[PREMIERE & INTERVIEW]: Fried Dough – Beat Minor
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Fried Dough are proud to present their latest track, ‘Beat Minor’ ahead of their upcoming LP Mad Liquid Space which will be available on the 2nd of June. The trio pride themselves for their dark and ambient song structures which smoothly transform into moody, slow pumping grooves however, this particular track combines elements of trip-hop, IDM and psychedelia into a digital bubblegum dream.
While the LP is an experience unto itself to listen to, it was the track, ‘Beat Minor’ that really made us sit up and take notice, to the point that we had to sit down with two of the three minds behind the music. Find out what they had to reveal below.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
Andrew: Why do we do this? There’s no logical answer to this question other than it’s an addiction. Music is this thing that has to be a constant thread in my life regardless of any other goals or ambitions. Even if music works against monetary ones or ones related to life and family planning. Music is the constant that must be honoured. If I don’t express myself through music in some way (recording, jamming, banging on an instrument, even moving a mouse cursor that makes something make a noise) everything else suffers. So I guess it doesn’t work against anything. It just has to be for anything else to be safe.
Aaron: I was never good at math. I was introduced to a diverse range of music at a young age and had an inherent passion for it. Later on I became really interested in tech & computers. When I realized I could combine the two worlds through music production it seemed like an obvious path to take. Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? I work mostly off of production-oriented ideas, a sound that sparks a song concept. It’s often just a matter of manipulating an interesting sample or warping a synth. It then inspires an arrangement to develop around it.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Andrew: It’s always different for me. Sometimes I hear it in my head and try to reproduce it; sometimes I am noodling on an instrument and something just sparks; sometimes I’m trying out a new production technique and then improvise some gibberish vocals on top of it. There’s no one way, but different moods tend to desire different approaches.
What’s on your current playlist?
Andrew: The Phantom Thread score by Jonny Greenwood, Nick Cave, Chopin, a generic cheesy cafe jazz playlist on Spotify lol.
Aaron: Aphex Twin – Windowlicker, Ajazz – Mix2, Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas, Miles Davis – Sketches Of Spain.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
Aaron: I get motion sickness from flailing too much and have a hard time focusing on the crowd. But I know people like dancing as well as dark brooding vibes. We try to supply this for their happiness.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? *
Andrew: I’m usually inspired by something I heard elsewhere (or hear in my head) and will just think about the different ways it can be done. However, I think a really new result comes when I merge a simple idea with Aaron’s more production mind.
Aaron: Running guitars through enough pedals to remove any semblance of guitar-like sound. Spending a lot of time on sound design and small details to create strange textures and rich atmospheres. Taking ordinary sounds and contorting them until they have their own identity. I am known to crash computers doing this, often.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
Aaron: Starting with technical tasks such as mixing, editing or recording trickier performances. These are best done when the mind is sharp. Then slowly moving towards more open, creativity oriented tasks such as creating more abstract sounds, recording performance based automation or weird guitar/synth takes for texture. Ending with complete exhaustion and not wanting to hear that track for at least a couple of days.
9am – coffee and working on technical stuff
11am – crack the first beer
3pm – go for a beer
3am – quietly sneak into bed full of guilt and shame
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Aaron: When I failed math class. And the first time I went for a tour of a recording studio and caught a glimpse of the recording, engineering and production processes.
Andrew: I don’t think I had a moment like that. I had a moment at a birthday party when I was 15 years old. I pretended to play guitar and everyone thought I was great, but I had no clue what I was doing. I guess I was funny or entertaining. I borrowed my friend’s guitar the next day and would play for 6 to 8 hours daily for years and years. Never thought “this is what I wanna do” I don’t think, but I keep doing it.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Andrew: Beer and water.
Aaron: Beer & tickets to get more beer.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Andrew: I really like Squid Party. They’re a jamband in Toronto. Lots of improv. Very squid-like. Killer party.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Aaron: Being rested and energetic in the morning. Being exhausted, drinking beer, smoking weed at night. Depends what I’m trying to accomplish, and how quickly I want to accomplish it.
Andrew: I’m the best musical me 100% sober, early in the day and with no one around. I definitely have fun making music wasted or stoned, but usually it ends up in a mess of a song that needs too much cleanup and is harder to tackle. But those are fun nights too!
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
Aaron: Guitar pedals that make a guitar sound more like a synth. Enzo meris, Line 6 DL4, Digitech Whammy. Lots of delays. Ableton and Max for software. Any plugins that help mangle sounds.
Andrew: Whatever plugins Aaron tells me to use and a piano. Nolan has been going crazy building a modular from scratch. He’s learning how to print circuit boards and whatnot. That’s why he’s not answering the questions
Any side projects you’re working on?
Andrew: Not actively, but I’ve been writing a lot of solo piano pieces that are piling up.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Aaron: Learning to have the patience to actually practice instruments. Pushing myself to not repeat the same production techniques, and that means learning new ones.
Andrew: Learning how to collaborate has been a really big project from my perspective. It’s what makes this the unique thing that it is. It takes a lot of patience and discovering what you’re great at is also key. That requires knowing who to listen to, who to ignore and when to do either. Also understanding what others are best at and being able to enable that is important. The rest falls into place by repetition.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
Andrew: More releases and hopefully another tour if COVID allows.
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