, I’m really, really humbled by it. I’m really, really blown away by it. As musicians, I don’t think we really, really know what we’re doing as far as thinking about fans until you get that kind of testament. That, to me, has been really, like I said, humbling.

It’s that feeling that artists feel when their art affects other people.

Yes, especially when you unearth new music. You’re not making it with any conscious. I’m not making it with any condition. I’m making it because I’m expressing myself. But once that expression is put out for the world, you don’t know how that perception can be related. This is why music matters. If you’re going to say something, say something good because you just don’t know how you are affecting people. And you are affecting people. For me, it’s not about preaching. It’s about putting good vibrations out into this world because the world needs it.

Definitely, especially now. So you’re primarily known for Nightmares On Wax, but can you tell us a little more about your alter ego DJ E.A.S.E and why that was created?

Just because I come from a hip-hop and a B-boy background. When you’re trying to start out as a DJ, you always have a DJ name. The actual name, that’s been around for years, since 1985. It’s just that cool thing; you always have a DJ name or a producer name. Originally, my name was DJ EZE (pronounced Easy E). And then N.W.A. came about. I think that was at the end of 1988. There’s an Eazy-E in N.W.A. and I was like, “I can’t be EZE.” A good friend of mine said, “You should just call yourself Ease, just like that.” I was like, “Yeah, but what could that mean?” He came up with the actual meaning of the name and it stood for “experience a sample expert.” I said I would go with that because it was something that was easy sounding and what I was going for. I’ve gone under that name ever since and used it as a DJ name. It’s all connected really. It’s all the same thing, but that comes from more of a hip-hop background that what I grew up on.

 

Yeah. You have a huge catalog. What has been the one track that you’ve made that has personally influenced you the most?

The track that has influenced or changed my life – I would say it had a massive influence on my life because it changed my life and also because I’m still amazed how it came about when the song was made and what I cover originally with Kevin Harper and a guy called Robin Taylor-Firth. It was a song called “Nights Interlude.” I remember writing that song and coming out of the studio that day thinking, “Wow. We just made a baby. I don’t know where that baby came from, but we made a baby.” That song grew and I did a rendition on it. That’s when I got the song “Les Nuits,” which you get with a 52-piece orchestra. That was when my whole world opened up to production. My whole world opened up to what was possible. To this day, performing that song, I still can’t believe it. I still don’t know where it came from. There are two versions of the song. On the first album, “A Word of Science,” there’s a song called “Nights Interlude.” On the “Smoker’s Delight” album, there’s “Night Introlude.” Then when I did the “Carboot Soul” album, becuase of the success of “Smoker’s Delight,” we were able to invest in the 52-piece orchestra and perform that song. What stemmed from “Nights Interlude” to “Les Nuits,” there’s a clear connection. That was the song that really, really changed my life.

 

It’s probably one of your most famous songs too. Do you prefer producing or performing?

You can’t have one without the other. I produce first. If I don’t produce, I can’t perform. [Laughs]

 

Finish this sentence: “Now is the time to…”

Live your life to the highest point possible because you have the right to.

 

http://joonbug.com/miami/frequency/Nightmares-On-Wax-Takes-Us-Through-25-years-of-Music-with-New-Tour-Interview/qSjLWHoglSx

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Fresh Wet Paint: ODESZA Talks Influences, Personal Achievements & More

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By Samantha Doucette

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight met at Western Washington University where they both were new to experimenting with electronic music. After being introduced by a mutual friend, they realized they had the same taste in music. Thus, ODESZA was formed.

Started as a creative outlet, the duo quickly grabbed the attention of big names in the music business, allowing for their first album to be made within the first year they met. After just four shows, they played a major festival, and since then, they’ve added more festivals under their belt and sold out shows around the country.

I had the chance to talk to Harrison from the group. Read on to find out more about this unique DJ duo.

Sam: What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up?

Harrison: Lots of stuff. When I was growing up, I wasn’t super into music that much. I liked it, but I wasn’t obsessive like I am now. I listened to a lot of stuff my parents listened to, like movie soundtracks, a lot of soul and funk, disco, stuff like Frank Sinatra, stuff like that. As I grew up, I got more into hip-hop, indie music and classic rock. I like tribal music and lots of stuff. I’m pretty diverse.

I know that both of played instruments when you were in middle school. (Harrison played the trumpet and Clayton played the piano.) You also said that you don’t really remember much of the trumpet today. Do you still know how to play it?

I think I still do. I haven’t picked up one in a couple of years, but I still remember the basics. The biggest issue when you start trumpet is knowing the placement for your lips and how to shoot air through your lips correctly, or else you can’t make the horn sound. I still remember how to do that, and I think I would just have to relearn how to read music.

I didn’t know that about the trumpet. Would you say that this early incorporation with instruments has influenced the type of music that you make today?

Honestly, I feel like when I was playing trumpet, I was strictly by the book. I wasn’t really creative with it whatsoever. I kind of did what I was told to play. I played really boring things; I remember one of our learning things was the snake charmer song. (laughs) I don’t think I learned anything that influenced me in any way. I do remember just enjoying practicing, which I don’t think a lot of kids do.

Does Clayton still play the piano? Do you guys play any other instruments?

Ya, Clayton still plays the piano. I play piano too, but I’m not nearly as classically trained. Clay plays guitar every once in a while, but he is usually pretty piano based. I mainly play piano now too.

Your biography says that ODESZA started as a recording project. Can you explain what that means?

Ya – Recording project? Where was that written? I think they meant production project because that’s how we thought of it. It was us experimenting with different sounds. When we met up, we really didn’t know each other. We literally just clicked with music really well, and we just started jamming together. It was us meeting each other and learning about each other as we’re experimenting with different sounds we like. It was us hanging out and trying different things, things we always thought were interesting, and try to make them work, show each other stuff, maybe get inspired off that and work more together. We did our whole first album like that.

So, it was more of you guys producing music than promoting it to become famous musicians?

Ya, (laughs) in no way whatsoever. It was totally an experiment. I would say it was a huge learning thing for me because both of us did everything differently, but we had the same equipment, so we both learned a lot about how to do things differently, different peoples processes, different techniques and stuff.

I read that Clayton heard Animal Collective when he first started college and fell in love with it, but how did you get into electronic music?

It extends from when I heard the Gorillaz. And then from the Gorillaz, I heard the rapper Del (from Deltron 3030). From that, I listened to a bunch of old school music, and I got into beat production for hip-hop stuff and I really liked sampling. From sampling, I slowly got into different producers. After a while, I started getting eased into the electronic sound and totally fell in love with a bunch of different stuff and electronic music.

What do you think about sampling in electronic music? It’s always been a heated debate in music.

I could really write a term paper on this, but in my opinion, there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. I think the right way is to not have it so obvious as to what the other song was. If you change it up and make it your own, I think that’s your own piece of music. I think if someone else sampled what we did and made it completely different, I would be like, “Awesome! That’s your song now.” I think once you make something that leaves your hands, it’s not yours anymore. There’s only personal gain, and that’s the biggest thing with art in general: No one can really say what art is. Then it gets all stupid and pretentious and deep. There’s a right way to do it in my eyes. Some people will take a song and put different drums under it and say that they made another song. I don’t think that’s always the case. I think you have to do something creative with it, but when it is creative, it’s stupid.

Photo courtesy of Marybeth Coghill

How would you describe you music to someone who has never heard it before or never heard electronic music in general?

For electronic music in general, I don’t know what I would tell them. That would be hard for me since there is so much genre blending nowadays. For us, I would say influences of hip-hop, ambient, electronic music in general and tribal music is a big one. And pop. I would say those things.

Do you enjoy the producing or performing side more?

That’s a good question. I think that when we’re on the road for more than two months at a time, it is hard to enjoy it (performing) as much because you’re pretty drained, but I think I do enjoy the production because it’s a very comfortable zone. I really love going out and playing music to people. When you’re playing something that you haven’t played before and you get a reaction like that, you don’t see that when a single comes out on Soundcloud. You get a lot of likes and people say, “Cool.” It’s a lot more fun to see an immediate (reaction) like that at a show.

Can you explain your production process in the studio? Does one of you have certain responsibilities or do you split the work evenly?

It started very evenly, but as we’ve gotten more and more work, I think we’ve found more of our strengths. In general, what we usually try to do is we meet up and show each other little pieces that we started, like really simple things, and we say, “Do you want to take this somewhere? Does this inspire you to do something?” We jam on it together for a while, and then we kind of pick a direction for the song. Then, we both spend a day away from each other and just work on it. We meet up again to try to combine everything we like about what we just made. We think with each other, and then without each other, and then we try to combine.

You previously said that you like that “punch-in-your-face, hard-hitting sound.” How do you balance that with the smooth, chillwave, ambient style that you’re known for?

I think that you can do both, but it’s a different version of it. It’s not a punch-you-in-the-face energy; it’s a punch-you-in-the-face emotion. It’s something that we both like: something building and it just hits you whether in an emotional way or an energy way.

You guys just got your remix of Pretty Lights’ “Lost and Found” on the “Divergent” movie soundtrack, how was that?

That was absolutely insane. We didn’t even know about it until last minute. Our manager called us and said, “Hey. Just wanted to let you know: One of your songs is going to be on the ‘Divergent’ soundtrack.” We were like, “What the hell?” We were pretty much blown away. It was an awesome opportunity to be on a list of so many talented people on that soundtrack. It was something we were definitely honored by.

That soundtrack has been getting rave reviews. Growing up listening to movie soundtracks, was that a dream of yours?

Ya. Movie soundtracks, to me, are absolutely a huge, fundamental part of the film, and I’m a big film fan too. To be apart of something like that, I have no words. It’s amazing to me. It’s definitely a dream of mine, like a bucket list thing, so it was really cool to be apart of it. And I think that we’re the only non-famous people on there! (laughs) I don’t know how we got on there. We weaseled our way in.

That is a great achievement. What has been the highlight of your musical career thus far?

I would say, for me, my highlight has been that I got to meet some of my heroes and people that I’ve been really influenced by, people I thought I would never even have a casual conversation with. It’s really cool to become friends with the people that influenced you.

What’s next for ODESZA?

We have a bunch of stuff coming. We’re working on a bunch of remixes for some people that we really like that we’re not allowed to tell you who unfortunately. We have a new album that we’re working on that we’re trying to release this year. We’re doing a bunch of our tours and possibly some new beats with some popular groups that we can’t say. A lot more music and a lot more touring, and that’s about it.

Very nice. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. We really appreciate it.

No problem. This has been the best interview I’ve done in months.

Follow ODESZA on FacebookTwitter and Soundcloud and download their entire debut album for free here!

Also, if you’re in Florida, check them out in one of these upcoming shows!
2014-5 ODESZA tour

 

http://freshwetpaint.com/2014/05/odesza-talks-influences-personal-achievements/

Beyond Funk: An Interview with The Motet

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Started in 1998 by drummer Dave Watts, The Motet has been redefining the meaning of modern-day funk since its inception. The seven-piece band follows no generic model and has been making booties shake with their high-energy sets for over a decade. With a new album in the works and a continuous stream of tour dates all over the country, they show no signs of slowing down.

The Motet creates a funky afro-beat electronica that is irresistible and almost impossible to not dance to. Despite the amount of members, the band is able to cohesively and effectively merge all of the instruments and vocals, but in a way that complements each one in its own way.

Photo Courtesy of Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival

During their second appearance at Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival, I was able to sit down with a majority of the group to talk about various topics, including their return to Bear Creek and their plans for the future. Continue reading to find out how the band got its name, what the members think about sit-ins and more.

*Some quotes are attributed to the band although a specific member said it.

Is this your first Bear Creek?

The Motet: No. As The Motet, we were here for the second [Bear Creek]. Motet was here about six years ago.

 

How would you compare this festival to other festivals you’ve played at?

Dave Watts: Better, better for sure.

Garrett Sayers: It’s one of our favorites. It’s my personal favorite.

Dave Watts: Maybe even more than Jam Cruise.

Garrett Sayers: I’d say so.

Dave Watts: You’re not on a boat.

Garrett Sayers: The thing about Jam Cruise is that the Jam Room is very cool.

The Motet: As far as Bear Creek, it’s our absolute favorite because there are musicians everywhere – players that we respect. It’s an awesome time with lots of sit-ins, good friends, fun. Yay!

The Motet: We were apart of Spring Fest a couple of times, which is a bluegrass festival. It’s a little harder for us to commute with the bluegrass scene.

The Motet: It’s not really our niche. I, personally, do like bluegrass music because it’s tough to play banjo rifts if you don’t play banjo.

 

At a festival like that, you would stand out more.

Dave Watts: We did. People were psyched. They were like, ‘Drums! Yes! Finally!’ It doesn’t work the other way around. You don’t have a bluegrass band at a funk festival, where everyone is like, ‘Banjo! Ya, Finally!’

Joey Porter: We get the best of both worlds.

Where did you guys grow up and what did you grow up listening to? What were your influences when you were young?

Dave Watts: ‘70s funk and disco. And The Beatles, but everyone is influenced by The Beatles.

Joey Porter: I listened to a lot of jazz and funk.

 

Where are you guys from?

The Motet: The band is from Colorado.

 

Did all of you grow up in the Midwest?

Dave Watts: No, three of us are from the East Coast [Ryan, Garrett, Dave].

Garrett Sayers: We’re East Coasters.

Joey Porter: I’m from the south [Nashville] and he is from Colorado.

[Gabe Mervine is also from the East Coast —New Jersey; lead singer Jans Ingber is from Eugene, Oregon]

 

Where on the east coast did you guys grow up?

Dave Watts: Boston.

Garrett Sayers: Connecticut.

Ryan Jalbert: Massachusetts, Chicopee in western Massachusetts.

 

I actually know the area pretty good. Did you guys go to college or did you transition from musician to professional musician?

Dave Watts: I went to BU. Most of us went to school.

Gabe Mervine: I went to CU Boulder.

Did all of you guys study music in college?

The Motet: Most of us. Yeah, pretty much.

When you find artists that have studied music, I believe that there’s a lot more meaning behind the music and it’s more intricate. Did you find it difficult to study music or were you passionate about it from a young age?

Ryan Jalbert: I found it difficult but for me, my school had a lot of great professors and they were all very disgruntled. I went to Westfield State College. It was like running the gauntlet, asking myself if I really wanted to do this. Studying music, you take more classes and are busy all the time. But it was good.
How did The Motet form? Are all of you original members?

Dave Watts: Just me. I started the band in ’98 and it kind of started on Halloween. We’ve continued a Halloween tradition over the years in Colorado. Some of our biggest shows are around Halloween in Colorado. It’s grown and grown, and now we play the Ogden Theatre in Denver, the Boulder Theater. This year, we did what we call Mixtape 1980. We just played music from the year 1980. It was really fun.

How did you guys meet each other?

Slowly, we built up. It started with me calling my friends saying, “I got a gig.” We made our first record in 2000, and we never stopped. It’s not like we had auditions or anything like that. It was kind of a word of mouth thing. I called Garrett in 2002. He was on the East Coast with a group and just took a chance. I needed a bass player, so I said, “Let’s call the best bass player we’ve seen.” And he said yes. We had no idea – Oh, there’s Bootsy Collins. This is why I like Bear Creek. There’s Bernie and Bootsy. That kind of shit is awesome, especially in the woods.

We got lucky with all of the different players, who knows who, friends of friends kind of thing. It’s grown over the years.

 

I feel like that’s how a lot of bands are in this scene, a sort of tight-knit family.

Dave Watts: It’s definitely a community of it’s own.

 

The word “motet” has its origins in classical music. The definition I found said that a motet is a word that is applied to a number of highly varied choral musical compositions.

Garrett Sayers: I actually had to play some motets during college, but I want to explain that. Instead of a quartet or a quintet, we’re a motet. When Dave started the band, there was a different amount of people on stage each time, so it didn’t make sense to call it a specific number.

Matt Pitts: Honestly, to this day, we perform in Colorado and almost have 14 members on stage. We bring out dancers. We really like to bring up production to what our budget affords.

Dave Watts: It’s exactly what Garrett said. I couldn’t call it one particular thing, like quintet or quartet, because it’s always shifting and changing. Like Matt said, even though the core seven of us travel together and do most of the out-of-town gigs, a lot of times when we’re at home, we’ll add members. We like sit-ins. Yesterday, we had a couple of sit-ins. It ups the vibe and energy of the music.

 

Speaking of sit-ins, how do you choose who you want to sit in with you?

The Motet: It kind of has a lot to do with who we’re friends with, but there are certainly a lot of musicians that we admire here. The list of people to choose at this festival is endless.
Matt Pitts: As a saxophone player, I was talking to all of the horn players around and invited everyone to come sit in.

This is the first festival that I’ve been to with the artist-at-large, sit in concept. What do you guys think of it? Does it expand your musical horizons or do you think it downplays your own music?

Dave Watts: It’s great. When you’re playing music, it’s like speaking a language. You’re talking to people. When you bring someone else in who has different life experiences with their music, it’s going to add to the conversation. It’s going to make things more colorful.  It’s going to open your mind a little bit. We all do different gigs with different bands when we’re at home, traveling, side projects and that sort of thing. It keeps it fresh. We’re not a band that just has pop tunes and plays the tunes the same way every time. We like to add an element of surprise. Having sit-ins brings someone else into the conversation and tells a different story.

The Motet: We like to surprise ourselves.

 

As a group, what has been your biggest challenge thus far?

Dave Watts: Making this record that we’re making is a challenge. This record is very much a group effort. Coordinating seven people to try to write, record, mix and make decisions is really tricky. It takes an effort. A lot of bands have one person just leading it in those terms for a reason. It’s a lot more efficient. But there is something to be gained by having seven people really put in their creative input. The record we’re making is really unique to anything we’ve ever made in the past because we’re all there for it.

 

If you’ve been making music for 15 years and this is the most creative album you’ve made, that’s definitely an accomplishment. You’ve been doing this for so long and you’re still able to create even more creative stuff?

Dave Watts: That’s been our m.o. really: to always do something different, try things differently, try to mix it up, stylistically, anyway really when we’re going through the process. This one is a group effort. It’s cool. It’s a lot stronger. The whole thing is greater than the sum of its parts. But it’s also a pain in the ass too.

 

With its extensive past, The Motet refuses to stop creating new and refreshing music. Don’t pass up the next opportunity you have to see them. You will not regret it.

Unfortunately, the interview had to be cut short due to some time restraints. Thank you to The Motet for taking time out of their schedules to sit down and chat.

 

Exclusive Interview: Durante

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In the last couple of years, EDM has seen an influx of DJs and producers who are under the age of 25. In particular, OWSLA has fed the electronic world a younger generation that has introduced a new sound, style and feel, which has exploded with popularity and diverseness in a very short time frame. In electronic music, we rarely find young and talented musicians that hold a promising future in the industry. OWSLA has seemed to change the game and give these youngsters a chance.

Kevin Durante, 20, first gained popularity when his debut EP, Challenger, was released on OWSLA’s exclusive subscription program, The Nest. As an intern for the label, and previously for Grooveshark, Durante has learned the ins and outs of the music business, setting himself up for success. Even though he has been making music for quiet some time, Durante has grabbed the attention of EDM audiences with Challenger, accomplishing a great deal more than the average college student.

We had a chance to sit down with Durante for his first in-person interview. This is what he had to say.

You moved here from Italy when you were 4-years-old. Where did you go from there?

We stopped in California and took a little bit of a vacation. Then, we moved to Fort Meyers, Fla.
Tell me a little bit more about how you got into electronic music.

I used to go back to Italy every two years, not any more though because I’m so busy. I think the first time I went back, I was 6 or 8. My cousins had Pioneer turntables, and they were playing tech-house, some really underground stuff when I was really young. I just kind of grew up with it. That was what I would listen to for the next two years — the songs they gave me. They would say, “Listen to this!” I wouldn’t have anything new and go back two years later, and they would have all of these new tracks that were really weird. Now, if I listen to them, that was my main entrance to electronic music.
Do you know any of the artists that they showed you?

Ya, one time I went, they had a Sven Väth Cocoon Compilation. They had that on vinyl and played it— a lot. They had all the MP3s and would blast them in their cars, drive around until 6 in the morning, getting wasted. I think I was 14 at the time.

So, you started playing the piano when you were 6-years-old. Were you forced into it or was it something you wanted to do as a child?

Ya, I was really into it. We got a keyboard for my fifth Christmas, and my brother and I would bang on it all of the time. I probably played more than him, but it was really bad and really annoying. So, my parents asked both of us if we wanted lessons. I said, “Hell ya, I’ll take lessons if I can,” and my brother said no. He wasn’t about it. It was weird. I don’t know why he didn’t want to do it. It’s been something I’ve always loved.
Do you play any other instruments?

I kind of have picked up a little guitar, bass, anything rhythmic. I don’t really play a lot of instruments. I just picked up a new acoustic guitar though. It’s fun.
You listened to tech-house in Italy, but did you listen to other types of music when you were younger that influenced you?

I listened to a lot of ’80s-style stuff, like New Order, but that was another part of Italy. They were listening to the deeper, tech stuff. Anything electronic, they picked it up and loved it in Europe. In high school, I listened to a lot of rock, and I was in a metal band.
You were in a metal band? What was the name of the band?
Show Me Reality [laughs].  We played with some bigger names, but I don’t know. It was more of a growing thing, my friends and I pretending to be rock stars.
Anything is possible. 

I mean, Sonny Moore was in a band when he was 16, toured the U.S. He was in From First to Last and toured the world when he was 16-years-old.
Wow, I didn’t know he was that young when that happened. How did you end up in Gainesville?

School. I go to school at the University of Florida. I’ve been here for two years.
How did you get involved with the Neon Liger scene, and how do you know Blaise James? (Editor’s Note: Neon Liger is a weekly dance party held in Gainesville that features local and national electronic DJs. Blaise James is the current label manager of OWSLA.) 

OK, so those are two different things. I’ve been making solo stuff since I was in 10th grade. When I came up here, someone asked me if I wanted to write for a blog. It was funny because I ended up writing only one or two posts, but I posted my tracks and wrote about myself. Then, a bunch of people found it (the music), and the Neon Liger people said, “Woah, who’s this guy?” Neon Liger resident DJ Shaan Saigol contacted me and got me in touch with Vijay Seixas, creator of Neon Liger. I think I played one time last summer or spring, and Vijay liked how I DJed. That was actually the first time I had ever DJed. I didn’t really know what I was doing.

That’s awesome. Did he know it was your first time?

I don’t think so. I just said to myself, “DJing is not that hard. I can do this shit!” I was so bad now that I realize how much better I’ve gotten. It’s good though. I’ve learned fast.

So, how do you know Blaise?

I applied for an internship at Grooveshark, and he was the head of the artist relations department. He interviewed me to be an artist relations intern, and I got the job. I’ve been working with him ever since. He left Grooveshark for OWSLA, and I was still one of his friends. I hit him up one day and asked if there were any internships anywhere in the industry that he knew of. He said he needed an intern, and pretty much, it was going to be me.

Speaking of OWSLA, it must be a great opportunity to work with them. What does it feel like to work with such a prominent label?

I feels great. I like it a lot. I do a lot of work, but it all feels like it’s really important. So, I like doing it, and I like feeling needed. Everybody likes to feel needed or wanted [laughs].

Your Challenger EP has about 20,000 plays per song on Soundcloud with over 500 likes, which is crazy for someone so young and new to the scene. Did you expect that? How does that feel?

Wow. I didn’t know that. When I started interning for OWSLA, I got an influx of new music to listen to. I was listening to all of the demos. I heard some new music, and I was really inspired to make “Challenger,” the first track I’ve made. I just kept making more songs. I kept telling myself, “I have to make an EP. I have this really good opportunity, and I don’t want to waste it.”

Then, tell me about the process of writing, producing and making this EP. 

I was just making music. I locked myself away, didn’t party or anything, barely went out. I only went out for Liger. During the week, I would go to my classes and do the bare minimum for those. And then, I would just make music.

Would you consider producing in a different style or method?

I think I might have to. I live in a different place now, so hopefully, I can keep going and making more music. We’ll see where life takes me. I feel that everything just kind of happens. I’m really moment-binding, so I don’t really plan anything. I made the EP in three months. Some parts were from older tracks that I had never released and stuff like that. Mainly, it was just those three months, grinding, telling myself, “I have to finish this.” I really wanted it because I felt like it was a really good start, especially with OWSLA at my back. That was really good.

Who did the artwork for the EP?

I did. I also do graphic design for OWSLA. I had that image in my head. I think I sketched it out in class and said, “This is it.” Then, I made it and said, “This is it!” It was exactly what I wanted it to look like. People were commenting, saying things like, “This reminds me of ‘The Great Gatsby’ cover.” After it was already made, I went and looked at the cover and noticed how similar it was.

What city is the skyline supposed to be?

It’s just a design. I was thinking about putting a certain city, but I don’t really go back to any one city except for Florence. No other city really speaks to me like that. That’s important. All I know is that I love any city, so I figured I would just put the representation of a city because I like them a lot. Every city has it’s own vibe. I like them all. I’m not trying to stick to just one. I could be either L.A. or San Francisco or New York — any of those places.

You said Challenger was a way to showcase a bunch of different sounds and genres, and it wasn’t meant to stick to sound one certain way. What would you say your favorite sound or style is?

I don’t know because I like them all. Disclosure just came out with a new album. I don’t know if you’ve listened to it, but it’s been stuck in my head, on repeat. So, I’m trying to track in that style. I’m trying to put my own flare on that style. “Challenger” was 100 BPM, an experimental track, and then, it came out pretty cool. I don’t really think about the style that I want it to be. I was just being influenced by songs, and they would get stuck in my head. I would make a song, and it would come out obviously inspired by the track that I was thinking of. I made it, and it’s a completely different song, but people don’t get where the original inspiration came from most times. That’s just how I write music.

What has been the best experience in your musical career so far?

My greatest was when Big Chocolate played my track at Movement [also known as Detroit Electronic Music Festival]. That was cool. I went to Detroit with Vijay for fun. I was talking to Big Chocolate, Cameron [Argon], for a while. When I released my Challenger  EP, he started following me on Twitter. We have been talking casually back and forth, nothing serious. Then, I found I was going to Movement and that he was playing Movement. We kept talking. We started making a track. I sent him my stuff, and he played it, which is awesome.

You’re making a track with him?

Yes.

When is that supposed to be released?

We don’t have a release date yet. We’ve been sending it back and forth. I’ll do my version, and then he’ll do his version, then I’ll do something to it. We just keep doing that, bouncing it between us.

What are some of your current influences? What are you listening to now?

The new Tesla Boy is good. I’ve been listening to a lot of deep house lately. I saw TEED and Azari & III back-to-back in Detroit, which is awesome. They were DJing in this small underground club called Leland City Club. It was decorated for Halloween, and they never took down the decorations. Everything was scary, a really sketchy club. They had a bigger room with Seth Troxler and Maceo Plex, but the sound wasn’t as good. That was the bigger audience, but Vijay and I were just like, “TEED and Azari & III? Better sound system, better tunes.” It was cool because it was $5 cover to see all of those people. And it was free if you had a [DEMF] VIP band, so it was true underground. That was probably my favorite part.

What does the future and the rest of 2013 hold for you as a musical artist?

I’m just trying to make a lot of music. I’m trying to put out at least one track per month. Right now, I sent off this garage track for a singer named Roxy P. She hit me up and was like,”Hey, I like your tunes. I want to sing over one of your tracks.” I said, “Ya. Let’s make a deep house tune, something cool and sexy.” So, I made it and sent it. I’m waiting to hear her vocals so that I can make the track with the vocals. I’d rather have the vocals first to get that inspiration.

Well, I think that’s it. Is there anything else I should know about you? There’s not that much information about you on the Internet.

I like pasta [laughs].

Do you like all Italian food?

Ya. I love real Italian food, like Italian food when I go back to Italy.

Do you feel a bigger connection with Italian electronic music?

Ya, I love their stuff. I like everything though. I can never think of one artist that I love exclusively.

So wait, you don’t have a favorite artist?

I can’t, I can’t pick one. I really can’t because they’re all incredible in their own aspects. I think it’s pretty crazy that Disclosure is like 19 or 22, and they made an incredible album front-to-back, every single song. But also, you have people that are absolute geniuses, like Sony, who are completely changing their sound. It’s the same sound, but he’s changing his style. On his most recent EP, Leaving, he does only one dubstep track, and the other two are weird and experimental that are really good.

Do you plan to release more music? Like an album?

Of course. That would be cool. I think right now, I just want to keep releasing singles for a little bit and try to get a few more fans. Then, I’ll have some backing to play live shows or enough time to write an EP. I don’t want to make people wait three months for another EP and not have any music in the meantime. I’m also really picky about my songs. So, if it’s not perfect, I won’t put it out.

That’s true. How did you get your EP released on OWSLA? Was it just because you were an intern?

No. Well, I guess that helped. What I learned interning is that if you have a full package to present, it’s a lot easier for someone to pick it up. I had album artwork, and I had four songs, completely packaged, ready to go. They didn’t have to do any work basically. So, I gave them a fully completed body of work. Most people will make one song and try to submit it. But, labels say, “What are we going to do with your one song if it’s not the greatest song in the world?” So, if you know what to do, it can come out. Anyone could come up with songs and album artworks. The less work the label has to do, the more of a chance they’ll release it because it’s easy.

What are you studying at UF?

I was doing engineering, but I switched to advertising. I just realized that music was way more important to me than the salary. If I’m living in a shack with my laptop, making music, I would be completely happy, even if I didn’t have a bed. If I could be alive and make music, that’s the dream. So, I’m living it right now.

I think a lot of new and mainstream music is missing the heart behind it.

That’s one of the things that I think is crazy about Disclosure’s CD. It’s so mainstream, but it’s so musical. You can show it to anyone — parents, kids — and they’ll think it’s cool. It’s a mainstream sound, but it’s so diverse. Then, there are sounds that aren’t mainstream that are taken into the mainstream, like Skrillex, techno.

What do you think is the future of electronic music?

I think it will stay the same, but each genre will get its 15 minutes of fame. By 2020, we’re going to be so A.D.D. that rap will be popular for six months, electronic ’90s will be big for the next six months, and so on, and kind of go in some sort of rotation. I’m trying to use past trends because the ’80s sound was huge in 2008. And now, it’s almost like the ’90s and disco sound is influencing electronic music where the combination merges perfectly I think it’s creates new ways to try new styles.

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Since this interview, Durante has remixed “All The Youths” by Vass, a Gainesville-based duo comprised of Vijay Seixas and Shaan Saigol. It is available as a free download on his Soundcloud page HERE. His bootleg remix of “Bird Machine” by DJ Snake has also been featured in the latest monthly podcast by Fool’s Gold Radio. With his Jacksonville-debut this weekend, there is no doubt that Durante is ready to take the electronic music world by storm.

 

via Bionic Beatlab

Alachua Habitat for Humanity Newsletter: The Warm-Smiled Greeter, Donna Seay

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Three out of the five weekdays that someone walks into the Alachua Habitat for Humanity office, they will be greeted with a warm smile as a woman pops her head up and greets you with a friendly voice.

Although she is not on the payroll, for the last year, Donna Seay has been coming into the Habitat office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to assist with secretarial work.

Without the help of volunteers, Alachua Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t be possible. Volunteers are the backbone behind any non-profit organization, and at Habitat, they build houses, keep the ReStore running and even act as secretaries, as is the case with Seay.

Seay first got involved with Habitat for Humanity about 10 years ago when her daughter organized a volunteer group within her office in Chicago. With about 40 other people, Seay experienced the effort and hard work that goes into building not only one, but two houses.

Her volunteering doesn’t end there.

She was heavily involved with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for 22 years in Long Island, NY, where she is from.

“I feel like God has been extremely good to me in my life,” Seay said. “I have always felt that it’s necessary to give back because I’ve been blessed.”

Without Seay, many of the people who work at Habitat think that day-to-day operations would be impossible. Besides answering phones and doing secretarial work, Seay assists every single member of the staff with whatever they need. She has begun to arrange and modernize the Alachua Habitat donor database; a daunting task.

“My biggest challenge is that they had a database here that nobody has used for years and years, and it’s a very big tool for us,” Seay said. “So, I’ve been working very hard for the last five or six months in this database getting all of the current information up so that they can start using it as a tool.”

A year and a half ago, Seay moved to Florida after retirement because of the difference in the cost of living. In her spare time, she likes to travel. She lives with her husband in their RV, making it easy to pick up and go whenever they want. Seay was a stewardess for Pan American World Airways for eight years and has traveled not only this country, but also the world.

Even though Seay works only three days per week, her efforts don’t go unnoticed. She has become an integral part of the Alachua Habitat team.

 

via Alachua Habitat for Humanity bi-monthly print and email newsletter

More than just a dope track: An interview with Govinda

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Live instrumentation has always been a heavy subject when it comes to electronic music. Some people think that electronic music should solely consist of sounds made from computers or machines. And then, there are the people that believe that some live instruments accompanying electronically made beats still falls under the category of electronic music.

Besides the point, good music is good music, and there is one musician who is using his talent and knowledge of the classical violin and electronic music to captivate and elevate audiences around the country.

Govinda kicks off his east coast tour this May 2 in Atlanta. The tour includes three Florida dates: May 4 in Tallahassee, May 5 in Gainesville and May 8 in Miami. With a handful of club venues, Govinda will also be performing at numerous festivals throughout the summer including Wakarusa and Camp Bisco.

Follow the jump to find out how Shane O’Madden got into electronic music, his take on stage fright and what the future holds for Govinda.

Govinda is Austin-based producer and composer Shane O’Madden. He studied classical violin at the University of Texas where he fell in love with electronic music. He brings a new and refreshing sound through his beautifully interwoven symphonies of world, dub and electronica. His music has been featured on numerous television shows, and he has shared the stage with some very influential names like Thievery Corporation, Shpongle and STS9.

You’re really well-known for your extensive background in the classical violin. Do you play any other instruments? 

Shane O’Madden- I play a little guitar, and I sing a little and a little piano, just enough to record and write music. There’s a picture of me with a sitar, but I don’t really play the sitar very well. I would never claim to be a sitarist.  But, I think that was more on the theme of world music because my ancestors are from the Middle East. We’re Syrian. That’s where the influence from the Middle East comes from.

So, I’m guessing that you like to work with the violin the most?

Ya, that’s my main instrument and what I’ve focused on throughout my life.

You also have said that your world travels have influenced the music you make today. Are there any specific experiences that you had abroad that changed the way you view the world or music in general?

That’s a really good question, but I don’t think anything specific. Traveling in general and being inspired by different cultures around the world, different food, and dance, and people and languages — all of that together made me who I am. I’ve had some specific experiences like busking in Florence, Italy. It was just for fun; I just wanted the experience. There’s a lot of amazing musicians playing on the streets in Italy.

You obviously have traveled around the world. What has been your favorite part about traveling or your favorite place that you’ve visited?

I had a really magical experience in Nice, France. I haven’t been everywhere, so I think that I would like some places better that I haven’t been. I’ve been to Moscow, and that was pretty magical. It’s kind of dark and snowy, but I had some pretty cool experiences there. My favorite city in the world is probably San Francisco or Vancouver.

Really? I love San Francisco, by the way.

Ya, that’s my baby, my number one.

Would you say that any specific country has had the biggest impact on you?  

Well, I haven’t been to India yet, and I know that I’m really fond of the music there. And I haven’t been to the Middle East, so it’s kind of an incomplete journey for me. But, no, I don’t think that traveling to countries has been the biggest influence for me. It’s been more getting in touch with my bloodline, my roots, my grandfather who taught me about the Romani’s, the gypsies. He inspired me a lot to take my violin to the next level and really pursue the career within it.

Was there ever a point where you doubted if you could make a career with the violin?

Absolutely. Ya, when I was in college and high school, I wanted to be a classical soloist. And then, I quickly found out when I went to the university that I was nowhere near good enough, and it may never be. It’s just one of those mastery instruments that you have to dedicate every breathing moment of your life to the technique. I guess I was more interested in creating new music and new expression rather than playing ancient music that was written hundreds of years ago, which was also great. I was more interested in the composition aspect, so I went that direction. And when I did, I realized that I did have a career opportunity as a violinist. If I was going to be a classical soloist, I might not. I made it work for me.

Tell me about the first time you heard electronic music and why you decided to incorporate it into the violin.

I was a violinist first, obviously, and I wanted to create new music. I explored things like playing the sitar and doing singing/songwriting for a while. I was in a rock metal band. I was in a punk band and did not listen to club music. Then, I think it was when Portishead’s Dummy first came out, and I fell in love with it. I just wanted to make beats. That was my new passion. So, I got into whatever electronic-driven music I could find and learned how to do it. Since I already played the violin, I felt like that was a unique aspect. There’s a lot of people making electronic music. There are a lot of producers out there. They all were kind of just working with lead loops. Since I have this unique skill of playing the violin, I figured I would put it together. All of it together created the sound I have today.

So, more about your live shows. How did the decision come about to use dancers with your live performance?

I’ve always loved dance: modern day, different styles. I was brought up with dance around me. My mom was a ballerina. She has always done ballet, and it was a big part of my life. I loved anything visual, like the visual aspect of the performance art, aspect of dance. I felt like that was also unique. I’m very visually oriented and stimulated, so I try to create beautiful things on stage. Also, I’m not 100 percent sure I’m a performer. So, I kind of like to be a little bit in the background sometimes and create other little eye candy for people so they’re not focused on me the whole time.

Do you have stage fright?

No. I used to have it really bad as a classical musician, but I don’t get it anymore. I guess it comes with  confidence that I feel better about what I’m doing. But, performing is a whole different animal. You can be a great musician and a really boring performer. So, I want to create a show that is really stimulating for people and really exciting to see.

I was just talking to some friends about how crazy your performance at Gnarnia in North Carolina was. They put you on an indoor stage, and so many people were there that they had to control the amount of people inside.  

I actually had to go to the bathroom, and there wasn’t a men’s room inside. So, I walked out, and I couldn’t get back in the building to play my show. There was this huge line, and they weren’t letting me back in. I was like, ‘Dude, I’m about to go on stage. They’re waiting to see me. I have to go in.’

Haha. So, do you use dancers for all of your shows?

I used to, but now there are few that I don’t, and those tend to be the lower budget ones. Obviously, you have to pay them. I used to fly around with dancers, but that got too expensive so I started hiring regional dancers. So, that’s now what I do; I work with regional artists around the country who will show up and dance with me. It gives it more variety. At the same time, I prefer to work with a few different people who know the music really well and can do some choreography too.

That’s really cool. It gives a local aspect to your show.

Ya, I agree. That’s the cool part about it. I might start using the same dancers again in the future. When the budget is there to have some people fly around with me and do some shows, then I’ll do that. But right now, I’m kind of in-between.

Nice. I think that even though you aren’t doing that, your alternative methods are very effective. To switch gears, what do you think about DJ sets versus live sets?

Well, I play live violin in all of my sets. I always do that. That’s the unique part of what I do that people want to see. So, I’m actually not behind my laptop the whole time.

So, do you DJ or have you ever?

I don’t DJ because that would be playing other people’s music, but I do an electronic live set. So, the difference, obviously, is that it’s all my original music. You would call that a producer. I’m back there doing an electronic set with my laptop, which I guess some would call DJing, but I’m actually kind of a shitty DJ, so I wouldn’t say that. It’s all Abelton Live. A lot of producers started using that to play their own music these days.

I was just at a Big Gigantic show, and I think that the element of live instruments completely changes the electronic music experience, and not a lot of people realize that. For you, what would be the most ideal environment to make music in?

Well, I love putting on big shows that have a huge visual element, obviously. So, in a theatre. I like people to be up, dancing. I don’t like them to necessarily be seated because then it gets sleepy, and I have a lot of energy in my shows. So, I think maybe like an old Gothic theatre or church that has a performance stage with a really dope sound system and people who are willing to take the journey and not get torn away and do shots. I mean, that’s fun too, but I want people to be engaged in the show.

And from a production standpoint, if you could produce anywhere, at any location, where would it be?

I love dramatic landscapes, so mountains and beaches are definitely really inspiring to me. If I could have a really beautiful home with a huge window that overlooks the ocean and a mountain, ya, that’s probably my number one. I feel like Northern California has always worked well for me.

Out of all of the tracks and albums you’ve made, what has been your favorite or the one song that sticks out to you the most or the one that means the most to you?

The song “Contact” on my last record is really special to me because my daughter actually sang on it. The lyrics came from a dream I had where my best friend who passed away, and the mother of my daughter, came to me. I woke up and wrote these lyrics, and it was about making contact with that dimension, with somebody I loved in a different dimension. So, that song is really special to me. I’ve definitely come further with my production technique and capabilities since then, but as far as the song, I think it has everything I’ve dreamed of doing.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing that people should take away from your music?

To be inspired. To make art or music in their own lives, whether it’s in the form of art and music or what they bring into their daily lives with a sense of inspiration and elevation. I guess I want to inspire people on a higher, more spiritual level rather than just them walking away with, “That was a dope track.”

I agree. I think you accomplish that on more than one level. This will be your second year at Wakarusa, what are you going to do differently this year?

I actually am going to be doing a different set than what I normally do this year because I’m doing a sunrise set this time. I rarely ever do sunrise sets, so I’m not even sure I know what the hell I’m doing because the set list I put together has very much of a rising-action feel, so I usually play at night. The sunrise set, I don’t know how to treat it, like if it’s going to be more chill or if I’m going to keep the energy going. Last year, I saw some sunrises, and everybody still wants to party and dance. So, I think I’m going to try to keep the energy up musically, but I might just do some different stuff.

So, what is next for Govinda in 2013? 

I’m working with a visual artist, Boris Karpman out of Denver, to do projections and 3D mapping. It’s going to be on the dancers or with dancers. It’s going to be more of a live visual show. That’s my main focus. I have a new album in the works, and it probably won’t be done until the end of the year because I just released some music not too long ago. But, it’s a full-length album, and I plan to release it on a label this time.

via Bionic Beatlab

Daft Punk to release new album late spring

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Whether you’re into electronic music or not, the one name of the genre that everyone knows is Daft Punk.

The French duo, comprised of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, made headlines last month when they announced that they would be leaving their long-term home at EMI’s Virgin Records for the Sony-owned Columbia Records.

With this, news of a new album being released in spring has spread like wildfire. However, no one is exactly sure when it is supposed to come out.

Famous music producer Nile Rodger hinted at the release date in a blog post saying, “The next time I set foot in Japan, my collaboration with Daft Punk would have started to hit people’s eardrums…”

Some reported collaborations on the new album include Chilly Gonzalez and Panda Bear from Animal Collective.

There was speculation that they would be on the Coachella lineup, but to the disappointment of ticket holders, that ended up not happening.

Some people are still hopeful though. Back in 2010, Daft Punk came on stage for a surprise appearance at a Phoenix concert in Madison Square Garden and it just so happens that Phoenix is on the Coachella lineup this year.

Unfortunately, according to Rob da Bank, the organizer of Bestival, said that Daft Punk doesn’t have any plans to tour this year. His Twitter statement got a lot of attention and he recently said that he was under pressure while being interviewed and to take his statement with a large pinch of salt. He also mentioned that he thought that Daft Punk doesn’t even know if they’ll be touring or not next year.

Rodrigo Lizarraga is a multimedia artist for Trendy Entertainment in Gainesville who has a passion for Daft Punk. He was able to see them at BANG! in Miami in 2006.

“I’ve been to almost every major festival in the states and I’ve seen so many artists perform live and nothing has ever compared to that show,” Lizarraga said. “With every Daft Punk album comes a surge of a new sound. They are incredibly influential.”

This past Halloween, he purchased a custom-made replica of Bangalter’s Daft Punk robot helmet and studded the Daft Punk logo onto leather jacket himself.

“I love their image and those helmets are badass,” he said.

 

http://www.alligator.org/blogs/thursday/music/article_0a0541e0-8097-11e2-bb1c-0019bb2963f4.html