Interviewed By: Dustin Scoggin
BlackGummy has been having a great year. His latest EP Monolith is impressive! After seeing him twice in the last three months, once at Lights All Night and once on the Austin leg of his current Mesophase tour, I can tell you that if you have an opportunity to catch his tour, you should take it!
With all that being said, we had to get in touch with him and ask him some questions. We wanted to know the inspirations for his industrial, darker sound and gain a little insight on where he came from and what he plans to do to top his success over the last couple of years.
You’re known for producing a darker style of music. Where do you find your inspiration for your sound?
The dark sound is something that comes to me naturally while I’m producing. The decisions I make while designing a sound usually leads me to a dark sound by the time I’m done editing. I guess it’s hard to predict where exactly it comes from. I mean, I wear a lot of black generally, but I’m not sure if that’s the cause or effect of me liking dark, industrial, sound-design-heavy music.
How did you come up with BlackGummy?
I didn’t, the idol and its name found me.
How did the signing with Mau5trap come about?
I first signed with Mau5trap after finishing my song Lullaby. That was the initial song that got their attention which led to all the releases you’ve seen today. It started with just sending them some demos, and Lullaby was the one they really liked. But it wasn’t instant. It took almost 6 months from the first email until they decided to release Lullaby.
Your latest EP is amazing! What was your inspiration behind ‘Monolith’?
Monolith was my third EP, which is the final installment of a three-part arc of themes I wanted to explore. Singularity, the first EP, explored humanity’s relationship with technology; Impactor, the second, was inspired by the Earth’s long and complex relationship with all forms of life (human and otherwise); and I came up with the concept behind Monolith, the third, after thinking a lot about the value that humans place on symbols. In terms of the music, for Monolith I took a slightly more minimal approach, writing the music based off of inspiration I got through visiting different archeological sites.
One specific idea which had a big impact on my writing was the idea of creating an extreme contrast to make something small feel much bigger than it actually is. This technique is used a lot in architecture and can also be applied in music.
The three EPs are key to the BlackGummy narrative. In order to understand the rest of the story and existence of the bear-shaped idol, it’s key to understand that the idol existed throughout different time periods, including the periods explored in each EP (future, past, and present, respectively).
You are a lot more reserved than most artist in the industry. What’s the hardest part about separating your personal and professional life?
I think the hardest part is learning how to balance the two. Also accepting that sometimes certain sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve the unachievable, like devoting so much of my time to being locked away in a studio, and then the remaining time to traveling to shows, often alone. It becomes hardest when people in my life are affected by these sacrifices.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Gessafelstein, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox and Chemical Brothers are some just to name a few. Although the artists I mentioned mostly produce electronic music, I’m open to all forms of art when in search of inspiration.
What would be some of the advice you’d give to new producers trying to break into the industry?
My advice would be to focus on making a lot of music great music and not to rush on releasing the songs as soon as they’re finished. Instead, build your catalog of finished music before showing it to the world. Once you have a catalog of finished unreleased music, it’ll make it a lot easier for new artists to get label support/ management representation and will help with building a world for your fans when you launch. I receive a lot of demo emails and sometimes come across great music but it’s very common for me to find that the artist has already self-released all their songs on SoundCloud and that the one they’re sending me as a demo is the only unreleased song they have. Patience, timing, and persistence are key.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
You can expect lots of big announcements in these next few months and can also expect to see the unveiling of the amazing visuals that have been in the works. Really excited to talk more about those soon.