I started with violin in 2nd grade, then trumpet and piano soon followed. I had zero fun with these instruments. When I was 12, my mom finally bought me a guitar. By the time I was 15 she was driving me to my bar gigs.
Growing up what were your favorite bands, who influenced you the most?
I’ve always loved rock n roll. Hendrix was a big influence. Then bands like Nirvana and Janes Addiction took over and I was hooked on how “new” they sounded. Probably like how Pretty Lights sounds to a 15 year old now. Just mind blowing.
Describe your music in as few words as possibles.
Horizon of Joy.
“Coming up for Air” is a masterpiece. So many amazing tracks that seem to have truly sculpted your sound, is there a an underlying theme or inspiration to the album?
From my perspective that album was about me digging into both beautiful downtempo and aggressive bangers, but showing how I can be at home with both. The funny thing is, my friends like Big Gigantic or Gramatik just call all my stuff “beautiful,” regardless. Haha!
Describe the process of producing an all original D.V.S* tune (i.e. production methods, programs you use, instrumentation, layering)
I have tons of methods and it’s ever evolving. Over the past year I’ve become an endorsed Ableton artist, which is exciting because I’ve been able to rub albows with a lot of world class artists. They are gonna release a video about me on this exact topic.
I think the main thing you’ll always find from me is undeniable melody and groove. Everything else is second to that.
When remixing a track, where do you start, how do you incorporate your own sounds, and what is your favorite part?
I start by chopping up the original samples. To be honest this is the least exciting part for me. Usually when I get to the guitar parts is when I’m the most inspired. Again, every single one is different. For me, an average song takes about a week in the studio, so there are lots of phases. I spent a whole 12 hour day on the bass drops for my Pink Floyd remix.
What do you think of the progression of electronic music in this day and age? How do you plan to impact that?
Great question. I used to be a freelance guitarist, so I’m kinda trained to be able to do anything musically. Somedays I wonder if I should go all out mainstream so that I can impact a larger amount of people, because kids needs strong role models that are still edgy and wild. I can find something positive in almost any edm piece, experimental or mainstream. My impact will most likely be a gradual burn that continues to expand every year, where the music and fanbase gets larger deeper and deeper. At the same time, I could blow up at any moment! That’d be fun!
Talk about your label, Octave Memory Tapes. Do you have any up and comers? Where do you see that going in the future?
Its mainly just for my music when I want to self release. I have a few “disciples” though. Malakai is a producer that goes to NYU and has studied with me since he was in middle school. I may eventfully sign some artists that use live instruments like I do. I’m also gonna start doing some various live D.V.S* groups as well, but new and different. The first one may be based on an album with all folk songwriters that I have on deck.
Your upcoming album “Hit The Clouds Running” will be dropping next week, what can we expect from this release?
10 new tunes written between November and March. Some downtempo, new disco, garage, and “beautiful trap.”
Any Artists Collaborations?
Cherub and Govinda are on a track together. Several other producers and musicians. I think Chantel’s voice is on almost every song in some way. It was actually a goal of like “How can we make this happen without it always sounding like her?”
What were your inspirations?
For this one a combo of some producers like Araabmuzik, and some newer dubstep like Minnesota and Seven Lions. Take those combined with classical melodies and indie rock…maybe even a little Trey in there.
What will it sound like in comparison to your previous releases?
Like I’m getting closer to the center of my true sound/style, like I’m stripping away the layers of an onion.
Have you ever had deep dish Chicago pizza?
This is actually my first time in Chicago so you guys are gonna have to school me!! Crazy I’ve been all over the works but not Chicago!
Don’t Miss D.V.S* with Bass Physics and Kobrakai at the Bottom Lounge on March 30th