1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
Two way tie: my filter cutoff on my Moog Model D, and the one on the Roland SH101 because they are probably my 2 favorite filters of all time.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
The Lyra 8. It’s absolutely brilliant…but I kind of wish it had more CV control, but I end up using it a lot with my euro rig so absolutely no complaints!
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
I have a smaller skiff case that I like to bring with me sometimes…either that or a newer piece of gear that I want to go deep with and some headphones.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
This is such a great question! Usually stuff that I wish were hardware actually IS hardware, just completely out of reach to me. I love the Arturia Synthi V, and it’s the closest I will probably get to an actual Synthi. Also the Waves Abbey Road Collection…I don’t think I will have access to those plates anytime soon haha. And the other way around…I just got an Overstayer Modular Channel which is incredible on its own as hardware…but being able to automate some of the parameters would be insane.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I have way too many string libraries.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
Definitely my eurorack rig.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
Ableton and a laptop.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
My Roland RE201 Space Echo. I use it on almost every hardware synth I am tracking to some degree. It is easily the most temperamental piece of gear in here, and completely unpredictable, but I love it.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
For a long time I never paid attention to the “external instrument in” on a lot of things like the Lyra and Model D. Now I use those all the time, sending kicks or something through them.
Artist or Band name?
Snakes of Russia
Where are you from?
Born in NYC, raised in NJ, but I have been in LA for 20 years.
How did you get into music?
I’ve always been into music really, I started playing drums at 13 and then into electronic music shortly after when I discovered sampling.
What still drives you to make music?
It’s literally the only thing I can do well.
How do you most often start a new track?
I try to start something new every day…sometimes this will turn into a track..or a sample, preset, or just a fun experiment. I firmly believe there is no such thing as writers block. You just gotta show up. Write every day. 80% of that will be stuff you don’t use, but in that 20% there will be something, even a spark to a bigger idea. And in our world of electronic music, even in the ideas we don’t use…there is a cool patch, sound design element, chord progression or something to pull from so save all of that stuff and revisit it from time to time.
How do you know when a track is finished?
I am a firm believer in both deadlines and proper mastering, and those two work really well together. The day I start a mix, I schedule mastering a week or two out…so it has to be done. Then mix and revise, with usually with a day in between each revision (for perspective) until its feels good. Then I let it go. I learned a long time ago, you have to just walk away at some point…there is always something to tweak and it will drive you insane and you will never finish anything.
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
It’s a ridiculous one…”write drunk, edit sober”…I think it’s been incorrectly associated to Hemingway all these years. The way I interpret it is… just get it all out while it’s happening…then go back and refine it with fresh ears and perspective and fine tune things.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
I’ve just released a 3 song single on Errorgrid called “Carried to California In A Swarm of Bees”. You can stream it or purchase with the link below!
[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw a comment below…]