[EXCLUSIVE] Interview With Sound Remedy

[EXCLUSIVE] Interview With Sound Remedy

[EXCLUSIVE] Interview With Sound Remedy

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Sound Remedy is one name you don’t want to forget. I’m already assuming you’ve heard of this one man production workhorse, as every song he has released this year has swiftly earned a top spot on internet charts such as The Hype Machine. If you haven’t heard the name, Sound Remedy is an electronic producer based in Los Angeles and is quickly becoming one of the forefront producers not only in his signature midtempo genre, but in the EDM genre as a whole. Last week, The Sights and Sounds had the opportunity to sit down with Sound Remedy to talk about his upcoming record label, his love for cats, and German people named TheFatRat. Read on and enjoy!

“I want to make music that makes people happy, or even sad, as long as it makes them feel something.”

Reading music:

 

The Sights and Sounds: Where does the name Sound Remedy come from?

Sound Remedy: I didn’t pull it from anything, I just made it up. Basically it comes from the idea that listening to music can really help you psychologically, and even physically and emotionally. And it can have such a profound impact on your life, so the idea of Sound Remedy is just that sound can remedy pretty much anything. So I was just thinking about how much I love music and decided to put it into a name and encapsulate my love for music. I want to make music that makes people happy, or even sad, as long as it makes them feel something.

The Sights and Sounds: So you’re originally from Chicago, but now you live in LA.

Sound Remedy: I was actually born in a small town in Wisconsin called Ashland. But my parents still had a place in Chicago, our vacation home was in Wisconsin. But yeah, I’m from Chicago, been there my whole life basically. I went to school at Indiana University, then I moved to LA.

The Sights and Sounds: Growing up in Chicago, renowned for it’s house music, and having parents who both graduated Juliard, you must have been constantly surrounded by music. Is this where your passion for music comes from?

Sound Remedy: Obviously them [my parents] being Juliard graduates and just being involved in classical music and having that my whole life, and then being classically trained on piano, was a huge impact on me. I’m pretty sure my dad did that thing where he stuck the headphones to my mom’s stomach a couple times. I mean, there’s just been music my entire life. So I’ve just always been around it.

That’s what I think kind of laid the foundation for the electronic music. I don’t think the Chicago house scene really had anything to do with it. I took piano lessons and then I discovered this thing called Audacity. Then I figured out that I could record sounds on my computer so I would record different noises from around my house and put them all together. And when I found out you could do that, I was like, “Oh my God, this is insane!” So I quit piano and got Reason, and was just blown away by that. So from there on, I just loved making this stuff and I’ve never stopped since then.

The Sights and Sounds: But you’re out in LA now and making music with TheFatRat. Can you tell me more about that collaboration?

Sound Remedy: Tomorrow, yeah. I’m going to the studio at 1. I have this track that I put on UStream yesterday, it’s a house track, and I really like it. I sent it to my manager and he wasn’t really blown away by it, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me because I know this track has potential.

So I wanted to take it to TheFatRat because he’s got this really good house thing that he does. He’s really good at house music and he’s got a really good bass sound. So I’m going to take it to his studio. He uses Ableton too, and he doesn’t know this yet, but I’m going to try and get him to lay down this sick bass line and then help with the arrangement. Then we’ll just co-release it.

The Sights and Sounds: TheFatRat is a pretty German dude.

Sound Remedy: He’s very German, haha. We went to eat at Stout Burger. Just the word Stout Burger sounds German. He’s actually like 33. I thought he was a younger dude, but he’s been in the game for a while. He’s been doing music for a long time and he’s very humble and a really nice guy. I met him over burgers and beer and it was just like, why not go work on a track at his studio. So I’m going to go there and we’re going to party it up and make some music.

The Sights and Sounds: And you got stuff planned with the likes of Butch Clancy, Patrick Reza, and Kill Paris in the future, correct?

Sound Remedy: I’m actually just going to their show. Butch Clancy and Patrick Reza are putting on a show in LA and they invited me to come and chill on their guest list or whatever. And then Kill Paris is coming, too. But I just talked to Kill Paris today on Twitter, gave him my phone number via DM, and I think we’re going to collab on something after I’m done with TheFatRat, or even while I’m doing it. Because we’re both doing the same bpm range in music right now, not necessarily the same genre, but same bpm range. So I think it could work out well, you know, that 112 bpm stuff. Midtempo.
 

 

The Sights and Sounds: Speaking of that mid tempo feel, last night on UStream you alluded to it being a big part of the future of electronic music. You think it has that potential?

Sound Remedy: So here’s the thing. You have Moombahton, and when that came out, I was like, “This shit sucks. All they did was slow down house music. There’s nothing special, I’m not even feeling it.” But for some reason, 6 months later it just kind of clicked and in my head it just started making a lot more sense, that whole range of bpms. And I’d say I’m more into the moombahcore stuff and just that 112 bpm. If you walk to it, my footsteps fall perfectly in beat. And I know that sounds kind of weird, but I think that natural things in nature really do relate to electronic music. And 112 is just a very good tempo, and once you start playing with 112, 128 feels super fast and super nerdy, like what the fuck is this? Then 140 is just…dang, I can’t even say. There’s something just so chill and groovy about 112 that I’ve become so addicted to.

I actually played a show in Denver and the guy from Dubstep.net, his name is Ethan, came over to my show. We were backstage in the artist lounge just talking, and this is a guy who blogs about dubstep all day long, that’s his job. And he was telling me how addicted he was to midtempo stuff. So I think a lot of people who are really at the forefront of the dubstep movement, who are really pushing it along and obsessed with it and loving it, they’re going to start doing a lot more 112 and midtemp stuff. And I think there’s going to be a huge shift. It hasn’t died, you know. Moombahton is still alive and it’s evolved and gone into different things.

The Sights and Sounds: That brings to mind names like Adventure Club and Seven Lions who are doing some great midtempo, melodic bass.

Sound Remedy: Yeah, I’m playing a show with Seven Lions, so I’m going to get to meet him in person, which is always good. It’s just nice to meet people in person. You talk to them on the Internet, it’s bullshit. So I’ll get to see him in person, and we’ve been talking about collabing for a while so we’ll probably be able to get something done. It’s just hard because everyone has such a busy schedule. Everyone’s always travelling around and there’s just so much going on, and you’re always so involved in what you’re doing. I don’t know, there’s always so many things flying at you all the time. But yeah, I like both those artists a lot. Seven Lions is a huge inspiration, he’s a great artist. He writes those melodies and harmonies that I like writing, which is the stuff that I always want to stick with people. He’s one of the only other artists I know who can write that. But I don’t have anything officially in the works, but hopefully soon.

The Sights and Sounds: What’s your favorite key to produce in?

Sound Remedy: Oooh. Probably D sharp minor. Yeah, that’s good. But I mean all the keys are kind of the same. To be honest, it’s really about the chord progression, it doesn’t matter what key you’re in. You could transpose any key, like a fifth above, or really any amount of semi-tones above it, you can transpose anything and it will sounds like the same progression. So I think the most important thing in writing music is definitely the chord progression.

The Sights and Sounds: You just started producing music full time 2 years ago. Was there something that pushed you into it or did you just decide one day you were going to go for it?

Sound Remedy: Yeah, the second one. Here’s the thing about life. You only get a certain amount of breathes, you’re heart is only going to beat a certain amount of times, you’re only going to live for a certain amount of time in your life. At a certain point you just have to realize that you can follow your dream and you can actually do it. I just had that belief. I’ve read enough motivational books and experienced the world enough to know that if you really believe, that you can do something. And you put your time and effort into it there is nothing that can stop you.

“…you’re only going to live for a certain amount of time in your life. At a certain point you just have to realize that you can follow your dream and you can actually do it.”

So I took that leap of faith, and a lot of my friends thought I was crazy. But now obviously they don’t. I had friends that were like, “Dude, you need get a job. You can’t just do music full time,” or “You can’t do this, this, and that.” I was like, “Thank you for your input, but this is my life.” So I did my own thing. And I just want to say to your readers, to anyone reading the article, if you really do believe in yourself and you do have a passion, you should just go immediately. I have one tattoo on my body, it says “Go” on my left ankle. You just got to go. When you have a passion, you just got to go and I promise it will work out.

But the one thing I want to add onto that though is: It’s really fucking hard. Like, you have what you love and you work at it, you just have to work so fucking hard. That’s also why I would tell a lot of people not to go for music. Because it’s like, do you really know what this shit takes? Are you really ready to commit to that level of work? Because the level of work is huge. But if you really love it, it doesn’t seem like work.
 

 

The Sights and Sounds: You’re always drinking out of a red Solo cup whenever you’re producing on UStream. What are you drinking during production sessions?

Sound Remedy: Water. I just like to stay hydrated, you know. Water is a great drink, it just makes me feel good and fresh. A lot of the times it’s just water. Other times it’s some other stuff, but its usually just water.

The Sights and Sounds: The other night on UStream, you proclaimed your love for cats. What kind of cat would you get and what would you name it?

Sound Remedy: First of all, I would get a certain type of cat. I met this promoter out in Austin, he has one, it’s a hypoallergenic cat. I’m allergic to cats, but I love them. So it’s kind of fucked up because we have a love-hate relationship. I love cats, but they hate me. So first I would get this hypoallergenic cat, it’s a little but more expensive, but I won’t be allergic to it.

And then I would probably name it….oh shit….that’s a really fun question. I don’t know what I would name it. I would probably name it Strauss, after the classical music composer. Haha, “Come here, Strauss!” I would definitely name it after a classical music composer. I don’t know which one it would be. Probably Strauss. Not Beethoven, it’s too cliché.

The Sights and Sounds: Your Sound Remedy record label is in the works for 2013. Can you tell me a little more about what’s going on with that?

Sound Remedy: Yeah, I’m pretty much going to start a record label and it’s going to get rolling around the time I release my next project, my EP, which I’m working on pretty hard. Some of the music will be for sale, but a lot of my music, like most of the remixes, are obviously still going to be free. It’s a very long process and there is a lot going into it. And the extreme long term growth of it is that I want to start a management company as well to go along with the record label. Music has just gotten to a point where we can release our own music and do well and start our own record labels. And we don’t have to answer to anyone. So I’m basically just going to set up a structure that I can start releasing music through. Once I get that establish, probably in 2014, I’ll start accepting new artists and having them join the roster and everything. But yeah, 2013 will be the launch of the record label and it’s going to be merchandise and a ton of stuff associated with it. So look out for that, it’s going to be pretty exciting.

The Sights and Sounds: If you could write a letter today and have it delivered to yourself one year ago, what would you say?

Sound Remedy: Oh shit, haha, that is so crazy. That’s just a crazy question. I don’t know if I would change anything. I like the way everything has been going. I know that’s a lame answer to say that, because that’s evading the question. But I’m really happy with the way everything has developed so naturally. I’m happy with where I am at this exact point.

“I’m happy with where I am at this exact point.”

I guess the only thing I would tell myself is to maybe not release as much music and spend as much time as possible on songs until I get them absolutely perfect before I release them. That’s really the only thing that I’ve changed about my career. I just spend so much time now on getting the song perfect before I release it. It’s something I didn’t do as much back in the day. And then I would also tell myself a bunch of production techniques, but fuck that, you know what I mean? That’s pretty much the only thing I would say though. I would say spend more time on your songs until you get them absolutely perfect.

That’s a huge thing for other artists, too, by the way. Because there is a lot of crappy music out there, a lot of great music too, but it’s just worth it to spend as much time to get it perfect.

The Sights and Sounds: Speaking of other artists, if time wasn’t a factor, who would you collaborate with?

Sound Remedy: The classical music guys. Beethoven, Debussy 100%, maybe Mozart, but Beethoven and Debussy for sure. Some contemporary guys: Boards of Canada, I would love to collaborate with them. Radiohead, by far my favorite band. If I could just take Thom Yorke and put him in a room with a bunch of instruments and just record a song, that would complete my life.

The Sights and Sounds: Last question, if you could transform your spirit into any animal, what would your spirit animal be?

Sound Remedy: An eagle, I just want to fly, bro! I just wish I could get up and go fly around LA and fly up the coast to San Fransisco and chill. I just would love flying so much. I would never pick an animal that had to stay on the ground. Eagle is definitely the best one to be.

The Sights and Sounds: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today!

Sound Remedy: And Sights and Sounds, you guys have been supporting me for a long time, so thank you. Thanks for interviewing me and giving me the opportunity to talk a little. I will see you guys in Chicago!
 
Sound Remedy Website
Sound Remedy Facebook
Sound Remedy Twitter
Sound Remedy SoundCloud
 

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Kris Hi there! Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Sights and Sounds. Been doing this music writing thing for most my life in one way or another and loving every opportunity it's brought along. Shoot me an email if you have any suggestions for the website, comments, or if you just want to chat. Cheers!