TREASON sounds very groovy indeed. What is the story behind it? How did you team up with Alba Rose?
Alba Rose and I met up as a result of our mothers suggesting we do so. Both interested in music, myself coming back to it after years away and running a music blog (now defunct), and Alba part of a college band that was starting to go places. We met up in a café in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand, decided to work together and released a single called “LUCKY” under the moniker ARLS in August 2019. We also recorded a range of other tracks together, of which “TREASON” was one. As ARLS is no longer an ongoing project, I released it under my name as I really wanted to get it out there. It is one of my favourite tracks that we did together. Alba has since gone on to release an EP and a couple of singles, all of which is great work. She also worked in my recording studio for awhile and has sung on many of my tracks from different musical identities.
Where did you draw inspiration from?
We were putting together a track that drew from the early 1990s explosion in acid jazz and also some less noticeable trip hop elements. We also wanted that 1990s production sheen. And we needed to the track to have a bit of drama attached to it. So Alba wrote the lyrics full of angst about gaslighting and betrayal. Its not about anyone in particular, just a bit of angst to work into a dramatic musical vibe.
What first got you into music?
My earliest memories are of going to orchestral performances and standing up to conduct the orchestra from my seat I was so inspired. Bear in mind I was about 4-5 years old. I used to write symphonies in my head which I thought were amazing. They probably weren’t, but the idea of writing music has been with me from an early age.
Favourite album of the past year?
It is probably not what some might expect from me, but I am very impressed by Beyonce’s “Renaissance” album. Innovative, meaningful, and of course she works with the best.
What would you change in the music industry?
Spotify and streaming. And the oligopolistic effects of the concentration of power across the industry. Musicians are not paid enough, and the major record companies are taking too much of a share of industry revenue. I think with the evolution of crypto and decentralisation, I can see this gradually changing. Nothing is forever. I also think AI is a major threat to all the creative businesses but I can’t see what can be done to limit its growth.
In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?
A range of state of minds. I release music under a range of genres…beats, ambient cinematic, and material such as TREASON and my LearningToDive entity which are both definitely retro. Hopefully it is somehow making a positive difference to their day.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I have got into plenty of trouble over the years, but less as I have got older. However from a musical perspective there is one moment in time that still gives me the shivers. It was at a gig back in 1985 (yes I’m that old) with all sorts of important people there, including our record company. We stupidly brought in a friend to do sound. And all the audience got was shrieking feedback. It was awful. That was the end of my band’s relationship with our record company.
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