Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

May 29, 2018

I HEART MOOSIQ interview : HANDSOME GHOST

We’ve been in love with Los Angeles based indie duo Handsome Ghost for the past several years (revisit some of our past features, here). The pair has liquefied our hearts to no end with their music, which they sometimes describe as “indie-prom”, likely due to the bittersweet nostalgia and dreamy romanticism that oozes from its luscious folds. We’re thrilled that Handsome Ghost is currently on tour for their debut album, Welcome Back. IHM chatted with the dashing duo ahead of their show this Saturday, June 2, at

Café

Du Nord in San Francisco. Check out our interview below. Don’t miss out on Handsome Ghost’s tour! We’re also GIVING AWAY A PAIR OF TICKETS for their SF show on Twitter! Just head over to Twitter, here, and retweet for a chance at winning, winner announced Friday morning!

I Heart Moosiq: First off, I gotta ask, Handsome Ghost… How’d you come up with a brilliant name that matches the beautifully haunting sound of your music?

Handsome Ghost: Well, thank you. The band name came about back when I was using really heavy effects on my vocals. Ghostly vocals, if you will. The handsome part started as a joke and ended up sticking. I named the band when I was pretty confident that Handsome Ghost would never actually be a “real” band…but I’m happy with the name, I feel like it fits.

IHM: Tim, I read somewhere that growing up Postal Service was a big influence on you.  If you could pick one song to describe you or as your anthem, which song would it be?

Handsome Ghost:

Yeah, absolutely. Both The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie, basically Ben Gibbard’s songwriting, were huge influences for me as I was starting to learn how to make music. The first Postal Service song I heard was “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” and I remember being completely blown away. The build throughout the song, the fact that it doesn’t follow a traditional strong structure. And at that point those sounds and tones were so innovative, not to mention how perfect the lyrics are. That whole album really moved me, but I’ll pick that song because it’s the one that introduced me to the band. 

IHM:

Eddie, I read that you were really into Taking Back Sunday. So same question to you – If you could pick one song to describe you or as your anthem, which song would it be?

Handsome Ghost:

I still listen to a bunch of those songs from my pop-punk days. I have a playlist for when I’m driving on tour with everyone else asleep. Just the hits (they’re all hits). I’d probably say “Cute Without The E”… So emotional. So so emotional. 

IHM:

How did you guys first decide to do an Acoustic album and secondly how did you guys narrow it down to those 6 tracks?

Handsome Ghost:

Welcome Back took so long to get to where it ended up, but I feel like songs can sometimes be living things. I love how the songs are arranged on the album, but we wanted to offer kinda a companion piece to the album. Maybe hearing the songs differently gives them a new meaning? We chose each of the six songs for different reasons. Some were arranged so differently compared to how Tim originally wrote them (“Shallow City” and “Here’s To Endings”), some were really important songs that we felt deserved a little emphasis. “Soft” we had done for the record but it didn’t quite fit. But we love the song and lyrically really fit the story of the album. 

IHM:

This is your first full-length album, but I’m surprised to hear you already put out two EPs over the last several years. Do you look back on those EPs and wish you would have done something differently with the sound or lyrics? Or even something as simple as the process of making those EPs. I think what I’m asking is have you guys refined the developmental process or each EP / Album / Song it’s own journey?

Handsome Ghost:

I definitely look back and wish I had done some things differently on those two EPs, sure. I’m proud of them both, and I think they represent where I was at those moments in time, but I feel like we’re better now than we were back then. At the same time, I think there’s an innocence or a naivety there, especially on that first EP, that is pretty special. I don’t listen to my own music (because it feels very awkward) but I know there are some little things on that first EP that I’d probably change now that give it a little charm, if that makes sense. But we’re always trying to get better, and if we’re lucky enough to make another album, I’ll probably feel the same way about Welcome Back. 

IHM:

If I was a performer I think my favorite song to perform would be one that the audience sings back or the one that blew up. Which song is your favorite to perform that people don’t know so well yet?

Handsome Ghost:

Hah yes! It’s always cool to hear people singing along. Sometimes you hear someone singing and it’s like “daaaaaaammmmnnn….!”
I really love playing “Creatures.” It’s the last song on the album, and one that I think you kinda have to pay attention to. Playing it live is fun and it’s also nice to kinda force people to listen to it. hahah. Hopefully it makes people revisit it on the album.  

IHM:

I see that you guys have performed at some East Coast Festivals like Firefly. Is there any festival or location that you would consider a dream place to play?

Handsome Ghost:

As a young man I saw a video of Dave Matthews Band playing at Red Rocks. That’s a venue that I would just be happy to see some day. So beautiful.

IHM:

Handsome Ghost is from Boston. Here we’re big Warrior fans. We’re actually surprised how far the Celtics have come in the playoffs. Do Celtics fans feel like if they had Kyrie and Gordon Hayward this year that they would be title favorites?

Handsome Ghost:

Okay, I have a lot to say about this but I will try my best to keep it brief. I absolutely adore this Celtics team as it’s currently constituted. They just play so hard, they’re so fun to root for. Even with all the injuries, here they are giving the Cavs (Lebron is my nemesis) a run for their money. That said: Even with a healthy Kyrie and Gordon, I think the Warriors are still the favorites. Even if you play perfect basketball, if the Warriors shoot well they’re going to win. They’re just dream crushers, what can you say. If it ends up being Celtics/Warriors this year I still think my boys are going to make GS work really hard for it.

IHM:

We’re looking forward to your show at Café Du Nord and years of meeting your Celtics in The Finals.

Handsome Ghost:

Thanks! Excited for San Francisco. Such a beautiful city.

Thanks for chatting with us, Handsome Ghost! So sorry the Warriors and Celtics won’t be meeting in The Finals after all, maybe next year! 

Listen to debut album Welcome Back:


For the rest of Handsome Ghost’s Welcome Back tour dates, click here.

Handsome Ghost: Website / Facebook / Soundcloud / YouTube / Twitter

April 13, 2018
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/403665507/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

I HEART MOOSIQ interview : LOSTBOYCROW

interviewed by Nick

LA-based electropop artist Lostboycrow, who is currently out on his nationwide Spin The Globe tour with Prelow and DYSN, was kind enough to take some time out to chat with us about his music. We are, after all, huge fans of the musician and are immensely proud to have premiered some of his music in the past. 

Lostboycrow recently completed his Traveler trilogy by releasing the final EP in the series – Traveler: The Third Legend. OC Weekly has dubbed Lostboycrow a “poetic voice of the youth." 

Listen to the full EP above.


IHM:

You became Lostboycrow when you moved to LA. Did the alias stem from a sense of feeling loss in the madness of LA? 

Lostboycrow: I think subconsciously it did. I wrapped myself in new people and names that seemed like they had always been a part of me. It was a comforting sense of disorientation. Similar to feel at home on the road.

IHM:

You’ve basically released Trilogy with all your Traveler EPs. Maybe it’s my own bias but all the song titles feel like they can be book titles.  Was your intention to release Traveler in 3 parts? 

Lostboycrow: There had been a few songs recorded prior to the discussion of the three part album, but ever since traveler the album was conceptualized, it was always three. 

IHM:

How powerful are titles for you? I cant help but connect Lost-Boy-Crow all with the word Traveler. 

Lostboycrow:

Titles are probably the most powerful to me. I often think of my titles first and work backwards because they can inspire an entire song. Entire worlds of imagination. Which is why I believe them to be so inviting – for me as a writer but even more so for all of us listeners.

IHM:

If you could create the soundtrack to any movie what would it be?

Lostboycrow:

I think I just want to remake the Newsies – but honestly there are many stories that have yet to be told on screen and I’d love to be a part of them. We shall see what happens.

IHM:

You’ve toured with various artists. Are you the type of person who needs solitude while touring or do you prefer being surrounded by others? 

Lostboycrow:

It’s a bit of both. I think I need my quiet moments and routines to maintain sanity and health. But the road feels like such a home because I am surrounded by the ones I call family. Wouldn’t trade that.

IHM:

What are some typical routines for you as you tour? Do you explore the city or is it monotonous as driving into the city, soundcheck, eat, perform, then onto the next one? 

Lostboycrow:

It can be very routine. Perhaps monotonous to some but again, there are so many variables on the road and life in general that I’m very ok with that. It makes it easier once you’re in the swing of things. However I’m a traveler and I love to see people and places and touch the earth everywhere we go. The rest All kind of depends on the routing.

IHM:

Since this is the final segment of the trilogy, and you’ll be ‘traveling’ to tour it, how do you feel about the journey of this Traveler arc in your career? Is there a cathartic release like with ‘Sigh for Me’? Do you feel like a Phoenix has rises from these beautiful ashes?  

Lostboycrow:

It’s a beautiful arc. I feel like it’s really the first installment of Lostboycrow and everything has been leading up to this album. Everything after this album will be palpably different and exist intentionally on many different planets. It’s an interesting crux.

IHM:

It may be too forward thinking but What kind of artistic path or evolution do you see yourself taking on next? 

Lostboycrow:

I’m two albums ahead. I can’t wait to finish up what I’ve started and share the stories that are dying to get out.

IHM:

The tour ends on 4.20 in Santa Ana. Do you have plans on celebrating the tour by enjoying the sights and sounds of Coachella?

Lostboycrow:

No plans for Coachella. Not really a big festival guy and I always love to travel on my own terms after a tour as well (: I’m going to finish up the next album and get lost with people I love.

Find out more about Lostboycrow’s Spin The Globe tour, here. He’ll be back in the Bay on April 17th, when he headlines Cornerstone in Berkeley. Tickets are available, here. Follow Lostboycrow and his music on via website, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, or Spotify.

June 30, 2017

I HEART MOOSIQ interview : GRYFFIN 

ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival 06.24.17

interviewed by Nick

We’d like to thank Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist and producer Gryffin for taking the time to speak with us after his killer ID10T Festival set and after coming off a tiring weekend of closing out stages at Fire Fly Music Festival and EDC Las Vegas.


GRYFFIN: My (EDC) set was at 4:30am. I had the sunrise set and I had just come from Firefly Music Festival the night before.

IHM: So you flew across the country.

GRYFFIN: Yeah, it was really intense. It was fun though. It was so late though. I got into Vegas, soundchecked in the afternoon, and we didn’t sleep from the night before from closing the dance tent there, and I had to sleep or else I’m not going to be energetic at all for this 4:30 set. So I didn’t get to see anyone. I bailed the next day. Well, I saw a little bit of Slushii, but that’s because he was on right before me. Man, it was so hot.

IHM: When I came back from EDC to the Bay Area, I was thinking it’s going to be cooler weather. But it was still like 100 degrees over here.

GRYFFIN: Oh yeah, wasn’t there recently a pretty extreme heat wave.

IHM: Today’s basically the first day that’s cooled down. We’re thankful it’s only low 80s finally.

GRYFFIN: My parents were talking about that too. They were saying it was like 95 degrees here.

IHM: Like I said, not much of a change from Vegas. Was that your first EDC experience?

GRYFFIN: It was my first one. Well, I guess I’ve done the other. I did EDC Japan, so I guess the big one really is the Vegas one so I’d consider it my first one. It was freakin’ awesome. I always heard that you know EDC is going to be crazy but I didn’t really understand it from a production stand point. How many people actually show up and go to it. I don’t know. You kind of have to go and experience it to understand how big it is.

IHM: I remember our first time seeing you was at SnowGlobe.

GRYFFIN: That was actually my first live show that I had ever done and it was literally like minus 5 degrees outside. And I’m like trying to play the guitar and I can’t even feel my fingers on the fret board. And this is … if I can make it through this then I can make it through the live shows any where else. Man, it feels like such a long time ago, but I love that festival and I love Tahoe.

image

IHM: So you play a bunch of instruments. Were you self-taught or how did you learn?

GRYFFIN: Em, well, kind of. I started taking classical piano lessons when I was seven. I played all the way through high school. In that sense, I wasn’t self taught. I learned classical music playing Mozart and all that kind of stuff. Maybe when I was 11 or 12 I was getting really into rock music. Ironically Weezer, maybe we’ll see them here tonight (at ID10T Music Festival), and that kind of music. I decided I wanted to start jamming, playing guitar and with friends, and that was self taught by just looking online for tabs and videos on how to play guitar and stuff. Then in high school I’d jam around with friends. So that’s really where all the music kind of came from. 

Then as I got to college that’s when I really started to get into dance music. I remember listening to Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers and that kind of stuff, and I was into it, but it wasn’t until I got to school that I got into the big players like Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, when he was coming up. And I remember the first time hearing Skrillex, it was like, “oh my gosh, what is this music?” It’s so insane, it’s so futuristic sounding, and that’s when I decided I should try to make it just for fun.

IHM: Would you go to a bunch of shows?

GRYFFIN: Yeah I did. I would go to the shows at The Shrine, HARD Day of the Dead…

IHM: So basically all these SoCal shows?

GRYFFIN: Yeah.

IHM: And it’s pretty awesome, for music, in LA.

GRYFFIN: Yeah it is. For that scene it was bubbling at that time, I mean it still is, but it was cool going to Together As One. I went to Coachella. I remember being at Coachella when DeadMau5 revealed his mask that lit up for the first time. I was in the crowd thinking, “Oh my God, this is insane.” That was when I was like, “I want to try and do this.” Not as a career necessarily, it was that same mentality as in high school where I just wanted to make music.

IHM: Well you still have White Panda don’t you?

GRYFFIN: I’m not part of it anymore. I don’t talk about that too much. That was really where everything started, making mash-ups in college. Then I realized I wanted to do more than make sample based music, because, I know how to play instruments. I want to make music and I don’t want to just sample stuff. That was how the Gryffin project spawned.

IHM: Gryffin is obviously a play on your name, but does it symbolize anything to you. Are you a big Harry Potter fan?

GRYFFIN: Hahaha, I wasn’t at the time but I am now. My girlfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan. And I’m glad I picked the good one, GRYFFINDOR right? It’s not like I was Slytherin or anything. But yeah, I based the name off… well it is my last name, but a griffin is a mythical creature. It’s majestic, and since it’s a half eagle it conveys a lot of flight, uplifting, soaring type of energy themes. That’s what I try to do with my music is make it uplifting and beautiful, kind of a sort of floating feeling. That’s why I went with this creature, because I love everything that it represents and the mythology behind it. It just felt like a good fit.

IHM: And with your Flight Log mixes, that’s perfect.

GRYFFIN: EXACTLY. I’m still trying to figure out the debut name of my EP. I still want to keep the aviation flight theme going so if you guys have any ideas, let me know. I’m going to bring back the Flight Logs this summer actually. I’ve been getting a lot of flack from fans about it, “it’s been a year dude, like come on.”

IHM: I’ve been telling my friends too, “At least he did a Night Owl Radio mix”.

GRYFFIN: I did do that! But I want to do another Flight Log because I have a lot of new music I want to put on there. A lot of remixes of the singles and stuff. And that’s definitely going to come this summer.

image

IHM: How far along are you with that EP?

GRYFFIN: It’s almost done. So it’s three of the singles that have already come out and three brand new singles. I actually played one of them tonight, or a snippet of it. But they’re basically done from the production stand point. I got to find a vocalist for one of them.

IHM: How do you go about that? Do you hear a voice and you’re like, “I got to have that”?

GRYFFIN: Yeah, at this point in the record, the production and the songwriting is finished. It’s just the singer, she’s a songwriter and she has no aspirations to be an artist. She just wants to be behind the scenes, which I totally respect, but she’s got an amazing voice. It sucks because she sounds amazing on the record. Now I’m trying to reach out and talk with other artists and getting them to take their impression of the song and put their own flavor to it and see if it’s the right vibe. So I’ve been doing a lot of sessions in LA when I’m not on tour. But it’s basically done and I’m hoping to put everything out in August.

IHM: So have you started reaching out to people asking them to remix certain songs?

GRYFFIN: Actually, no. Not for the new records. But the ‘Feel Good’ remix package is coming out next week, which there are some really good remixes out there.

IHM: Do you get in contact with artists or they reach out to you to do a remix?

GRYFFIN: It kind of goes both ways. So half the remix EP was people that reached out to me or cold submitted it and I just loved them. And the other half, I personally asked Crankdat, I personally asked Brooks, and they have really sick remixes.

IHM: Great! So we’re here at ID10T fest, and it kind of feels weird that it’s comics and music put together. It kind of feels like a segregated crowd.

GRYFFIN: Yeah, it was definitely a bit eclectic. I was talking with Hugo earlier and they were asking me right as I got off if it was alright. And, you guys are right. It is segregated where some people came here for the comedy but others came here for the music. But the fans that came here for the music are fans of all three of us (Gryffin, Jai Wolf, Madeon). 15 minutes into the set I look back to David who’s doing video and I’m like, “Yo, this is pretty lit. People are really into this right now.” It ended up being… and I didn’t want to downplay the festival, but the crowd was awesome and Jai Wolf and I were saying the hospitality’s been really good by the festival.

IHM: Jai Wolf is playing right after you. At Lollapalooza you guys are doing an after party together.

GRYFFIN: Hell yeah!

IHM: How does that come about?

GRYFFIN: We’ve been homies for awhile. We have the same agent, and when I was living in New York he was living in Long Island, and I went over to his house several times. We kind of just became friends. That whole crew of Manila Killa, Louis The Child, Jai … I’m like super tight with all them now. I love seeing them and doing stuff with them.

IHM: You’re friends with Brett [Blackman] right? (URL2IRL CEO/founder, mgmt Moving Castle for AOBeats, Manila Killa, SAKIMA, Hotel Garuda)

GRYFFIN: Yes! I love Brett!

IHM: Brett is awesome!

GRYFFIN: He is the man. I’m going to see him in LA. Manila has a show at El Rey Theatre in like a week. I haven’t seen Brett in months.

IHM: I’m going to see Manila Killa at The Regency Ballroom on July 8th.

GRYFFIN: Yeah! It’s going to be amazing. I love Chris (Manila Killa), dude. I would honestly say he’s one of my closest friends out of producers. He’s a really good person.

IHM: I love watching him on stage, even when he’s not performing. He’s a really good hype man.

GRYFFIN: But yeah, Jai [Wolf] and I were briefly talking about what kind of production we wanted for that. It should be a really fun show.

IHM: Can we expect any b2b?

GRYFFIN: I’m going to start off the night, then he’ll come on. Depending on how the vibe is we may come on together. We just want to make it a fun vibe because we’re homies outside of music.

Gryffin is looking forward to time off next month. He’ll be spending it in the studio working on new music and preparing for his tour this fall. He’s also released an official remix today for Kygo & Ellie Goulding’s First Time, which can be streamed via Spotify, here. Watch the video for his latest original with Illenium, Feel Good, featuring Daya, below.


We had a great time chatting with one of our favorite artists, a versatile songwriter, dexterous musician, and captivating performer. His scintillating live performance in the Mad Decent dance tent at Chris Hardwick’s ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival was colossal. Thank you, Gryffin!

You can catch Gryffin’s live set at Lollapalooza in August. We’ll be on the look out for further details regarding his tour later this year! 

Gryffin: WebsiteFacebook / Soundcloud / YouTube / Twitter

October 11, 2016

SAM FELDT Interview @ 1015 Folsom 10.07.16

*interviewed by Nick

Esteemed and celebrated Dutch producer Sam Feldt headlined a massive sold out night at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco last week with fellow Amsterdam based producer Bakermat joining him on his From Amsterdam With Love tour. I Heart Moosiq had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Sam ahead of his spectacular set.


IHM:
I know you’ve been doing a lot of press recently, especially with your release
of “Runaways” today, so to break up the monotony and to make sure you’re not
doing the same generic interview over and over I wanted to something different.
The tour you’re on with Bakermat is called “From Amsterdam With Love”. Tonight
I’m going to quiz you and see how well you know Amsterdam.

To start – Which famous artist is from Amsterdam: Picasso, Van
Gogh, Da Vinci? 

SAM
FELDT:
Van Gogh.

IHM:
Correct. So based off that question, how important is
artwork for you in regards to a single and show production?

SAM
FELDT:
To me, it’s very important. I invest a lot in visuals. If you
look at my radio show, for example, every week there’s a design team that makes
new artwork. It can include me and space. I’m really glad with the team that I
have. Actually today I am premiering my new visuals, so today you will see that
and I have a new stage set up. I use to be a web designer, like a big nerd, so
I know how important design and aesthetics is. I design my own logo.

IHM:
That’s amazing that you’re pretty hands on.

SAM
FELDT:
Yeah, actually next Thursday (October 13th) I’m
releasing a new portal called Heartfeldt.me. It’s actually up and online now
but nobody knows about it. And it’s everything around Sam Feldt – all my
mixtapes, radio shows, Q&As, contests, everything. I’ve spent so much time
and money into getting that image perfect.

IHM:
I don’t know how you manage to do all this. Last week I saw
you at CRSSD Festival. You were just in Seattle last night, here in SF tonight,
and LA tomorrow. How do you have the energy for all that?

SAM
FELDT:
I get energy from that. I love developing brands and
interacting with my fans. I love being on that stage playing for people and
seeing them enjoying themselves. It gives me energy. I actually get tired of
sitting in airplanes and waiting at airports, but everything around
[performing] gives me energy.

(Sam Feldt’s latest hit with Deepend, Runaways, featuring Teemu)


IHM:
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Aseem from Hotel
Garuda…

SAM
FELDT:
Yeah, yeah of course.

IHM:
He was saying in a recent Live Q&A to Lido’s album
release listening party that he absolutely hates the traveling part but his
love for playing music supercedes that hate.

SAM
FELDT:
That’s the thing for every DJ. We give up a lot and
sacrifice a lot just to be able to play at all these stages. You have to really
love your job to make that sacrifice. I don’t see my family a lot, I don’t see
my friends a lot. I’m just on the road touring playing for people I don’t know.
But, like I said, it gives me so much energy I’m willing to sacrifice that
stuff.

IHM:
Trust me. We, speaking for all your fans, appreciate it.
Next question. The main river that flows through Amsterdam shares its name with
a beer. Which one is it: Budweiser, Heineken, Amstel?

SAM
FELDT:
Amstel.

IHM:
Perfect. So what is your go-to drink when you’re playing a
show?

SAM
FELDT:
It all depends. I use to drink a few beers before I go on
stage, but it makes me piss really bad.

IHM:
Yeaaaah, and you can’t leave the stage once you’re up there.

SAM
FELDT:
Especially for the extended sets, like two hours in a club.
So I don’t drink that much to be honest. Maybe I’ll drink a few shots just to
mellow myself out, but that’s it.

IHM:
To be honest, after the first time I saw you perform at The
Independent I’ve always wanted to share a beer with you, and now here I am
drinking a Corona.

SAM
FELDT:
And I’m only having water. Sorry, I took several shots
earlier. Actually you know, I rarely drink water on stage too, which is really
bad, but it makes me piss too. I always rehydrate when I get off so.

IHM:
So next question. What is the houseboat Poezenboot home to?
I hope I’m saying that right.

SAM
FELDT:
Poezen-what?

IHM:
Poezenboot. It’s a houseboat. I’ll ask it anyways. Is it
home to stray cats, a radio station, or a high school?

SAM
FELDT:
OH! The Poezenboat.

IHM:
Yes! Argh, my Dutch isn’t the best. My English isn’t even
the best.

SAM
FELDT:
It means the pussy boat. So cats to answer your question.

IHM:
Do you have any pets?

SAM
FELDT:
I do, I’m in love with cats. Me and my girlfriend, like
three months, we got a cat. I love him.

IHM:
Does she send you photos while you’re away?

SAM
FELDT:
Yes, all the time. Makes me feel like I’m at home when I see
him.

IHM:
Sorry, but I’m probably going to butcher this Dutch word
too, but the Concertgebouw is …

SAM
FELDT:
The concert what?

IHM:
Sorry here. (show’s question on flashcard)

SAM
FELDT:
Oh. The Concertgebouw.

IHM:
Yes, what is it famous for: A bust of Mahler, rooftop
revolving restaurant, its acoustics?

SAM
FELDT:
Must be the acoustics.

IHM:
It’s rated as one of the best places for acoustics in the
world actually. Have you ever been there?

SAM
FELDT:
Do you know what Concertgebouw means? It means Concert –
hall. HAHAHA.

IHM:
Man, I’m getting a lesson in Dutch tonight.

SAM
FELDT:
Hahaha, I’ve actually played there before a long time ago.
That was my first show as Sam Feldt.

IHM:
Did you use to have a former alias?

SAM
FELDT:
Yeah, here, I’ll show you. (Opens up phone’s facebook app to
https://www.facebook.com/drpapasov/
and becomes amused by the cover photo) It’s ridiculous, huh?

IHM:
Oh, you were a DR. Is that the same type of music as you do
now?

SAM
FELDT:
No, it’s different. More electro, house, dubstep.

IHM:
Do you ever break out that alias when you’re playing for
just friends?

SAM
FELDT:
No, but I’ve thought about bringing it back and revamping it
into this weird techno guy, like DR. HANZEL.

IHM:
That’d be fun. Speaking of fun, there are more what in
Amsterdam than people? Are there more boats, coffee shops, or bikes?

SAM
FELDT:
Bikes.

IHM:
Yeah, do you like biking?

SAM
FELDT:
I hate it.

IHM:
The next question – Amsterdam has many neighborhoods, but
which is most famous?

SAM
FELDT:
With you, probably the Red Light District. Hehheh.

IHM:
Hahaha okay, well is there a famous spot for locals?

SAM
FELDT:
I don’t know. I’m living in Amsterdam East. I love that
place. Like, for locals it’s different. In San Francisco it’s probably the same
thing.

IHM:
So when you go to cities do you bother going to the tourist
spots or do you look for hole-in-the-wall type of spots?

SAM
FELDT:
I go to tourist spots for about half an hour so we can take
a photo and put it online. Mostly I love going to good restaurants. So I just
follow my nose and see where it goes, or I’m on Yelp, or call people I know
from the area and they pretty much advise on where’s the best spot to eat.

IHM:
Okay, final quiz question. Which famous diary …

SAM
FELDT:
Anne Frank.

IHM:
Wow, hahaha. Okay. Do you guys keep a tour diary?

SAM
FELDT:
Yeah, but I do more like adventures. “HeartFeldt Adventures”
is actually what their called and you can find them on Heartfeldt.me.

IHM:
Cool. I look forward to checking that and see what
adventures you have coming up!

Thank you, Sam Feldt, for taking the time to talk to I Heart Moosiq! For further information on Sam’s upcoming tour dates, visit his Facebook. Check out Sam’s new portal, www.heartfeldt.me, for an immersive experience he’s seamlessly put together for his many fans.

Sam Feldt: FacebookSoundcloud / YouTubeTwitter

August 16, 2016

cln Interview – August 2016 

*interviewed by Nick

I Heart Moosiq chatted with gifted Australian electronic producer cln, or Callan Alexander, ahead of his debut North American tour. We’ve been fans of cln’s music for over two years now and we can’t get enough of his latest beautifully chiming, pensive stirring singles, Mist and Owls. On August 26th, cln hits up 1015 in San Francisco alongside Crywolf and ILLENIUM, both of whom also put on amazing shows the last time we saw them in the Bay. In fact, you can read our interview with ILLENIUM, here, after you peruse our conversation with cln below. 

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IHM: We’re excited that you’ll be coming to The States for a tour. What are some items you’ll be bringing with you to keep from getting home sick?

cln: I’m bringing my partner! She will keep me company so hopefully I won’t get too homesick. I might try sneak some Vegemite through customs too. 

IHM: This won’t be your first time performing in The States. The Red Rocks in Colorado is one of the most beautiful venues the US has to offer. What was it like to take that venue in and also support an act like The Chainsmokers?

cln: The red rocks show is actually part of this tour, so I’m not sure yet! Can’t wait though!

IHM:

What city are you most looking forward to taking in from a tourist perspective?

cln:

Vancouver looks beautiful. I’m also excited to see LA and New York for the first time. 

IHM:

In 2009 you moved from South Africa to Brisbane. To me your music is very earthly. There’s a calming whimsicality to it. How much influence do you draw from nature and the natural environments of these two places?

cln:

Nature is super inspiring. It’s kind of hard to make music outside – but I go hiking fairly often and I guess I try to channel those experiences into my music. I think that inspiration is more of a subconscious thing though – I don’t think I ever actively try to make music based on something in particular. I suppose it just sort of turns out that way. 

IHM:

To me it seems most of the artwork for your songs are animals or landscapes that make me think of Australia or South Africa. Is there any correlation to this or am I over reaching?

cln:

No you’re completely right! Two of my covers so far have been based on South African animals. I think animals/birds are really interesting from a visual perspective. 

IHM:

Your remix of Odesza’s Say My Name is stellar. On soundcloud you’ve captioned it as your entry for their remix competition. Was the prize to be an opener at their show at Oh Hello?

cln:

Thank you! I was one of the finalists in that competition, but opening for them wasn’t really part of the prize. We just reached out to them when we found out they were coming to Brisbane and they asked us to support them. It was such a great show. 

IHM:

In an interview you mentioned you’d love to collaborate with Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz. Are you excited that there’ll be a new album coming soon?

cln:

I
am beyond excited. Gorillaz albums always push musical boundaries so I can’t wait to see what they come up with. 

IHM:

You went on a trip to Africa back in January and seemed excited for a 14 hour flight because you could play

Pokémon

. How active have you been with Pokémon Go and does that amp up your excitement for the tour, the possibility of finding Pokemon that may otherwise be hard to find in Australia?

cln:

I must admit I’m more of a fan of the old school Pokemon games. I was pretty obsessed with my GameBoy Advance when I was younger. I have played

Pokémon Go

a little bit, and I think it’s a really cool concept. I don’t think I will have too much time to play while I’m overseas unfortunately. 

IHM:

If you could describe yourself as a Pokemon which of the original 150 would you be and why?

cln:

Tough question. I think I’m gonna go with Drowzee, since I seem to always be in a state somewhere between awake and asleep. 

IHM:

Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing you in San Francisco! 

cln: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter

June 1, 2016
https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211726204/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Mixtape: Danger Village – No Guest List Required

In the daily search for fantastic music to share on IHM, we’ve been lucky enough to meet and talk to a myriad of amazing people in the industry. Danger Village, as it turns out, has become one of my favorite PR firms, though we don’t play on “favorites” when it comes to picking music to share. It just so happens that Danger Village has a marvelous roster, off which comes some emerging and sure to be huge acts I fervently adore, such as Bishop Briggs, Lewis Del Mar, The Wild Wild, and so many more.

Today, IHM is proud to bring you Danger Village’s monthly No Guest List Required mixtape. Many of the artists/bands on this mix have been recipients of much profuse praise on IHM, and some of these are making their first appearance here. Danger Village has put together a wonderful list of aural delights. Hit the play button above and read more about these songs and artists below. You won’t want to miss Danger Village’s interview with Lewis Del Mar below, too.

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I’m so happy to be bringing you the third rendition of our No Guestlist Required playlist series.  We kick it off with Lewis Del Mar, an artist I worked with last summer that has seen an astronomical rise in success over the past year.
Our playlist this month is a combination of upbeat rock sounds with beautiful synth magic. Dog Orchestra and marstal:lidell bring us vulnerable Scandinavian sounds, while Marcus Alan Ward and HUNNY bring up the energy with some brashly outgoing emotive music.  Every song on this playlist is a gem, and I think you’re going to love it.

1. Lewis Del Mar – “Loud(y)”
With its bone-rattling bass, naked acoustic guitar chords and unpredictable twists and turns, “Loud(y)” is the track that thrust Lewis Del Mar into the limelight, amassing over 450,000 plays on Soundcloud and starting a string of juggernaut singles leading into their debut EP.

2. HUNNY – “Vowels
Thrilling from start to finish with a soaring chorus and unforgettable hooks, “Vowels” is a masterclass in indie pop excellence, further solidifyingHUNNY as a must-watch act in the genre.

3. marstal:lidell – “All Shattered Pieces
A collaboration between Danish producers Anna Lidell and Henrik Marstal, “All Shattered Pieces” is a beautifully minimal track, allowing Lidell’s airy soprano shine in the forefront.

4. Holy Vision – “Wait”
Bursting with insatiable energy, “Wait” is a glorious blend of infectious hooks, shoegaze’s atmospherics and pop-punk song structure.

5. Deep Dark Blue – “Atoms
“Atoms” is an enchanting slowburn this new LA duo. Lithe, falsetto vocals traverse an ethereal soundscape of synths, gorgeously building to a stunning post-rock influenced climax.

6.  Elwell –  "Let The Rain Come In
This new track from Minneapolis’ Elwell is beautifully forlorn, beginning with hushed vocals before becoming increasingly discordant and mirroring the feelings of desolation.

7. Marcus Alan Ward – ”Little Sunshine
Beginning with a stirring howl, Marcus’ dynamic vocals navigate smoky, neo-soul production filled quavering synths and funky guitar chords.

8. Dog Orchestra – ”CLUB Fragil
Beginning like a intimate confession to a potential lover, the lyrics "But if you touch me I’ll break” repeat as thunderous drums and shimmering synths come in, adding gravitas to the admission of inner turmoil.

9. Great American Canyon Band – “Only You Remain
Taking the vast cinematic soundscapes of dream pop and marrying it with the unwavering spirit of Americana and psychedelia, the song is an anthemic rallying cry for Great American Canyon Band’s Kris and Paul Masson, who came to terms with the personal loss of loved ones succumbing to illness and the inevitable toll of saying goodbye.

10. Welshly Arms – “Legendary
Expanding on the blueprint laid by fellow Midwesterners The Black Keys and Jack White, Welshly Arms take their fiery blend of blues and garage rock and imbue it with modern sensibilities to create an unflappable anthem of self-empowerment.


When I started working with Lewis Del Mar, no one had heard of them yet- they didn’t even have a Facebook page! As soon as I heard them, I knew they would be successful.  They’re also two of the nicest people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and I appreciate them taking the time on their current U.K. tour to answer these questions.

1. You have had an astronomical year so far! When you think of yourselves and where you were last June, could you have foreseen everything that has happened and where you are now?

The simple answer is, no.  We’ve always had confidence in the work we create together, but the rate at which the project has grown is extremely humbling.  We released the songs on Soundcloud last June out of mere necessity.  We’d lived with the tracks for so long in privacy that it reached a point where we couldn’t grow any further without some form of feedback.  That was the solitary goal.  To garner a general opinion so that we could continue refining the sound.  We were fortunate that the results far exceeded our expectations.  

2.  Were you surprised by the sudden and strong positive reactions to your music, and would you have done anything differently if you had know how quickly it would take off?

We were a bit caught off guard.  We wrote and recorded all the songs in our bedroom, so there was always this idea that maybe we still had one more step to go to reach the final product.  But, the two of us have been making music together for years, and there was a cohesion that came through in the recordings that is hard to define. We’d been playing in bands together since we were twelve, touring all over the country in a station wagon.  When the opportunity finally proved itself we felt prepared, and I think that’s as much as you can hope for.  In that sense, we wouldn’t have done anything differently.

3.  What do you have coming up that you are most looking forward to, and where do you see yourself?

We’re putting the finishing touches on our debut LP.  The album’s consumed our lives since before we put those first tracks online and we’re looking forward to putting it out into the world this fall.  There’s a lot of traveling on the horizon for the summer, and some festival spots at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and a couple others.  Being part of the community of musicians that get the opportunity to tour the country and play festivals like those was all we aspired to as kids jamming in each other’s basements.  We’re excited for all of it.

May 27, 2016

SAID THE SKY Interview @ Slim’s SF 05.14.16

*interviewed by Nick (with Amy in attendance)

Denver’s Said The Sky has been touring with his good pal ILLENIUM on the Ashes Tour, and I Heart Moosiq had the pleasure of chatting with Trevor Christensen after the producer dropped a powerfully enrapturing set during their sold out stop at Slim’s in San Francisco earlier this month. Read our interview below.


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IHM: First off, welcome to San Francisco. Has Illenium shown you around?

Said the Sky: Yeah! So the first time I was out here was a while ago and it was with Nick and Sean and everybody. We stayed with Nick’s family because his parents live out here. It was a vacation so we weren’t really stressing out over shows. It’s one of the most beautiful pla… like I’ve never been anywhere else where it’s like San Francisco. It’s got a totally different vibe, and that sounds really hippy-esque, but the whole atmosphere is totally different from other spots.

IHM: Is this your first time actually touring and going around the US?

Said The Sky: Yeah yeah. Legitimate tour, this is 100% my first tour.

IHM: Illenium was telling us that you met when he moved to Colorado. How’d you guys end up connecting?

Said The Sky: That was through this dude Chris Cox, who goes by Omega, and lives out in Denver. He’s really one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet, really humble, has an ear for music and mastering and everything. So he was mastering both our tracks at the same time. He was like “Yo, you two should work on something together” and I heard some of [Illenium’s] stuff and was blown away. We just ended up moving in together since we were both leaving our places at the time and it was really good timing.

IHM: Was that when you guys started working on tracks together?

Said the Sky: Drop Our Hearts 2 was before we moved in together and from there it progressed more and more into collaborations.

IHM: How did the Owl City – Fireflies remix come about? Were you asked to do it?

Said The Sky: That’s actually really funny! It was actually one of [Illenium’s] ideas. I grew up listening to Owl City and I loved that shit and he was like “Dude, you should just remix it.” I never actually considered that because it was already perfect the way it was. So I was like, “Okay, it’s not a terrible idea. Let me try some stuff.” I actually sat on it for a while. It wasn’t something that I knocked out right away. I had the first couple of minutes done, basically the intro into the groove section, and I was really happy with it but I didn’t know how I wanted to drop it. After about a month or two I finally figured it all out. But yeah, it was not official. We even tried to reach out to the record label but never got a response.

IHM: I thought it was an official remix. It was the first song that got me into you. I have to ask because I know a lot of artists sit in the studio to create something, but with your music … your music makes me think you sit in a meadow and meditate. Where do you get your inspiration?

Said The Sky: That’s so funny because I’m the most lame person you’d ever meet. I’d love to go to a meadow but I’m a lazy piece of shit. I usually sit in my studio and write some music. That would be amazing though. I pull influences from a lot of spots. Growing up, I love my family. My mom and dad ended up divorcing. I saw them all when I was young, they’re still nice to each other, but it’s just the environment I was growing up. Just everything. Positive vibes were instilled in me so young. Now even listening to music, you just pull stuff from everything.

IHM: Is Seven Lions one of your biggest inspirations?

Said The Sky: 100%. Definitely. Oh my God, yeah. He was one of the first artists that got me into melodic dubstep. That was my first passion – well, I got into trance first – then I heard Gemini. He was probably the first melodic dubstep artists I’ve heard. I don’t know if you’ve heard his stuff. He’s got ‘Graduation’ and ‘Blue’.

IHM: He just came out with some new stuff recently.

Said The Sky: Really?

IHM: Yeah, he just put it out.

Said The Sky: Yeah, the last one I heard was nothing like his first stuff.

IHM: Yeah, it’s a really different.

Said The Sky: But he’s good! Really dope stuff. Gemini was really a huge starting inspiration. Then I heard Seven Lions and it was a whole ‘nother level. His chords, notes, and musicality. He’s got the sound design in there that takes it to the next level.

IHM: How was the show in your hometown Denver?

Said The Sky: One of my favorite legs of the tour so far.

IHM: Does your family usually come out for that?

Said The Sky: They’re both on really weird work schedules. My mom gets up at like 3 in the morning and works till 1. I generally play late enough where I wouldn’t even ask her to come out that late. There was one event where I was opening for Prince Fox and I feel like that event would have been perfect for her. So she came to that. My dad and stepmom have come out to a few shows, like they saw me at Red Rocks, but he works till 11pm. So work schedule makes it tough.

IHM: I wanted to go Red Rocks at some point.

Said The Sky: Never been?

IHM: I haven’t even been to Colorado.

Said The Sky: Dude you have to go sometime. People are nice in Colorado. Like you say hi to anyone and everyone will be polite and respond back. I went to the east coast and I didn’t get that vibe.

IHM: Well, you’re playing at The UNTz Festival. Will there be other festivals you’re playing at?

Said The Sky: There is one, but I don’t know if I can officially announce it.

IHM: Illenium’s performing at Lollapalooza and I was hoping you would be there.

Said The Sky: No, honestly, so the plan right now is after the tour I have a few festivals I’m playing. For the most part I want to take several months off from shows. The next few steps for me are working on music. I’m really pumped up with this one track that is like ‘Darling’ but with some other indie-rock inspiration that I’ve been pulling from. So I’m writing more music that’s more consistent that I can put out regularly. In the long run I want to put out a live set. Right now I’m just DJing with a traktor and CDJs, but what I really want to move to having a piano on stage. I’ve been playing piano for so long that it’d be silly for me not to do that. [Illenium] had me out at Decadence last year, tuxed out, just to play the piano and I never felt more at home.

IHM: Dude, I think I saw a picture of that.

Said The Sky: No way, really?

IHM: Yeah, when I looked up “Said the Sky Lollapalooza”, there was actually a petition to get you on the lineup. There was a photo of someone in a tux and I thought to myself, “well that’s kind of random”, but it makes sense now.

Said The Sky: Wow, no shit. If it was a white grand piano then it was probably me. Actually it wasn’t even a grand piano. It was just a keyboard inside the frame.

IHM: That’s dope.

Said The Sky: Yeah so that’s the next step, a live set. I love DJing but man, I love playing the piano.

IHM: I saw Lido playing the piano at both Coachella weekends and it was phenomenal.

Said The Sky: Dope!

IHM: Well we can’t wait to hear and see it.

Said The Sky: Thanks for your support. It’s been awesome having your support every time I put out something. It means a lot to me.

IHM: No problem. Especially after seeing how much joy you have performing and how easy-going you are as a person, we love supporting great artists like you.

SAID THE SKY: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter

May 23, 2016

ILLENIUM Interview @ Slim’s SF 05.14.16

*interviewed by Nick (with Amy in attendance)

I Heart Moosiq was blown away by Colorado based San Francisco native ILLENIUM’s sold out show at Slim’s in San Francisco with SAID THE SKY and SF’s own Electric Mantis in support. It was a magnificent evening, the crowd was flying high on cloud nine, and ILLENIUM even found time to sit down and chat with us. Read our interview below.


I Heart Moosiq: Welcome back home. What was the first thing you had to do when you got back to SF?

Illenium: To be honest I haven’t even had the chance to do anything yet. I got in at 5:30 then we just booked it [to Slim’s] to finish setting up and doing soundcheck. Then we went down the street and got some really good German food. After the show I get to hang out at my parent’s house tomorrow.

IHM: Are they actually here at the show?

Illenium: My dad is, my mom is flying back tomorrow. She’s in Europe on a family trip with my sisters. We have a show in Santa Cruz tomorrow so we’re driving down there tomorrow then back up. I’ll have Monday and some of Tuesday off. Gotta head back down to LA Tuesday for another show.

IHM: Tomorrow’s show at Santa Cruz, is it at The Catalyst and have you been there before?

Illenium: No, I’ve never even been there before.

IHM: It’s a warm venue. It gets really hot in there since it’s small.

Illenium: We were originally  going to do a smaller room there but then we sold out really fast. So we moved to a bigger room which I’m really excited for.

IHM: Cool. I wanted to ask you what made you move from SF to Colorado.

Illenium: You know I just love the mountains and I love skiing. It was also a point in my life where I needed a little change. I kind of got into some shit in San Francisco that wasn’t the best for me, then I needed some space from it. Colorado really worked for me and I’m grateful for it because that’s where I found music. San Francisco though is still my favorite city. The city itself is so beautiful and a lot of inspiration comes from here for me. I could potentially move back here one day, but it’s much cheaper in Colorado.

IHM: Definitely. Where are you in Colorado?

Illenium: Denver. I originally moved to Aspen for about two years, then I moved to Denver about three years ago.

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IHM: How long did it take for you to meet Said the Sky over there?

Illenium: I met him over two years ago and we moved in together with Sean, my tour manager, after about a month and a half after we met. We figured this is kind of working so let’s try it and it’s the best roommate situation ever.

IHM: And you guys have a few songs together.

Illenium: Yeah, so pretty much everything we make we help each other with it. Like he’s helped me so much with the music theory side. I’ve had a little bit more of the production and mixing. Everything is collaborative in a way. We help each other in any way we can.

IHM: So when you decided to do the tour you were just like, “Yup, gotta bring him along”?

Illenium: Yeah man, I love his music. It’s always been an inspiration to me and I feel like as he keeps growing … you know … it’s such a great opportunity to check this guy out if you haven’t seen him. He plays awesome music live. It’s an opportunity for me to tour with two of my best friends.

IHM: It’s my first time seeing him and I love his energy. He looks really happy to be up there and enjoying himself. It makes me feel happy for him and I don’t even know him personally.

Illenium: It’s contagious. He’s an awesome dude.

IHM: How do you find vocalists for your tracks?

Illenium: You know vocalists, it’s kind of tricky sometimes. I personally love working on a song that’s very bare. Like pretty much progression and a rough structure and then getting a vocal and building everything around it. Or literally getting an acapella and building around that. I’ve had a lot of fun just making tracks and putting vocals on top of it – it gets a little tricky because when you’re making it and building it around the vocal, it’s easy to mix it. If you’re making a track without the vocal then it’s like mixing a huge element. But as far as finding a vocalist, that’s where my tour manager Sean is insane. He digs into soundcloud very deep. He use to work for the EDM Network and use to run a few channels and they were all indie-vocal stuff. You also just got to reach out. You reach out to 20 and maybe one or two respond.

IHM: That’s cool. I didn’t know if people would go to open mics and other local shows to find artists.

Illenium: I wish it was more like that. I’m sure it use to be like that. Probably doesn’t happen much for me because I don’t leave the house much. It is kind of tricky because there is recording technique that goes into that you might not see it with a live singer. I’ve worked with amazing vocalists but sometimes recording their voice can be tricky. Which is a fun element for me.

IHM: I wanted to ask about your logo. To me it looks like a phoenix.

Illenium: It is a phoenix.

IHM: That makes a lot of sense with your album being “Ashes”.

Illenium: That’s the whole symbolism of me moving from San Francisco and coming from a place where – not that San Francisco is that place but where I was – the whole rebirth aspect.

IHM: The phoenix is my favorite mythological creature.

Illenium: By faaaar dude. I just finished watching all six Harry Potter movies too.

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IHM: Oh yeah, I noticed at the merch stand that you have the ‘Ashes’ vinyl for sale and it’s signed. Do you always do cool stuff like that?

Illenium: Yup, all these “Ashes” tour shows we do. There were a few shows where we didn’t have any because it sold out so quick. Hopefully we make it through this weekend.

IHM: That is pretty cool. Since you’re living in Colorado, have you have ever performed at Red Rocks?

Illenium: Yes, yes I have.

IHM: How is it? It looks like a beautiful venue.

Illenium: It is. It’s so dope. It’s one of my most favorite venues. It’s so scenic. It’s very special because of where my music started at. Moving to Colorado and I got really inspired when I was at Red Rocks as a normal person attending a concert. So I was like, “I want to play there one day”, and that day was about four years later.

IHM: I love that. Out of all the venues I want to visit I want to go to Red Rocks and…

Illenium: The Gorge.

IHM: Dude, yes!

Illenium: I’m actually playing The Gorge this year.

IHM: Sasquatch?

Illenium: Paradiso.

IHM: That view is going to be pretty cool. Speaking of festivals how excited are you to be playing at Lollapalooza?

Illenium: Extremely excited. I’ve always looked at it as like a really huge festival. It’ll be really fun.

IHM: It’s one of my favorite festivals so I’m really excited to go back there.

Illenium: Yeah, I’ve never been but I really love Chicago.

IHM: They have really good food.

Illenium: It’s on the lake too, so it’s really nice.

IHM: Well I’m looking forward to see you play there and thanks for taking the time to interview with us.

Illenium: Thanks. I’m happy to be back in San Francisco playing a sold out headlining show. And thanks so much for your guys’ support. I’ll be back in San Francisco soon.

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There are a few dates left for ILLENIUM’s mostly sold out ASHES TOUR, make sure you catch him while you still can, it’s an exhilarating experience.

ILLENIUM: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter

Stream Illenium’s debut album ASHES in full below, and purchase on iTunes.

April 1, 2016

*interviewed by Nick 

Last month, I Heart Moosiq and Nora En Pure had an in depth conversation right before the Zurich based producer crushed it with a spectacular set at Ruby Skye in San Francisco. Read on to see what we talked about!


IHM: We’re glad to see you going back on the road as that hopefully means personal matters were resolved at home. As someone who doesn’t tour I’ve always wondered what artists do to keep from being home sick. What remedies do you have for yourself?

Nora En Pure:

I’ve always traveled a lot and had to fly to places on my own in a young age, so I guess I got used to it already before touring. Now to keep in touch Facetime, Skype and all those things help a lot! Being always on the go means it also keeps life interesting. There’s almost never a dull moment and you appreciate home much more. I guess it’s about how you deal with situations and try to get most out of it always.

IHM: Nora En Pure to me is a global artist with roots in South Africa and a home in Switzerland. You’ve also been to Australia, South America, the States. Is there any part of the world you haven’t touched?

Nora En Pure:

So far I’ve been missing out on Asia. I have been in India a couple of times which I enjoyed very much! Also in South America I’d love to go play in more countries. I have only been in Brazil and Uruguay until now.

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IHM:

How do you balance your wanderlust and enjoyment for nature with your persona as an artist? 

Nora En Pure:

Being a DJ brings you mostly into big cities but sometimes also to remote areas which you’d never see if it wasn’t for the music. So I love the constant change of scenery. At home I go on long walks with my dog. After all a lot of time is spent in hotels, clubs, airplanes so at home I like to stay away from noise and the hassle and enjoy being outdoors.

IHM:

What exposed you as a child to Opera, Metal, and Rock and who were your favorite artists?

Nora En Pure:

As kids we used to be in those skater circles. So punk, rock & ska was the cool music. I loved Linkin Park and Offspring but also more Indie or as you said Metal Opera like Avantasia 😉 It’s definitely not everyone’s music but I was very captivated by it. I would still now absolutely go to their concerts.

IHM:

Could you ever see yourself performing as anything other than Nora En Pure? For example as an actress in an opera.

Nora En Pure:

Not really, I am actually a rather shy person and don’t like exposure too much. Music and playing live I love that’s why I feel always comfortable with it. But I think for acting and singing I’d be far too nervous to enjoy it. Plus I’m really bad at acting..

IHM:

When you released your first Purified mix did you imagine you’d release as many as you have now?

Nora En Pure:

Of course the purified mixes were planned to become a regular podcast. In fact I should be further already than I am now. But sometimes there were too many things going on and I couldn’t manage everything in time. Now it’s a radio show on a 2-week basis and that’s good!

IHM:

In an interview I saw before you stated that you listen to Classical music in your down time. Is there any genre that doesn’t appeal to you?

Nora En Pure:

Classical music helps me to relax. But also there are pieces which are very heavy. I prefer the relaxing soft classical pieces. In general I don’t like really noisy music like the EDM from the past few years. I’m not a fan of German vocal music, also folk music is definitely not my favourite…

IHM:

When you’re out touring what takes up most of your time while traveling?  

Nora En Pure:

I guess time in the airplane. I fly every weekend somewhere. Mostly different countries on one weekend. But the whole process to get to the airplane bugs me more. I just came back from our North American bus tour and that was amazing. No airports, no planes, no checks. Having a bed and being able to walk around and being flexible while driving was amazing!

IHM:

Also in the cities you play are you more driven to explore sights or explore places to eat?

Nora En Pure:

Definitely to eat 😉 I’m not very much into sight seeing. I love to experience a country but not from the tourist perspective. And mostly I simply don’t have the time to go around a lot.

IHM:

You majored in Criminal Psychology. What is your take on Netflix’s docu-series “Making a Murderer”?

Nora En Pure:

To be honest, I haven’t watched it yet. I am a series junkie but I just don’t find the time for it these days. I will definitely give it a try sometime soon.

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IHM:

The No Xcuses Vs. Enormous Tunes Bus Tour seems like it was inevitable. EDX, Croatia Squad, and you have done remixes and overall seem like a family. How is it touring with them?

Nora En Pure:

It was great, as mentioned above I most appreciated being in a bus, that was amazing. We are in fact one team, it’s like family. It was also a really good experience musically, to see each other play and we complemented each other very well with the sound.

IHM:

Any nicknames you guys have for each other?

Nora En Pure:

Hmm… not really. Nothing that could be disclosed here 😉

IHM:

Pretty soon you’ll be in Miami at the same time as Ultra Music Festival. As a successful artist who usually has to perform at events how hard is it to become a regular festival/concert-goer and enjoy shows in the crowd?

Nora En Pure:

When I was younger I used to go to festivals myself. Now I prefer not to be in huge crowds. I love the shows that have less people, one can move and dance nicely, get a drink whenever you want, it’s way more relaxed. 

Miami is always busy there are so many events, this year I am playing many more shows than last year. The day pool parties are my favourites! The vibe is excellent and my music fits really well.

IHM:

I’m a little biased being from California, but how excited are you to be performing at Coachella?

Nora En Pure:

Of course I am very excited. It is an honour to play there. They feature huge acts, legends and new cutting edge talents. It’s amazing that they were interested in me and I can’t wait for it.

IHM:

Have you ever been there before?

Nora En Pure:

No, it will be my first time!

IHM:  Who are you most excited to see this year?

Nora En Pure:

I like Rüfüs, I have met them a couple of times but never actually heard them play. Black Coffee from South Africa I have also never heard live. Then obviously heavy weights like Guns n Roses…

IHM:

I’ll be excited to see you Friday at Ruby Skye and at Coachella! Thanks for your time.

Nora En Pure:

THANK YOU!

(Of note, Nora En Pure is not playing Coachella anymore due to scheduling conflicts, and IHM is much gutted about that…)


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https://twitter.com/NoraEnPure

https://www.facebook.com/NoraEnPure

https://soundcloud.com/noraenpure

March 28, 2016

POP ETC Interview – March 2016

*interviewed by Amy

It was a pleasure to chat with Brooklyn based indie band POP ETC as they embarked on their current tour alongside BANNERS and The Moth & the Flame. They’ll be performing here

tonight (Monday, March 28th), in San Francisco, at the Social Hall. More tour details can be found on their website. POP ETC’s recent album Souvenir is a fabulous must listen, regardless if you’re new to the band or have been a fan since they were known as The Morning Benders. Stream Souvenir off Soundcloud or Spotify, and purchase the album from iTunes, Amazon, or POP ETC’s online shop. Read on for some much insightful conversation!


IHM: Hey guys, congratulations on putting out such an amazing album in Souvenir!  I recall you posted on your socials that you really took your time with this one. How long did the three of you actually take to build such a cohesive release, and when it’s such a meticulous process over a prolonged length of time, how do you come to the final conclusion that… YES, this is it, we’re ready for the world to listen to our baby?

POP ETC (Chris): We took almost 3 years to make it, and yea, deciding when it was finished was definitely one of the most difficult parts. There’s no way to tell really, except when all three of us feel it’s complete. We made a promise to ourselves early on that we wouldn’t release anything until all three of us were 100% happy with it.

In the case of “Souvenir,” I was writing every day, so we wrote tons of songs. Over a hundred songs. We threw away a lot of songs. But slowly there was a kind of theme, or maybe it’s better to put it as a kind of feeling that sort of started to emerge, and certain songs that felt threaded together. The songs started to feel like a family of songs, and that’s when we knew the album was nearing completion.

IHM:

The album is entitled Souvenir, your second full length after changing your name to POP ETC.  I’ve noticed that the diverse songs on the release seem to bring together your older material as The Morning Benders with the POP ETC sound on your prior release. Care to shed some light on the choice of title? Is it a souvenir in the sense of what you take away from it, going forward, or is it a souvenir in the sense of it being a compendium of the past?

POP ETC (Chris):

Since I try and write every day, the songs I have been writing really start to take on the moods and events of my day to day life. Sometimes I would wake up and write a happy song, sometimes I would wake up and write a darker song. It could be inspired by anything from the weather that day, or something I was going through in a relationship or something in my life. I think we take for granted how every little thing affects our mood and the way we feel every day.

In a way this album is a “Souvenir” for us, it captures the feeling of what our lives have been like for the last few years. It’s a kind of time capsule. But beyond that, we also love the idea of people buying this album and having a souvenir for themselves, that they can then live with and listen to. I love how certain albums for me when I put them on instantly transport me back to the times when I discovered them or listened to them most. I hope “Souvenir” can be like that for some people down the line.

IHM:

Was there a song on Souvenir that was particularly hard to reveal, perhaps due to how much it divulges to the world of your own personal lives?

POP ETC (Chris):

Not really. I can be a pretty private person, so I’ve always enjoyed having songwriting as an outlet to explore things that I might not feel comfortable expressing face to face with someone. Of course, it’s also a matter of being able to write about things that wouldn’t really come up in conversation, or something more abstract that you can’t express with just words. But to answer your question, I don’t really feel I have a choice when it comes to writing songs that I am going to be singing. I need to write songs that are personal to me, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sing them with conviction.

IHM:

Being an 80’s baby, I love how a multitude of the songs on Souvenir have that 80’s retro feel. Was this a specific decision to incorporate that sort of sound, because it’s something you happen to love, too?

POP ETC (Chris):

Of course we love a lot of those bands from the 80s, but it actually happened pretty haphazardly. Like I was saying before, we wrote so many songs, many of them had completely different sounds. It wasn’t until we wrote “Running In Circles” and “Please, Don’t Forget Me”, that we kind of honed in on that sound. We just really liked how the sounds from that era were mixing with the sentiment behind these songs. The combination seemed to create a feeling that we were always after, we just didn’t know it until we happened upon it by mistake.

IHM:

A lot of things have changed in the music world between the time you released 2008 debut album Talking Through Tin Cans and this year’s Souvenir. Has the advance of the digital age and the shift in the way people consume their music made a huge impact on the way you crafted and released Souvenir?

POP ETC (Chris):

Yes and no. The way we made the album was basically the same way we always make albums, we just took a lot longer this time. We’ve always been interested in writing full albums though, from day one. Even as listeners have gravitated away from that, with streaming, and listening to more single songs and curated playlists, etc, we still like to make albums. I think that just comes from growing up listening to The Beatles and Brian Wilson and these guys that really tried to make the album a cohesive, artistic statement. We love that format.

That said, when we released “Running In Circles” we actually hadn’t finished the album, which was pretty different for us. We had all the songs pretty much outlined, but much of it wasn’t recorded yet. The album actually didn’t end up coming out until a year later. So that ended up being a bit of a different, more modern approach.

IHM:

I know that when you changed your name to POP ETC, it was meant as a reference to being a versatile band that writes and delivers genre defying music that not only may be considered pop music, but could venture into the realm of many other genres, hence the “et cetera”. I’m curious if any long time fans from your The Morning Benders days completely misconstrued the change and missed the point of the “ETC”?

POP ETC (Chris):

To be honest, through the name change and just through making music for a while, I’ve come to just let go of all those expectations. Obviously in a perfect world everyone would get to hear the explanation from the artist themselves, and get to clarify anything they were confused about, and we’d all be on the exact same page, but it just doesn’t work like that. I feel that I can only keep making music as long as I’m passionate about it, and that means following inspiration wherever it takes me, and to a large degree, blocking out all the outside noise and feedback. I hope that doesn’t come off selfish, because we care about our fans so so so much, and we try to constantly show them that. I think our fans know that. But in the end, it’s the only way we can continue doing what we want to do, and stay true to ourselves.

IHM:

When POP ETC was The Morning Benders, you were based right here in the Bay, out of Berkeley. In fact, our respective time in Berkeley likely overlapped back in the mid 2000’s! How does living in Brooklyn compare to living in the Bay, and do you miss Berkeley a lot? Do you have a favorite restaurant or hang out spot in Berkeley? Would you ever want to move back to the Bay Area?

POP ETC (Chris):

Apples and oranges! I love them both. I definitely miss Berkeley and the Bay, sometimes. I miss Cheese Board. And Chez Panisse. I love those spots. San Francisco is such a beautiful, singular city. I definitely miss just getting to see the the bay and the bridges and the fog and everything. I miss the mexican food. I definitely think there is a chance we’ll end up back in California some day, but honestly, who knows. Either way, we all grew up there, so it’ll always be a part of us.

IHM:

You’re about to embark on tour alongside The Moth & the Flame and BANNERS for SiriusXM and Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement Tour. How excited are you to get back on the road to play songs off the new album, and do you miss touring?

POP ETC (Chris):

This tour has been AWESOME. We were in the studio so long, there were times when we lost sight of what we were doing, so it’s great to finally be out in the world playing these songs, where you get to see people respond to them in real time, and talk to them after the show and hear about how the music affects them. AND the other bands are super great and nice!! We’re one big happy family! It’s the best!!

IHM:

Chris, I sometimes see you speaking Japanese, seemingly fluently (I don’t know Japanese), in clips you post on POP ETC’s socials. I recall reading that you spent some time in Japan. Is there a very strong fan base for POP ETC in Asia, and do you plan on heading over there for some shows soon?

POP ETC (Chris):

I am definitely NOT fluent, but I am trying my best! Our band does do pretty well in Asia, and specifically in Japan. I’ve actually done quite a bit of production and songwriting stuff over there as well, so I spend a lot of time in Tokyo, that’s when I started picking up the language. We just confirmed that we are going to be playing at Summer Sonic in August. It’s a really great festival in Tokyo and Osaka, so we’re super excited. I think Radiohead and this awesome Japanese band we love called Sakanaction are headlining it, so we’re really looking forward to it!

IHM:

Do you listen to a lot of new and emerging bands and artists, if so, do you have any current favorites to recommend?

POP ETC (Chris):

Yes!! Lately we’ve been listening to a lot of our friends’ bands and we’d love to spread the word about them- WATERS, Mainland, PHASES, Declan McKenna, Dreamers,  Blake Mills… to name a few!!

IHM:

When the three of you aren’t bunkered down writing tunes or traveling around, enrapturing crowds from the stage, what are some of your favorite ways to unwind and have fun?

POP ETC (Chris):

We love food. We are constantly looking for new restaurants and new dishes and cuisines to try. In New York there are countless areas to explore, you could honestly spend a lifetime just doing that.

IHM:

Thank you, POP ETC, for taking the time to chat with I Heart Moosiq. We heart POP ETC! 

POP ETC (Chris):

Thank you!!


POP ETC’s Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud