Thanks to the team 193 Records, Stoner Music got the chance to meet one of the brightest artists of the moment, PhaseOne. A couple of days before a new EP, find out more about the journey and experiences of the Australian.
1. How did you discover Bass Music?
I’ve been playing piano and guitar since I was, like, a baby, and when I was a teenager I played in Rock bands, Metal bands, and then one day I saw lots of people posting UKF videos, like 2011, and I was like, ‘What is this?’, so I decided to check it out, and I saw so many similarities between the genres and I immediately fell in love with the melodies, the heaviness, the loudness, of the Dubstep. That’s kind of how I became introduced to it.
2. And what made you want to produce?
So when I was maybe, like, ten or eleven years old, I’d been taught piano, when I was a kid, and I had this Nintendo emulator on my computer and in one of the settings you could change the different layers of the sound, and there were maybe like 5 layers: sound effects, music… I was so intrigued, I would just play with it. I can’t remember what it was called, it was, like 15 years ago, but yeah, I kept going along that path and I found this Playstation game where you could produce really bad stuff, so I messed around with that for a year or two, but then I started playing in bands; Metal, Rock bands, for 6 or 7 years. But I had a really bad version of Cubase, called Cubasis and that served the purpose for recording demo tracks, so I started doing really shitty stuff with my bands, just recording demo tracks. Then I went to study sound engineering and got Pro Tools and used it for many, many years, and started doing recordings and big sound for my band and other bands, and it wasn’t until I heard Dubstep that I switched, and I tried doing it in Pro Tools; didn’t really work so well, so I made the switch to Ableton .
3. In your tracks we feel the Metal influence. How did you come to associate both genres of Music (Dubstep/Metal)?
A lot of artists come from Metal, but a lot of people in Electro Music switch to Dubstep, there is a kind of Metal side to Dubstep.
Metal’s always had a strong place in my heart, you know, playing guitar since I was a kid, and I had drums. I guess hearing the similarities between the heavy Dubstep stuff and the Metal, I thought it would be a cool idea to try to mix them. I’d heard of a few people do it before, but it was done in kind of a cheesy way, like 80’s Heavy Metal, which works but it’s cheesy, so I thought I’d take a bit more of a modern approach.
4. What is your main source of inspiration in your music? What inspired your music in general, not only Dubstep?
I like originality, and for me, music has to have a lot of variations for me to enjoy it; if it’s the same thing for a few minutes, I get bored. It has to change every 20-30 seconds. To be honest, any sort of music can be really repetitive, like, a lot of Dubstep tracks are really repetitive, so I’m kind of picky. In any sort of genre I like maybe 10%, so things that inspire me are really well composed. There’s a band from the 90s which is basically a project from all these crazy musicians, like John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater. So when I was kind of going through my Metal phase (I went through lots of different phases), there was this band with 15 minute songs; they go through so many different genres, and they really keep it interesting. Same with Dream Theater; they go from calm sections to heavy sections, to Classical and Jazz sections, so that really keeps it interesting, and it’s things like that which inspire me.
I’ve been friends with the guys for years, so I think it’s definitely the right step, and a new direction. I think my sound is more suited to the label. They do a really cool job, and the whole label itself works as a team, and they get shit done, basically. But as a career jump, I think it’s definitely put my name out there in many different ways, but also decent names are playing my tunes, it’s a good move, I think. And I’ve got lots of bookings for this year, so I think I’ve targeted a specific market and I think I’m going to keep honing in on that sort of sound, I guess combining the two worlds of Bass Music and Metal. I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘I didn’t even like electronic music until I heard your songs.’
6. You had some dates lined up with Excision, on his Australia tour, can you tell us more about that ?
Well he did an Australia tour, which I was the supporting act for, but I think for him it was kind of like a holiday. There were only 6 shows; 6 shows in 2 weeks so it was OK. It was short, but I think for them it was kind of like a holiday, because straight from there they went back to the US for Christmas and then straight on to the big Paradox Tour. So I think, for them, it was a good break. He had his brother with him, it was like an entourage, like 8 people travelling around, so I met them all, I became good friends with his girlfriend, it was super chill. He’s a super cool guy, really chill, it was relaxed because it was, like, a family thing. It was just me and Excision for the whole tour, and then a few locals at different shows. It was some of the biggest crowds I’ve ever played to, and I think, especially being in my own country, it really settled my name within that country. I’ve been touring Australia for the last 4 years, and I think that really cemented the beginning of the next step.
I’ve been working a day job for the last 8 years, and only 1 month ago I quit to do music full-time, so I think this year it’s all about new steps to try and make it work.
7. Can you tell us more about Bass Music in Australia? We could see you played an event for under 18 year olds, how was that experience?
Yeah, so as part of the Excision tour there was one under 18 party. It was really fun to play, but you were in your zone, doing your thing, and you’d forget. But then you’d look at the crowd and they had, like, baby faces, and then it comes back to you and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m playing to children right now.’
It was super weird, but younger people have so much energy and they were just like jumping off things, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, someone’s going to die,’ *laughs*. Yeah it was super fun, that was really cool, that was a great experience.
But in Australia there’s a big Bass scene, like really cool parties, like in Perth it’s a really good scene ! Brisbane is amazing as well; Sydney is pretty good. But at the end of the day there are only a handful of markets to play, so if you want to do music as a living, you have to go further. That’s why I quit my job and I go touring in the US, in Europe, that’s the way to do it. But, like, if you ever have the chance to go to Australia and go to the parties, it’s incredible, great events.
8. We have a weird question for you. Do Australians say ‘Nice’, or ‘Noice’?
Haha Noice! I say both. I think it depends on the occasion. Noice!
9. What do you think about Cymatics ?
I did a Cymatics pack because I got asked to do one, so I figured, yeah, whatever. I ended up gaining a fair few followers. They just asked for things that I’d been using, so it was very easy to make, I just had things from the past. It was mostly thing’s I’d use on a daily basis; drums, kicks, effects, a few little extra things, but it was a very basic pack, it wasn’t like anything that crazy, it took me a couple of hours to put it together in a folder , and people like it. And it benefitted me because, you know, the whole Follow-to-Download is a pretty good internet tactic because the people follow you so they can download your songs.
10. So I have one last thing to ask. What is your favourite track out of all of your tracks?
It’d have to be one of the newer ones, or ‘Origins’ maybe, I don’t know. For me it’s kind of like the turning point, like the sound I’d wanted to make for a while, and I’ve finally done it; like half Metal and half Dubstep; the combination of the two genres, that’s what I wanted to do. And since then, I’m writing a new EP, more of that sort of stuff.
11. We have one more question. Do you have a few words for the French people who follow you?
I love France.
For music specifically, like the tour I did, I had 5 shows; 4 are in France. That says a lot about the French people, the culture, the appreciation for Bass Music, that’s pretty cool, you can’t compete. In Europe, obviously you’ve got Animalz, obviously you’ve got Rampage, but in terms of public sort of parties, the French love their heavy stuff, it’s awesome. This is the place I love to come every time I’m in Europe.
You have to cater to the crowds a little bit, like in the US, I would play a little bit more Trap, a bit less heavy. Like, I’d still play a little bit heavy, like my kind of sound, but I’d throw a bit more Trap in.
A big thanks to PhaseOne who we’ll catch up with very soon for his new EP « Dreamscape » on Disciple, as of next week.