On Wednesday March 5th, 2014, Sound Remedy came through Foundation Nightclub in Seattle Washington on his Memories Tour. OTB was lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit down with the rising star to talk about his upcoming music, his new record label, his thoughts on many parts of the electronic music scene, and so much more.
OTB First off thank you so much for doing this interview with us.
SR No problem.
OTB One of the first things I want to ask is since you are on tour right now, what are you most excited about with this tour? What do you want to bring to your fans and what is this tour really about to you?
SR This tour is really just about me giving my fans the closest, best experience I can give them with my music. I am trying to do something different with my sets because at this point in my career I feel that it is really important to do something special when I play out there. And yeah, just trying to put on the best show possible.
OTB Are you then focusing on smaller club scene venues compared to larger less personal venues?
SR Yeah. I’m doing more intimate shows this time around, and also it still feels like I’m on tour from the fall because that was just such a crazy forty day tour around the entire US, so this is kind of like a mini-tour. It’s not really like a full out big tour. It’s more just like hitting every big market on an intimate level and then just going back into the studio and writing music for a long time, playing festivals this summer, and then gearing up for the gigantic fall tour again which is going to be crazy because the fall tour is going to be the first time I actually bring a production with me. Up to this point I have only been DJing and stuff but I have a huge resource for bringing an actual production side show to people.
OTB I know in the past you have said you see the EDM scene progressing forward with bringing the production or bringing in live music, and with your background in music what can we expect from you? Which instruments will you be playing live?
SR Yeah. There’s a lot of stuff in the works but I don’t want to give too much of it away but it is actually something that has not been done before. I try to write music that sounds different, or really I just write music true to who I am without much regard to what is going on in the rest of the scene, so when I unveil the production it is going to be different. Its not going to be typical and just a bunch a lights, and it is actually going to have a crowd interaction.
OTB Nice! With all of the plans for the tour in the works and you saying that you want to get back into the studio to really produce a lot of music, how are you going to balance the time between making music, preparing for the tour, and working on your full production?
SR The way I have done it in the past has been produce music but also plan at the same time, but everything happens so incredibly fast that there is no way you can focus on just one thing. I am going to try the best I can to just focus on writing music and then focus on the production, and then the tour but the way dance music works and the way every producer works in my opinion, you just focus on all of these things at once and they run kind of in tandem with each other.
OTB I know you said you may change things up a little bit with your music, do you think you will stay true to your current sound and bpm or will you really try to mix it up?
SR I don’t really believe in one specific bpm, I just want to write music that makes people happy and makes them feel something. BPM is kind of a funny thing because I really just want to evoke emotion. My goal is one thing, to write music that’s emotion and makes people feel something. It doesn’t have to be happiness or sadness, it just has to be something if that makes sense.
OTB Yeah! Kind of going off that, we know that one of the big things you are working on is A5c3nd which we haven’t heard too much about yet. I know you have openly asked for submissions and have started to look into potential artists. In the long run what are you looking for with A5c3nd? What style will the music you sign to it be? I also know that in webcasts you talk a lot about not getting locked down into contracts or signing yourself away, and with A5c3nd being a music label what are you trying to do differently in order to create a label that fits your vision?
SR So this is crazy because this is going to be the interview that is like the first on A5sc3nd. You are just going to hear my ideas and then in a couple years down the road you are going to see this big ass thing that I built; but right now it is the smallest tiniest thing. I’m a long term thinker, and this is along the lines with how Jeff Bezos (ceo of Amazon) goes and approaches things, and right now A5c3nd is a concept. Ascend means to rise. The goal is to create an entire movement that’s focused around human progression, musical progression, helping eachother out, helping other artists out, and just rising and growing together and ascending. So it’s starting off and I just wanted the back end to be there. The website is there so I can hear submissions and people can send me music which is great. It’s really great to have submissions and hear what people are sending me but it is going to build out into something way bigger. This year and the first quarter of next year I am going to focus on releasing my own stuff. Like I have distribution contracts to every single digital distributor in the entire world and right now I just need to supply my music. And not to jump around I need those systems in place so that I know the only thing holding the system back is myself. So now that everything is already out there it’s on me to release my stuff. The plan is build up the brand by releasing my own music on it, to A5c3nd the record label, then start signing artists in 2015 and 2016. And then at the end of 2015 beginning of 2016 expand A5c3nd to my management company. I want to start a management company because I feel artists these days are improperly managed. And I don’t want to go on a rant but I kind of fucking do.
OTB Go for it!
SR Artists get encouraged that they need all of these things; they need the manager, tour manager, and record label taking a percentage.Then iTunes takes a percentage and by the end of the day things haven’t changed for the artist. They are still having a massive piece of their pie sold off to different aspects of business and I think I’m one of the few artists who have realized that the other stuff isn’t really stuff that you need to be signing away. I don’t know, I’m living proof that at a certain point it is more beneficial to just hire out who you want. And I don’t know, it’s working out really well for me and I am going to keep doing it. I love being in control of my entire business but I also studied finance so I guess that helps. Just for any artist who reads this article I just need them to know that you don’t have to sign away all of your stuff. You should never sign any contracts that have a horizon further than a year. People get really tricked out there, so just be careful.
OTB What’s your take, with your finance background and training in that, on artists like Gramatik who really push the idea of free music and not selling music? I am curious what your take on that is because obviously there is the side of things where you need to make money to pay rent; you need to be able to support yourself and pay for touring and producing. But at the same time from the consumer side having free music is more inviting to the listener, and although I will personally purchase music from the artists I like to help support them, I know this is not a universal opinion. So what’s your take on the whole music purchase situation?
SR That’s a great point and here’s my thoughts on that. First of all, you need to give music away when you are initially trying to build your brand and expand. People need to have the music for free because any artists first goal should be making the best music they can but have it be heard by as many people as they can. Once you have sent out the free music, assuming its good, a demand and a following will start building online and that will create a demand for you to be booked by promoters and certain markets to get money. And I will be 100% honest with you, touring is the massive chunk of cash. The goal is to give away your free music and create a following and then go on tour. Then when you are at my level you can give away music for free and make money off of licensing and it doesn’t have to be for sale, and that’s a huge other portion where musicians can make profits from. So there’s licensing, there’s the touring and the merch. Sales of music is kind of the lowest priority in my book. I am not really that focused on it. For me its just more of a formal thing because some people really just love to listen to music on Spotify and others like iTunes or Beatport. I do think though that with giving music away for free you can make more than a good living off of that because touring is the biggest portion of the largest pie.
OTB So taking it in another direction I know you have worked with artists such as Kill Paris recently, and personally I love that you are starting to work with other artists and release this music. Is there anything you can tell us about in the upcoming months or the year that you are maybe working with other artists or anything about the new EP coming out?
SR So yeah, right now I have been working on my EP and the thing is I kind of got my exposure from remixes so it’s a process of me transitioning from remixes to originals and it’s the process im right in currently . Originals just take a lot longer than remixes so yeah. Just talking about this there are so many things going on this year its just like insane, but I do have a lot of other collaborations out there. I have a huge network of musicians who I can just talk to. Dash Berlin just hit me up randomly and he was like “You, your shit is tight.” Arty is tight, I have been fucking with Arty recently. He played me on his podcast recently. You know there’s always Bassnectar. I text Bassnectar all the fucking time. He is the most put together artist I have ever talked to. He is so coherent when he talks and I don’t know, I wasn’t expecting that. But anyway I have made all of these connections and had all of these people reach out and started it but I haven’t fully acted on it yet because I just have so much going on. But this year there definitely will be a lot of collaborations and a lot of crazy release. Things are just happening and moving.
OTB Awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us. You have a lot of great ideas that will put you in the forfront of the edm scene and not lagging with a lot of people who are just going through the motions and copying eachothers sounds.
SR (laughs) Thank you. I’m really excited for tonight and hope you all enjoy the show.
OTB Thanks! We are all really excited to see what you bring tonight and again thank you for sitting down with us at Only The Beat.