‘we enjoy making it for the world’ | Interview with LONER

There are still plently of producers which are loyal to hardware.
Unorganized sounds put in a unique way.
First, please turn off quantization.
Now listen to this one below.

Describe your sound in three words please!

Damn that’s a tough one dude, Ι’ve always been really bad at these questions. Uhh, I Ιguess melancholy, airy and lush. I guess that’s what Ι want it to be hahaha.

Who/what inspired you to make music?

Honestly the things that inspire me the most are the beautifully talented people around me, all of my friends make really dope shit and seeing them and their process just makes me stoked to continue to make things. Also its a labor of love because you never really know where a song or idea is gonna end up and to see it through is an amazing thing in & of itself

You have released two full EPs Loner and Bloom the previous years. In what state of mind does Shed find you?

Restless and excited to continue this project. I’ve got other projects and kelly (foreignlocal.) The other half of this project also has a bunch of creative ventures going on but personally Ι find this project to still be one of my favorites, there’s something about it that’s effortless and it just makes sense to me Ι dunno. I was heavily depressed when making all of this music and Ι think it shows, i tend to crank out a bunch of things when Ι’m experiencing this crippling depression that sneaks in more times than not.

In Shed you used hardware such as MPC2000XL, SP404 , tape saturation and guitar pedals… In the dilemma ‘hardware fan vs software productivity’, I guess you pick the former? Considering also parameters such as cost etc. what would be your advice to young producers who build their home studio?

Ya know, its hella funny because I often get approached about whether or not I’m a gear snob or some shit like that and honestly hell the fuck nah, I don’t think the equipment makes good music or whatever, its definitely in the hands of whoever it is that’s making it. The only thing is that these analog machines and shit I work with have straight up nuances and weird fuckin parameters to them that make shit just sound cool to me but honestly you can make dope shit on anything, it just depends on what you’re going for and the steps you’re willing to take to get there and whatever. I’ve poured a bunch of time into figuring out the MPC, I’ve been fuckin with it for like 10 years at this point and I’m still learning hella shit but even if I just stuck to like logic or learned Ableton, I would still want to make shit sound like the weird ass shit that comes out of the MPC and other gear, idk man its just what sounded cool to me hahaha.
Also I was really lucky to have access, my homie was movin’ in with me and he’s the one who showed me the basics on how to sample and chop and work with it and he had his for years and an extensive record collection with a bunch of cool shit and it was just sitting in my apartment, I think it was the month of October in 2011 that I got jumped by like 6 people and got my fuckin ass whooped, fractured my skull and I was bedridden during the recovery so that’s when I decided to learn how to make music with the MPC, for months all I could do was get up and walk my broken ass to the MPC and just sample and chop for hours until I fell asleep. As far as all the youngins tryin’ to build a studio, shit man just go for it and do the most with what you got, don’t trip too hard on having a piece of gear and if you can spring for it then absolutely do it but just make shit, that’s the whole point i think. Analog machines and gear are definitely not as accessible as yaknow a DAW because gear costs hella money and its kind of intimidating figuring it all out but again, do the most with what you got just don’t be afraid to go for it!

Related to the previous question, do you have any plans in terms of live performances? And what are the technical difficulties performing trip hop live?

Yea dude definitely when things start to reopen, after the pandemic chills out and we can all gather were gonna play some shows, I really want to tour with this new stuff we’ve been making. We’re working on a full ass album right now and it would be sick to share that with the world, I love performing and doing things live, its a different world than just being cramped in my art studio (other side of the living room that is in a mess of wires, papers everywhere, pens and paint and ink and ash from weed, I also drew the cover art for the previous EPs so having an art space and music space gets cramped). The technical difficulties I think have always been making sure the fuckn show isn’t boring, like idk man there’s something about just showing up to a show with a big ass amp and just an SP404 and kelly doing vocals that can just end up being a little stale, I always incorporate a lot of improvisation with doing noise and other samples in between to keep it fresh and engaged, I usually will bring a bunch of guitar pedals and my guitar to keep it interesting for the audience and for me and kelly.

Over the years, Trip-Hop’s popularity has relatively decreased in terms of its audience, however, the genre maintains loyal fans when it comes to emerging artists. As we are also experiencing a revamping of the ’90s culture, we’d like to ask you whether you think that it can make a strong comeback and also the reasons why you love making Trip-Hop in the first place.

I mean I definitely think that it can make a comeback of some sort, I feel like there are artists that use elements of trip hop and contain remnants of it but I also have a really hard time thinking music has to be really rigid and tied to genre restraints. I dunno, I guess I don’t really feel trip hop ever disintegrated, it just morphed and became implemented in different ways in stuff like dream pop and genres like that, I guess the more overt hip hop rhythms didn’t carry over which is what makes it so but idk man its still there just fragmented and elaborated upon but who knows.

Which song of your own making characterises you the most (& why)?

As for the recent songs we’ve made (which are unreleased at this point but will be put out as singles within the coming weeks) there’s a track called “day to day” that we recently completed and I think everything of it just kind of encapsulates what we’ve been going for. This project is extremely personal to me and I think kelly is on the same page with that, the lyrics she writes for this seem so personal and open, like you’re peering into someone’s wound and it refuses to let you look away, a bleeding heart almost. As for the past songs, I think “sedated” off of bloom perfectly captures what were about, sonically and technically and just overall. It’s a very honest song.

Do you have any plans in terms of live performances?

Make it weird and engaging in the best way possible. Lots of visual aspects, I been playing around a lot with VHS stuff and figuring out how to distort it, which is something I’ve always wanted to incorporate, idk the vision for this project has become more clear within the past few years and were trying to do stuff with more intent and focus. The live stuff will be filled with noise, unsettling visuals and hopefully beautiful melodies and lush vocals.

What do you do during the day, when you are not making music?

Smoking way too many cigarettes and worrying about things that probably don’t need to occupy that much space in my mind but I cant help it, bartending to eat and maintain doing what I love as well. Also spending way too much time tinkering with all my equipment, drawing and taking on too many creative projects all at once. Losing my mind in the best way. Thanks for asking these questions and letting me talk about what I love, thank you for listening and I hope anyone reading this remembers that they are amazing and rare. Hope everyone enjoys what we make, because we enjoy making it for the world. peace!

Thanks LONER!

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