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It started out as a secret activity in my bedroom while I was still living at my mom’s house. I was learning how to use DAW’s like Logic and I would spend hours messing around with recording my ideas. I was also learning a tremendous amount of new knowledge while working with Katie on the Austra stuff, we were using ProTools at the time (crazy to think about that!) and I was just completely intimidated yet fascinated by the idea of making music on a computer. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but I was somehow compelled to continue working on understanding how to make music with a computer. Because I’m classically trained the notion of using a computer, a practically inanimate object to make sound, it was completely mind-blowing and exciting. It still excited me today when I make sounds on a computer. I love analogue synthesizers but there are limitless and surprising moments when you use a computer to make music. It’s like making music backwards somehow.
It’s important to note that Princess Century is not an anti-band project. I have really enjoyed working with Katie and Robert on our respective projects and I think I’ve learned incredible things through being in bands, not just in terms of music but also about myself, my life. Princess Century is kind of like the leftovers, the scraps if you will… not to say that they are bad! I mean talk to any butcher and they will tell you that the scraps are the most delicious parts. You know what I mean…I’m just trying to say that Princess Century has no interference with the stuff I do with with Austra or anyone else. I love collaborating and I love working alone as well. It’s just a vibe thing.
I’m happy that you hear a link between each of these projects, because I work very hard on shaping the sounds that I like to hear. I have a go-to list of pre-sets that I’ve carefully crafted over the years.Â I also love my synthesizers and am an eBay addict. I recently moved to Brussels so now my synths are sleeping in my moms basement, but I’ll find a way to make it happen without them. The whole Trust album was made using Logic instruments so…
Yea I thought it would be an elegant way to tie in new listeners to the older material I released, get them to make some kind of connection. It’s also a nerdy title which I think sounds good. Progress was another evolution, and that’s why it’s called Progress I suppose… It’s like I moved onto some other level with my work, and I was also reading a book at the time called A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright which was excellent and inspiring.
The album was some that happened very naturally over the course of a few random days when I was home alone at my apartment. My room mate at the time worked all day so I would get up, have my coffee, my tea, a little routine, and then get working on some ideas. I didn’t have any grandiose plans or a schedule, I just played whatever I felt, which I think is why the album covers so much territory in terms of genres. Sometimes I was in a disco mood, other times in a melancholy nostalgia. The demos were done and I took them to the studio where we didn’t do much except record some live drum kit overdubs that make the percussion sections come alive, I love mixing live drums with drum machines to make things move more. I also filtered some stuff through analog sequencers and modular systems, but there wasn’t any composing in the studio. Mostly it was mixing.
I have a lot of influences of course, and because I’m also a DJ I am constantly seeking out new music that inspires me. I love spending hours looking for new albums and I’m always so surprised when I find something weird and unique, it blows my mind and I get obsessed with it. I don’t have one specific genre or person that inspires me, and it changes constantly so I can’t really answer the question but there’s definitely consistent players in my playlists such as LFO, Yoko Ono, Gina X, Legowelt, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, Sade, Area Forty One etc.
I’m not so much Touring as much as I am looking for random gigs. I live in Brussels now so I’m just telling people in town that I’m here and I’m reaching out to friends around Europe- we’ll see what happens!