In conversation with indie-electronic duo HUMANS, who drop their brand new album today, ‘Going Late’

Canadian indie-electronic duo HUMANS have just dropped their brand new album today, ‘Going Late’, via Haven Sounds. The pair’s unique, minimal electronic sound comes through triumphantly on the new release; it sounds counter-intuitive, but the ‘Going Late’ Lp is simultaneously able to fill dancefloors as well as ease the listener into an armchair for a relaxed night in.

With two exceptional music videos for their singles ‘Going Late’ and ‘Breakfast With Liz’ (the video of the latter having already won an award for Best Music Video at the Leo Awards 2018), and a slew of support from reputable tastemakers around the globe, HUMANS are bound to carry on their upward trajectory for decades to come.

Listen to the brand new album by HUMANS, titled ‘Going Late’, out today, below.

We caught up with Peter and Robbie of HUMANS and chatted about zoning out with synths, feeling ‘the danger’ and staying in touch with your inner child.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Peter: It’s hella fun.
Robbie: I tried going to business school but I had nightmares that I was wasting my talent and I had to make music

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Peter: No rules, whatever comes first, whatever inspires us first.
Robbie: There are so many ways to get to a completed song. Sometimes I zone out with a synth for half an hour and a song comes. Sometimes I’m recording voice memos to try and capture ideas.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Peter: We found that working with Nik (producer) and Carlos (Other Producer) is a collaboration. We like having people who are better than us teaching us tricks or seeing how they really aren’t that different than us in a way. There’s a track that features So Loki on the new album.
Robbie: There are a few remixes, and we’ve collaborated with Max Ulis, Jesse Bru and a few other Vancouver producers.

What’s on your current playlist?

Peter: Steve Lacy, Pasteur Lappe, Marvin Gaye, Bosq, Prins Emanuel, Kali Uchis, Voilaaa, Young Fathers, Lee Fields.
Robbie: I’m listening to Roberto Musci lately. Slow jazz for mornings and tender dancing.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Peter: If they are having a good time then so are we. Otherwise, what’s the point. Robbie is always better at looking at the crowd, knowing what they want. We sometimes argue on stage thinking we know what to play next. We’ve been right as many times as we’ve been wrong lol.
Robbie: We always try and give them booze from our rider haha. We want them being crazy and crowd surfing.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Peter: Bring in new synths, new effects, perform as many of the instruments as possible even if we suck. Try out new things, feel the danger.
Robbie: Peter and I really try and go Deeeep. Whether it’s fucking around with a sample over and over again until it’s wholly unrecognizable or taking a synth to the limit of what it was made to do. It used to be because we were poor and couldn’t afford to get new equipment.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Peter: Wake up, drive to the studio, get groceries, eat, turn all the music gear on and let the magic happen for about 8 to 10 hours. The most exciting part is starting a new session, we usually have a scratch track and redo almost all the stems at the “real” studio.
Robbie: Lots of coffee! It’s a bit like the twilight zone in the studio. There aren’t any windows and times passes at such a strange pace in that setting. We usually do 12-13 hour shifts. We never know when it’s going to be light or dark when we emerge.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Peter: Since I heard the Beach Boys when I was 6. I just never thought I could.
Robbie: I think it was back during the nightmares I mentioned earlier. It was more like “shit – I better do this”.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Peter: My phone, need to know when we gotta shut it down!
Robbie: Lacroix.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Peter: Zeustate!
Robbie: Oddkidout, Emily Rowed, D.Dee until he gets his boiler room haha. I’m sure he’ll be pretty famous one day.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Peter: Hearing great music, new or old, people taking risks, doing weird shit but keeping it engaging.
Robbie: Being alone, and bored.

 Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Peter: Lately we use ableton a lot. We can send each other our sessions which makes it very convenient since we are both so busy. We have guitars, bass, Korg Keys, Roland Keys, MOOG, electribes, monotron, 707, TR-8, cheap gear, and some nice gear.
Robbie: Phewwwew. Ableton, Yamaha CP, electribe, xoxbox, SE1, 707, TR8. API lunchbox for the vocals. That’s the basic unit I wrote everything with.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Peter: Robbie has Sabota, I have Gang Signs. Also gonna keep working on Film scores. Released one for Dead Shack last year.
Robbie: Sabota. Check us out! We have a series of 12 inches coming out.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Peter: Learning about gear (musical equipment and software), hearing new sounds, learning new tricks. Also talking with people who are a lot more experienced than we are has made an impact.
Robbie: Working with mentors, honing my production skills, and trying to stay in touch with my inner child so that songs keep coming.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Peter: New videos, new album, new merch, new mixes, new remixes, tour dates.
Robbie: A new album, hopefully a Juno or two, and our first European tour.

Watch HUMANS’ latest music video, for the LP title-track ‘Going Late’, directed by Peter Ricq himself.

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