A few months ago I was invited to be part of a show at a smaller local venue. The night was to be filled with performances of various styles of electronic music from dubstep to acid to glitch to house. The show had been organized by people I consider family in the local music scene, but I have to say certain aspects severely lacked in organization. I had been told I would go on late that night, my style not being the easiest fit in a lineup meant for booty-shakin’. I would end up going on second, since the organizers were nowhere to be seen and none of the other acts (many of which had traveled from Indianapolis) wanted to play so early and for such an initially small crowd. The opener that night had thrown down a killer set of all-original electronic dance music. Pumping flawlessly for nearly an hour. I would have felt worse about the lack of ears and feet on the dance floor had I not grown accustom to this site. The opener rarely gets the love they deserve. Nevertheless, those that were on the floor were moving and he was professional and gracious to those few in attendance early that night. He was content to make any number of people move.
The noble gentleman sacrificing a wonderful set to the Dance Gods was none other than our good friend Adrian Fish. I would go on after him with my brand of daft-tapped, ill-rendered sample slicing and commence to clear the dance floor of all those that had been, save a few brave souls. After the dust had settled I approached Adrian with a proposition to perform at one of our upcoming Speed of Sound shows to which he agreed. As with all our prior shows, we make a point to pin down our performers and ask them to give us an idea of what drives them to do what they do.
Continuing in our now extensive series of interviews with local electronic artists, we hear from Adrian Fish. He blessed us with a wonderful set at our second Rhinos edition of the Speed of Sound showcase last April and has been a consistent supporter of our efforts here at BloomingtonElectronic.com.
BE: Where are you from? When/how were you introduced to electronic music.
AF: I was born here, raised in California. Been back here in Bloomington for the last 14 years, it’s my home base, I love it and plan on raising my family here for sure.
I started on music in general while living in the woods as a teenager and having nothing much else to do except playing songs as an imaginary radio DJ all day, Electronic Music was just a natural direction for me, groups like Orbital, Prodigy and Nine Inch Nails were crucial for my musical development, they opened the doors to the world of EDM, etc.
BE: Why use your real name? Why not some fanciful moniker?
AF: I’ve used various names before (Waxxhopper/Veil Face Child), but with the music I’m making now I really want to express myself absolutely, no mask or subtle concept, while putting into use all of my influences starting from my childhood.
BE: Your musical style definitely leans towards club/dance music while introducing the more abstract elements of IDM, drum and bass, and the like. What are some of your musical influences? How important is it to you to get the booties shaking on the dance floor?
AF: When playing live it’s extremely important to me to see that dance floor light up and start shaking it’s like a spiritual experience for me. Come to my shows and you will move, I guarantee it. Influences: Everything. I am tremendously influenced by Brazilian and African music and rhythms, Classical, All genres really, but the deep influence is world music and American folk/blues…human suffering/inequality and the expression of that through music and performance that moves me the most.
BE: How long have you been honing this style of yours?
AF: A long time. 12 years. Since I was 14.
BE: I see you use Ableton Live in your performances. Is this your preferred tool for production as well? Do you have any production tips for us upstarts? Workflow? Trade secrets?
AF: Yes. I produce with Live and a variety of synths and Instruments. In my opinion it is THE BEST tool for the individual producer. Tip: Keep your volume lower than you would normally before mastering. I work very fast and over long stretches of time. I am very impatient when producing, maybe sometimes too much so. Remember lower track volumes create louder/thumping masters, seriously.
BE: What are your thoughts on the music scene here in Bloomington? What hopes do you have for the local electronic scene?
AF: I love the amount of talent here, you always meet someone that’s doing some crazy awesome shit here, but the scene doesn’t reflect that amount of talent publicly. My hope is that that will change very soon and people in the tri-state area will start seeing this area as a place of new and eclectic forms of electronic/rock music.
BE: Do you have any projects on the forefront? When can we expect an EP or full-length?
AF: I’m finishing up the full-length album now. Look for it to be released in late June/July.
BE: I know you hang with the Firehazard camp. Are there any other local electronic artists in or around your circle that we should know about?
AF: Check out the album by Minus from Firehazard, Out Now. I’ll give a shout-out to Houston Smith, check his soundcloud, been really diggin’ that recently. Dioxin One, David Benson, lots of local talent out there, check it out.
BE: What are you listening to these days?
AF: Recently, I’ve been into the local guys I mentioned as well as some others, not much time to listen to many others when going through the mastering process of an album. You have to listen to your own tracks over and over ’till perfect…
BE: All-time favorite hard candy?
AF: The strawberry ones with the soft inside… mmmm.
~Interview by Noah Boyer
Creative Commons license – Attribution Share Alike (cc by-sa)