With a monumental album release now finally out, we just had to catch up with metal/bass maestro PhaseOne. The Australian DJ/producer has poured his heart and soul into the unbelievably good Transcendency LP, and we’re thoroughly enjoying every part of it.
We chatted about the album with PhaseOne and got to know a little bit more about the creative process in this exclusive Behind The Bass.
Thanks for joining us! How are you feeling now that your album is finally ready for everyone to hear?
No worries! It’s a mixed bag of emotions for sure! I’m so excited that it’s finally reaching people’s ears, but I’ve been so nervous at the same time because I put almost a year of work into it – and all my blood, sweat and tears.
You’ve been in the game for some time, but how long exactly have you been making music for?
The PhaseOne project turns 8 this year, but I’ve been creating music of all sorts since I was a kid (not EDM). I’ve been playing guitar and piano since I was five-ish, and started messing with production when I was 13, just making hip-hop beats. Then I got heavily into metal and rekindled my love for guitar. I played in about 5 different bands throughout my teens and into my 20’s. I also went to college and studied audio engineering and began recording and producing all my bands’ and friend’s bands’ albums. But then I head dubstep in 2010-11 and I immediately had to try experimenting with it, because it was this whole new side of audio engineering I had never known about before. It took me many years to find a sound I wanted to call my own, but 8 years on and it’s now my full-time job.
What/who/where inspires you the most creatively?
Nothing really in particular, I just constantly go through waves of creative bursts, I’ll not touch Ableton for a month and not feel inspired, then I’ll have a month where I don’t leave my computer, haha. But often if I feel some writer’s block I just pick up my guitar and mess around with some chord progressions or melody ideas.
What are your favorite parts about being an artist? If you could change one thing about it, what would it be?
I’ve always loved travelling, even before I was a touring DJ I’d travelled a lot of the world, but now I get to do it and get paid (haha) – although it can be quite tiring, especially when you’re doing 3-5 shows a week and lots of international travel. But until teleportation is invented, it’s just part of the job.
How long ago did you start working Transcendency? What was the initial creative drive behind it?
It was a collective decision between myself, my manager and the Disciple team to do the ‘Transcendency’ album. Basically, we wanted to show what I am truly capable of in my productions and also pay respects to my roots as a musician. We figured the best way to achieve this was to do a full-length album which would give me the opportunity to branch out and experiment beyond the typical 4-track dubstep EP. I was nervous at first because I knew this would require a huge amount of time; it took me almost a year, and I was worried people would forget about me (lol) if I wasn’t constantly putting music out! However, I’m so glad I did the album, and I’m stoked with what I’ve created and it’s already turning so many heads. Hopefully, it was worth the wait!
Out of all of the tracks, do you have a particular favorite?
If someone was to ask what does PhaseOne sound like, I’d probably show them “Crash & Burn,” I think that track as a whole best describes what I’m about in one song. It has a nice melodic intro, a big metal build mixed with wobbly bass sounds, a huge dubstep drop, a metal breakdown and a melodic yet heavy chorus section. Northlane also happens to be one of my favourite bands, so it was a real honour to be able to work with them on this.
I also want to mention “Digital” with Periphery, another song I’m excited about, for the same reasons but also because it’s a different style/tempo to the normal PhaseOne sound, so for me, it’s super exciting to experiment with something and have it turn out so well.
Which song took the longest to make from start to finish?
In terms of when I started it to when I finished it, probably “Ultima.” It went through lots of different versions and makeovers before it became what it is today. Originally it was just going to be an instrumental and there were a few different versions of that before I thought it was finished, but then the Bone Thugs feature came through and I had to restructure once again and add a verse for the vocals. So overall that took the longest because I had to keep coming back to it but I’m stoked with how it came out!
If you could collaborate with any artist on earth, whom would you choose and why?
Freddie Mercury. Like most people my age, I grew up on Queen and he’s just one of the greats that will always have a close place in my heart.
Which direction do you want to take over the next year? Any plans you can share with us?
I just plan on touring a lot off the back of this album and also write a follow-up EP, which I’m nervous about because it has to live up to ‘Transcendency,’ haha.
See all of PhaseOne’s upcoming tour dates here.
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