Following her Caturday set at The Mousetrap, Mojo Minute stole a few minutes with The Duchess of Dubstep, Reid Speed. Nearly three years since her last Indy appearance at Mojostock 2012, the crowd was certainly ready to have a good time and get down on the dance floor.
Pressed for her sources of inspiration Reid Speed confesses she likes so many genres of music, and that there’s so much new music coming out every day that she finds it all inspiring.
“That’s what keeps me pushing to find new artists and keep digging and pushing new sounds that people have never heard of. I just love music. If there was no music I would be dead. I wouldn’t make it through life without music. That’s what keeps me going.”
When did you know that your life would be dedicated to music?
The first time I ever attended a rave by choice, DJ Dan was playing and that’s when I knew. The music had been very four-on-the-floor all night and DJ Dan came on and at the time he was playing funky breaks and I didn’t know anything about genres – I was brand new to the whole scene – and in that moment, I went and stood inside of the sub-woofer and had what I would call a religious experience with the music. That moment changed my life.
What advice do you have for artists who want to be successful in the industry?
If you are in pursuit of happiness, that is entirely unrelated to the pursuit of success. You have to choose what you want and if what you want is to be successful, you have to understand that you’re not always going to be happy and that a lot of things are going be required of you that are not fun. If what you’re doing is making music for yourself to be happy, you may not be successful. It’s tough.
You have to be good at being on the internet, you have to be good at talking to people, you have to be somewhat good at DJing, you have to have a brand, you have to be good at marketing – stuff that really has nothing to do with being an artist. So, if you just want to be a musician that makes music just for the joy of it, please do it, but don’t quit your day job until you know for sure it’s going to work out.
For more from The Duchess of Dubstep, follower her on Twitter & Soundcloud:
It’s that time of year again! Mojostock is just around the corner, and if you want to ensure a spot on one of Indy’s biggest events of the year, this is the only guaranteed way to make it happen!
It’s no secret that we do a lot of events and book a lot of talent over the course of the year. But we can admit there can be holes in the system in which we use to book said talent, and many budding artists and DJ’s could be getting overlooked. This is why we want to put together a Mixtape Competition, with BLIND JUDGING, so there’s no playing favorites, no spam, no complaints. (Who am I kidding? There will always be complaints – but you get the idea).
Winning Mixtape will be awarded:
- Mojostock Booking (Main stage – Date/Time Slot TBD)
- Headlining slot at Altered Thurzdaze.
(on a mutually agreeable date once winner is selected)
- $100 cash
- Potential to open for a national act at one or more of Indymojo’s events.
(depending on coinciding music genre that makes sense for available headliners, mutual agreeable date, and some restrictions apply)
Second Place Prize:
– Mojostock Booking (Stage/Date/Time Slot TBD)
– Altered Thurzdaze booking (date TBD)
Third and Forth Place Prize:
– Free ticket to Mojostock
– Will be considered for Mojostock’s 3rd stage.
– Altered Thurzdaze booking (date TBD)
We want to set a few simple guidelines:
1. Create a new mix (30-45 minutes in length).
All genres welcome – PLEASE NO TOP-40 commercial crap. Be creative. Don’t insert anything that will reveal identity, such as a name drop.
2. Put it on a CD/Audio quality disk or thumb drive. (Mark them so I can notate who is came from. Judges will receive anonymous mixes)
3. Give the mix to me (Matt Ramsey – You can find me at any Indymojo event) by March 19th.
*For regional mixes, contact me personally.
Mixes will be assigned a number and securely logged in for identification purposes.
- Entries will be duplicated and given to 5 judges of various music tastes and experiences, who have no knowledge of the entry creators. Judges TBD.
- Judges will rank the entries based on track selection, originality, and technical ability.
- Winner will be announced by April 18th.
Bass trio Terravita is bringing their Fuel To The Fire Tour to Indy this week. The group are not strangers to the city. They first came here to destroy Mojostock 2013, then came their performance at Old National that was more than explosive. This time, IndyMojo is bringing these guys to the Mousetrap and we are introducing our new 3D Projection Mapping. Whether you have witnessed Terravita’s dynamite performance already or have no idea what you are in for…Be there!
“Dominating the bass music scene for nearly a decade, Terravita has run the gamut when it comes to crowd-smashing, mind-melting electronic music. From the days of Drum & Bass to the era of contemporary Dubstep, Trap and everything in-between, Terravita know no limits when it comes to crafting the most staggering, bone-jarring bangers around. From their industry-leading sound-design to the razor-honed precision of their drums, Terravita are undeniable experts at their craft, and will inevitably remain so for many years to come.” – EDM.com
Terravita was catapulted into the public eye with the release of “Up In The Club”. The track that helped define the drumstep genre. Since then they have released over 12 top ten releases on the Beatport dubstep and drum & bass charts. The band has remixed Steve Aoki, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Yelawolf, Datsik, Zedd & Bassnectar. Their last EP on Firepower Records “the Power of Fire” charted in the overall top five on Beatport for several weeks and included the hits “Well Oiled Machine” and “This Time Its Personal”. Terravita has toured with Steve Aoki, Datsik & Flux Pavilion and has played festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival (Vegas, Chicago, Orlando), I Love This City and Shambhala.
Earlier this year IndyMojo got the chance to talk to Terravita via phone. Click HERE to read that Interview.
Mousetrap Bar & Grille
Do you guys remember Mojostock last year? Well not all of it, but no one can forget Terravita smashing their bass in your face Saturday night. Well you are in luck because they are coming back to Indy this Saturday at The Deluxe @ Old National.
Terravita is Matt Simmers (Production Engineer), Jon Spero (Mic Expert), and Chris Barlow (Mix Master). Together they are a force that has been a hard hitter in the bass scene for over ten years and counting. They have seen all the major transitions that the genre has encountered along the way.
I got the chance to have a phone conversation with Chris Barlow. I asked him a little more about the group and got some of his ideas on bass music and where it is heading. This Saturday should be an amazing show from what he was telling me.
Track Hound: Where did the name Terravita come from? It means living earth right?
Chris: It means earth life. We thought it was pretty cool. We are all earth life, plants are earth life, there’s a God force behind everything on the earth and it symbolizes our meaning
TH: What brought you guys together to start creating drum and bass?
Chris: Matt and I were working together DJing, producing and doing events. We were working with one MC and he showed up to a studio session hammered one day. He started telling us we sucked and didn’t know how to produce, so we got rid of him and started doing shows with Jon. Although he gets drunk pretty often he has never done that, so we are stuck with him now 10 years later. (Jon is saying in the background “Go fuck yourself”)
TH: What is your opinion of the change in bass music now versus 10 years ago?
Chris: We’ve seen in those 10 years, predominately vinyl sales and printed media, go all the way to MP3 sales exclusively, nobody really presses vinyl anymore. More people give out tracks and we are dealing with the internet which means trends can change really fast. Stuff can get really popular without a huge dollar amount invested. What’s cool about that is that fans can speak a bit more about what they like, which is nice, but also sucks because you have everyone who is a critic. Upside to it is you can be getting a lot of plays and shares and getting people to want your music, which builds your social media and makes you popular. It also makes it easier to make the music you want to make, instead of depending on A&R at a label to like it or get positive reviews from critics. It also makes it more possible to get a record store to showcase it so people will buy it. It allows us to be more creative. For instance back when we were doing Drum and Bass, you could only be between 172 and 176 BPM and it had to be a different drum and bass beat. Which is cool, we love Drum n Bass and we are writing a lot more of it now. It’s nice to have bass music cycle through dubstep (various forms), even trap, moombahton, drumstep, and glitch-hop. It’s all bass music, all in the same family and gives us more freedom musically. It lets us think outside the box with different beat structures and different BPMs. There is only so much you can do in a genre that’s been around like 7 years when you are limited to the same perimeters. It’s nice to have a change-up. Between the different trends and file sharing it creates a lot less barriers between you and the fans.
TH: On that same note, The EDM scene has seen a growth of a different genre each year the past few years starting with dubstep then drumstep then moombahton, then trap. What do you foresee being the next big thing in EDM?
Chris: It’s funny that you just mentioned a whole bunch of genres. When you think of the term EDM, none of those compare to trance and progressive house or even make a dent in EDM. EDM is festival house music. For instance, Swedish House Mafia (vocal progressive house) and Armin Van Buuren (trance). Those genres are still relatively underground. Artists who make bass music, while they are playing big crowds compared to what they were in the past, are still only playing to 2,000 – 3,000 people shows on tours. That’s still only like Slayer (metal band) size, which is still underground. Slayer is not a crossover commercial heavy metal by any means. I would say that none of those genres were the next big thing in EDM. That being said, in the more underground genres of EDM that you mentioned, I think the cool thing now is to not actually be of a certain genre. Play a little bit of everything. (Jon is saying “You have a whole artists space coming up”). When you think about an artist like Excision, you go to his show and he will play like 20 minutes of dubstep. The rest of it is electro house, drum n bass, drumstep, and 110. People play all over the place. It’s cool because artists sounds can come across in multiple genres not just one at one BPM, that’s boring. My prediction is that people will be more free and open with what they do. We will see Drum and Bass come back a little bit and the harder-edge electro House is due for a comeback as well.
TH: You guys have an electro house side project right? Hot Pink Delorean?
Chris: I wouldn’t say have, I’d say had. At this point there are no plans for Hot Pink Delorean, we are tied up with Terravita releases and touring and are booked through 2015. Not saying they will never come back, we just had to choose what group to focus on and we didn’t like the way some of the electro was going creatively. We didn’t want to swim upstream.
TH: How do you work together when you all can’t be together in every studio session?
Chris: Matt is the main production engineer and Jon does the vocals. We get together when we can and bend stuff around when we have too. Lately we have decided to stop touring by airplane and are doing it by ground, which allows us to all be together. It’s allowing us to do a whole new show. We’re not Djing these shows, we doing little samplers and playing from remix decks. It’s new and a little crazy but allows us to play through a lot more tracks. Right now we are playing through somewhere around 90 tracks in an hour and a half. We are also playing parts of some of those live. It allows us to do that and be together on the road while we are making music.
TH: How do you prepare for your live tours?
Chris: We get together and come up with a set. We try to incorporate what songs go where and practice. We try to incorporate music from other genres including Jimmy Hendrix etc., all different kinds.
“Never write something like “I’m a 16 year old whatever producer from wherever. This is my first song. Can you listen to it?” Don’t bother if you’re 16, wait six years and send it to me when you’re really awesome.”
TH: What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about being on the road?
Chris: Favorite thing – Getting to play our music in front of our fans.
Least Favorite – Driving and flying and being away from home.
It’s a pretty sweet two or three hours a night when you are playing. But when you are sitting in Holton, Kansas at a Days Inn which is the next hotel in 45 miles in both directions and all there is to eat is whatever is at the truck stop, that’s our least favorite thing about touring.
TH: If you had to give up music, what would be your go to occupation?
Chris: I have a degree in Entrepreneurship, so it would be something business related. I would probably end up somewhere in the music industry behind a desk instead of in front of the crowd. Jon would probably end up opening a restaurant or a bar. He was in the food industry for a while. I have no clue what Matt would do.
TH: We have been seeing a lot of DJ and Producer schools popping up everywhere. What is your advice for up and coming performers?
Chris: Learn how to make music and learn from as many reliable sources as possible. Never send out your music until it’s done and it’s as good as the artists that you look up to. If it’s not, then it’s going to get one listen and people are going to label you in their minds as someone they don’t need to listen too. It’s hard to shake that label. Try to find the proper channels to get people your music instead of spamming their Facebook or sending them a message on Soundcloud. The people that are worth sending your music to get so much of other peoples music that they just won’t even listen to it. You have to get it in the right hands of the right people in the right way. Make sure it’s done before you give it to them. Never write something like “I’m a 16 year old whatever producer from wherever. This is my first song. Can you listen to it?” Don’t bother if you’re 16, wait six years and send it to me when you’re really awesome. There’s no rush and everyone needs to realize that. Collect as much info as possible before even bothering to move ahead.
TH: You were the headliner for Mojostock last year. Can you share the most memorable thing about that show?
Chris: Definitely the crowd, everyone reacted to every track. We had never been there before so we didn’t know what to expect. It was great to see a nice family vibe and the promoters were professional. Sound was good and stage looked nice. We had a great time, the whole thing was great. We had a choice to stick around after we played and we chose to stay for like the whole night. You know the headliner of the festival likes it if they are kicking it by the campfire 10 beers deep by the end of the night.
TH: What super power would you have if you could only have it for 24 hours?
Chris: The ability to give myself more super powers.
Jon: Teleportation, I would be loaded. I would rob every single bank in 24 hours.
TH: What does Terrivita have in store for us in 2014?
Chris: We’ve got Rituals coming out. We are working with the metal band Born of Osiris, which should be after that. We have some collaborations with Datsik, Bassnectar, La Castlevania, Figure, J. Rabbit, Getter, and the Firepower people. We have so many of our own projects going on, it makes it hard to sit down with people, especially when you start working with something like a metal band. Going forward we are trying to take the act a little more live by the later part of 2014, adding guitars and keyboards.
TH: What can we expect February 1st here in Indy?
Chris: My birthday is February 2nd and I will probably get really drunk, so there’s that. It should be really good for Robot Pirate Monkey who is opening for us. You should expect them to really vibe it out. We are going to do our thing with our samplers. You will hear some stuff off of Rituals, you’ll hear that Datsikcollab, and a bunch of our new stuff. We are making music as we go, so you might be in store for things we haven’t played out before. We are looking forward to getting back there.
We’ll there you have it. I hope to see all of you this Saturday night. I am really eager to check out Robot Pirate Monkey and see Terravita perform in their new style. Check out some tracks from both groups below.
Tickets are available here —–> TICKETS!
You can also get tickets from IndyMojo at this week’s Altered Thurzday for only $15
This edition of Collective Sessions was the winning mix from Indymojo’s Mojostock Mixtape Competition, which was blind judged from a field of 30+ mixes. Congrats goes out to Dallas based producer and DJ, Ecco! Enjoy the mix!
1. Sharam Jey, Kolombo – Big Deal! (Original Mix)
2. Kohra – Pyramids (Vitor Munhoz Remix)
3. Sharam Jey & DJ Tapesh – Over Me (Original Mix)
4. Chicken Lips – He not in (Eats Everything Chicken Tits Remix)
5. DJ Anna – Keep Going (Original Mix)
6. Phunk Investigation & Schuhmacher – Critical (Siwell Remix)
7. Groovebox – Brooklyn (Original Mix)
8. Crazibiza – Coco Loco
9. Jay Lumen – Beat Drops (Take Me To The Garage)
10. Mumbai Science – Impact
11. Koen Groeneveld – Ditsjz (Original Club Mix)
12. Zedd – Dovregubben (Original Mix)
13. Bassjackers – Mush, Mush (Original Mix)
14. GTA – Booty Bounce (Original Mix)
15. Digital Manges – Manges (Sharkslayer Dub)
16. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike – Wakanda (Extended)
17. W&W & Ummet Ozcan – The Code (Original Mix)
18. Jon Kong – Hidden Dragon (Original Mix)
19. Dirty Harris – Toucan (Original Mix)
20. Zedd – Clarity Feat. Foxes (Funkagenda Remix)
21. The Aston Shuffle vs. Tommy Trash – Sunrise (Won’t Get Lost) (Tommy Trash Version)
Artwork by Nicholas Love Visuals
Electronic Dance Music, more frequently referred to as EDM, is the rising genre of music taking popular culture by storm. But it’s not all about glow sticks, rainbow colored tu-tus and the proverbial best friend “molly.” Many people see their favorite DJ and make assumptions about how music is made, lives are lived and the character of people, and we are here to break the mold.
As I sit down with Indy’s own Adam Langolf of the DJ/Producer group Magnetic we dive deep into Adams past and current living situation. Come take a read as we discuss how a 33 year old DJ/producer balances raising four kids, a marriage and his aspirations of being a career musician. How he auditioned for a spot with Signal Path, opinions on the EDM scene and ultimately how it has all influenced the growth he’s seen as an individual, and as a musician, over the last 5 years of his life.
CL: To start things off, how did you first get into DJing and the EDM scene?
Adam: I started DJing in 1999, I was in bands in high school and I played bass guitar, my brother was into 80’s rock, and he was a big influence on me, and I also had some big influences through high school bands where I was like ‘I don’t wanna do this anymore, I wanna be a DJ because this is easy and I can do this by myself.’ So I got into the rave scene around ’99, played in Pittsburg and Chicago, just by myself. A young kid just booking shows at shitty raves.
CL: So then how did you, as Magnetic get started in terms of a first gig and bringing you to where you are now?
Adam: This is a really cool story, I went to Bonnaroo in 2005 and I wanted to do more with the band I was in but the band was kind of on its way out. So I had just gotten this iMac with garage band and so I put together some cheaply produced EDM tunes and made a CD and gave it to the band Signal Path. And they called me back and said they just lost their bass player, they could tell I was good at arranging and was a decent bass player. So they invited me out to try out for the band. They had two other people auditioning and they didn’t actually pick any of us. But a little after that they went on a little hiatus and that’s when Ryan Burnett went out on tour with Pnuma Trio and I actually got to open for them in Louisville and my name at the time was Metamora. I was just getting really started with Ableton and I did it for a little bit but I decided to take break and get a little more professional with what I was doing. So when I came back on I changed it to magnetic.
CL: So what is “magnetic” to you?
Adam: Attracting people through putting out positive energy and putting a lot of time into bringing really good music to peoples’ ears. And it draws most people in because its an experience they’ve never had before and honestly in the late 90s there was a lot of trance and progressive artists that were saying things like ‘were gonna take you on a journey’ and that stuff played out, but I really do take people on a journey with my sets, you’re not going to get your average DJ set with me. You are going to get a set with a lot of variety.
CL: Is magnetic a name that is conducive of your style in terms of drawing people in?
Adam: Not only do I think it is, but I think that I have evolved to be that way personality wise. So its like you say you’re going to be magnetic, well you need to work on your attitude and how you approach people, and treat people and it’s a constant thing. That whole persona pushes me to bring people in every way possible by being a good person and by playing good music. It’s the whole deal, it’s not just about music.
CL: Were you always more inclined to be the role of a DJ, or a producer?
Adam: Honestly I was always into instruments more than anything, I’m a bass player by trade, I’ve been playing bass for 16 years, and I really enjoy doing that. But when you do electronic, jamtronic projects, to play bass guitar and play the electronics, you have to have a drummer. And I don’t have a drummer, so I have to manage the beats all night long so therefore I cant play the bass otherwise its just a gimmick because the bass cant just slip in easily. So, I’ve chosen to do a lot of the bass lines, samples and synth, that way I can keep the mothership rolling tight.
CL: EDM music is becoming a very major scene, it is rising to become the dominating music genre, how do you see yourself as a prominent regional act in the EDM scene influencing the culture of Indianapolis?
Adam: Magnetic shows evolve into a huge energy-building party that provide an unpredictable experience for everyone involved. This includes myself and whatever musicians I may have dragged along for the ride. We’re taking chances and the sets are never planned ahead so I think that margin of error lends to the excitement. Live instrumental interaction always keeps things interesting too. The desired result is a packed dance floor of people getting silly, breaking it down and letting go of all the bullshit in life. As far as local influence, I first performed in Indianapolis spinning vinyl at some raves about 14 years ago. I met a lot of people in this area still into the local electronic scene that way. Then I played Bass with Interphase for about 4 years in various bars in Indy and throughout the midwest. Some of our influences were Phish, STS9, MMW and lots of music coming from Warp and Ninja Tune. I was starting to listen to a lot of electronic music. We had a cool sound and played a number of different venues in Indianapolis (The patio, Radio Radio, The Mousetrap, Birdy’s, MMS). Through that band I met a lot of people involved in the music scene in Indy and have been fortunate to have a lot of grassroots support.
CL: What inspires you onstage?
Adam: The things that inspire me are the sounds I play in my studio to make tracks. Honestly I have had enough people influence me where I know what I want to do with music, and now I’m more inspired by hikes in the woods with my kids, keyboard sounds or synthesizer sounds after I hit a bong, these are the things that inspire me. I’m not really sitting down listening to artists anymore and thinking I want to sound like them, that was me 5 years ago.
CL: How do you feel that drugs have influenced A) you as a musician, as an individual, and even more so, B) how do you feel about drugs in the scene, as a culture?
Adam: Well I think drugs are absolutely necessary right now. Because we have so many factors trying to constrain our minds, and keep us like zoned in little sheep. So its not that drugs are necessary for every person, but its like, as a whole you have extremes, and you need those because if everybody is centrist, then you don’t have those that express themselves. It does get out of hand sometimes, but at the same point that’s to the individual. They have definitely helped me, I’ve done every psychedelic I could get my hands on, and I feel like I’ve learned from it.
CL: Do you specifically choose frequencies to tune into on stage and thus play to for the crowd?
Adam: Well I consider myself an intuitive person and it’s the quality that I use the most when I interface with everybody in this world. Using my intuition translates into how I play live so when we walk on stage and I’m playing along side all these other artists I pretty much don’t know what I’m going to play when I first start. A lot of DJs have it planned out, but I have a lot of tunes to pick from so I just walk up to the stage and I feel out the vibe and I think about the last music they were just listening to and I think how can I change that?
CL: So would you say that when deciding how to start a set that you let it just come to you as you walk onto the stage based on the vibe the previous artists set the crowd to?
Adam: Well for me its kind of like you have all these options like a choose your own adventure book, and its fun because you don’t give yourself 8 million options, but 5 or 6, and each time I play a track I’m looking at the crowd and I’m thinking I could do this, that, or something else while thinking, ‘where is this going to take you?’ its like a game of chess where you plan 4 or 5 moves ahead. So no I don’t go up with a planned set, but I have practiced a lot of these tracks at my home and I know where each one can go.
CL: What is your biggest pet peeve about EDM today?
Adam: My biggest thing as a DJ and producer is that I cannot stand going to DJ shows and hearing a DJ spin one sub-genre of EDM for an hour or longer. If I go to your set as a DJ, its 2013, we have lots of technology, you have plenty of ability to meld and change the things you are doing and really create something new and different but so many people in the EDM scene, especially DJs, stick very strongly to specific styles, but if you’re a fan of music and are a DJ, a DJ is a purveyor of a variety of sound.
CL: What is your opinion on DJs or producers that have to plan the entire show days in advance because everything has to be synced with the lighting design? How do you feel about this?
Adam: I would never do that, ever. I would rather have a Phish style lighting designer reacting to my every move. I’m way more into lights than LEDs and the way the EDM scene does their visuals is not the direction I want to go. I want to go in the direction of what jam bands do, I like intelligent lighting.
CL: Taking things in a different direction, tell me how you find yourself capable of being a father of 4, a husband and a full time music producer all at the same time? How do you master that lifestyle?
Adam: My wife and I have alternated between who was the person in the family that held down the 40 hour a week job and who was the person that watched the kids. In this society a lot of people need a lot more money then we’ve needed, and we have coexisted on one income pretty much for ten years. We’d rather have a small amount of money and have the kids grow up with one of their parents in the house for all their life. So she has kind of gone the office route and my music has definitely, for the first time in about 5 years, been on the right path for me being able to do what I need to do to make this professional. By October I will be making the same as if I was working 40 hours a week with my resume, but by doing 8 shows a month. So its been a transition of where I used to make nothing and my parents and my wife and the people around me trusted me but were saying, “when will it get to the point where you can make it a profession,” and after the last 5 years, its here.
CL: Do you feel that being a DJ/producer is a career occupation for you? Is this your life or is this just one chapter in your Journey?
Adam: Well I’ve already written whole folk album that I don’t plan to release till I’m about 45, and I wrote that when I was 25. And I have multiple other aspects planned for my career.
CL: Have you met or talked to with any other DJs or producers your age that are doing the same journey with multiple kids and a marriage, balancing the home life with music?
Adam: There’s no one. I know a lot of people, I’m friends with many producers much bigger than myself, and I know people that have kids that are in the business and/or make music like I do and have one or 2 kids. But me and my wife have four, and I don’t know anyone in my scene with 4 kids that is in this hard-nosed business, trying to stay on the up-and-up and trying to push themselves, but my kids love it and I love it. I feel that the energy I’ve gained and learned from it taking this much time, is what transfers to the music I have.
CL: What kind of music do you try to expose your kids to?
Adam: I expose them to basically all varieties of music. My children are very intelligent, we listen to J.D. Crowe & The New South, we listen to Michael Franti, Jack Johnson, Phish and Herbie Hancock. I may even take steps to play them more variety than I feel like listening to so my kids can grow up with the knowledge to make their own musical choices. A little side-note and an interesting story, I was a waiter once and I waited on this old lady with kids and one of the kids asked ‘what dressing do I like?’ and the grandma said ‘you like ranch because it’s the best.’ I went home and said to Lindsey ‘lets never tell our kids what’s the best’ simply because I like to provide my kids with options. Hell, I could be making a beat or a track and I could think its pretty cool and one of my kids could come in and just be kinda meh about it, or there are days when they could come in and be breaking it down.
CL: So on that note do your kids influence the tracks you go with versus tracks you disregard and don’t work with?
Adam: Yes, definitely when I see a 1 year old, a 4 year old, a 12 year old getting down to my music, that means more to me then somebody whose spun out. Because that’s the future and they don’t sugar coat it, they only get down to what they like.
CL: How do you feel about raising kids in this scene, especially when you see parents that could quite literally live on the scene and raise their kids in it?
Adam: So my children get really good grades, they are very positively motivated people who have their own things they are interested in and they have their own hopes and dreams. I do not guide the dreams I just give subtle influences. I will take them to occasional shows, but I definitely feel there are appropriate environments for my kids, and I could have my kids at this festival, but the party level is a little higher then I usually like to bring them to.
CL: Do you feel that’s an element of the EDM aspect of this festival, so if it was more jam centered would you be more comfortable bringing them around?
Adam: Yeah honestly I totally would. And I also think that’s paradoxical because I play EDM music, but the EDM music I play I feel it’s a little different, and its for everybody, but I don’t feel the average EDM set is for everybody. But at the same time I saw a little kid getting down to hard-hitting trap music with his dad and it was a positive experience, there were no curse words but it was heavy stuff.
CL: As you’ve grown as a musician, have you seen yourself learning more about classical structures within musical genres and incorporating that into your style?
Adam: It was the opposite; I was very studious and learned my keys and theory on the bass guitar when I was younger so my theory was pretty decent. And I got to a point where I kind of let that go and started using my ear. And being in a jam band before where it was improvised all the time I got used to just using my ear and I realized that that was when I was really having fun, I don’t really have fun playing music unless I’m flying by the seat of my pants. If I don’t have something going on that can cause a massive amount of chaos and its too controlled there’s no element of fun in there. It has to be like one big Mac truck that’s on a wet road but it just makes it way home and everybody is happy.
CL: And lastly, what would you say is your favorite thing, or element about music?
Adam: I think my favorite element in music is that thing that’s kind of like a surprise, but its still comforting at the same time. That’s my favorite element of music, my other favorite is something that just touches your soul. Life is like a thrift store, it’s the thrill of the score and you want changes.
Be sure to check out Magnetic online at: https://www.facebook.com/magneticsound
While many of us attend festivals regularly, not all of us get the chance to sit down, have a drink and just kick it over casual conversation with the bands we pay to see. As a writer I feel that if I have the chance to make that connection for an audience then I should take it, which is exactly what I did at this years Mojostock, held annually at the Sleepybear Campground in Noblesville, IN.
Mojostock provided a nice dark, dank and cool “green room” in the back of an old barn that enabled talent and media to get out of the sun, relax and chat. I took this chance to sit down with the Max Allen Band comprised of Dace Robie (Bass), Max Allen (Guitar, vocals) and Shaan France (Drums, vocals) and ask some raw questions that sometimes people just forget to ask. I invite you to take a look as we discuss their rise in the scene, the future of the band, the influence of EDM music and drug use in the local music community.
CL: As kids how did you first get into music?
Dace: As a kid I started playing saxophone in the school band, and later on I picked up the bass. Then I went to butler for 4 years, studied composition there, played bass in the orchestra and the jazz band there, and was pretty much a school kid.
Shaan: Same thing for me, I played percussion in the middle school band and in high school. I went to college, got a music education degree with an emphasis in percussion. Played in jazz bands, and the drum set has just always been there.
Max: I know it sounds weird to say it but I’ve been playing guitar for 21 years.
CL: And how old are you?
Max: 29, and I have just been playing on the scene for 14 years and it has been my only job since 15. It’s just been a constant, every day just DO SOMETHING, that’s something my father would always tell me, just do something every day. This is some advice I could give any musician trying to make it, which is just do something. Every day do something to try to help benefit your career. Whether it be small or large.
CL: So how did you get started being a touring Midwest band?
Max: I started playing the bar seen about age 15-16 and did a lot of blues stuff. I played a lot, had the whole child prodigy thing going, which helped getting a lot of gigs and press. This helped me get a name for myself, after which I kind of changed and started listening to the jam scene like the Funky Meters, John Scofield, Phish and we started changing the whole band. We picked up Dace about 4 years ago, but Shaan and I have been playing together for about 7 years.
CL: In terms of marketing, have you stayed primarily grassroots, or have you utilized the rise of digital marketing as it has grown around you in the years that you have risen as a recognized band?
Dace: Social media is a means to an end, but it is not THE end, because there is a lot of noise on the Internet. And when everybody is blowing your shit up on Twitter or Facebook, especially about coming to your show you kind of become numb to it all. It is still about what people listen to, what their friends listen too.
Shaan: In the same sense though we still challenge any big band out there, that’s our thing. Yeah this band has that; that band has this; but give us a shot, we will impress you.
Max: We’ve been told we have the sound of a bigger band. For a three piece band we have a BIG sound.
CL: Being a smaller band that’s been around for some time, do peoples perception of you as being small effect how much you get paid in comparison to a larger band that hasn’t been around as long?
Max: sometimes venues are more compassionate towards bigger bands, because it costs more with all those people out on the road. But we can take some lower paying shows that are more for publicity and it doesn’t hurt as hard. Really it’s a numbers game and you get paid more if you bring more people, and it’s just a matter of building your fan base as big as possible.
CL: So Dace and Shaan, you both said you had classical training where as Max it seems like you were already on the scene so to say, were you going to any of these small music festivals or “hippie gatherings” or did you just stumble upon it?
Shaan: I was, I’m a little bit older and I’m not gonna give out my age, but I started doing festivals a long time ago, and drum set was just something that was always there. For me and for what I grew up doing, being an orchestral percussionist, drum set was always there. So when I moved here in 1998 I didn’t know anybody and I was looking for a way to play jazz vibes but everybody was saying they needed a drum set so I started picking that up. Really you just have to sell yourselves. We’re musicians; we’re prostitutes; you just gotta get out there and sell yourself. You have to be your own salesman. You’re the employer, the employee. You gotta push your own self.
Dace: When I started playing bass I wanted to play in a rock band. When I went to college I wanted to write orchestral pieces. By the time I got out of college I was playing in a rock band, so I came full circle.
Max: I did a lot of training with random instructors, and the one instructor I took most of my instructions from was a professor from Butler. I studied classical guitar for 4 years or so and just being in the field playing shows. I’ve been conditioned to get paid with money, food and booze.
CL: Being classical musicians, musicians of rock bands, how do you see electronic music taking over or influencing the scene?
Dace: Everything coexists now. We’ve talked to some booking agents that say rock bands are in limbo, nobody wants to book rock bands. It’s all EDM or its bluegrass. Its like people either want all computers, or they want absolutely nothing to do with computers. I think things never take over completely and things never go away completely its just all a big conversation. I see that computers are going to be more common, it’s going to become an important scene and its good to see Indianapolis catching up with a lot of music scenes. But really it’s all about finding your right demographic, obviously it wont appeal to every band.
Max: I’d like to say that where we’re going with the whole EDM thing, we’re a hybrid, we’re not afraid to use it. And some musicians are very traditional and completely turn their noses up to any sort of electronic or any backing tracks. I think if it makes the song or makes the performance more entertaining, if it fills up the space, I don’t see why you shouldn’t use it. You are only shorting yourself. You want to stay with the times, but you also want to stay true to yourself.
CL: As a band, how do you see yourselves evolving? Do you see yourself changing from where you were a year ago?
Max: Oh yeah, were completely different then where we were a year ago. There were some people that hadn’t seen us in over a year until last week, and they were just completely blown away. They could see all the work we’ve done, and it’s great because we all come from different backgrounds. We’re not afraid to go outside of our comfort zone to find something that sounds good. Regardless of what it is, there is somebody out there that gets in their car on the way to work and it just fucking pumps them up for the day, and it can just totally make their day. So we try to be as best of observers as possible and use it to our advantage.
CL: What is the 6-12 month plan, or direction that you see for the band?
Max: We’ve been talking to some agencies about getting us down south more. Colorado is always on it, and monetarily if makes sense to go out west we will.
Shaan: We actually had an offer to play a gig today down in Chattanooga, that we got today from the guy that is trying to get us down south more. We are definitely trying to pursue that different direction, as many people say that the Midwest is EDM, down south its still a lot of good rock and roll type shit.
Max: Down in Georgia, that whole region, it’s where our bread and butter is.
Shaan: That is where we are trying to get ourselves down this fall and winter, get ourselves a little more established down there.
CL: What do you feel is the importance of music festivals?
Max: That’s an easy question, to play our music for a crowd that might not normally see us. You get a festival like this where people are coming from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, they are coming to a gathering place. What also helps is with a lot of these music festivals is there are a lot of people that are somewhat like-minded, listen to the same sort of things and have the same mindset.
CL: You come to a music festival, and the idea is the music puts out a vibrational energy that connects and puts everybody in attendance on the same plane in a sense, do you intentionally go out there achieve a goal like this?
Max: This is my spirituality, playing music, and I don’t have anything else that compares to it.
Dace: I definitely think we drive the vibe, and even if we are aren’t talking, the vibe we are putting out is underscoring the conversation. I don’t really think of it as cosmic, but I do think there is a unifying aspect to it all.
CL: Do you see yourselves “vibing” off the crowd as you play?
Max: Fuck yeah
Shaan: Absolutely, I feel that my job as a drummer is that if I’m not making that person shake their ass, then I’m not doing my job. If I cant make anybody shake their ass then I need to think about what I’m doin’.
CL: Do you find yourself wanting to play festivals more than bars?
Max: Oh yeah if I could stop playing bars and just play all festivals, or festivals and theaters, but its hard to do.
Shaan: Sometimes its hard to get into a festival, a lot of times it’s about who you know, not which kind of a band you are in or how talented you are. It’s politics.
Dace: It’s funny about the music industry, because it’s art, and art is so subjective, with music who is going to say this band is better then that band? Musicians want to hire their friends, promoters what to hire their friends, they want their friends to do well in the music industry.
Max: Don’t think it’s NOT a competition because it is. You are competing for the audience, for the crowd, for fans.
CL: There appears to always be a separation from stage and crowd and not many people actually get to hang out with the bands they see and make assumptions or judgments, what are your opinions about drug use, drug use in the scene and even the use of drugs like marijuana, mushrooms or LSD for medial or therapeutic purposes?
Max: F-I-F, I plead the F-I-F
Shaan: I have to concur with my colleagues and plead the fifth. However I will say this, a person can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t mess with me or hurts anybody around me. If people are responsible enough to handle their shit, let them do whatever the hell they want to. I’m not saying I condone it, or that I do it, but if everybody can be happy and live together and nobody is getting hurt then whatever. But I will definitely say I plead the fifth.
Max: I have seen a lot of benefits that marijuana has done to the lives of people, medically, spiritually, mentally and I think as we grow older and as time goes on, the old ways of thinking are going to die out and the new ways are going to come in. I will say be safe and be smart, there are safe drugs and there are dumb drugs, but moderation is key.
CL: What advice would you give to the next up-and-coming regional band that is trying to make music their life?
Dace: Quit now and come to our gigs.
Max: Ya get a real job, something that pays. No but really though, find a team, this shit takes a team of people to make it happen. Indymojo has a team, a team of people all working for the same thing and that’s how a band should be. It shouldn’t just be the band working for the dream, it should be a well thought out plan, practice and make yours hit as good as possible. Practice your instrument, practice your instrument practice your fucking instrument. Go meet as many people as you can and spread the gospel, because it is a religion. Thank you.
The local music scene in Indiana has seen its fair share of great musical acts rise up and make a name out of themselves, allowing many to fulfill their dreams of being professional, touring musicians. This has been a factor of a great community, an availability of shows to play and outright talent. New comers to the Indy scene, Funky Junk, have all of it and more, bringing a precisely developed sound to local bars and festivals. Primarily, you can catch them at this years Mojostock running July 26th-28th at Sleepybear campground in Noblesville, IN.
Comprised of Jake Dugan (electric guitar), Andrew Trefny (electric guitar), Troy Wingert (bass) and Chandler Pickard (drums), this 4-piece jam band has steadily risen within the Indy music scene in a little over a year. Heavily influenced by musicians such as Phish, The Grateful Dead and The Talking Heads just to name a few, they have a bass slapping, wildly controlled guitar jamming sound that infectiously makes every passer-by hop into a lil dance groove. With weekly and monthly gigs currently booked around Indy, as well as a slew of regional festivals, they are confidently making a name for themselves.
Funky Junk recently played a show this winter with well-known regional artists The New Old Cavalry and Glostik Willy. In a test to their marketing prowess, these bands drew in over 500 people to the show, with as little as a weeks worth of notice to promote. They will be returning to do this again this November where it would not be unrealistic to expect numbers to double.
In the midst of developing and releasing their first EP, Funky Junk has developed a very strong catalog of original music filled with playful, yet inspiring lyrics. From the song “Slopness Monster”, Troy Wingert sings, “All of my friends, what would I do without, always so rowdy, screaming the hoot and shout, Please forgive us for our evil ways, from sunrise to tour, gotta keep us going for days.” In “Slopness”, Wingert develops a heavy bass line that makes your hips move in sync as his fingers slide up and down the bass. Another original, “Break”, is a feel-good jam with Andrew Trefny on vocals and Jake Dugan on lead Guitar that hits all of us hard working young-adults with lyrics like, “Sit down, be easy on yourself, don’t let this job stress you out, we all seem to need ourselves a break, lets go somewhere easy and grab ourselves a drink.”
Funky Junk will be helping open up Saturday afternoon of Mojostock at noon on the Barn Stage. More info on Funky Junk can be found via their Facebook page; stream music on Sound Cloud. Tickets to Mojostock can be purchased online here, as well as at the door until there are no more.
Hailing from the Mushroom Kingdom (Bloomington, IN), Shy Guy Says will drop bob-ombs of bass in your face this Saturday night at Mojostock. Mixing elements of hip hop with glitchy electronica, Shy Guy identifies with down-tempo house, drumstep, and ghettotech in addition to the broad “glitch hop” classification.
Shy Guy was recently in town to open for Denver-based glitch-hop producer Samples where I had the pleasure of chatting it up with the man behind the mask, Jarrod Linne. An Indiana University graduate, Linne says he earned his degree in telecommunications and ultimately stuck around in Bloomington to pay off student debt. Read on as we talk about life in a college town, small festivals vs. large festivals, and Mojostock memories.
MOJO: Bloomington isn’t that bad of a place to be stuck though.
SG: It’s really not honestly. I love it. Everybody always asks when I’m going to move. I’m not really sure if I’m going to, especially now that things are picking up in Indiana with the local music scene.
MOJO: Do you feel like the tomfooleries you’ve witnessed in Bloomington inspire you to create stories within your music?
SG: Sometimes. You see crazy things in Bloomington that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. It can inspire you to go home and play music or pump you up to go play a really crazy show somewhere.
MOJO: What’s your favorite venue to play between Bloomington and Indy?
SG: I love the Bluebird when I’m in Bloomington because of the history of that place. So many great musicians have been on that stage and you feel the energy when you step on there. I wish there were more opportunities to play there, honestly. When I’m in Indy the Mousetrap is always home base but I love playing the Vogue because people are really appreciative there. The lights, the sounds, and the size of that place are just awesome.
MOJO: What about your dream venue?
SG: Honestly, at this point it is just to be on a major festival lineup. I just want to play at Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza- not even as the top ten bands of the lineup, I just want to be a part of it. Seeing Daft Punk at Lollapalooza got me into the whole electronic music scene. It was a mind-blowing, eye-opening, life-changing experience and it made me dream that one day I get to be back there doing just that. I want to be on stage in the middle of a field in my element. I just want to see the crowd dance and lose their shit and not give a fuck. I want to be a part of that.
MOJO: Well, you’re definitely a step closer with Mojostock!
SG: Yeah! You know, lately I’ve really just been about smaller festivals. I’m incredibly excited about Hyperion and Mojostock because the crowd is more intimate and it seems like the crowd is definitely more appreciative and there for the musicality of it all and not just the scene.
MOJO: Do you have any funny memories of Mojostock 2012?
SG: I didn’t actually witness it but the craziest story I heard was that somebody had found JK asleep in a mud puddle somewhere. Like he went super hard one day and just decided “I’m done…I’m going to sleep in this mud now.”
MOJO: What are you looking forward to this year?
SG: Aside from being back in the tent and performing, Mochipet. I’m a big Mochipet fan. I like his whole appeal to where he’s down to earth enough to wear a purple dinosaur suit on stage. I’m really into his musical style too, so I’m interested in seeing how he’s going to execute everything. I’m just excited to be in a field surrounded by hundreds of people that I know and love. I’m looking forward to seeing who has a baby nine months down the road after the weekend of Mojostock because it seems like that’s where all the babies are made, I guess. (laughs)
From Bloomington to Indy, Indy Mojo brings you Shy Guy Says this Saturday night at Mojostock. Get ready to get glitched under his spell, as he turns the tent inside out to bring you on a journey through the Mushroom Kingdom! Also, I heard it’s going to be the tent where all the babies are made.
Stream Shy Guy Says’ exclusive Mojo Radio Hometown Hype mix below to get an idea of what he has in store for Mojostock and make sure to make your way to the EDM tent at 10 pm sharp.
One last thing: always be on the lookout for flying bob-ombs at a Shy Guy set!